Learn about IMS Global’s Learning Tools Interoperability Alliance


imagesI had the chance to trade emails with Lisa Mattson, COO of IMS Global and she shared some great information that should give any activity or 3rd party developer get started on the pathway to LTI certification through IMS Global’s certification process. As you may know, LTI is a great tool-set for allowing students and users from a LMS connect with 3rd party content, activities or resources without having to login again.  Whether it’s an extension of your learning platform  a way to centralize assessments or content or just a way to provide single sign on without the hassle, LTI is an option for connecting your users to other web-based resources.

From our exchange,

“Many organizations have completed the test in less than 30 minutes…”


IMS Global offers Learning Tools Interoperability developers an invitation to become part of a community devoted to ensuring interoperability in practice and keeping implementing organizations current on the evolution Learning Tools Interoperability. After joining the Common Cartridge/Learning Tools Interoperability Alliance, becoming IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) conformance certified is an easy process.

There is an online test suite where organizations can test their applications as either a Tool Consumer or a Tool Provider. The certification process is a self-assessment where the software vendor runs the tests, produces a report of the results including explanations of any anomalies, and then sends the report to IMS. IMS then reviews the report and issues the certification number and adds the product (and version) to the list of certified products on the IMS certification website at http://www.imscert.org.

The certification test demands features and capabilities beyond those which are strictly required by the IMS LTI specification. The specification is intentionally left very flexible to allow it to be used for many purposes. The certification is particularly aimed at maximizing interoperability between LMS systems and their External Tools so it requires much more than the specification.

The test suite includes:

  • Taking the launch url, key and secret for the tool and then quickly runs through a battery of launches with different parameters
  • Exploring the dimensions of privacy settings so the tool does not assume that it gets all user-identifiable data all of the time.
  • Exploring the various formats of the roles= string. While the simple case if roles=Learner or roles=Instructor, the parameter is actually a list of urns or handles as follows:
  • Ensuring that the Tool Provider has compliant and robust roles string parsing.
  • Sending some dysfunctional launches with a launch_presentation_return_url to see if the Tool Provider calls back the LMS in the case of an error.

Many organizations have completed the test in less than 30 minutes, so it is not an onerous process.  If Alliance members need assistance in running the test, or even support with their development efforts, IMS Staff and other Members of the CC/LTI Alliance community are always available to help.  The CC/LTI Alliance is a true developer’s community with IMS staff and community support. Becoming part of the community is not just about getting a certification sticker, but also about getting ongoing updates from the community as the specification evolves and standing behind interoperability in the market. IMS Members work with other members to fix any problems that might occur – thus delivering on strong interoperability in practice

There are several resources available for the developer or organizations wanting to learning more about Learning Tools Interoperability and get involved with the community. See: http://developers.imsglobal.orghttp://www.imsglobal.org/cc/alliance.html  and http://www.imsglobal.org/lti/index.html

For the official list of IMS LTI Certified Conformance Registrations visit:  http://www.imscert.org or http://developers.imsglobal.org/catalog.html