Important News for the LTI Community

Published on: April 10, 2020
Linda Feng, Software Architect

We understand the unique situation the world is in today and can only imagine the various challenges higher education institutions, school districts, and the technology vendors who support them are facing. We are here to help and want to pass along several important updates related to LTI.

Deadline Extended for LTI 1.1 Certifications

In their latest member newsletter, the IMS Global Consortium announced that the adoption of LTI Advantage and LTI 1.3 is on the rise.

They also announced that given the current world situation, they are extending the deadlines for certification and deprecation of LTI 1.0, 1.1, and related services, to give tool providers and platforms more time to upgrade.

According to IMS’s updated deprecation schedule, the last day for LTI 1.0 and 1.1 recertifications is now 12/31/20, and the last certificate expiration date has been moved to 12/31/21.

This new deadline provides some important breathing room as we all try to navigate the COVID-19 crisis. But it also gives you more time to think about the new capabilities of LTI 1.3 and how they might be used to provide your users with the best possible integration experience. With the tools that IMS provides, migration is not a  huge project, but it does make sense to get started as early as you can to give your organization time to think through the details and implement a successful upgrade.

New Vanguard Certification Program

In the same newsletter, IMS also let members know that they are planning to announce something they are calling the "Vanguard Certification Program."  From their description, it sounds like higher ed (HED) and K-12 institutional contributing members can nominate learning products and platforms to get free access to developer and certification resources and related support for IMS certification. They will be notifying HED and K-12 members via email within the next few weeks and providing more details and information about how they can submit supplier referrals.

Stay tuned for this program--we’ll pass along more information as soon as we have it.

Updates on Browser 3rd Party Cookie Handling

Safari Increasing Enforcement

As of March 24, with the release of Safari 13.1, Safari is now blocking cookies for cross-site resources by default across the board, which can cause issues for LTI tool launches.

Read WebKit’s blog Full Third-Party Cookie Blocking and More for additional details and the impact on websites and developers.

...While Google Chrome is Temporarily Rolling Back Enforcement

On April 3, Google announced that they will roll back their recent SameSite cookie handling updates to Chrome in light of the extraordinary global circumstances related to COVID-19.

Read the Chromium blog for more information: Temporarily rolling back SameSite Cookie Changes

IMS Learning Impact Leadership Institute 2020 Cancelled

Just this week, we heard the news that IMS is canceling this year’s annual Learning Impact Leadership Institute, originally planned for May 18-21 in Denver, Colorado.

According to the updated event page here, IMS will refund all paid registrations in full by the end of April.  They are not planning to replace the conference itself with a virtual event; instead, they are introducing a new, free Learning Impact On-Demand Webinar Series starting in May.  They also mention they will transition some prepared sessions and presentations to the quarterly meetings scheduled in August and November (currently still intact).

Some Good News….

Instructure, Blackboard, and Brightspace needed to integrate with Microsoft Teams to meet the remote teaching and learning needs of their customers. They were able to do this through an LTI integration and have already announced the availability of Microsoft Teams within their platforms:

     Instructure Canvas Integrates with Microsoft Teams to Keep Educators, Students, and Administrators Connected

     Supporting Continuity of Education with Blackboard Learn and Microsoft Teams

     Brightspace Community: Microsoft Teams Meetings

Instructure was also able to integrate with Google Hangouts using LTI, providing even more options for distance learning and group collaboration:

     Instructure Canvas Integrates with Google Hangouts Meet

In both cases, the availability of the LTI Standard as a widely recognized standard enabled rapid integration and immediate deployment of critical tools to meet the current crisis.    

As we continue to hear more news related to LTI, we will be sure to let you know.  If you have any questions, please contact us--we’re here to help!

Linda Feng photo

Linda Feng

Software Architect

Linda Feng is a software architect at Unicon, Inc., a leading provider of education technology consulting and digital services. Linda has deep experience in student information systems (SIS) integration, open standards, and big data/ learning analytics, most recently as Senior Product Manager for Canvas SIS Integrations and Canvas Data at Instructure. Prior to Instructure, Linda held the position of software architect for Oracle's Student Products Division. In the last several years, she served as co-chair of the IMS Global Learning Initiative Learning Information Services & Privacy Working Groups, helping to bring a new Enterprise interoperability standard to market.