Modules & Their Cascading Effect

April 5th, 2012
Modules are designed so you can create a customized layout of your page. The functionality of modules is practically limitless, however there are some pre-built modules that you can add to your page. In this tutorial, we are going to cover all of the modules and how they work. We are also going to discuss the cascading functionality that exists between parent pages and subpages.
Modules have exclusivity to certain rails, or sidebars, on the site. This means you cannot insert modules on any side of the page. Some modules are designed to only fit in the left rail, and others are designed to fit in the right rail, while some can fit into either one.
Modules also can be shuffled in the stack order, so you get to control how the modules stack on top of each other by simply dragging them into the order you like.


First, lets go through each module so you know what it does and how it works.


The Dig Deeper module displays a list of all of your other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. This module gets loaded automatically when you add your links in the Social Networking section under External Links of the Edit Content section. This is one of the few modules we are requesting a specific location. Make sure you stack this module at the top of the Left Rail. This keeps all pages in the site consistent.


The Downloads module lists all of the downloads you have added to your page. It is created when you add downloads to your page from the Edit Content section. By default, when you add a download, it will load into the Layout Editor in the Left Rail. It can be inserted into the left or right rail, so you can adjust the modules and their stacking order to aesthetically balance your page.


The Location module shows a google map of a location, as well as some contact information. The Location module is automatically added in the Left Rail when you add a location under the Location tab in the Edit Content section. This module can be used in the Left or Right rail.


The Related Events module displays any post from the Events and Exhibitions Calendar section of the site. This means if you have anything upcoming in the calendar, it can be shown in the actual page as well, giving it maximum exposure. If you have the module loaded in the rail, but do not have an event listed, the module will act as though it is not loaded. This means you can keep it in your layout and it will only appear when an associated event gets added.

It is important to include this module in your layout. It does NOT get added automatically if an event in the calendar is listed, so if you have an event in the calendar, but do not have the module loaded, it will not appear on your page. VAP recommends this module in every page that hosts events or exhibitions.

It is available for the Left or Right Rail



The Contact module is designed to be a substitute to the Location module. It displays the information provided on the Location tab in the Edit Content section, but does not display a Google map. It is available for the Left and Right rail.


The Academic Calendar Highlights module displays the upcoming events listed in the Academic Calendar. It is available for the Left or Right Rail.


The Featured Profiles module pulls a random “Featured” profile  from the faculty, alumni and student profile listing.


The E-News module creates a link to the Newsletter Sign-Up form.


The Featured Videos module is automatically added when you add a video in the Videos tab of the Edit Content section. This module creates a video queue, so it will include all videos you have added in an easy-to-use playlist.


The Twitter Feed module displays a listing of your latest tweets. You must add your twitter information in Social Networking under the External Links tab of the Edit Content section.

Make sure you include the RSS information in the Feed field. This is what allows the data to populate the module.

There are two Twitter modules:
Content Area
Right Side

Use whichever one you feel better

fits with your page layout.


The Financial Aid Calculator module was designed specifically for the Financial Aid office. It should not be added anywhere else on the site.


The Blog Feed module will pull your latest posts from any blog you add in the External Links tab of the Edit Content section. You can choose to show the latest post, or the latest three posts, depending on the module you add to the Layout Editor.

This is a great way to personalize your page with relavant information from your social outlets. You must include the RSS feed url in the Feed field in order to populate the module.

Blog Feeds are populated on a timetable throughout the day. This means the module will not populate immediately with the latest blog posts. You must wait for the feeds to update before you will see the module populate.

For more information on the update feeds timetable, go to the Website Specifications page.


The Featured Events & Exhibitions module lists the most recent Events and Exhibitions that have been posted in the Calendar


The Feedback module provides a form so users provide questions or comments about the site content. This is designed to be a portal for questions in regards to finding information or asking questions related to the school. The best location for this module is on a FAQ page, which gives the user the option to ask a question, if it is not provided.


The Featured Faculty, Featured Alumni and Featured Student modules display a random “Featured” profile.


The More Faculty module is designed specifically for the Faculty profile pages. It will display two more faculty profiles from the same department.


The Cascading Effect

The second part of understanding modules is their cascading feature. In order to understand this, you must first understand the parent/child relationship to pages, also known as parent/subpage relationship.

When you create a subpage, you are creating a child of the initial page.

For instance, if you navigate to, you can see how this relationship is initiated. Look at the link provided and follow along to understand the hierarchy. I am going to start at the top level and dig down.

Student Affairs is the parent of:
Campus Shuttle
Food Service
Health & Counseling
Office of Disability Services
Residence Life
Student Activities

Or you could say Campus Shuttle is a child of Student Affairs. Either way is accurate.

Now, let’s dig further:

Student Activities is also a parent of:
Student Center
Visual Arts Student Association (VASA)
Visual Opinion
WSVA Radio

This means children can also be parents, if that page contains subpages.

Why does this matter?

Subpage, or children, Modules adopt their layout from their respective parent. This is a good thing. It helps save time. It explicitly means all subpages of a parent will show the parent module layout. For example, if a parent page, let’s say Student Affairs, has external links and a location loaded, this would mean it has the Dig Deeper and Location module added to the page. It also means all subpages (children), such as Campus Shuttle, Food Service, Handbooks, etc, will adopt that module layout.

The reason fro this is to keep redundant workflow to a minimum. Chances are, you will want the same modules that are on the parent page, on the subsequent children. All you have to do is set up the parent with the correct module info and layout, and all of your subpages will be set automatically.

You can override this nature if you need to by simply adding new information in to the Edit COntent section, or going into the Edit Modules section of the particular subpage you want to change and edit the modules in the Layout Editor.

That’s it!