Educators and content publishers often face a dilemma when it comes to integrating their learning content across different learning management systems (LMS). Major LMS platforms like Canvas, Blackboard, and Schoology make it easy for schools to import content through standards like LTI, SCORM, and Common Cartridge. However, these platforms are not designed to export content for use in other systems. This poses a challenge for content creators looking to distribute their materials to a wide range of schools and universities.
In this article, we’ll explore the limitations of manual integration methods and explain how a dedicated integration tool can provide a seamless solution.
The Problem with Manual LMS Integrations
There are a few manual ways content creators currently integrate their courses across LMS platforms:
Multiple Logins: Allow users to login separately to access the content in the publisher’s LMS. This is cumbersome for users who have to juggle credentials.
Single Sign-On (SSO): Users can login to the publisher’s LMS using their credentials from the school’s LMS. But they still have to remember which system hosts the content they need.
File Exporting: Courses are exported from the publisher’s LMS as Common Cartridge, SCORM, or H5P files. But this leads to version control issues and outdated content.
The problem with these options is they create friction for users and administrative headaches for publishers. Schools want turnkey solutions to integrate content, not manual workarounds.
The Limitations of LTI Integration
LTI Deep Linking appears to provide an ideal solution. This standard allows seamless integration, with users accessing external content within their native LMS. No separate logins required.
Unfortunately, major LMS platforms like Canvas, Blackboard, and Schoology only support LTI as content consumers. They can import content through LTI, but they do not allow content to be exported to other systems.
These LMS providers want to own the user experience and not facilitate usage of competitors’ platforms. So they have little incentive to become LTI content providers themselves.
This puts content creators in a tough spot. They can publish to a single LMS ecosystem or attempt to manually integrate with every platform. Neither option is efficient or scalable.
The Solution: An LTI Integration Tool
To bridge this gap, content creators need an integration tool that sits between their authoring LMS and customer LMS deployments. This integrates both systems through LTI Deep Linking.
Here is how it works:
– Import courses into the integration tool from the authoring LMS via SCORM, Common Cartridge, or other standards.
– Connect the integration tool to the customer’s LMS using LTI 1.3 Deep Linking.
– Update courses in the tool and changes sync automatically to connected LMS systems.
– Handle grade passback between the LMS systems through the tool.
With this setup, users only interact with their native LMS as courses are pulled in from the integration tool behind the scenes. Content creators avoid the headaches of manual upkeep as courses are centrally managed.
This unlocks the full benefits of LTI integration, overcoming the limitations of major LMS platforms. Content creators can publish once from their system of choice and efficiently distribute to the leading LMS ecosystems.
Moving Forward with Seamless LMS Integrations
Lack of interoperability between LMS platforms creates real friction for educators and content creators alike. While standards like LTI show promise, their implementation in major LMS systems is still incomplete.
Using a dedicated integration tool opens up opportunities for automating cross-platform content deployments. This enables creators to focus on developing quality curriculum while avoiding the integration headaches.
If seamless LMS integrations are critical for your educational content publishing needs, it is worth exploring how these integration tools can solve your cross-platform challenges. The right solution will save you time while allowing your materials to reach the widest possible audience of learners.