IMS Basic LTI: connector-less integration with the LMS

Posted bySteve Lay

At this year’s Questionmark Users Conference I ran a session in our Product Central strand about our Open Assessment Platform. An important part of this strategy is to adopt technical standards where they exist and encourage the development and adoption of standards where they don’t. Our Product Central sessions give customers a chance to look ahead at our product road map and to discuss and influence our direction.

One of the topics in my session was the future of LMS integration. During the session I demonstrated a prototype connection between the popular Moodle LMS and Questionmark Perception using the IMS Basic LTI standard. LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability and defines a standard way for a tool like Perception to be used or ‘consumed’ by a learning management system.

LTI solves a similar problem to our LMS-specific integration connectors but in a standard way that can be supported directly by the LMS vendor. Basic LTI support is already available through a Moodle module (as demonstrated at the conference) and in Blackboard from 9.1 SP4.  There is also a plug-in available for Sakai and a development project on the codeplex open source hosting site working towards support from Sharepoint. You can see the full list on the Basic LTI status page.

Basic LTI is a relatively new standard so this adoption list is impressive. It usually takes years to get to this level of support. In my opinion, the reason for this rapid adoption is the simplicity of implementing the standard in a tool or product. The prototype Basic LTI support I demonstrated at the users conference was implemented in less than 300 lines of Python code.

A prototype Basic LTI connection between Moodle and Perception.

The LTI adoption community is being spear-headed by Charles Severance, aka Dr Chuck, who wrote in a recent blog post: “One key observation is that Basic LTI really reduces the barrier to entry for building a tool to plug into Sakai”.  We’re excited about the potential that LTI holds for connecting Questionmark with a broad range of learning systems.  Watch this space!

10 Responses to IMS Basic LTI: connector-less integration with the LMS

  1. Emmanuel says:

    Hi Steve,
    This is really exciting.
    Do you think this standard could drastically change the QM connectors?


  2. Steve Lay Steve Lay says:

    Yes! I think this provides a much better route to ensuring good support for links between the LMS and tools like ours. With the LMS owner maintaining their side of the protocol there would be no need to have an LMS-specific connector at all and the existing LMS-connectors could eventually be phased out in favour of LTI.

  3. Diana Jonas-Dwyer says:

    Is there any update on this?

  4. admin says:

    Hi Diana,

    We will continue to post updates on the blog. You can also check our community spaces for more in depth conversations.



  5. Silvester Draaijer says:

    Dear Steve,

    Do you have news on this topic? I think it is of great importance whether and when QM provides BasicLTI support for integration purposes with Blackboard. It could be a real winner in view of integration issues in our Institution. Please provide us some details of for example the BasicLTI options in QM5.4.

    Kind regards,


  6. Steve Lay Steve Lay says:

    The LTI standard continues to be developed by IMS, Basic LTI has essentially taken over as the basis for ‘Full LTI’ which will include a method of passing back grades. Unfortunately LTI support wasn’t ready for release with Perception 5.4 but LTI remains an important part of our plans. In the interim, we continue to support and develop the existing Blackboard Connector.

  7. […] on called Learning Tools Interoperability or LTI for short.  See my first post on this subject here and the later update […]

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  9. Hi Steve
    Any updates would be greatly appreciated as we’d like to pilot asap.

    Many thanks, Karsten

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