Global Course and Account Navigation in Canvas (LMS-Specific)

Global Course and Account Navigation in Canvas (LMS-Specific)

This article is Canvas-specific. However, you might find helpful information in this article even if you do not utilize Canvas at your institution.

Oftentimes, 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 into Concourse and directed straight to the syllabus for the given course.

Another possible placement for general Concourse access is on the LMS main page or with the account area. This is beneficial, for example, when a student wants to preview a syllabus for a course that 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 and placed at the Concourse homepage instead of being redirected to a syllabus.

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.


Canvas LTI Apps

 Note: While it is likely that other LMS providers support similar configurations 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 the URL of your Apidapter adapter.  
  • title: The common name for the tool, likely "Course 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
The following is the full snippet for configuring Concourse as a part of the course navigation; this configuration will embed the syllabus within the LMS window.  You will have to update the URL to match the URL of your adapter (we have also bolded it in the example below):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<cartridge_basiclti_link xmlns="http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticc_v1p0"
   xmlns:blti = "http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imsbasiclti_v1p0"
   xmlns:lticm ="http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticm_v1p0"
   xmlns:lticp ="http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticp_v1p0"
   xmlns:xsi = "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
   xsi:schemaLocation = "http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticc_v1p0 http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/lti/ltiv1p0/imslticc_v1p0.xsd
   http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imsbasiclti_v1p0 http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/lti/ltiv1p0/imsbasiclti_v1p0.xsd
   http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticm_v1p0 http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/lti/ltiv1p0/imslticm_v1p0.xsd
   http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticp_v1p0 http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/lti/ltiv1p0/imslticp_v1p0.xsd">
   <blti:launch_url>https://api.apidapter.com/v0/abc/defg</blti:launch_url>
   <blti:title>Syllabus</blti:title>
   <blti:description>Concourse Online Syllabus System</blti:description>
   <blti:extensions platform="canvas.instructure.com">
      <lticm:property name="privacy_level">public</lticm:property>
<lticm:options name="course_navigation">
         <lticm:property name="enabled">true</lticm:property>
      </lticm:options>
   </blti:extensions>
</cartridge_basiclti_link> 


Note: With the enhanced security measures imposed by most browsers, attempting to authenticate into a third-party tool (including but definitely not limited to Concourse) from within the LMS may present some access challenges for some users. We recommend making sure that the acceptance of third party cookies is enabled in your users' browser(s). For more information on this, please read our System Requirements and Recommendations article, and in particular, review the section on "Cookies."

To configure the Concourse LTI tool as part of the course navigation and to set the link to open in a new tab instead of within an iframe (and, as a result, eliminate the likelihood of your users encountering authentication issues due to browser security settings), here is the full snippet. You will have to update the URL to match the URL of your adapter (we have also bolded it in the example below):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<cartridge_basiclti_link xmlns="http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticc_v1p0"
xmlns:blti = "http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imsbasiclti_v1p0"
xmlns:lticm ="http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticm_v1p0"
xmlns:lticp ="http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticp_v1p0"
xmlns:xsi = "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
xsi:schemaLocation = "http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticc_v1p0 http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/lti/ltiv1p0/imslticc_v1p0.xsd
http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imsbasiclti_v1p0 http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/lti/ltiv1p0/imsbasiclti_v1p0.xsd
http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticm_v1p0 http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/lti/ltiv1p0/imslticm_v1p0.xsd
http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/imslticp_v1p0 http://www.imsglobal.org/xsd/lti/ltiv1p0/imslticp_v1p0.xsd">
<blti:launch_url>https://api.apidapter.com/v0/abc/defg</blti:launch_url>
<blti:title>Syllabus</blti:title>
<blti:description>Concourse Online Syllabus System</blti:description>
<blti:extensions platform="canvas.instructure.com">
<lticm:property name="privacy_level">public</lticm:property>
<lticm:options name="course_navigation">
<lticm:property name="enabled">true</lticm:property>
<lticm:property name="windowTarget">_blank</lticm:property>
</lticm:options>
</blti:extensions>
</cartridge_basiclti_link>



Additional LMS-Specific Resources (Non-Concourse Information) 

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

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