Iterative publishing

How you can create your course on the fly and republish the course when you've finished building modules.

Caitlin Foran avatar
Written by Caitlin Foran
Updated over a week ago

In iQualify, you can publish and republish as many times as you like and your updates will flow out to any class activations of that course. This is great because it means you can quickly fix any errors and get those updates out to learners. But, it also opens up the possibility to create your course on the fly, publishing content as you finish it - and just before the learners need it.

Again, this can be a really useful thing. But, we want to think about how this could impact the learners' experience.

  • How will learners be able to plan ahead?

  • How will their progress change when you add more content?

We suggest the best way (in terms of the experience for learners) is to have a separate section for assessed tasks. Set later opening dates for sections that are incomplete and republish and open them as you complete the remaining content sections.

This is how learners would see this in the course.

The rest of this article describes the suggested approach in more detail, including explanations of why we recommend the approach where appropriate.

1. Create all your content sections

In your course, create all your sections - just the titles, you don't need to worry about the content. This gives learners an indication of the size of the course.

2. Create a section and pages for your assessed tasks

We also want learners to be able to clearly see the assessments for the course. Generally we advise putting assessed tasks with the related section/content. But in this case, because you’ll be hiding incomplete sections, putting them in their own section means learners can still see how they will be assessed for the course (something that is typically very important for learners to know upfront). It means no nasty surprises for them as they progress through the course (and you publish more content and open sections).

3. Create all assessed tasks

For each assessment, go to that page and create your task.

As mentioned above, having the assessed tasks all created means that learners can see the entirety of the assessments for the course. And taking the time to actually create the tasks means that learners can see them all in their assessed tasks list.

But what if you don't have your tasks completely mapped out yet? Check out our advice below for creating placeholder tasks.

Placeholder tasks

If you haven't completely finalised your assessed tasks, that's okay. If you can, put in a task that is of the same type that you will want to use - i.e. if you know the assessment will get learners to upload a file, add in that task type. That way, learners still get to see it in their assessed tasks list. So, they may not know exactly what the assessment will be, but they at least know to expect it.

4. Dealing with incomplete sections

First, publish the course so you can create a class activation.

When you create the class activation, you can set later opening dates for the unfinished sections. See How to set the dates of a course activation for more detailed instructions.

Learners will see just the titles (and open date) for not-yet-open sections in their course, but won’t be able to access them.

5. Publish and republish

As you finish building sections, republish.

Then, edit the dates for that section in the class activation and update. See How to update an activation for more detailed instructions.

Learners will now be able to see the content within that section. And, their progress will also automatically recalculate.

Updating placeholder tasks

Edit your placeholder tasks to finalise them and choose to replace the task for all learners.

Then republish to get those updated tasks out to learners.


When your course isn’t completely finalised, but you need to start using it with learners - map out the sections and assessments, set later opening dates for the sections that aren’t finished and publish and open sections as you go. This should lead to the smoothest experience for learners as they can see roughly how big the course is and how they’ll be assessed even if they can’t see all the exact detail.

Other articles you might find useful

Republishing and archiving - Browse our collection of articles related to republishing and archiving.

How to set the dates of a course activation - Managers set the dates for each course activation (class), to control when it can be accessed by learners, facilitators and coaches.

How to update an activation - With manage access you can update details for an activation even while it's running - add learners and facilitators, change dates etc.

Did this answer your question?