Managing External Tools FAQ (System Admins)

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What is an LTI tool?

LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability, and is a sign-on standard developed by IMS Global allowing web-based resources to be accessed and viewed from within a learning platform. LTI integration provides a secure way to utilize a wide range of publisher content from a single place, such as Schoology.

The resources, most often referred to as “tools,” can range from a single piece of content to an interactive website including search tools, assessments, and more.

The External Tools feature allows Schoology users to interact with LTI-compliant resources and activities on other websites. Many websites provide interactive learning materials that are complementary to Schoology’s own course materials and resources. External Tools allows you to connect with these tools and utilize them within your Course or Resources. When used in a course, external tools that support grade pass-back send grading information to the Schoology gradebook.

To set this up, you must retrieve the consumer key and shared secret that Schoology can use to generate a signature to verify the authenticity of the data sent. Retrieve your consumer key and secret for a particular tool by contacting the tool provider.

Check out our complete LTI guide here.

How do I install LTI tools for users at my school?

Before you install an LTI tool at the system-wide level, you first must retrieve the Consumer Key and Shared Secret from the LTI provider, and get the Configuration URL for the tool.

Then, in Schoology: 

  1. From your System Admin account, click Tools in the header.
  2. Select School Management.
  3. Click Integration in the left menu.
  4. Click External Tools.
  5. Click Add External Tool Provider.
  6. Fill out the Add External Tool Provider form.
    • Enter a Tool Name. This is the name educators see when adding external tools to their courses.
    • Consumer Keys and Shared Secrets may be provided to you by the content provider that is hosting the external tool as an added level of security.
    • Privacy settings enable you to determine what information is sent from Schoology to the external tool provider. The only types of information that can be sent are Name and Email of the user who launches the tool.
    • Configuration Type enables you to choose how you want to set up the provider.
      • Manual (choose this option unless you are linking to an XML file—see further below).
        • Match By enables you to select how you want the provider settings (consumer key, shared secret, privacy) to be automatically set for each external tool in the course.
          • Domain – This option means that if the URL used to add the external tool to a course contains the domain of a provider, then all the provider's tool settings will automatically populate for that item. 
          • URL – This option means that when instructors add an external to a course and select the tool provider from the list, the URL field will automatically generate the proper URL.
        • Domain/URL is the domain or URL of the provider. Details are specific to which you choose in the Match By section.
        • Custom Parameters can be set for each provider. These may be required by the content publisher. Each parameter must be on its own line and formatted as name=value.
      • URL/XML (choose this option if you are trying to set up a provider based on a link to an XML file).
        • URL/XML allows you to provide a URL to an XML file or to input directly as XML.
  7. Click Submit to complete setup.

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