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Simple LTI Integration vs. Deep Link LTI Integration for Canvas: Which is Right for You?

Simple LTI Integration vs. Deep Link LTI Integration for Canvas: Which is Right for You? 

LTI integration provides a seamless, single-sign on course experience- linking your learning management system to the Connect For Education course site. There are different types of LTI integration. Each type provides you with unique benefits, but requires different levels of involvement from the instructor/school and subsequently has an impact on the way the course is supported. It is important that you understand the differences between the types of LTI integration in order to determine which type best suits your course needs and circumstances.

Connect For Education currently offers the following LTI options for the Canvas Learning Management System:

Simple LTI integration: Simple LTI integration enables you to connect your Connect For Education course to your Canvas learning platform. Students click a link within your Canvas course shell which seamlessly directs them to your course content on the Connect For Education course site: 

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Students read the text and complete all coursework within our learning platform, and their grades are recorded in the Connect For Education gradebook. With simple LTI integration, as students complete their coursework, their grade totals will be updated in the Canvas gradebook. If you would like the grades for all coursework to be present in your Canvas gradebook, you do have the option to manually export the gradebook from the Connect For Education course site and import the grades in your Canvas gradebook.

Deep link LTI integration: Deep link LTI integration offers enhanced features, such as a grade syncing and a detailed Canvas course table of contents:

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With grade sync, grades for each individual coursework item will be automatically recorded in your Canvas gradebook. Connect For Education's App for deep link integration allows you to select which content you would like to link to your Canvas course, giving you the flexibility and freedom to blend the Connect For Education course content with resources within your Canvas course shell. To preview what is involved in the deep link LTI setup, please review our guide here

 

  Simple LTI  Deep Link LTI
Single Sign-on? Yes Yes
Grades Passed Back? Yes, grade totals are updated as coursework is completed. Yes, grades for all individual assignments are updated as coursework is completed.

 

Things to Consider When Determining What Option is Best for You

Canvas Knowledge/Admin Assistance

If you are evaluating which LTI option best suits your needs, please note that the use of our deep link LTI does require more instructor (and/or Canvas administrator) involvement and assistance. As you will be required to configure the course gradebook and manipulate the course modules page, you must have intermediate working knowledge of the Canvas Learning Management system or dedicated support from your school's Canvas Administration team. Your Canvas administration team will be required to implement a Connect For Education App within your Canvas environment. During the initial course setup process, support from your Canvas administration team may be necessary depending on your account permissions. Lastly, your Canvas administration team can provide the guidance to ensure the LTI implementation is completed correctly.

 

Connect For Education Support

It is important to remember that your school's Canvas system is a closed environment. As a result, with LTI integration our ability to intervene may be more limited should any issues arise. With the Deep Link LTI integration process being more involved and complex, the need for Connect For Education support assistance may be greater than with Simple integration. This can sometimes present challenges as a result of our inability to access your Canvas course directly. The Connect For Education Support Team would likely be able to offer more hands on assistance with Simple LTI integration- as the course is completely maintained on the Connect For Education course site. With the Deep Link integration, more of the course components exist in part on the Canvas side. If you elect to use the Deep Link LTI integration, it is important to understand that you may need to perform some of the common processes typically handled by the Connect For Education Support Team (adjusting settings, deadlines, etc.).

 

Course Customizations and Maintenance 

With Deep Link Integration, all course customizations (namely, changes to the layout/course ordering, etc.) would ideally need to be completed before the course content has been imported. With Simple LTI integration, it is easier to change the course at any time.

Additionally, all LTI course links will need to be updated from semester-to-semester and cannot be reused! It is very important to keep this in mind when copying your Canvas course from one semester to the next. 

 

What To Do If You Are Interested in LTI Integration

If you are interested in utilizing either our simple or deep link LTI integration, we strongly recommend submitting your course setup requests to us well in advance to ensure the course and course link will be ready in time.

Connect for Education is actively working on LMS integration with the Learning Management Systems instructors use most. While our current focus has been on the development of integration with Canvas, we also hope to offer integration with Blackboard, Moodle, and D2L in the future as well.

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