Using LTI with BetterExaminations
The mainstay of any Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is the LMS (Learning Management System) so it’s vital that the other learning and communication tools you use play nicely with it. In the past, integration methods for third-party applications varied between LMS vendors which duplicated effort for the developers of those applications and guaranteed vendor lock-in for your VLE.
LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) was developed as an agnostic framework to integrate third-party learning tools (Tool Providers) with a Tool Consumer (typically an LMS). The key benefit is positioning your LMS as the hub of your learning environment so other applications can share course, student and grade data while understanding (and maintaining) the context of the relationship between those types of data.
Adding an LTI integration to BetterExaminations Online
Configuring BetterExaminations Online to integrate with an LMS via LTI version 1.3 gives you the ability to:
- create a course in BetterExaminations Online from an LMS course
- associate the users and students of an LMS course with the newly created course in BetterExaminations Online
- push grades from BetterExaminations Online to the LMS is a standard format
- users and students can navigate to courses and exams in BetterExaminations Online from links in the LMS
- authenticate LMS users in BetterExaminations Online
Note: Since LMSs do not support Exam sittings all sittings for an Exam are merged into a single Exam before grades are pushed to the LMS. If a user is in more than one sitting of the same Exam only their most recent submission is pushed to the LMS.
Configuring LTI integration
To add LTI integration to BetterExaminations go to the Settings screen. You’ll see a list of existing integrations (if you have). You’ll also see here that you can set up integrations for your LMS production and build environments:
Provide an Integration name and select the Platform that you would like to integrate with from the Platform dropdown list. In this case, I am going to select the Blackboard LMS:
Copy the BetterExaminations client ID:
Go to the Administrator Panel in Blackboard. Under Integrations select LTI Tool Providers
Next, select Register LTI 1.3 Tool:
Paste the copied BetterExaminations Client ID into the Client ID input and hit Submit:
When submitted you will be sent to the Tool Status screen. From here, copy the Deployment ID:
Ensure that the Tool Status option is set to Approved.
Under the Institution Policies heading:
Ensure that Role in Course, Name and Email Address are selected for User Fields to Send.
Ensure that Allow grade service access is set to Yes.
Ensure that Allow Membership Service Access is set to Yes.
Press Submit to save the LTI 1.3 Tool.
Return to BetterExaminations Online and paste the Deployment ID into the appropriate field and Save changes:
That's it! Now BetterExaminations Online and Blackboard are configured to use LTI. Before you are able to connect any courses, you will need to setup a placement in Blackboard.
Adding a placement to the BetterExaminations LTI Tool in Blackboard
When you have integrated BetterExaminations Online with Blackboard using LTI you can place the tool in a Learn menu so a user can select it. When creating the placement, use the following settings:
- Availability: Yes
- Type: Course content tool, with Supports deep linking
Tool Provider URL : https://api.online.betterexaminations.com/lti
You are free to use your own Handle, Name and Icon for the new placement
Adding BetterExaminations Online exams to a course in Blackboard
Once you have configured the LTI integration and you have created a placement for the new tool, you can create a link between a Blackboard course and BetterExaminations. In the example below we’ve given the placement a label of “Sync Course with BetterExaminations”.
In a course go to the Course Management > Control Panel and select Sync Course with BetterExaminations
2. From the next screen select the BetterExaminations Online exam: