Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is an integration standard for third-party tools. The primary use of LTI is to allow a seamless connection between a web-based tool that is outside of the learning platform and the learning platform itself. LTI allows a secure exchange of information that enables a cohesive experience for users. Instructors place LTI links in their Blackboard course and when their students click on the link their email, name, and student role is included in the request to access the tool. By expanding the capabilities of Blackboard courses, LTI paves the way for achieving a plug-and-play, future-ready digital learning ecosystem.
Concerns Related to LTI
Because student data like assignment grades may be passed back and forth through the LTI, instructors should be aware of the following concerns related to the integration of third-party tools in Blackboard Learn.
- Privacy - The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) establishes requirements for protecting students’ education records. What personal information does the LTI integration expose/share in different configurations? There is also a growing desire by students to understand who their data is being shared with.
- Compliance – The college has certain compliance requirements as outlined by the Higher Education Opportunity Act. It is important to ensure that the learning platform complies with these requirements.
- Level of Integration – What kinds of information are minimally required to use an integrated LTI service?
- Data Security – How is data treated for retention, transfer, ownership, protection, and backup?
- Data Destruction – How is data treated after the college ends its relationship with the vendor? How is that notification to the vendor made?
- Data Protection Agreement – does the college have a signed agreement with the vendor to protect college and student data?
- Copyright/ownership – Who has ownership of content and how content may be used by the vendor
- Support for Users – does the college have a dedicated support team
- Accessibility – ADA compliance is required
- Contractual terms – including the duration and cost of service; if the tool is paid by the college/department/instructor, notice should be given to the LTS when the service is discontinued
LTI Approval Process
The approval process for each tool will include reviews for functionality, accessibility, security, FERPA, legal, cost, as well as other factors.
The general steps are as follows:
- Instructor submit request via an email to Ed-Tech, Ed-Tech@bcm.edu - the following information is required to submit a request
- Product Name
- Link to Product Website
- Brief Purpose of Tool (how the tool will be used and why and integration with Blackboard is needed
- Link to Product Terms of Service Agreement
- Link to Product Voluntary Product Accessibility Template
- License information: (a) a license is required and has been purchased; (b) a license is required but has NOT yet been purchased; (c) no license is required; (d) other - please explain.
- Funding source (who is paying for the license)
- The LMS Administrator will review the request
Type of LTI Tools Available in Blackboard
The below tools can be made available to the entire BCM community or only to a school or course depending on the terms of purchase.