Desire2Learn Delivers IMS Basic Learning Tools Interoperability (BLTI) Support

In other IMS news, Desire2Learn has announced that they are the first LMS provider to support BLTI, a specification designed to support plugging third-party tools into an LMS. According to the press release, here’s what’s included:

  • Management interfaces to define integrations to external learning tools (Tool Providers) and to create links
  • New Quicklink type to allow links to Tool Providers to be easily incorporated throughout Desire2Learn courses
  • Links to external learning tools that can send user, organization, and course context information for a personalized experience in the tool; single-sign-on to learning tools is supported through an oAuth framework using a key/secret shared between the external learning tool and the configured link in Learning Environment
  • Management tools to configure mapping from Desire2Learn roles to IMS roles, and from Desire2Learn org unit types to IMS context types

A couple of other platforms are following D2L on this road.

This is just the work that’s visible to the public. As is often the case with these things, (a) more work is going on behind the scenes, but (b) you should demand to see working code and a commitment to a supported release within a defined time frame before taking any statements of support by a vendor or project too seriously.

Kudos to Desire2Learn for taking the lead here.

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About Michael Feldstein

Michael Feldstein is co-Publisher of e-Literate, co-Producer of e-Literate TV, and Partner in MindWires Consulting. For more information, see his profile page.
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3 Responses to Desire2Learn Delivers IMS Basic Learning Tools Interoperability (BLTI) Support

  1. jack says:

    This could be *very* cool. I know a lot of the extensions I’ve built for D2L over the years have had a similar model, but they were, by necessity, point-to-point integrations and bespoke code, not easily portable to other institutions even if they were also D2L users.

    Having this officially supported, especially with integration into the quicklinks system and the ability to write back results, could seriously sand down the bumpy parts of our local integrations.

    I have to reserve judgement until I get my hands on it and see how well it works in practice, but I’m definitely excited. Good work D2L!

    I work for an educational institution, not a tool vendor, but I see lots of opportunity for building stuff around BLTI. Are there any plans toward community building around this?

  2. I assume that at some point the IMS will create an LTI Alliance aimed at driving adoption, in the same way that they have created a Common Cartridge Alliance and a Learning Information Services Alliance.

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