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Delivering a seamless reading lists experience through your VLE with LTI

Natalie Naik
Developer Community

We held a webinar with Stephen Vickers from IMS Global Learning Consortium to explain what LTI is and how it can make your reading lists experience more seamless. You can watch a recording of the webinar here.

LTI means Learning Tools Interoperability and is about how multifarious tools can work together with your VLE in a simple way. It is all about the interaction between the VLE and other items outside of it, for example a blog, a video or a reading list. LTI ensures that they ‘talk’ to each other, in order make it easy for students to access the content in the tool within the VLE without having to open an additional page and sign in to another account. Before LTI, integration between your VLE and other tools would have required bespoke code to make this ‘conversation’ happen, but this quickly becomes unrealistic for universities to maintain at scale as more and more tools became available. LTI answers this problem.

Stephen described LTI as a win-win-win situation, here’s why:

Benefits to developers

  • It is written in your preferred language with the ideology that you can “write once, use many times”
  • It cuts out the middle man – for example, replacing Blackboard ‘Building Blocks’, Moodle ‘plugins’ etc

Benefits to VLE system administrators

  • It is configured easily with just 3 pieces of information when using Talis Aspire Reading Lists
  • LTI is built into the core of all major VLEs and is in fact the core concept that Canvas is built on
  • With LTI there should no longer be a bottleneck waiting for plugins to be validated or approved for use as LTI tools are extremely easy to configure and implement

Benefits to teachers and students

  • It is simple and fast to add a tool to the course, a lecturer could add one in the morning, for students to use later on that afternoon
  • Single sign-on makes the use of additional tools seamless within the VLE

If you are interested in starting to use the Talis Aspire Reading Lists LTI Tool, then take a look at the LTI mini project which sets out who will need to do what.

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