Pathway Builder: Conditions and Constraints

Conditions and Constraints are optional levels of expression of a pathway. However, they add important information to understand the requirements to progress through a pathway. Conditions can be included without any constraints or constraints can be included with conditions as they’re applicable.

Pathway Levels of Expression: When constructing a CTDL pathway using the Pathway Builder, you have three levels of expression to consider:

  1. Pathway Components and Connectors: Pathways are created by linking Pathway Components to the destination using arrow connectors. You can include components that you own or offer, as well as components offered by other organizations. This allows for the integration of various credentials, courses, competencies, jobs, or other components within a single pathway.
  2. Component Conditions (optional): At the next level of expression, you can specify Component Conditions, which define the required quantities of predetermined Pathway Components. For example, you can set requirements such as completing two courses to progress to the next set of courses or earning a specific credential within the pathway.
  3. Constraints (for complex pathways): For more complex pathways, an additional level of information called Constraints can be included. Constraints allow you to express additional restrictions using CTDL properties. For instance, you can specify that the number of credits earned must be equal to or greater than a specific quantity, courses must be at a certain level, or the number of hours worked must meet a predetermined threshold.

By leveraging these three levels of expression, you can create dynamic CTDL pathways that precisely reflect the desired progression and requirements for learners or professionals seeking to navigate a specific educational or career pathway.

Conditions and Constraints: The Component Condition does three things and has two requirements:

  1. Provides a way to describe conditions for progressing along a pathway. The Condition Description is optional but useful information.
  2. Identifies the number of required target components and conditions.
    The Required Number field indicates how many of the Components and Conditions that branch out to the left of these Conditions are required to be satisfied in order for these Conditions to be true (in addition to any other constraints indicated below). Use 0 if the items that branch out to the left are entirely optional.
  3. Supports including Constraints.

Add Conditions: To add conditions, use the components library and drag and drop condition cards. When dropping them, you’ll need to fill in the required information. Conditions include the name and a quantity, which represents the number of component cards that must be completed to progress through the pathway. For example, a pathway may require completing a course, an assessment, and job experience, with a quantity of 3.

Constraints: When applicable, Constraints are always appended to Condition Components.

  • Constraints always require the following and a condition can have one or more constraints:
    1. Left Source – Left hand parameter of the constraint.
    2. Comparator – Type of symbol that denotes an operator in a constraint expression such as greater than or equal to, equal to, less than; select from the existing dropdown values.
    3. Right Source – Right hand parameter of the constraint.

Comparators are a defined list that includes the following:

  • Equal to
  • Greater than
  • Greater than or equal to
  • Less than
  • Less than or equal to
  • Not equal to

Constraints can be expressed grammatically. For example, the person must have a grade of C or better:

  • Left Source = Grade
  • Comparator = Greater than or equal to
  • Right Source = C

Add Constraints: If you want to add constraints to conditions, select that option from the condition cards.

Left and Right Action: Constraints can have a Left and Right Action:

  • Left Action – Action performed on the left source; select from an existing values of the dropdown, when the left source has more than one value.
  • Right Action – Action performed on the right source; select from an existing values of the dropdown when the right source has more than one value.

The Left and Right Action is only applicable when more than one Right Action is entered. The example on the right has two Right Source values and can be grammatically read as the person must have a grade of Average or better or determined by the instructor. Thereby, it must have a Right Action. In this case, the Right Action = Any. The Right Source values are 1. Average and 2. Determined as Passing by Instructor.

Both used a defined vocabulary as follows:

  • All Of – All of the values.
  • Any Of – Any (one or more) of the values.
  • Count Distinct – The number of unique values; yields a number.
  • Maximum – The highest of all the values.
  • Mean – The arithmetic mean of all the values.
  • Minimum – The lowest of all the values.
  • One Of – Any one (but no more) of the values.
  • Sum – The numeric total obtained by adding all the values.