Transclusion for OERu course materials

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Transclusion is a feature of the Mediawiki software that enables text from a source page to be included in another target page in the wiki. So for example, the text on page B (source page) can be "injected" into page A (target page).

This is extremely useful when authoring OERu courses for repeating wiki,text, for instance a course code, wherever it needed in the main text. In the event that the course code is changed in the future, only one change will be required on the source page (page B) and the updated code will be propagated to all pages where the transclusion feature is used. (A detailed technical overview of transclusion is provided on the Mediawiki website.

When is transclusion used for OERu courses?

When authoring an OERu course, we normally use transclusion for the following:

  1. The homepage url of the published course website (for example,
  2. The OERu course code (for example: csf101)
  3. The session dates for cohort based offerings (for example: Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 August 2016)
  4. The urls for discussion forum posts on (for example:
  5. The wiki syntax used for inserting a WENote post.
  6. Any text which needs to be used repeatedly (for example the attribution text for acknowledging the source of an open textbook used on the course.)

What is the wiki syntax for transclusion?

  1. Any page in the wiki can be used for the source text. (For example, here is the source page for the homepage url for CSF101:
  2. The general wiki syntax for inserting the source text on the target page is: {{:wiki_page_url_of_the_source_page_goes_here}} (This syntax is inserted on the target page).
  3. Therefore, to insert the CSF101 homepage url on any page within the CSF101 course, the following syntax would be used: {{:Creating_sustainable_futures/Links/Homepage_url}}. (Note that the wiki page url is the text which appears after the "" prefix.)
  4. The syntax for transclusion can be nested within normal wiki text. So for example:
    • The general syntax for an external link, for instance, linking to Google is: [ display text]
    • The google url could be inserted on a wiki page to be used for transclusion, see for example: Google url
    • To transclude this Google_url page as a link, the following syntax would be used: [{{:Google_url}} A great search engine]. When published, this syntax appears as follows: A great search engine

OERu conventions for listing transcluded pages

  1. The most popular convention is to add a subheading on the course planning page called "Links used for transclusion"
  2. Subheadings are then used to group the source pages for the links used for transclusion for each micro course.
  3. See for example the Links used for transclusion subsection for the OERu's Corporate communication course.
  4. Some authors prefer to list all the links used for transclusion as a sub-page of the main planning page. Both approaches are acceptable.


  1. Here is the source page for a discussion forum in CSF101: Creating_sustainable_futures/Links/Discussion_forum_101
  2. Here is the page which generates the link to the discussion forum url: (Scroll down to the Discussion forum activity, then click on "Edit source" to see how this was set up in the wiki.