Feature Focus: Master courses and Variations

What are Master courses and Variations?

A Master course is a type of Project from which you can create different language versions of your content called Variations. A Master course acts as the central control and template for your Variations. 

A Variation is a Project that has been created from a Master course. You can create as many Variations as you like from a single Master course which means that you can offer your content in a wide variety of languages. 

Using Master courses and Variations allows you to easily manage your multilingual content in Elucidat and release them all at once in a single Multi-Language Release rather than releasing each language version separately.

How are Variations made?

There are several ways to create Variations. 

They can be built from a Master course by using translation files. This method involves exporting either a CSV file or an XLIFF file from your Master course. This file will contain all of the Master course’s text content. These files can then be sent off to your translations vendor or completed in-house. 

Once the text in these files has been translated, they can each be uploaded back into the Master. When you do this, Elucidat will use the translation file to create a new Variation by locating and replacing the original text (or 'source text') with the translated text (or 'target text'). 

This process allows you to create multiple translated Variations at once and is the method we recommend for best results. For more information about how to do this, see Using translation files to create Variations.

Variations can also be manually created without a translation file and translated using translation files at a later date. You can read more about this in How to manually create Variations and translate them.

The Master and Variation relationship

Master courses and Variations have a relationship to each other. 

When you make changes in the Master course, the changes will also be inherited by its Variations. For example, this means that if you decide to change the background colour in your Master course, this change will then be inherited by each of the Variations of that Master course.

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This allows you to manage and update your Variations simultaneously. If you need to make a change that spans all of your Variations, you can do this in the Master course rather than applying the change to each Variation individually.

You can also make direct cosmetic changes to single Variations to tailor your content and cater to regional or cultural differences. These changes will apply to that Variation only and do not affect the Master course or the other Variations.

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Caution: When a direct change is made to a part in a Variation, the Master/Variation relationship for that part will be severed and it will no longer respond to changes made at the Master level. This means that your one-off changes will stay consistent even if that corresponding part is edited in the Master later on.

 

Releasing Master courses and Variations

Once you have built your Variations, you can make a release directly from the Master course which will result in a Multi-Language Release. This release can then be distributed to your learners who will be offered the opportunity to choose which language they’d like to take the course in when they first access it. 

You can also make a release directly from a Variation which will act like a regular standalone Project release. However, the Variation will still remain connected to the Master so if any changes have been made to the Master which the Variation has inherited, these changes will be reflected if the course is re-released.

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