I was always a proponent of giving learners access to the entire course -- content, assignments, exams, discussions -- at the beginning of the term. I've spent the week reviewing courses though and I can see that there is a lot of disagreement with that approach. Many faculty provide access to content on a week by week basis.
So why do I set my class up with the entire thing available? Part of it is that I like to have my class completely finished and ready to go before the semester begins. I am not good at developing important content and assessments on the fly and I inevitably have a crisis of some sort if I dare to give it a try. So part of it is a reflection of my course development style.
A second reason though is giving learners some control. I assume they have busy lives also and might need to work ahead at times. And believe it or not I have had learners do just that. I keep thinking I am going to go a step further and give learners some choice in assessments also, but I haven't quite gotten there. I've read about learner contracts instead of instructor provided syllabi and I do like the idea in principle... maybe next semester.