How LTI provides another way to improve your digital education strategy
Updated: Aug 30, 2021
LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability, which is a technology method for learning management systems developed to allow LMS to communicate with external systems. For example, a learning management system can use LTI to host external tools such as authoring tools, video conferencing, Dropbox, digital badges, and other apps.
I’ve been asked few times about the difference between API and LTI. So, I will briefly provide some definitions to help you understand the difference between the two technologies, and will then go on to talk about LTI itself. I will dedicate a later article to the topic of API.
API is a broader term for any method that allows two software tools to communicate. For example, you’ve probably used the Continue with Google button to sign into a website that wasn’t Google. The application you’re trying to sign into uses Google’s API to do so and retrieves your information from your Google account. By contrast, LTI was developed as a method to integrate external applications or tools with learning management systems. Sometimes, you will need to use both technologies to connect to an external app from the backend (API) and provide the interface through the LTI.
LTI was developed to help app developers create tools that could be used in a variety of LMSs, without having to develop separate methods of communicating with each one individually.
LTI improves the learner, teacher, and administrator experience dramatically. You don’t have to log into an external tool each time you need to use it.
For example, if you’re creating visual and video content using Powtoon, you don’t have to log into the Powtoon platform, create the video in Powtoon, export it, then upload it in the LMS.
You can imagine how efficient this would be and how much time and effort you would save!
As Powtoon provides LTI integration with Canvas LMS, you can create your visuals within Canvas without the need to log in somewhere else, import, export, update an error, export again, etc. Through LTI, everything can be done in one place within Canvas.
Another example is developing an external LTI app from scratch. This happens when the training institute or organisation requires a bespoke solution that the LMS doesn’t provide. In some instances, this involves creating a reporting dashboard that pulls information from external systems, adding an extra component to the course that improves the teacher-student experience, or even developing an external app that allows students to form groups and have their own working space!
Basically, via LTI, anything can be developed and connected to your LMS to enhance your experience, improve your processes, and connect your external systems to your LMS for higher efficiency and a better user experience.
To know more about how we develop Canvas LTI apps, visit our website: