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How to Customize the LATTE Shell

A guide to the Brandeis LATTE Shell


Many faculty members reuse the same course materials from a previous iteration of the course. You have two options within LATTE to reuse previous course materials:

  1. Replace the Template entirely by Restoring from the previous course
  2.  Merge your previous course materials into the Template using the Import function

Restoring will duplicate the previous LATTE course exactly and remove the default template formatting. Restoring is the recommended option with the LATTE Shell. Importing will keep the default template formatting and merge your previous course materials into the course, but may duplicate certain activities and resources already included in the template.
Please follow the directions below to either restore or import your course. 

Backup and Restore How-To Videos


 IMPORTANT: The Import and Backup/Restore steps can only be completed in LATTE by the Instructor and Academic Administrator Roles. The Grading TA role can personalize the course shell after the import or restore process is complete.

Restore from a Previous Course

As soon as you have access to your course

IMPORTANT: To create course backups and restore materials from one course to another, you must have Instructor status in both courses.

  1. Open your previous course that you would like to duplicate. Select Backup in the Administration block.
  2. Keep all defaults and select Jump to final step
  3. Click Continue. Your new backup file will appear in the User private backup area, which stores your backup file in LATTE.
    User Private Backup Area with a new .mbz backup file

Please continue the instructions in the Step 2: Restore into New Course tab.

  1. Open your new course. Select Restore in the Administration block.

  2. On the Restore page, find the User private backup area and select Restore to the right of the course backup that you just created.

    • If you have a course backup file (.mbz) saved locally, you can instead upload that in the file upload box at the top of the page.

      Course Restore page. Users can import a backup file or choose a backup file from the User Private Backup Area.

  3. On the Backup Detail page, accept the defaults and select Continue.

  4. On the Destination page, you will select whether to merge or delete the current contents of your new course. Once you have chosen, select Continue.

    • To overwrite the course template for your new course, select Delete the contents of this course and then restore.

    • If you select Merge the backup course into this course, the contents from both courses will be kept.

  5. On the Course Settings page, go through your content and un-select anything you don't want to restore into the course. If you chose Merge in the previous step, you'll want to make sure you don't bring in duplicate items, particularly in the top section of the course.

  6. Review your choices on the Restore settings page, and select Perform restore.

  7. You may now see the following error message about restoring role mappings. Simply select Continue to move forward with the Restore process. 

  8. Your course will begin deleting old materials and adding the restored materials; this can take up to a few minutes. When complete, you'll see a full progress bar and a Continue button to take you to your updated course.

Import from a Previous Course

As soon as you have access to your course

IMPORTANT: To import materials from one course to another, you must have Instructor status in both courses.

  1. Open your new course, and select Import in the Administration block.
  2. The 10 most recent courses you can import from will appear in a list. If the course you need is older, you can search for it by short or full name in the Search box. Select your course, then click Continue.
    List of previous courses to select in the import menu.
  3. On the Import Settings page (see below), you will select what to import. You may choose to select only Include activities and resources.
    1. If you have quizzes, also select Include question bank.
    2. If you have set dates for assignments, also select Include calendar events.
    3. If you set up groups, also select Include groups.
    4. Unselect Include blocks, as this will import unnecessary blocks from an older course.
    5. Click Next.
      Import settings with check boxes

Please continue the instructions in Step 2: Finalize the Import -- unless you are using a course from the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semesters, then continue to the Optional: Settings for Courses from Fall '20 and Spring '21 tab. 

OPTIONAL These settings are for courses that have used the Fall 2020 (Shell A) or Spring 2021 Shells. If you are importing from a LATTE course from any other semester, please proceed to the Step 2 tab. 

On the Schema Settings page, you will select exactly which materials will be imported. Some items will conflict with the Fall 2020 (Shell A) and Spring 2021 LATTE Shells and must be unchecked at this stage.

If the previous course used Fall 2020 (Shell A) or Spring 20201 LATTE Shells:

  • Uncheck the entire banner, as shown below.
    Banner items with the boxes unchecked
  • Uncheck the Attendance activity.
  • Uncheck the Course News and Announcements forum.
  • The contents of the “Getting Started,” “Communications Center,” and “Course Resources” topics have been redesigned for the Fall 2021 LATTE Shell. If you did not customize these sections in your previous course, you can safely uncheck these, as well.

Please continue the instructions in Step 2: Finalize the Import. 

  1. On the Schema Settings page, you will select exactly which materials will be imported. In most cases, the best choice is to un-select the entire top section. In cases where that is not possible, the following items should be individually un-selected:
    • Course News & Announcements Forum
    • Ask the Class Forum
    • Attendance activity
       Schema settings with checkbox options
  2. After unchecking any additional unneeded items, click Next.
  3. On the Confirmation & Review page, you can review the materials you have selected. If you need to make changes, click the Previous button at the bottom of the page to move back. When you are satisfied with your selections, click Perform import.
  4. When the import is finished, you will receive an “Import Complete” confirmation. Click Continue to go to your new Fall 2021 course with imported materials.
  5. Click Turn Editing On, then scroll to the bottom of the course page to find the new Instructor Resources topic. This contains the template for a Welcome Message and Midcourse Evaluations. Click the arrows icon to its left, then click the top line in the “Move” dialog box to move this topic to the top of your course.
  6. Your import is complete! Continue to update and modify your materials for the semester ahead.

Note: Instructors should expect to see past inaccessible formats (such as Tiles or Grid) correctly appear as Collapsible Topics in the new shell.

External Resources