- LMS = Learning Management Systems
- SIS = Student Information System
- LTI = Learning Tools Interoperability
How Might I Give Teachers More Time?
From a non-technical perspective LTI:
- Save student time - they won't need an extra set of id and passwords to remember. Students just click to their activity, reading material, assessment, interactive lab stored in 3rd party content vendors - their credentials are handled automatically.
- Save teacher frustration by removing tedious work of re-entering grades, activities, assessment, or other results into the LMS
- If the LMS is integrated with the SIS, teachers won't have to re-enter gradebook information into the school's SIS. Which is another time saver for teachers.
LTI really answers the question, how might I give teachers more time? More time to focus on students More time for preparation and planning. More time to be a teacher.
What is LTI?
One way of thinking about the LMS is that it is a learning hub. It's where teachers manage classroom experience and delivering course materials. It's a central place that content repositories connect with.
Another way to look at LTI is that it's a mechanism that allows you to add and remove applications to your LMS content app store. LTI allows you to connect to multiple vendors and open resource content. You can visit the following resource to learn more about the LTI standard, from a technical perspective.
How Does LTI Work?
It's a system (LMS) to (3rd party) system integration. A 3rd party system could be a repository, assessment, career planning, content vendor such as Khan Academy, OER Commons, Xello (career planning), WISELearn ( Wisconsin's state-wide K-12 content repository), or other learning services.
As a school or district, you don't have to worry about the mechanics of the implementation. You only need to:
- Make sure your LMS has implemented LTI.
- Makes sure systems and services that deliver content, activities, assessment, etc to your LMS has LTI implemented. Most education vendors that publish content have LTI implemented but it's good to check.
Which version of LTI is appropriate for my school?
If all you need is to allow students to not worry about login and credentials to content providers connected to your LMS, all you need is LTI Core Specification.
When you need more...:
- Grade and assignment reporting to your LMS
- Provisioning roles in the 3rd party service
- Linking to a specific portion of a resource or module
LTI Advantage Specifications or LTI Extensions might suit your needs better.
Remember that both systems, the consuming system (LMS) and your 3rd part content provider must implement the same specification or extensions of LTI.
For more information about LTI versions and extensions visit the LTI page at IMS Global.
Where Do I Look to See Whether an Educational Software or Service is LTI Certified?
IMS Global has a searchable page. You can see what version of a standard a platform has implemented.
IMS Global is a standards body for open technical standards or specifications for educational software and systems.
LTI Integration With WISELearn
WISELearn is a state-wide K-12 open resource repository. It's a place where teachers in Wisconsin create resources to share with other teachers. Teachers may also create open resources that can be used in their own classroom.
Resources can be professional development or student-facing items such as activities, lessons, courses, ebook, or other general education resources.
WISELearn can also be a teacher's repository that can be available to the school's LMS. For example a science teacher can create resources in WISELearn to be used in her science class. Other science teachers may discover these resources use and decide to use it as is or create a new modified version that suits his specific class need. Storing education on a dedicate repository means that lessons can be shared with multiple LMS. It's not trapped inside a single LMS.
How Would an LMS Integrate With WISELearn?
The WISELearn platform already has LTI implemented. Major LMSs have already implemented LTI. So both platforms can talk to each other.
WISELearn is a publishing platform, in LTI it's called a tool provider. In this example an LMS is a consumer of content.
WISELearn administrator would need to make a key and secret available to an LMS administrator. It's like getting a key to a content publishing platform. The LMS administrator would enter the key and secret into their LTI user interface. Now the LMS is connected to a content provider (WISELearn).
This is the basic gist of integration.
Now teachers on the consuming LMS can search and add educational resources for their students to use. Students won't need an extra ID or password to remember when they click on added activities and resources that reside on WISELearn. Students interact with the resource without realizing that they were logged in automatically. The teacher would log into WISELearn in order to search and add resources, but it would be a screen within the LMS. The teacher didn't have to open a separate browser or open a separate application. The teacher is on one tool and so is the student.