How to Use the OER Commons LTI Tool

Overview

The OER Commons LTI tool allows educators to embed OER Commons content within any Learning Management System that supports LTI 1 or 1.1. It has currently been fully tested for Quality Assurance in Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard, EdX, and Schoology.

Content Selection

The LTI tool is a flexible application that can be manually configured to support independent content management, or be used in a standardized configuration which allows teachers to browse and embed pre-curated content which has been added to OER Commons Groups, OER Commons Hub Collections, or content the teacher has curated into the personal My Items library

Authentication and Account Provisioning

The tool provides automated authentication and new account provisioning, providing users with an "SSO like" experience. The LTI key/secret pair can also be configured to automatically add new users to OER Commons Groups or Hubs.

LTI Tool Preview Images

Some basic preview images of the tool have been included below. More details about using the LTI tool are available in the "Using the LTI tool" section of this guide.  

This is a screenshot showing what browsing My Items looks like in the LTI tool.
LTI Browse My Items.pngThis is a screenshot showing what browsing My Items looks like in the LTI tool.

This is a screenshot showing what browsing My Items looks like in the LTI tool.


This is a screenshot showing what browsing Group folders looks like in the LTI tool.
LTI Browse My Groups.pngThis is a screenshot showing what browsing Group folders looks like in the LTI tool.

This is a screenshot showing what browsing Group folders looks like in the LTI tool.


This is a screenshot showing what searching a Hub Collection looks like in the LTI tool.
LTI Searching My Collections.pngThis is a screenshot showing what searching a Hub Collection looks like in the LTI tool.

This is a screenshot showing what searching a Hub Collection looks like in the LTI tool.





This is a screenshot that shows what the "Preview Item" pop up looks like.
LTI Preview Resource.pngThis is a screenshot that shows what the "Preview Item" pop up looks like.

This is a screenshot that shows what the "Preview Item" pop up looks like.


This is a screenshot of what it looks like to preview an item in a new tab before adding it to your course with the LTI tool.
LTI Preview Resource in New Tab.pngThis is a screenshot of what it looks like to preview an item in a new tab before adding it to your course with the LTI tool.

This is a screenshot of what it looks like to preview an item in a new tab before adding it to your course with the LTI tool.



Getting Set up in OER Commons

The LTI tool is designed for use by individual educators, groups of educators working together, or OER Commons clients wishing to share their Hub resources across entire organizational entities. 

General Set Up

Getting set up to use the tool starts with 1 easy step for everyone. 

  1. Fill out our LTI Integration Form

Once you've filled out the LTI integration form, you'll need to wait for your key and secret to arrive. In the meantime, you can follow the steps below, based on how you'd like to use the tool.

For Individual Educators

  1.  Set up your Profile and start saving OER to your My Items library


How to Create a Profile on OER Commons

2. Browse OER Commons Groups and join a few who have shared resources you're interested in

*Tip: Try joining one of our Open Hub Groups to access their curated collections in your LMS

Common Core Hub

STEM Literacy Hub


How to Join Groups on OER Commons

  

For Groups of Educators

If you'd like to use the LTI tool to share items with multiple educators who are working together on a course or a curriculum, you can request that your key/secret be configured so that each educator who uses your key/secret pair will be automatically added to your OER Commons Group. 

If you don't have a Group set up already, review the How To Video below

Setting Up a Group in OER Commons 

 

How to Use Groups on OER Commons


Getting Set up in your LMS

Once you have received your credentials, and completed set up in OER Commons, you can install and begin using the OER Commons LTI tool in your learning management system. 

Most course designers and instructors can configure LTI tools independently for each course for which they are a designer or instructor. An LMS administrator is generally able to configure an LTI tool for the entire system. 

Below, you'll find details for installing LTI tools in common Learning Management Systems 

Moodle

Read: Adding an External Tool 

Configuration Notes 

Launch Container

 Decide whether you'd like content to launch as embedded inside Moodle, or if you'd like to load the resource in a new tab. Selecting the Default launch container will often result in embedded content. This can be changed by an LMS administrator, so settings vary between institutions.

This is an annotated screenshot highlighting the Launch Container selection field in the Moodle External Tool General Settings window.
Selecting Moodle Launch Container.pngThis is an annotated screenshot highlighting the Launch Container selection field in the Moodle External Tool General Settings window.


