Creating a Linked Course Template in Concourse

Linked templates in Concourse can be created manually or automatically via feed processing. Many schools implement a linked template hierarchy to help manage common information across multiple syllabi from a single point. This article assumes that you've already created an Institutional Template, which will be the highest-level template in the hierarchy (to learn more about linked templates, including the institutional template, click here). If you have permission to create courses manually, follow the steps outlined below to create a linked template.

First, go to the Create page from the Concourse dashboard.

 

Next select Clone a Course. You'll be directed to a page where you will need to search for the course you wish to clone.

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Let's pause for a moment to discuss why cloning a course is necessary when creating a linked template. If you read one of the articles about course templates (if you didn't, it's not too late...just click here), you know that templates are awesome because you can manage syllabus item content and default permissions from one Concourse syllabus, and anything linked to that syllabus will inherit the content edits you make thereafter. Therefore, once you create a template that has all the item content and permissions you desire...you'll want to clone that template to be able to keep all of your hard work intact and only have to update or add new information for potentially thousands of child templates with one click.

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Now that you've reached the search page, in the left search panel select Advanced.

Once you’ve accessed the Advanced search options, type the name of the course template you want to clone into the Course Title field. This is the easiest way to find the template that you will need to clone (the example below assumes the existing course is entitled Institutional Template). Once you’ve entered the title, click Search.

When you find the course you wish to clone, click the Clone button next to that course in the Results list.

After selecting Clone, you will be redirected to a page prompting you to insert specific information about the course you’re creating. Here you can update each field accordingly.

Required Information

Course Title: Enter the title for your child course template.

Campus: Select the appropriate Campus. For many clients, this may simply be a campus called "Template."

Department: Select the appropriate Department. Similarly, this may simply be a department called "Template."

Start Date: The date the course template becomes effective.

End Date: You may opt to use an end date several years into the future, since this is a course template; this can be updated accordingly. Don't worry; the template will not disappear when the end date passes.

Sections: When creating new templates, be sure the “Create New” radio button is selected. You may opt to enter a label like "All Sections" or "Template" in the field. It has been helpful for clients to decide what these sections will be called and use the same nomenclature across departments to ensure consistence.

My Group: This determines what role, if any, you will have in the cloned course. Typically, individuals at client institutions who have access to create courses and templates within Concourse select Managers.

Template: ALWAYS check the "Template" box when creating a new linked course template. This is what links the course to the Institutional Template (or whichever course you're cloning for this purpose), so that when changes are made on the Institutional Template they will filter down to your new course! You will not be able to link these courses after creation.

External ID: The format for the External ID used by most client institutions is subjectnumber_TMPL (i.e. ACCT100_TMPL).

 

Optional Information

Subject Code: Select your subject code from the drop down menu. If you’re creating a new subject code, select Other from the drop down menu and enter your subject code.

Number: Enter your course number.

Instructor: This is typically left blank for course templates.

Session: This is typically left blank for course templates.

Year: This is typically left blank for course templates.

Credits: Enter the appropriate number of credits for your course. If the appropriate number is not available in the drop-down, select Other and enter the number.

Delivery Method: This is typically left blank, unless this template is for a specific delivery method only.

Your Required and Optional information may look something like this when you've added all of the necessary pieces:

When you're sure everything looks correct, and you've confirmed that the Is Template box is checked, click Clone.

 

Congratulations! You will be redirected to your newly-created syllabus, where you can now add the final pieces to your course template. You can add the description, outcomes, and many other items. To do this, select Edit from the Syllabus menu, and then select the items you wish to add to your course template. Note that your template, since it's linked to the course you cloned, should have inherited the content and permissions from the original syllabus.

You should notice a purple link icon next to a few items on your new linked template. This indicates that the syllabus item is linked to another. If you click one of the purple icons, you will be redirected to the syllabus in which this new course template is linked.

If you don’t see these purple icons once you’ve created your new course template, it means that your course template is not linked to anything. In this case, you will need to verify the course you are cloning from is also a template and then recreate the new template using the steps outlined above, making sure to check the Is Template box in the Required Information section.

 

Have a suggestion or comment regarding course templates or any other syllabus-related topic? Please let us know! Visit the Community Area in the Concourse Support Center to share tips and learn about other schools' best practices.

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