How do I manage Master and Derivative courses?

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Using Master and Derivative courses allows you to create and manage content for multiple courses over multiple years in one, central location.

To make best use of Master/Derivative courses :

  1. Create a Master course. Configure the settings, content, and activities that you want shared with Derivative courses. Add content author enrollments, but don't add student enrollments; a Master course should be a central repository for course content.
  2. Create Derivative courses. Create linked copies of the Master course and set up enrollments (including students).  
  3. Manage changes. Derivative courses automatically inherit changes made to the Master course. If changes are made to an activity or folder in a Derivative course, however, that item's inheritance sync is broken. To best manage changes:

Know which course you're editing

Buzz's Home page and Editor are designed to ensure you make edits to the intended course.

Home page

On your Home page, Derivative Course Cards are nested inside the Master Course Card, so you always know which is which:

  1. Master course. Notice that the Master course only has three tools available (Activities, the Editor, and Course manager). These tools are associated with content creation, review, and management.
  2. Derivative course. Notice that the Derivative course includes tools associated with creating and managing student enrollments and data.


When you open the Editor for a Derivative course, Buzz displays this prompt, so you are certain which course you are making edits to. It recommends you make edits to the Master course because those changes are automatically inherited by the Derivative course.

Review changes and re-sync using the Changes screen

For Derivative activities that are synced to a Master course, the Changes screen appears in its activity's editor whenever you make changes to it.

It displays the changes made to the activity in that Derivative course, and allows you to re-sync to the Master course.

  1. When changes have been made to an activity in a Derivative course, a Changes icon appears in the activity editor toolbar. Click the icon to review the changes.
  1. The properties that have been changed are listed in this window along with the Derivative course's current value and the Master course's value.
  2. Check the boxes next to the property changes you want to discard and re-sync with the Master course.
  3. Click Re-sync selected settings to re-sync with the Master course.

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