Canvas

Installing the App

  1. Search for OER Commons in the "Apps" section on your Canvas Course
  2. Once you've found the OER Commons App, click the "Add App" button 

Configuring the App

         1. Click "View App Configurations" 

Canvas View App Configurations_1.png

   

2. Click the drop down arrow next to the gear icon which appears next to the OER Commons App, and select "Edit" 


Edit App Configuration.png


3. Add your key and secret

Canvas Add Key Secret.png



Adding External Tools to Canvas Course Modules and Assignments

The OER Commons App is configured to work with Modules, Assignments only, and within the Rich Text Editor. 

Read: Using External Tools in Modules
           Using External Tools in Assignments


Blackboard

For Administrators: 

Setting up LTI for SaaS Deployments 

Setting up LTI for Self Hosted Deployments

Configuration Notes: 

  • Please be sure to allow Blackboard to send Role in Course and User Email with LTI launch requests 
  • LTI Placements supported include Course Content Type and Content Item Message Type

Note: Be sure to use the OER Commons Launch URL as the web address of the Tool Provider:https://www.oercommons.org/lti/launch

EdX

For Administrators: Overview and Enabling the LTI component in your EdX Instance 

Notes: You will need to add an LTI passport string which includes your key and secret 

For Instructors: Adding an LTI Component to an EdX Course Unit

Schoology

Read: About External Tools in Schoology

Known Issues: 

1. Your Activity has ended Error: Once you have initially added your activity, you may see a message that says "Your Activity has ended." Refresh the page, and this error will be resolved.  

Using the LTI Tool to embed OER Commons Content Manually

Any OER Commons LTI Link can be configured to direct users to any page on the OER Commons platform that logged in users can access. For example, this might be an OER Commons Group Discussion board page, a Hub page, or individual resources an instructor has bookmarked in the browser. 

When you use an LTI Link to embed content, rather than simply copy/pasting the URL, you get the added benefit of the automated authentication and account provisioning.  This means users will be logged in automatically and added as a member of your Group or Hub without having to manually manage membership enrollments. 

Configuring Custom Redirect

Most Learning Management systems allow you to enter custom parameters when you configure LTI links. 

The OER Commons tool uses a custom_redirect_url parameter to redirect launch requests to a specific OER Commons URL. 

Most Learning Management Systems append the "custom" automatically when you enter a custom parameter. In Canvas, Blackboard, and Moodle this is the case. Because of this, you should simply enter redirect_url

Example: Configuring Custom Redirect to a Hub Page in Moodle

This is a screenshot showing configuring custom redirect url in Moodle
Adding Custom Redirect URL Moodle.pngThis is a screenshot showing configuring custom redirect url in Moodle

This is a screenshot showing configuring custom redirect url in Moodle


Screenshot showing what it looks like when you embed using custom_redirect_url
Hub embedded in Moodle.pngScreenshot showing what it looks like when you embed using custom_redirect_url

Screenshot showing what it looks like when you embed using custom_redirect_url


Using the LTI Tool to Browse and Embed Pre-Curated Content

If you are using this option, Group Setup and Content curation will be done on the OER Commons Platform.

Once you have installed the LTI tool with the Launch URL and Key/Secret provided, no further configuration within the Course Management System is necessary.

Instructors will be able to browse your Group or Hub to content, and embed resources in the Learning Management System. To do this, follow the steps below: 

Launch the Tool

1. Launch the Tool: Click the link as it appears in your content

Example of launching an LTI link in Canvas
Launch LTI Link.pngExample of launching an LTI link in Canvas

Example of launching an LTI link in Canvas


Find Content

3a. Finding Content from an OER Commons Group:

Click "My Groups" in the top navigation. 

This is a screenshot highlighting "My Groups" in the global navigation.
LTI Find My Groups.pngThis is a screenshot highlighting "My Groups" in the global navigation.

This is a screenshot highlighting "My Groups" in the global navigation.


Next, click the group you would like to browse.  

This is a screenshot showing where to click to select a Group whose resources you would like to browse.
Select Group to Browse.pngThis is a screenshot showing where to click to select a Group whose resources you would like to browse.

This is a screenshot showing where to click to select a Group whose resources you would like to browse.


Browse Group using folders or search using the search bar. Once you have landed inside a group, you can browse resources in subfolders, or you can use the search bar to search for specific keywords. 

