What is LTI?

IMS Global Learning Consortium LogoLearning Tools Interoperability, or LTI, is a standard published by the IMS Global Learning Consortium that makes it possible to integrate platforms such as Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Blackboard or Canvas with third party tools and vendors such as CourseArc. This standard makes it possible for third party tools to integrate quickly and easily, without having to create different integration solutions for each LMS.  LTI enables third party tools to integrate seamlessly into the LMS, without the student even realizing that they’re using another tool.

Screenshot of CourseArc content that is pulled in using LTI in BlackboardScreenshot of CourseArc content that is pulled in to Blackboard using LTI

What kind of integration is possible with LTI?

Authentication – LTI allows the LMS to send a logged in user into the third party tool. This allows the tool to check that the user is valid and allowed access to the tool.

Information Sharing – LTI requests can be configured share the user’s information with the third party tool. For example, the LTI request can be configured to share the user’s id, name, and roles.

Grades – In LTI 1.1, an LTI tool can be configured to send back a grade for the LMS gradebook.  LTI 2.0 gradebook functionality is much more advanced, and allows an LTI tool to send back multiple gradebook line items rather than just one grade.

LTI 2.0

The LTI 2.0 specification was finalized in January 2014, but only some LMSs and tools currently support it. It includes several enhancements:

  • Configuration of LTI 2.0 tools is much easier, both for the LMS administrator and instructors
  • Improvements to eliminate issues that occur when courses are copied – the LMS now passes information about previous course IDs for a copied course
  • Gradebook enhancements

How does LTI work with CourseArc?

Currently, CourseArc allows each module of a course to be embedded via LTI.  We have additional LTI functionality on our roadmap.  We are planning to implement Single Sign On via LTI, to allow staff to update course content easily without a separate login.  We are also planning to introduce graded quizzes into CourseArc.


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