1. This refers to Moodle 3.11 from August 2022 onwards


Moodle Help & Support 

How to understand metamodules - if you teach modules (courses) with the same content

Metamodules (umbrella or parent modules)

Do you teach any modules (courses) where some or all of the content is shared?  Would you like to use the same resources and activities in another module (course)?

If the content is used in more than one module (course) it’s possible to share the content using an umbrella or metamodule in Moodle for the shared content. The separate modules (courses) also exist but may only be used to feed students enrolments from Campus Solutions and are invisible to students who only see the “parent” module (course).

Examples include:

  • Modules (courses) with different credit values but the same content
  • Modules (courses) taught in different semesters but with the same content
  • Modules (courses) taught at Level 3 and level 4 where both sets of students study the same content
  • Modules (courses) with the same module (course) code and content on separate international campuses but taught together
  • Dissertation modules where there are multiple codes but the content is generic dissertation information and dropboxes.

Metamodules can also be set up as umbrella modules (courses) for numbers of students, such as all students in Year 1, all students on a particular MSc programme.  They can be linked to core modules (courses) to feed enrolment.

Example:

Food Factory Operations (BIOS3047 UNUK FYR) (BIOS4095 UNUK FYR) (BIOS4045 UNUK AUT) (22-23)

Dissertation (POLI3001 UNUK AUT) (POLI3002 UNUK SPR2) (POLI3043 UNUK AUT) (POLI3044 UNUK SPR) (POLI4140 UNUK FYR) (22-23)

Enrolment on metamodules / parent modules (courses)

Students are passed through to the metamodule with a student role.

Staff are passed through to the metamodule but lose their roles, i.e. cannot see the module.  This is because the overwhelming majority of users wanted students to be passed through but not staff.

Usually staff do not have the same roles in metamodules as they do in the modules (courses) linked to them, but they are passed through to make it easier for the editing teacher to give them a role if they need one.

How to give staff a role in the metamodule:

1. Click on the Participants link on the relevant Moodle page.

Top navigation bar for a Moodle module

2. This will open the Participants page. Find the staff member who needs a role and click on the 'Pencil' in the 'Roles column, 

Screenshot of Roles column on Participants page

3. Click the 'Down arrow' in the dropdown, and choose a role.

Screenshot of selecting a role

4. Click the 'Floppy disk' icon to save the changes.

Saving a role on the participants page

Status of parent or metamodules - caveats with regard to Campus Solutions

The child modules (courses) are Campus Solutions modules and have all the usual links - to Reading Lists, Engage, ExamSys etc.

In the parent modules (courses) Moodle won't necessarily automatically find the correct links to Echo360 Engage or Reading Lists, so remember to configure these manually.

Advice where not to use metamodules

Cases where you would NOT use metamodules but might duplicate (import)  the content from one module (course) to another might be where, e.g.,

  • You are providing content for a colleague (e.g., on another campus) which they will then edit, but the students are not studying together.
  • You wish to move your content from one year (e.g., 19-20) to another (e.g. 20-21) as a starting point
  • You wish to use the content of one, e.g., undergraduate, module (course) to start you off developing a similar, e.g.,  postgraduate, module (course).
Metamodule Example 1
  • Metamodule (Parent module) - Introduction to Subtitling (META3000 UNUK AUT) (META3001) (23-24) - This module contains the content for both child modules and is visible to all students registered on the child modules
    • Child module - Introduction to Subtitling (META3000 UNUK) (AUT1 23-24) - This is a 10 credit module and there is no extra content. It is invisible to students. Student enrolments are from Campus Solutions.
    • Child module - Introduction to Subtitling (META3001 UNUK) (AUT1 23-24) - This is a 20 credit module and there is extra content and assignments for 20 credit students. It is visible to META3001 students. Student enrolments are from Campus Solutions.
Metamodule Example 2
  • Metamodule (Parent module) - Subtitling Students Hub (23-24) - This page contains news, events and general information relevant for students studying subtitling modules. It is visible to students on the following child modules
    • Child module - Introduction to Subtitling (META3000 UNUK) (AUT1 23-24) - This module is visible to students enrolled on this module and contains normal module content. Student enrolments are from Campus Solutions.
    • Child module - Subtitling for Live Television (META3021 UNUK) (SPR 23-24) - This module is visible to students enrolled on this module and contains normal module content. Student enrolments are from Campus Solutions.
    • Child module - Subtitling for Film and Television (META3027 UNUK) (SPR 23-24) - This module is visible to students enrolled on this module and contains normal module content. Student enrolments are from Campus Solutions.
    • Child module - Advanced Subtitling Techniques (META3042 UNUK) (SPR 23-24) - This module is visible to students enrolled on this module and contains normal module content. Student enrolments are from Campus Solutions.

What happens when one of the linked modules is no longer taught?

If one of the modules is no longer running, then you won't need the parent any more. All content can be in the remaining Campus module.

So if you had a parent

Dissertation (UKFX3006 UNUK SPR1) (UKFX3007 UNUK FYR1) (21-22)  it would contain all the content for both modules

but if UKFX3006 isn't running in 22-23, then you'd only need the original Dissertation (UKFX3007 UNUK) (FYR1 22-23) and no parent necessary.