This is a screenshot showing what it looks like search for a resource inside of a Group.
LTI Browsing Group Folders.pngThis is a screenshot showing what it looks like search for a resource inside of a Group.

This is a screenshot showing what it looks like search for a resource inside of a Group.

3b. Finding Content from My Items:  

First, Click "My Items" in the top navigation. 

This is a screenshot showing where to find "My Items" in the LTI tool global navigation
LTI Find My Items.pngThis is a screenshot showing where to find "My Items" in the LTI tool top navigation

This is a screenshot showing where to find "My Items" in the LTI tool global navigation

Next, Browse using folders or search using the search bar. You can browse resources in folders or subfolders, or you can use the search bar to look for resources using specific keywords or phrases.

Browse folders or use the search bar
LTI Browse My Resources.pngBrowse folders or use the search bar

Browse folders or use the search bar

3c. Finding Content from My Collections:  

First, Click "My Collections" in the top navigation. 

Screenshot showing where to find My Collections in the LTI Tool Navigation
My Collections in Top Nav.pngScreenshot showing where to find My Collections in the LTI Tool Navigation

Screenshot showing where to find My Collections in the LTI Tool Navigation


Next, click the Collection you would like to browse.  

A screenshot highlighting a Collection which the user can click on to browse
Select Collection to Browse LTI.pngA screenshot highlighting a Collection which the user can click on to browse

A screenshot highlighting a Collection which the user can click on to browse



Browse Collection using filters or search using the search bar. Once you have landed inside a collection, you can browse resources using the filters on the left hand side, or you can use the search bar to search for specific search terms. 

Screenshot showing how to use search bar and filters to search collections
Searching Collection in LTI.pngScreenshot showing how to use search bar and filters to search collections

Screenshot showing how to use search bar and filters to search collections


Previewing, Selecting, and Viewing Content

Preview content: Once you've found a piece of content you would like to add to your course or assignment, use the blue "Preview" button to review the resource 

The resource will open in a new tab, where you can review what your students will see once you've added the resource

Use the blue Preview button to Preview a resource
LTI Select Preview Button.pngUse the blue Preview button to Preview a resource

Use the blue Preview button to Preview a resource


Click "Continue to Open" to Preview Resource
LTI Preview Resource.pngClick "Continue to Open" to Preview Resource

Click "Continue to Open" to Preview Resource


Preview your resource in a new tab.
LTI Preview Resource in New.pngPreview your resource in a new tab.

Preview your resource in a new tab.


Select Content: Once you are satisfied with a resource, and you are sure you want to add it to your course or assignment, use the Green "Select" button to add the resource inside of your LMS

Use the Green "Select" button to add a resource to your LMS
LTI Select Resource.pngUse the Green "Select" button to add a resource to your LMS

Use the Green "Select" button to add a resource to your LMS


Viewing LTI Content

Once you have selected content, you will be able to view the content by clicking on your original LTI link.  

The OER Commons LTI App will embed the content directly into your LMS if possible. If this is not possible, the OER Commons App will provide a button that students can click to view the resource in a new tab. 

Below, is an example of what this looks like inside of Canvas

View Embedded Resource in Canvas
LTI Embedded Resource.pngView Embedded Resource in Canvas

View Embedded Resource in Canvas


View Resource in New Tab in Canvas
View Resource in New Tab.pngView Resource in New Tab in Canvas

View Resource in New Tab in Canvas



Trouble Shooting and Technical Documentation

The OER Commons LTI Tool Provider conforms to the IMS LTI 1.1 Standard: https://www.imsglobal.org/specs/ltiv1p1/implementation-guide

Required Parameters

The following parameters must be present in LTI launch request sent by the Tool Consumer

  • One of the following content identification parameters:

a.) resource_link_id (alphanumeric GUID)

b.) custom_redirect_url (full URL pointing to content on the OER Commons platform, used in manual config only)

  • tool_consumer_instance_guid
  • role
  • email
  • userid

*If parameters do not conform exactly to the parameters listed above, the LTI tool will return a missing parameter error.

Optional Parameters

  • launch_presentation_return_url

If this parameter is present it will be used to redirect a user when a resource is selected in the picker interface. Otherwise, user is redirected to the specified OER Commons content page.

Error Messages

If the cause of the error is known, the LTI tool will return an error message with debugging information. The most common cause of errors is missing LTI parameters.


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