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Durham Blackboard Users Group Pre-Conference

Managing the LTI lifecycle

Tool Consumer (Blackboard)
Tool Provider (3rd party solution – e.g. PebblePad, OpenCast etc.)
3 bits of data Bb needs:
URL to tool
Key to identify
on user click, launch request should send back context, user and role to the tool.
LTI 1.1 allows for an Outcomes service (read gradebook value, update it, delete it)

Could the LTI column in Bb be change to a calculated column that reads its data from another column in Bb – e.g. reading the result from an MCQ test?

Stephen demonstrated the raw POST parameters that are returned from a launch request.
Categorising LTI applications:
content / activity type: Provider-generated (static) / User-generated (dynamic)
Configuration method: Standard URL / Link-specific URL

demonstrated grabbing a LTI link from soft chalk and creating a weblink in Bb and selecting “This link is to a tool provider”.
SoftChalk will provide you with a key and a secret to add alongside the link.

If you have an institutional account with the external provider you can set up the key and the secret centrally in the Bb system admin area >  Building Blocks > LTI Tool Providers.

There is an option to restrict the connection to only SSL secured connections.  If you are selecting to send user name etc. this should be turned on to conform with the Data Protection Act ’98.

With each provider you can create placements which allows for you to add the LTI link as a tool in the edit toolbar in the courses.


Next Stephen showed the Basic LTI tool building block.  This works in a similar way to the above but allows for extended data options to be selected.  E.g. you can choose to send the username displayed in Bb user interface rather than the default database key.  This allows local systems to then understand / reference the user in other systems.

Simon showed live examples of tools using LTI and the difference between the categories of LTI listed above.

It is possible to change the settings for the LTI tools at each level of the hierarchy in Basic LTI Building Block. You can also do this with the standard Bb Tools in the hierarchy settings but this seems more complex.

Next is demonstrated what happens when you do a course copy when including LTI links.  The core Bb tool provider does not remember the details. the Basic LTI Building Block does remember. e.g. using atomic learning, in the Bb core tool link it will take you back to the search page rather than the resource you’d selected.  the same thing via the basic LTI building block returns you to the resource.

You can not copy links (location to location), you have to recreate them.  The only copy is in course copy.

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