New Features: LTI Content and Background Imports

Contributed By

Dylan Rodgers

Content Strategy Manager and Editor in Chief of the Schoology Exchange

New Features: LTI Content and Background Imports

Posted in Schoology | June 21, 2013

It's Friday! And even though summer has arrived, we'll keep on adding more exciting tools and functions to make your lives as educators better for the coming year. Today is no different, and let me be the first to say, these features are pretty cool.

LTI Content and External Tools

If you use LTI content, or plan to in the future, have we got a feature for you! Schoology is now LTI compliant, and we have designed a new content type called an External Tool that will allow you to access and use that content without ever leaving our platform.

For those of you who aren't sure what I'm talking about, Learning Tools Interoperability, or LTI, is a sign-on standard that enables all LTI compliant software/cloudware to integrate and work together. Put simply, our LTI compliance enables you to seamlessly integrate third-party instructional resources and tools from other LTI compliant vendors' websites right into our platform!

It's pretty advanced feature and requires some knowledge on the subject, so make sure to check out IMS Global's definition of it along with a list of vendors who are LTI compliant to learn more.

Note that LTI content generally requires a subscription.

Using LTI Compliant Content via External Tools

LTI integration can be utilized in Schoology by creating advanced content types called External Tools in your courses and resources. As a resource, they can be used in multiple courses. They are called "External" because they are really displaying the content from another website. Some of the LTI content is even interactive enough to record grades and automatically transfer them into your Schoology Gradebook!

Check out the example below; its a quiz that we created using our SoftChalk subscription:

Pretty cool, right?

You can create External Tools using your Add Materials menu in your courses (labeled Files/Links/External Tools) or your Add Resources menu in your Personal and Group resources. Considering that these tools are pretty advanced, there is some configuration involved to set up the integration properly.

As mentioned above, LTI content often requires a subscription to access. You'll need the Consumer Key and Shared Secret provided by the vendor to configure the External Tool Providers or the individual External Tools. We would suggest configuring the Providers first because it will streamline the process of creating and authenticating your External Tools in a big way.

But before you go on an LTI integration spree, check our External Tool Help Guide articles for a step by step walkthrough and other important information.

Background Imports

We've streamlined the process of importing Moodle, Blackboard, and Brain Honey content into your Schoology Resources! Initiating the import is exactly the same as before, though once the file has finished the initial loading, the import will now happen on the back end so you can continue working in other areas.

When you import content from any of the three aforementioned LMSs, a new option in your Account Menu will appear entitled, Transfer History. This new area will show you a working list of imports you've done in the past, along with those that are currently in progress. This way, you'll be able to keep track of your imports more effectively.

 

Keep in mind that if you Clear your Transfer History, the Transfer History option in your Account menu will disappear until you import more Moodle, Blackboard, or Brain Honey files.

We're excited to hear your feedback on these new features, so when you get the opportunity, test them out and let us know what you think right here on the blog. And remember: if you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to our community forum so our Support Team can assist you.

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