Parent-child modules

Image of Blackboard logo and parent-child

Now that the 2019-20 modules are available to staff, we can link them together at the module co-ordinator’s request. This process is known as parent-childing. Linking modules together is an effective way of dealing with separate modules with the same content so you don’t have to upload materials to two or more different modules.

This process makes one module the parent, whilst the other module(s) become a child. There’s no limit on how many modules you make a child but there can only be one parent.

If you’d like to parent-child your modules, and you’re the module co-coordinator, contact elearning@aber.ac.uk with the module codes for the parent and child modules.

Examples from Aberystwyth

Many members of staff are currently using parent-child modules across the institution. Some examples are:

  1. Modules are taught the same content but there’s a module available for different years
  2. Modules with the same content delivered in English and Welsh
  3. Modules that bring together different degree schemes and have different module IDs, for example dissertation modules

Essentially, any module that shares the same content is ideal for parent-childing.

What do students see?

Students will see the name of the module that they are enrolled on (even if it’s the child module) when they log into Blackboard but they will see all the content placed in the parent module. Instructors will not be able to place content in the child module.

Things to consider

Now, before the start of term and whilst module content is being built, is the perfect time for linking your modules. Whilst the linking of modules does save time in the loading of materials, there are some things to consider:

  • All content is able to be viewed as soon as the modules are merged (as long as students are enrolled on the module). In addition to PowerPoints, lecture materials, this also includes Announcements and other interactive tools on your parent module
  • Historical student interactions on a child module (such as using blogs or posting in discussion boards) won’t be available once the modules have been merged
  • Any submission points created on a child module before the merge takes place will no longer be able to be viewed. We would advise creating these again in the parent module

How do I control content so that it is only viewable to a module cohort?

Whilst all content is automatically visible once the modules are merged, you can use groups and adaptive release if you only want the content to be visible to a specific module cohort. This might be useful, for example, if you have a 2nd year and 3rd year module merged but your students on the different modules have separate assignments. You can use groups – 1 for the 2nd year students and one for 3rd year students and limit who can see the assignment information and submission point. Follow our guidance on creating a group and adaptive release if you wish to do this.

Parent-Child Grade Centre and Component Marks Transfer

Once the merging takes place, all students will appear in the Grade Centre of the parent module. You can, however, determine whether they are enrolled on the child module as this information displays against the student in the Grade Centre columns. We would advise creating different submission points (using adaptive release) so that the component marks transfer can be managed more easily. If there is one submission point for all students then Component Marks transfer can only be used on one of the module codes.

If you’d like further information on this process or have specific questions then please contact us (elearning@aber.ac.uk).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *