One of the more commonly requested features that school districts asks for from software vendors is LTI® integration. LTI is a specification from the IMS Global Consortium that edtech companies have adopted to provide a standardized way to integrate content into learning management systems. Some LMSs have different ways of implementing LTI, including some that don't support the most recent releases of the standard.
Our team regularly receives questions from vendors about Schoology and how integration works. Specifically, we're asked if Schoology supports LTI 1.3 and LTI Advantage. Below is some background on the LTI standard and how Schoology incorporates the spec.
What are LTI 1.3 and LTI Advantage?
LTI 1.3 is the most recent core standard of the LTI specification. LTI v1.3 defines how users authenticate or log into into LTI 1.3-compliant applications. The authentication process in LTI 1.3 incorporates a modern security model, such as using JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) and OAuth 2.0 workflows.
LTI Advantage is built on top of the LTI 1.3 authentication and security model. LTI Advantage is a list of services that LTI apps can use to enhance interoperability. These services include features such as the ability to pass back grades from the app to an LMS or the ability to provision accounts in the app based on enrollments in the LMS.
Does Schoology Support LTI 1.3 or LTI Advantage?
Schoology only supports up to LTI v1.1 and LTI v1.0. Unlike other major learning management systems, such as Canvas, Blackboard, and Moodle, Schoology has not yet implemented LTI 1.3 or LTI Advantage.
If Schoology Doesn't Support LTI 1.3, Then How Do I Integrate with Schoology?
As noted earlier, Schoology only supports LTI v1.0 (which provides authentication) and LTI v1.1 (which builds on v1.0 and provides integrated services, such as grade passback). Since LTI v1.1 and LTI v1.3 use different authentication models, LTI v1.3 apps cannot be used to launch users into Schoology. If you want to integrate with Schoology, you can only use LTI Launch (also known as LTI v1.0) or the LTI 1.1 services.
Alternatively, vendors can integrate with Schoology using the Schoology API. The Schoology API also allows for integrated functionality, such as single sign-on and grade passback. It also allows apps to create resources in Schoology and lets developers have complete control over how their users experience. For more information, about LTI versus API, check out our piece on the topic.
Note that there are several school districts that have recently adopted Schoology as their LMS, due to new state-wide agreements with Schoology's parent company, PowerSchool. Some schools might not be aware of all of the facets of Schoology and may request that apps support LTI 1.3/Advantage in Schoology. Vendors should be aware of this limitation and respectfully notify that the school refine their Schoology integration requirements.
How Should I Begin Integrating With Schoology?
To begin integrating with Schoology, you'll have to understand the needs of your schools. Do they specifically need an LTI integration? Or do they need a 'Schoology' integration?
Edlink supports both LTI Launch and API integrations into Schoology. If you're an edtech developer and your clients need Schoology integrations, you should consider reaching out to us! Our experts can help you figure out how to best integrate with Schoology, and even get you on the road to integrating with any major LMS.
Learn More about LTI and Schoology
If you’re interested to learn more about LTI and Schoology here’re other articles we’ve written:
- How to Create a Schoology Integration
- What’s the Difference Between API and LTI Integration?
- Explain it Like I’m 5: LTI Advantage
- How to Implement Single Sign-On With Schoology
- The Challenges of Integrating With Schoology
Want to Learn More about Edlink?
If you're looking for a partner who can help guide you through developing LMS integrations (like these), then let’s introduce ourselves. We’re Edlink!