Global Course and Account Navigation in the LMS

Often times it is helpful to place LTI-based links to Concourse in various places within the learning management system. The most common implementation is to insert Concourse as a part of the navigation for every LMS course. Then when a user clicks the link, they will be automatically logged on to Concourse and directed straight to the syllabus for the given course.

Another possible placement on the LMS main page or with the account area is useful for general Concourse access. This is beneficial, for example, when a student wants to preview a syllabus for a course which they are considering for a future semester or an administrator wants to log in to run a report. In this case the user will be logged in to Concourse and dropped at the dashboard instead of being redirected to a syllabus.


Syllabus_Geek_Note_Smallest.png*Note: For each access point (e.g. course navigation, account navigation, additional LMSs, etc.), we suggest using a different instance of an LTI consumer in Concourse. This gives you greater control over Concourse behavior and enhances security through unique key/secret pairs. There is no limit to the number of LTI consumers you may add to Concourse.


LTI Apps


Syllabus_Geek_Note_Smallest.png*Note: While it is likely that other LMS providers support similar configuration and options, we are currently unaware of documentation that describes how LTI extensions are implemented. Therefore, the remainder of this article will focus on the LTI extensions available in Canvas.


Instructure's Canvas LMS provides some powerful ways to quickly and easily place LTI apps into their environment using their external tools API. These extra capabilities are derived using XML to set additional configuration parameters when adding the tool to the LMS.

Below we will look at the XML for the most common case, inserting Concourse into course navigation within Canvas. The most important parameters to adjust include:

  • launch_url: This should be set to
  • title: The common name for the tool, likely "Syllabus"
  • description: The extended description for the tool, such as "Concourse Online Syllabus System"
  • options: The option to be configured
  • property: The parameters that apply to the given option

This is the full snippet for configuring Concourse as a part of the course navigation. Other placement options will follow similar configuration parameters.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<cartridge_basiclti_link xmlns=""
   xmlns:blti = ""
   xmlns:lticm =""
   xmlns:lticp =""
   xmlns:xsi = ""
   xsi:schemaLocation = "">
   <blti:description>Concourse Online Syllabus System</blti:description>
   <blti:extensions platform="">
      <lticm:property name="privacy_level">public</lticm:property>
      <lticm:options name="course_navigation">
         <lticm:property name="enabled">true</lticm:property>

Feel free to review the complete API documentation for Canvas external tools.

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