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Tech Insights: Learning Tools Interoperability

Monday, November 26, 2012 -- Paul Johansen

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Support for Plato Courseware

Plato Courses have traditionally only been able to be consumed by our users in one way, through the Plato Learning Environment. We have had discussion after discussion around the possibility of making our courses “portable” through standards such as Common Cartridge or SCORM. The inevitable answer we always come to is that by committing to one of those standards we will ultimately degrade the experience of using a Plato Course. Our highly interactive courses also have many integrated tools such as algebra judging, translation, dictionary, text to speech and calculators that depend on our platform to provide the best experience.

Edmentum is an IMS Global Learning Consortium Alliance Participant which allows us to get early understanding of evolving standards as they are discussed within the IMS GL community. From the point when we were first introduced to the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard we felt that this could provide us the best of both worlds. Our customers could run our content on their LMS of choice as long as it is LTI compliant (most LMS providers including Blackboard, Moodle, Agilix/Brainhoney and Desire2Learn are) and we could provide them with the same rich experience they have in our own platform.

We have found the beauty of LTI to not only be its power, but also its simplicity. It solves the key problems of single sign on, security, making assignments and launching content in a well-structured and achievable specification.

With the introduction of the 1.1 specification the story even gets better as outcome data (grades) can also be passed to the LMS as part of the standard.

The Celtic Project has released a great infographic that shows a quick snapshot of the benefits of LTI for developers, administrators, instructors and learners. Take a look here: http://www.imsglobal.org/images/celticposter.pdf

We are very pleased that Plato Courses are now certified as LTI v1.0 and LTI v1.1 compliant. This will bring simplicity to many of our customers using our Plato Learning Environment platform outside of their standard LMS today and will make Plato Courses available through the most popular LMS solutions available.