Feature Focus: Parent Courses and Variations

What are Parent Courses and Variations?

Using Parent Courses and Variations allows you to easily manage your multilingual content in Elucidat.

A Parent Course is a type of Project from which you can create different language versions of your content. These different language versions are called Variations. A Parent Course acts as the central control and template for your Variations. The Parent Course is where you'll add the majority of your course content.

A Variation is a Project that has been created from a Parent Course. Variations are linked to the Parent and inherit changes from it meaning that you can update multiple Variations at once via the Parent. You can create as many different Variations as you like from a single Parent Course. You can then create a release from the Parent and offer your content in a wide variety of languages as a single Multi-Language Release rather than having to release each language version separately.


How are Variations made?

There are several ways to create Variations. 

They can be built from a Parent Course by using translation files. This method involves exporting either a CSV file or an XLIFF file from your Parent Course. This file will contain all of the Parent 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 Parent. 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 the best results. For more information about how to do this, see Creating Variations with translation files.

Variations can also be created and translated automatically using Auto-Translate. This feature uses machine-learning to intelligently translate your courses for you. To learn more about Auto-Translate, see Feature Focus: Auto Translate.

You can also manually create an untranslated Variation to be translated at a later date. You can read more about this in Creating Variations manually.


The Parent and Variation relationship

Parent Courses and Variations have a relationship to each other. 

When you make changes in the Parent 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 Parent Course, this change will then be inherited by each of the Variations of that Parent Course.

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 Parent 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 Parent Course or the other Variations.


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


Releasing Parent Courses and Variations

Once you have built your Variations, you can make a release directly from the Parent 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 Parent so if any changes have been made to the Parent which the Variation has inherited, these changes will be reflected if the course is re-released.

You can read more about making this type of release in Creating a Multi-Language Release.

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