External Apps (or LTIs) for Canvas

The Basics

Puzzle piecesExternal applications, also referred to as LTIs (Learning Tools Interoperability), are “apps” that can be added to Canvas to expand its capabilities. However, TMI must test every external app for compatibility, accessibility, security, and other requirements.

There are hundreds of LTIs available for Canvas.  Many are free, while others require a paid license.  Visit the EduApp Center for an extensive (though not complete) list of LTIs that can be used with Canvas:

EduApp Center logo


Instructors are asked to follow the procedure below in order to safely incorporate these apps into their Canvas courses.

Timing of Requests

Requests should be made well in advance of the time you expect to start using the LTI in Canvas. The length of time required to test your app may vary considerably, depending on its complexity.

  • FA 2020 Semester Deadline: August 1, 2020
  • WI 2021 Semester Deadline: November 1, 2020
  • SP 2021 Semester Deadline: December 1, 2020
  • SU 2021 Semester Deadline: April 1, 2021

Prerequisites

Any external app integrated into Canvas must meet the following requirements:

  • Application vendor must not permit direct sales to students via Canvas or any other means. This is distracting to students and a possible invasion of privacy.
  • Application vendor must be a viable company that will provide ongoing technical support. TMI cannot support external apps other than those listed under Supplemental Tools.
  • The application must meet accessibility (508) standards. It is the instructor’s responsibility to be aware of the CCC Accessibility Standard. This is a legal requirement mandated by the CCC Chancellor’s Office. 
  • Application vendor must be able to secure any student data their app “touches”, restricting their use of student data to what is minimally required for the app to operate correctly (sometimes referred to as the principle of least privilege).
  • Application vendor does not sell student data. Student data is confidential and protected by law.
  • If there is a cost attached to acquiring or subscribing to the application, the requester must identify an ongoing funding source.

Request Process

All requests must be reviewed by TMI.  The review process includes, but is not limited to:

  • A discussion with faculty to determine what if anything, the product requires. The use of student data, which is subject to FERPA regulations, in some external apps, may lengthen the review process significantly.
  • A consideration as to whether the functionality or features offered by the app already exist within Butte College’s services or systems as alternatives.
  • Verifying the external app’s technical compatibility within Canvas. This might include the permissions required for specific roles, error-free installation, and security.

Faculty are also expected to undertake basic quality assurance in partnership with TMI staff, in testing to ensure the app’s compatibility with general Canvas functionality.

Ready to Submit a Request?

Complete the request form below and submit it with all required accompanying documents by the deadline noted above. If you have any questions please contact TMI.

TMI will review your request to determine if all the required information has been provided, including:

  • Proof that the app meets accessibility requirements
  • Proof that funding is available for any acquisition costs
  • Assurance that any required contracts or agreements with the vendor are in place

If all the above conditions are met, TMI will proceed with implementation and update Canvas accordingly.

 

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