Learning management systems (LMS) have become ubiquitous in education, with popular options like Canvas, Blackboard, and Schoology used by schools and universities worldwide. As an education content publisher, you likely use an LMS to create and organize your courses and curriculum.
The challenge arises when you need to deliver your content to clients using a different LMS than your own. Exporting courses manually between systems is time-consuming and can result in outdated materials. To provide the best service to your customers, you need a way to seamlessly integrate your content across any major LMS platform.
Problems with Manual LMS Content Integration
If your LMS differs from your client’s system, you have a few manual options to deliver your curriculum:
- User login – Allow students to login separately to your LMS. This is frustrating for users who must remember multiple sets of credentials.
- Single sign-on (SSO) – Students can login to your LMS using their credentials from their school’s system. SSO removes the password barrier but students still have to access a separate platform.
- File exporting – You can export course files from your LMS and have the client import them. But this can be cumbersome to manage and results in frequent version discrepancies.
None of these options provide the seamless experience that most school administrators expect from content providers today. The best way to integrate cross-LMS content is with LTI deep linking.
Automated Integration with LTI Deep Linking
LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) is an eLearning standard that allows integration of third-party tools with LMS platforms. LTI deep linking, specifically, enables your content to be accessed directly within the user’s LMS without requiring them to login elsewhere.
With LTI deep linking:
- Users stay within their regular school LMS for the full course experience.
- Your curriculum is automatically synchronized so it’s always up to date.
- Grades can be passed back to the school LMS gradebook through LTI services.
This creates a smooth, unified learning environment for students and teachers. For content publishers, LTI deep linking greatly increases the appeal of your offerings to school IT buyers.
The Problem: Major LMS Platforms Are Not LTI Providers
Here lies the challenge. The most widely used LMS platforms in education act as LTI consumers, but not LTI providers. They can import content via LTI but do not allow content to be exported out:
These systems want to keep users within their walled gardens. As a content publisher using your own LMS, you need a workaround.
Solutions to Enable LTI Deep Linking
To leverage LTI deep linking across major LMS platforms, you have a few options:
- Use a single LMS like Canvas for your content. You’ll be able to integrate with schools using the same system. But you’ll miss many potential customers on other platforms.
- Juggle multiple LMS platforms like Canvas and Blackboard. This allows you to export content to more schools but requires duplicate effort and complex content management.
- Find an LMS integration tool that acts as an LTI provider and consumer. This enables two-way content integration with any major LMS.
The LMS Integration Tool Solution
A dedicated integration tool is the most practical way for content publishers to utilize LTI deep linking. The tool both imports and exports courses, serving as the missing LTI provider.
Here is how an LMS integration tool streamlines cross-platform content delivery:
- Import your existing courses into the tool from your authoring LMS. This can be done through SCORM, Common Cartridge, or other standards.
- Connect the integration tool to your client’s LMS using LTI 1.3 deep linking.
- When you update courses or create new curriculum in your LMS, it syncs automatically to the client via the integration tool.
- The tool can pass back grades and progress data through LTI services like Grade Passback.
This allows you to author content in your preferred system while delivering a seamless learner experience into any major LMS. School admins access up-to-date materials without manual exports or versioning headaches.
Choosing an Integration Solution
When evaluating LMS integration tools, look for:
- Support for all major LMS platforms through LTI 1.3 compliance
- Bulk course migration features
- Content transformation and optimization
- Permission and progress syncing
- Usage analytics and reporting
With the right integration solution, you can focus on creating stellar curriculum and let the tool handle universal LMS delivery. This opens up your customer base and cements your status as a premier content provider.