Newsroom21 September 2023

What is Learning Tools Interoperability and How Can It Improve or Revolutionise Your eLearning Ecosystem?

What is Learning Tools Interoperability and how can it improve or revolutionise your eLearning ecosystem? - 1 male and 1 female staff talking to each other

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) has a standard protocol that seamlessly integrates various learning tools and platforms, including the Learning Management System (LMS). It also has the potential to transform your eLearning experience for your users.

What does an LTI do exactly?

LTI enables third-party applications to be integrated into an LMS. This might include assessment platforms, content archives or interactive simulations. All of which enhances the learning experience for the end user.

“Learning Tools Interoperability is an education technology specification that specifies a method for a learning system to invoke and to communicate with external systems,” says eWorks Service Delivery Manager Mark Robertson.

“This makes it possible to integrate a wide range of learning resources into a single learning environment, which can help to create a more flexible and personalized learning experience for students.”

LTI learning was first developed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium in 2010, and has undergone several revisions to continue to pursue industry-best security and new integrations.

Why an LTI is critical for eLearning organisations

eLearning organisations often need to use multiple tools to create a final eLearning product for the user. When these multiple tools don’t integrate seamlessly, this can impact heavily on the user experience, as well as the overall efficiency of the platform and effectiveness of the learning.

LTI creates a more connected and flexible learning environment. It also fosters collaboration and content sharing, as well as a personalised learning experience. This leads to more engaged and meaningful learning.

There are also cost and time-saving benefits to the LTI such as the ability to have a single login across multiple tools. Or the ability for facilitators to cut down on repetitive admin processes across multiple platforms. With LTI it’s streamlined and simple.

Implementing LTI: Best Practices and Considerations

Implementing LTI effectively requires a few considerations such as privacy, security, and of course compatibility with LTI-enabled tools.

Have you completed a vulnerability assessment? Have you identified any weaknesses through penetration testing or vulnerability scanning that need to be addressed?

There is also data encryption to be considered. All LTI-enabled tools should have strong encryption to safeguard data transmission, data which should be encrypted both in transit and at rest on the learning platform.

Data is also relevant to your privacy policies, as in who owns and controls data used by LTI tools? Have you enacted a process to only store the minimum necessary user data to safeguard against leaks?

You need to review every privacy policy from each of the LTI tools you use to understand their practices for handling user data, and how they fit in with your own organisation's privacy policies. Users should have the option to opt-in and opt-out of data sharing from the tools they use.

A tool is only as good as the user experience it creates. Before integrating any tool there should be rigorous testing of the learning experience to ensure there is no disjoint or confusion for the learner. Tools should integrate seamlessly for a good user experience, with room for scalability as your users (and their data) increase.

Weighing up these broad considerations of privacy, security and compatibility against the LTI tool benefits will help enable your organisation to make an informed choice and ultimately provide a safe and engaging eLearning experience.

How Moodle assists with LTI integration

At eWorks, we use Moodle, which has an external tool that allows for LTI integration.

“In other words, it’s quite simple for Moodle to connect to external resources so that they appear seamlessly within Moodle,” says Mark.

“As LTI integration can be done through a few simple clicks, rather than requiring custom programming, a significant amount of time and money can be saved.”

LTI also helps streamline and manage your learning resources. All of your learning tools can be managed from a single place, helping you to easily track your learners' progress.

In addition, LTI can ensure that your learning data is secure. When learning tools are integrated using LTI, they are able to communicate with the LMS securely. This helps to protect student data from unauthorized access.

What does the future of LTI hold?

The emergence of new technological developments like the LTI app store and LTI advantage has the potential to revolutionise eLearning. Finding the right solution for your individual eLearning needs of educators and facilitators could be easier than ever.

The interconnected network of LTI tools and applications enhances the adaptability of eLearning, but also helps to foster innovation in the sector.

Overall, LTI is a powerful tool that can help to improve the flexibility, personalisation, and security of learning experiences.

Want to learn more about how we can create the right eLearning course with Learning Tools Interoperability? Get in touch today!

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