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LTI Advantage – A Welcomed Next Step for the Standard



Today, the IMS Global Learning Consortium announced the launch of Learning Tools Interoperability® (LTI®) Advantage. Over the years, Blackboard has a proven track-record when it comes to our commitment and level of investment in supporting IMS specifications like LTI that bring value to our partners and clients. We will do the same with LTI Advantage.

According to Rob Abel, CEO of IMS, “LTI Advantage is based on years of market feedback from both institutions and suppliers. It is the right combination of simplicity of implementation with the power to go beyond costly custom integrations in terms of enabling teaching innovation, better data, and better recognition of student achievement.”

Go to any EdTech conference that includes developers or those working on enhancing the learning experience, and you’re likely to see LTI front and center. LTI is a global data interoperability standard that establishes “a standard way of integrating rich learning applications (often remotely hosted and provided through third-party services) with platforms like learning management systems, portals, learning object repositories, or other educational environments.”

LTI Advantage is essentially a package of extensions that includes, at a minimum, LTI 1.1 link launching, Names and Role Provisioning Services, Deep Linking, and the soon-to-be released Assignments and Grades Services that build on the core LTI standard (LTI 1.1 and higher). Blackboard is fully committed to supporting LTI Advantage in order to 1) create a more seamless overall experience for educators and learners, 2) introduce a simpler adoption path for developers, and 3) facilitate deeper and more impactful LTI integrations in institutions’ learning ecosystems. In May 2017, Blackboard announced certification of the LTI 2.0 registration (tool proxy) services along with the results service for returning scores to the gradebook. While LTI 2.0 provided several great benefits, the complexity of the implementation discouraged adoption from many LTI Tool providers currently happy with their existing LTI integration. LTI Advantage promises to simplify implementations.

Based on the strategic direction that IMS has outlined for the future of LTI, Blackboard will continue to support LTI 2.0, but we are encouraging our valued vendors and partners to follow the best practices outlined by IMS in their future LTI Tool development efforts. We look forward to continuing to be an integral part of the IMS Community as we work together on this new direction for LTI and the value that LTI Advantage will bring to our partners, vendors and clients.