Finally, An Easier Way to Onboard New Learning Apps: Meet LTI® 1.3 Dynamic Registration

Diego del Blanco,
Software Developer

The Amazing LTI 1.3 Tool  

At first glance, LTI 1.3 appears to be a magic solution to many of the complex problems of integration into the world of the Learning Management System (LMS). Your learning app can be launched from within the LMS, receive information about the student or educator which will provide an optimized user experience, integrate with LMS data analytics, plagiarism tools, and proctoring systems.

Unfortunately, since there is no standardization among learning management systems, the steps and requirements for configuration of your learning app will be different for each LMS. This means that you, as the provider of the learning app, will be required to send some information to the platform team, and they will need to do things and send back other information…

Problem 1: If you want your customers to install your learning app in their LMS you need to write different instructions for each different LMS,

Problem 2: Person-to-person communication is required to convey the information that the customer needs, as well as to receive the information from the customer, in order to complete configuration on both customer and application sides of the equation.

Problem 3: Even with instructions, configuring your learning app and the LMS is a manual process, prone to human errors.

This is where the LTI 1.3 Dynamic Registration specification can make your life easier.

IMS to the Rescue

IMS recognized this challenge, and since the moment LTI 1.3 was defined, the IMS community has been working to provide a solution. 

This solution has arrived in the form of a new specification called the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Dynamic Registration Specification. This specification "...defines a way to automate the exchange of registration information between LTI Platforms and Tools that use the OpenId Connect and oAuth 2 registration flows. This allows Platform administrators to automate tool registrations and avoid tedious and possibly error prone manual configuration while remaining in control of granting or denying Tools access to the Platform." (IMS Global LTI Dynamic Registration Specification). In a nutshell, the basic dynamic registration process needs only one URL to get started. Beyond conveying this first URL, the rest of the process can be automatic.

LTI Advantage auto config screenshot

FIGURE 3: Extremely simple but effective form in
Sakai to introduce the Initiate Registration endpoint URL.

This specification provides everything needed to allow the learning app and the LMS to communicate and to automatically configure most (if not all) of those complex parameters with minimal effort.

For a more technical look at the LTI Dynamic Registration Specification, please look for future blogs in this series. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this specification or how to incorporate it into your learning application platform, we can help!

Diego del Blanco

Diego del Blanco

Software Developer
Diego del Blanco Orobitg has been a Software Developer at Unicon, Inc., specializing in development and integration projects since 2016. On behalf of Unicon, he has worked on projects with corporate education technology organizations and higher education institutions. Previously, Diego worked to implement Sakai as the main LMS for the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (Spain), and was hired to create and manage a start-up company that provided Sakai services in 8 different countries. From 2013 to 2016 he worked for Asahi Net International as Product Development Manager, VP of Support, and Software Development Manager. Diego has experience in Java development, LMS technologies and integrations (Sakai, Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology, D2L), IMS LTI integrations, and AWS solutions (AWS Certified Developer - Associate), and has won the Apereo’s Fellow Award in 2014 and the Apereo’s TWSIA award in 2015.
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