Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is an IMS specification aimed at providing a single way to integrate rich applications – referred to as ‘Tools‘ – with portals such as Learning Management Systems (e.g. Blackboard) – know  as ‘Tool Consumers’ .

Now I realise that this sounds a bit technical, and unfortunately it is.  This one really is for the developers, but the impact of implementing LTI will be beneficial to students and teachers alike.

So lets look at what LTI will allow us to do and what the benefits are…

We decide that we would like to use a new web-based tool, e.g. a blogging tool, wiki tool, social networking tool, which requires students and teachers to have their own accounts to do all the cool funky stuff.  This is incredibly relevant in the current web 2.0 world that most learners inhabit, where they are used to using a multitude of different tools to suit their needs.

Now wouldn’t it be nice if we could use the same accounts that we use with Blackboard, in fact wouldn’t be even nicer if we could just click on a link in a Blackboard module and use the new tool directly with no account or information setup?

LTI has been developed for this exact reason, to allow far better integration between multiple systems.  It will pass over user information and course information from Blackboard (or another LMS) to another tool that would normally require separate account information.

From a developers perspective it also means that they need only implement one thing, rather than the traditional method of creating separate plug-ins for multiple LMS’s.  This has major benefits in terms of integration as it becomes more likely that a system will support LTI.

2 thoughts on “Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)

  1. At Pebble Learning we take interoperability very seriously having contributed to the development of LEAP2A. More recently we’ve been working with some of our customers to integrate basic LTI into PebblePad for exactly the purposes you have outlined in the blog post.

    For the recent PebblePad/Blackboard building block we’ve integrated basic LTI for single sign-on through to PebblePad and from PebblePad back to Blackboard.

    It is interesting for us that in this post you have identified the need for a collaborative, social and personal space which is separate but at the same time linked to the institutional systems, a place where students and teachers can do all sorts of funky stuff – well you do already have PebblePad which does exactly that and is LTI compliant! 🙂

    If you would like to know more about our Blackboard block or our LTI integration check out our pages:

    Integrations: http://www.pebblepad.co.uk/pebbleblocks.asp
    Interoperability: http://www.pebblepad.co.uk/interoperability.asp

    Keep up the blog posts, we enjoy reading what our customers are thinking about!

    Matthew Wheeler
    ePortfolio Consultant
    Pebble Learning Ltd

  2. Pingback: Top Posts of 2012 | The University of Derby Learning Technology Blog

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