LTI 1.3 Has Arrived

LTI 1.3 Has Arrived

Today we are excited to announce the addition of support for the next generation of the Learning Tools Interoperability standard, LTI 1.3.

Maintained by 1EdTech (formerly IMS Global), LTI 1.3 builds upon the previous generation of LTI by utilizing the latest and more secure authorization protocol, OAuth2. The move to OAuth2 further allows LTI 1.3 to align the format and definitions of data more closely with industry standards.

LTI 1.3 also provides more control and flexibility in terms of configuration between the learning management system and third-party tools, including Concourse. Previously, with LTI 1.1, you had fewer options when it came to determining behaviors like showing and hiding Concourse navigation or enabling auto creation or updation. Now, with LTI 1.3, these options can be set within the LMS and Concourse will respond accordingly based on the data in the launch.

Below you will find answers to the most popular questions regarding Concourse’s introduction of LTI 1.3 and our plans for migrating integrations throughout the rest of this year.


Q: What is Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)?

A: LTI is used to easily and seamlessly integrate third-party applications, such as Concourse Syllabus, into learning environments. Its primary use case is to sign on users and get them directly to academic resources without the need to re-enter credentials. LTI also gives an understanding of roles, so that such applications can provide the proper experience and permissions. Advanced LTI applications may support features such as grade return.

Q: What is LTI 1.3?

A: Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) 1.3 is the next generation of the LTI standard. LTI 1.3 builds upon LTI 1.1 to provide a more standardized, flexible, and secure method for integrating third-party tools with the LMS. One of the main goals for LTI 1.3 is that the integration can be configured directly within the LMS, and that the third-party tool can then respond dynamically based upon the data provided in the launch. For example, whereas previously the navigation in Concourse was set to either visible or hidden in Concourse for a given consumer (now called tool), showing or hiding Concourse navigation can now be determined by the LMS using the launch data. Underneath the skin, LTI 1.3 uses the OAuth 2.0 authorization protocol whereas LTI 1.1 uses the former OAuth (1). This also drives a secondary goal of aligning more closely with the OAuth standard in terms of data structure (JSON) and parameter labeling.

Q: What is happening on Jul 1, 2022?

A: Beginning July 1, 2022, the provider of the LTI standard, 1EdTech (formerly IMS Global), will no longer certify vendors for LTI 1.1 implementations. This is the next step in their roadmap to the deprecation of LTI 1.1.

Q: Will LTI 1.1 continue to function beyond July 1, 2022?

A: Yes, LTI 1.1 will continue to be maintained by Concourse through at least the end of 2022. We will be working with clients individually to transition LMS and other authentication end-points throughout the rest of this year.

Q. Is there a deadline for me to make the switch from LTI 1.1 to LTI 1.3?

A: At this time there is no deadline beyond the goal of moving clients away from LTI 1.1 by the end of 2022. If we determine in late 2022 that it is not practical for all clients to switch their integrations over to the new standard, we will revisit our commitment to LTI 1.1 after 2022.

Q: How do I get started with LTI 1.3?

A: Reading documentation, Getting in touch with Client Services

Q: Which LMS platforms are supporting LTI 1.3?

A: LTI 1.3 is supported by the four most used learning management systems in Higher Ed currently: Canvas, Blackboard, D2L, and Moodle. For more information about whether and how your LMS supports LTI 1.3, reach out to your product's support team.

Q: What improvements come with LTI 1.3?

A: While there are general advantages to LTI 1.3, specific to Concourse is the ability to dynamically control Concourse configuration based on launch data. Some examples include determining the visibility of navigation based on user role, controlling whether course or section IDs should be considered, or enabling or disabling the auto creation or updation of users, courses, and registrations. Though a straight 1.1 to 1.3 migration is possible, many clients will also find that they can consolidate the number of integration end-points as the logic moves from the Concourse interface to the learning management or middleware systems

Q: Can I use LTI 1.1 and LTI 1.3 at the same time?

A: Yes, in a couple of permutations. You may support multiple authentication paths (e.g. two LMSs, a portal, SAML, etc.), whereby some of these are still utilizing 1.1 across the whole transaction and others now 1.3. It is also possible, though less desirable, to use our middleware tool to translate an inbound LTI 1.1 launch from the LMS into outbound 1.3 to Concourse.

Q: What do I do about my current courses using an LTI 1.1 placement?

A: LTI 1.1 will continue to work with Concourse through at least the end of 2022. Additionally, LMS providers may make tools available to upgrade their LTI placements globally, though we haven’t seen that yet. Therefore, the suggested approach is to transition to the LTI 1.3 standard with placements in newly created courses. 

Q: Do I need to be concerned about any security changes with LTI 1.3?

A: OAuth2 is considered a highly secure industry standard, and part of the motivation to move to the LTI 1.3 standard.

Q: What support resources will be available?

A: We will continue to update this article as we learn more about LTI 1.3 through increasing adoption. We also have articles describing the Concourse functionality available with LTI 1.3. We additionally plan to host webinars related to the LTI 1.3 transition, and will work with clients individually as they need support.

Q: Will we need to meet with a member of the Concourse team or can we make the update on our own?

A: Not at this time, but it would be opportune to work with a Client Services representative to review current configurations and options for consolidation or taking advantage of new behaviors. In many cases these will be integration points that haven’t been looked at for the better part of a decade!

Q: When is the best time to make the switch to LTI 1.3?

A: For the LMS, given the challenge of adjusting LTI placements post course creation, it will be best to introduce a new LTI 1.3 placement within the course shells prior to creation. For many of you, this will mean sometime in late fall as you prepare your set of spring 2023 courses.

Q: Is there anything that would prevent us from making the switch to LTI 1.3? (e.g. older version of LMS that doesn’t offer 1.3 integration)

A: This is possible, though the majority of the LMS providers have implemented LTI 1.3 within the last two years. If you have a concern about a specific platform, or version of said platform, supporting LTI 1.3, get in touch.

Q: Will there be any fees for upgrading to LTI 1.3?

A: No. Our Client Service team will work with you to migrate any existing LTI 1.1 integrations through the end of 2022 without applying the service time to your balance.

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