Many learning management systems support the LTI standard and therefore have a method for quickly integrating with Concourse. However, every LMS uses slightly different approaches, terminology, and parameters for doing so. Below we describe how to setup an LTI external tool in some of the more popular learning management solutions as of January 2015.
*Note: This article describes how to setup LTI within a single course in the LMS. However, in most implementations it will be advantageous to introduce the tool at a system level or within course shells so that you do not need to repeat this process every course section. For help with introducing an LTI link across multiple courses, see the documentation of your LMS provider and review our LTI extensions article.
It is worth mentioning one other point regarding LMS support for LTI. Unfortunately, adoption of the standard is not uniform among the LMS providers. Therefore, some parameters may be missing from the LTI launch that you want to key upon (e.g. lis_person_sourcedid), especially if also coordinating data with your student information system. In some cases modules can be added to the LMS to expose these parameters or remap existing ones, as is the case with the Blackboard LTI Building Block from SPV.
However a more generalized approach is to use integration middleware such as Apidapter, which provides remapping, formatting, debugging, and other capabilities to rapidly build and deploy integrations.
To learn more about auto creation, identification schemes, user roles, and troubleshooting, see the LTI follow-on article.
Regardless of the LMS selected below, this article already assumes you've setup an LTI consumer in Concourse for which to pair the LMS with. Additionally, some custom parameters can be universally used, such as placing the LTI launch into debug mode (debug=1). The debug=1 custom parameter in particular will help you understand if the LMS is properly connecting to Concourse and what parameters are available to key users and courses on.
To create a link to an LTI tool in Blackboard, begin by Building Content for your course and choosing Web Link.
From there, name the content (e.g. Concourse Syllabus) and paste the base URL to your system (e.g. https://yourdomain.campusconcourse.com/). Then check This link is to a Tool Provider.
Next, enter the Key and Secret you already entered into Concourse when you setup the LTI consumer. You can also add custom parameters.
Finally, if you selected embed mode in Concourse, it may provide a nicer experience if you set Blackboard to not open in a new window.
Blackboard 9+ with SPV Building Block
If you require additional LTI parameter availability and control (in many cases you will, such as exposing the sourcedid of a user or course), there is a free building block that can be added to extend the native Blackboard LTI capabilities. The code, and installation and configuration details can be found at http://www.spvsoftwareproducts.com/bb/basiclti/.
A few additional tips about using the SPV Building Block. One, this building block will introduce capabilities entirely separate from the native Blackboard LTI. Therefore you will need to start anew by configuring SPV-based LTI integration tools (i.e. enter the key, secret, and URL again). Also if you started by adding an external tool with the native Blackboard interface, you’ll probably want to remove it to avoid confusion. Two, the personal data panel is the place where you enable the tool to send user parameters. Three, if you plan to insert the tool within a course so as to pull up its specific syllabus you’ll need to check the boxes under context data to provide course related information.
Canvas by Instructure
To create an LTI link in Canvas, visit the Settings page for the course and click the Apps tab. Continue by pressing View App Configurations and then Add App.
Enter the name, key, and secret for your tool. Make sure the configuration type if set to Manual Entry. Paste the base URL to your system (e.g. https://yourdomain.campusconcourse.com/) and then change Privacy to Public. When you're done, save the app settings.
Now that you've configured the tool in your course, you can go to the Modules area and add a new item to the module of the type External Tool. The name of the tool you just setup should be shown, in this case Concourse Syllabus. Select the tool, add the item, and you should be all set.
Brightspace by Desire2Learn
To integrate with Brightspace, start within the External Learning Tools area accessed from the admin page. Then create a New Link with a title and base URL for your system (e.g. https://yourdomain.campusconcourse.com/). Continue by signing the messages with key/secret via the Link key/secret and enter the same key and secret you already setup through the Concourse LTI consumers page.
Next be sure to check the boxes under security settings that relate to sending user and context information, including:
- Send tool consumer information to tool provider
- Send context information to tool provider
- Send LTI user ID and LTI role list to tool provider
- Send user name to tool provider
- Send user email to tool provider
Finally make the link available to your current org unit before Saving your tool.
Another important step to take, especially if you haven't used LTI previously is to be sure that the roles within Brightspace will be mapped to groups in Concourse. For this you want to select IMS Configuration from the same External Learning Tools area. Of the available roles in Brightspace, Concourse understands most of the root roles (e.g. Learner = Students) but you'll want to look over the full set of role mappings.
Jenzabar e-Racer 1.6.3+
Jenzabar can be integrated with Concourse using the Learning Tool Portlet, which is available in both the JICS portal and the e-Racer learning management system. For instructions on integrating with the JICS portal, see our portal integration page.
To create an LTI link in Jenzabar's e-Racer platform, start with editing a course page and selecting the Content tab. Then add the Learning Tools Portlet.
Go to the page where you added the portlet and select Add a Tool to this Page. Continue by clicking Add a New Tool.
Enter the connection information, include the base URL, and the Key and Secret you already entered into Concourse when you setup the LTI consumer. Choose if you want Concourse to appear within the JICS page or a new window. You can also insert custom parameters under Advanced Setup.
To create an LTI link in Moodle, Add an Activity and select External Tool. Select Show Advanced and enter an Activity Name (e.g. Concourse Syllabus).
You will then want to paste the base URL to your system (e.g. https://yourdomain.campusconcourse.com/) into the Launch URL field (not Secure Launch URL). Also, make sure to include the trailing slash at the end after the .com. Enter your Key and Secret, and leave Share launcher's name and email as checked.
Moodle with BasicLTI4Moodle
Similar to the Blackboard Building Block, Moodle also has a plugin to extend the available LTI options. Information about this plugin can be found at http://code.google.com/p/basiclti4moodle/.
Other Learning Management Systems
Many other LMSs, including Angel, Sakai, and LearningStudio, support the LTI standard. However, we did not have access to them at the time of this publishing. Therefore, while it is expected to work, and with a setup likely similar to those above, we do not have specific directions for these systems. We encourage you to determine how LTI to Concourse can be setup within these solutions and share your instructions so we can post them here.