LTI: Reaping the Benefits
Our previous blog post looked at the basics of LTI. The specification essentially means that learning tools have a common integration process, ensuring that they work harmoniously with other applications. This then makes it easier for educational institutions to integrate external learning applications into their LMS.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at the benefits of LTI-compliant e-learning applications and the reasons why LTI compliance is growing as quickly as it is.
A One-for-All Plug & Play
One of the best comparisons I’ve come across explaining the LTI standard is the idea of a USB port. Prior to the now common USB port, people required a range of different cables in order to connect their hardware devices – mouse, keyboard, printer, etc. – to their computer. If you were short a cable, you ran into a lot of difficulties. However, today, almost everything is made to fit into a USB port. You simply plug and play! The universal USB port has saved the world from a lot of unnecessary frustration, providing people with ease-of-use for their computer devices.
LTI is extremely similar to this. As long as applications are developed in accordance with the LTI standard, they can be used together much more easily. This means that the previous struggles and complications IT departments experienced on a regular basis are largely alleviated. While they still implement new technologies with Learning Management Systems, the LTI-compliant technologies available have the ability to speak to one another and can be implemented in just a fraction of the time.
A Training Solutions Extension
There is no doubt that education technology companies have built some incredible breakthrough tech that has the potential to transform education and learning. However, as great as it is to have such amazing, effective learning technologies which can empower teachers and maximize the abilities of students, if such powerful tools pose deployment challenges to organizations due to their extremely complex implementations, they are of very little benefit. Ease-of-use is key in the development of learning technologies.
LTI has enabled the widespread use of these tools so that Learning Management Systems and other online training systems can be transformed into the best version of what they can be. The typical LMS offering can now be brought to the next level through the introduction of LMS extensions which hold large value to both educators and students alike. Assessment, authoring, grading, and plagiarism tools are just a few examples of incredibly useful learning tools which act as powerful extensions to Learning Management Systems. These learning tools are breaking down the barriers that once existed for organizations; providing educators with every opportunity in their quest to deliver efficient, effective learning experiences. Building education technology around open standards ensures that educators and students can determine what’s most effective for their learning strategy, without worrying about whether different technologies will work together.
Technologists are at an Advantage
From developers to system administrators, to educational technologists – LTI boasts advantages to all technologists who play a part in creating and delivering online learning experiences.
Looking at LTI from a system administrator’s perspective, it enables instructors to add their own connections to applications that are LTI-compliant. External tools can be used to assess students’ learning and, through LTI, scores can be reported back to the LMS. Although data security and diligence checks of the service provider are still a must for the system admin, the amount of work which is required by system administrators is reduced substantially, making it not only more simplified but also more cost-effective.
From a developer’s perspective, LTI means that their education applications can be integrated with the widest range of VLEs and other learning platforms. Whether it’s Moodle, Blackboard, or another system, individual integrations are no longer required thanks to LTI. Organizations frequently choose their technology with LTI compliance in mind. This ensures a smooth path to implementation. Managing the features they require becomes much simpler and cost-effective. Developers who are building compliant applications are at an extreme advantage as the demand for their tools grows substantially.
The benefits of LTI compliance are set to grow even further in the years to come. LTI has already fulfilled its promise, making learning technologies more accessible to organizations. LTI has extended and transformed today’s Learning Management Systems, breaking down the barriers to great learning by its introduction of the simplified implementation of powerful learning tools. New versions of LTI promise even more benefits. Those in the education industry can look forward to even better, almost invisible learning app integrations in the future.
Want to learn more? Check out these interesting articles around LTI.