LTIs, which stands for Learning Tools Interoperability, is a technology used to connect Learning Management Systems to third-party tools and applications that can enhance your eLearning platform. The LTIs technical standard was developed by 1EdTech Consortium and has rapidly been adopted by institutions in the higher education, K12, and corporate spaces for a variety of use cases.
LTIs are also available in the Open edX platform via XBlocks and the LTI Component. XBlocks, first developed by edX, are a specific Component type in the Open edX platform “designed to make it easier to create new online educational experiences.” You can think of them as plugins, widgets, enhancements, and add-ons for your course experience.
With the LTI XBlock, best-in-class platforms like Zoom, TurnItIn.com, as well as countless other solutions, are capable of being connected to your Open edX platform. Additionally, LTIs can allow you to connect your Open edX platform to external solutions (like other LMSs) to pass information from the LMS to the external platform.
Adding LTIs to Open edX Studio
The video below contains a complete walkthrough of how to utilize the LTI XBlock in the Open edX platform. We specifically showcase how to connect Zoom to your Open edX instance, which will allow you to add live and recorded Zoom sessions to your courses.
Debugging your LTI XBlock: If the steps in the video aren’t working for you, make sure the lti_consumer XBlock has been deployed on your Open edX instance. This is typically already deployed as part of Open edX installations but for details on how to deploy this or any other XBlock in your Open edX instance, we recommend reading the installing-the-xblock documentation available on ReadTheDocs.
Adding the LTI: To connect to your external platform, you’ll need an ID (the name of the platform like “zoom”), the LTI Key, and the Secret Values. Remember, each external platform will have different LTI Keys and Secret Values to be added to your course.
Configuring the LTI: With the LTI XBlock, you can configure additional settings for your LTI as well, including the Display Name, the LTI Version, and any custom parameters available from your external systems. You should select the LTI Version that is compatible with the platform that you’re looking to integrate inside of your Open edX course. With regards to Zoom, we use LTI 1.1 standard. The external application may also provide Custom Parameters, like the Instructor Email from Zoom. There are other editable settings available in Open edX Studio to further customize the content from your platform.
If you want to try out LTIs today, you can register today for the Open edX Sandbox. You can also connect with one of the numerous providers on the Open edX marketplace to help you install and configure your LTIs for the Open edX platform.