Interoperability Specifications Update and the Way Forward


IMS Global Learning Consortium has announced new LTI adoption roadmap, shifting away from LTI 1.2 and LTI 2.0.

For over a decade, IMS Global Learning Consortium has been supporting the adoption of education technology through developing interoperability standards – such as LTI. These specifications can be seen as multi-party treaties offering a guide on how eLearning tools and platforms have to be built in order to easily interact with each other. Over time, LTI standards have risen to become the essential component for teaching and learning platforms and tools.

It is always challenging to come up with standards beneficial to all parties. Otherwise, there is a likelihood that certain EdTech providers will not implement such specifications. Often, standard-based integration is generic and simply not enough for building unique features. Sometimes it is considered not worthy to spend the resources on implementing LTIs, and companies instead turn to developing their own proprietary integrations to achieve better interoperability with new features and gain a competitive advantage.

In view of this, it has been noticed that LTI 1.2 and LTI 2.0, some of the later versions of the interoperability specifications, had certain issues that needed to be addressed. The costs and complexity of implementation of LTI 2.0 made it quite unpopular among not only small EdTech vendors, but also among major LMS providers. Student data privacy and secure pass of this data was another issue that schools, thus vendors, were concerned with.

In an attempt to resolve these issues, IMS Global shifted away from LTI 1.2 and LTI 2.0 and built a new security model upon the LTI 1.1. As a result, the Learning Consortium introduced a new version LTI 1.3 and its extension, LTI Advantage, which adopted industry-standard protocol OAuth2 for authenticating services and JSON Web Tokens (JWT) for secure message signing. The LTI 1.2 and LTI 2.0 support will still be available for the vendors who had implemented these standards already. However, both versions will be deprecated as legacy frameworks and are not recommended for upgrade.

Competentum has studied and developed a proper understanding of interoperability issues to help our clients with integration of learning platforms and tools. In offering the much-needed solutions, Competentum employs the most up-to-date specifications such as LTI, CC, SCORM, and Tin Can. With these specifications, your products can be integrated with any major LMS on the market. Competentum offers technical support for both commercial (e.g., Canvas, Blackboard, Schoology, etc.) and open-source systems (e.g., Open edX, Moodle, etc.). We can build extensions on top of LTI to provide much deeper integration features and solve interoperability issues.

With Competentum, you can now upgrade to LTI 1.1 version, which is currently supported by the most common LMS, and LTI 1.3, which is referred to as “go-forward.”

Going for the solutions provided by Competentum is a smart choice. Feel free to contact Competentum today so that you won’t be left behind when implementing LTI for your platform or consuming external tools via LTI.

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