Your Guide To LTI® & LTI® Advantage Standards
Schools use more and more digital resources. Every year there are more games, more content and more applications released. Connecting them together becomes a hassle.
LTI® is a standard that solves the issue.
Let’s figure out how it works and how schools benefit from it. By the end of this article, you’ll know everything you need to know about LTI®.
If you are a developer trying to set it up, you may want to check out the technical specification as well.
What Is Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI®)?
LTI® is a standard that helps you plug and play third-party learning tools into your LMS.
It specifies how software developers need to write code so that both the LMS and the learning tools are compatible. If your learning tool and the LMS both support LTI®, you can integrate them in just a few clicks.
LTI® allows you to log into the learning tools directly from the LMS. This is called a single sign-on (SSO). Students don’t need to remember passwords to the learning tools. Once they log into the LMS, they can access the tools as well.
Think of logging into a website with your Google or Apple account. This is somewhat similar, but even more convenient. That is because users don’t need to remember the names of the tools.
Schools can use multiple tools and services to teach students. It can become difficult for a student to remember all the tool names. It’d be much easier to keep everything in one place.
With LTI®, the students stay within the interface of the LMS. So, if students get to play a learning game, they don’t need to go to the developer’s website. They can play it right out of the LMS.
If your tools or LMS are not LTI®-certified, oftentimes you can still integrate them. The problem is that without a single standard, you’ll need to hire developers to integrate every tool. This can quickly become expensive.
LTI® and OneRoster® make up the 1EdTech ecosystem. Together, these standards handle content and student information that passes through SIS, LMS and all the learning tools. Here’s how it works:
LTI® Advantage Adds Extra Functionality
In 2019 1EdTech released LTI® version 1.3. It’s still up to date in late 2022.
The idea was to add new features on top of the convenient login. So they built a package of services on top of LTI® 1.3 and called it LTI® Advantage.
LTI® Advantage adds 4 additional services:
Names & Roles
It automates student enrollment in the learning tools. Teachers don’t have to type student names into each tool. The tools can retrieve this data automatically from the LMS.
This service also lets admins see student activity in the LMS. Teachers can know if the students opened a textbook chapter and for how long have they been reading it.
Students and teachers can communicate with each other without sharing contact information.
With it, teachers can build courses with links to the learning platforms.
Students can open links to third-party tools, but they will always stay within the LMS interface. That’s why students won’t have to remember the names of all the tools. This keeps e-learning simple.
Assignment & Grade Book
Grades go back from the learning tools into the LMS automatically. Teachers don’t have to copy the grades or comments from the tools to the LMS.
On top of that, instructors can see the history of students’ attempts to pass a task.
With it, users can search content across all the learning tools from the LMS.
How Secure Is LTI®?
The main function of LTI® is to handle the single sign-on, so it’s crucial that it is very secure.
To make sure it’s secure, there are 3 components to LTI®’s security model:
This is the protocol that handles authorization. With it, students can access third-party applications without giving their passwords to the tools.
This protocol manages authentification. In other words, it helps LMS to share student names and other information with the learning tools.
IMS Security Spec
IMS developed its own specification to transfer data. It’s based on JSON Web Tokens and OAuth2.
These measures are industry standards. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple use them to secure their data.
LTI® makes life easier for schools and students. Schools don’t have to spend money on custom software integration. Meanwhile, students and teachers can easily access all learning tools in the same place.
Related IndustryEducation Software Development Services & Consulting
If you want to discuss LTI® in more detail, feel free to reach out. At Aristek, we’ve been developing LTI® compliant software for years. We’ll be glad to help.