Canvas users interested in integrating external, third-party vendor tools for use in their courses need to follow the process defined below.
A variety of add-on software tools that extend the functionality of a Learning Management System (LMS) are available. These tools are considered “external” because they are not applications owned by the University of Delaware and, even though they can be integrated with Canvas, they are not part of the software included in our agreements with the LMS vendor. More faculty are requesting these external tools because textbook publishers often deliver textbook and courseware content online using an external tool.
When integrating with an LMS, vendors often develop their tools using the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard. LTI is a standard protocol for delivering data between the LMS and the external software tool. This data might include grades, names, and other education data protected by federal law.
First check to see if the tool is currently approved
You can view a list of the LTI tools that have been reviewed, approved, and available to use. You may not see the tool you are considering, but there could be an alternative tool that has similar functionality that you can use. If you would like to discuss these tools with a consultant, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there is not a current tool and you want to pursue getting a tool approved you will need to do the following.
How do I request an external tool?
Ask the vendor to send to you the following completed forms and documentation:
- HEISC Community Vendor Assessment Tool (HECVAT).
- Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)
- Documentation supporting the type of LTI integration (standard, 1.3/Advance) required for this tool. This usually is a link to a webpage with their integration instructions or a pdf they can provide to you.
Once you have these documents, complete the Technology Request form from Information Technologies and attach these three items. When completing this form, under the Solution Request Details, select the “Add-On / Plug-In / Extension” type to request add-on tools for Canvas. NOTE: You will also have to submit the VPAT to Procurement using the Accessibility Review Request Form for Procurement to conduct an accessibility review.
Why is a review necessary?
As an educational institution, UD is subject to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which establishes requirements for protecting students’ education records. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) establishes requirements for the accessibility of UD’s resources. Under these laws, UD is also responsible for any third parties that create or manage education records on UD’s behalf.
In order to protect our students, our faculty, and our institution from harm, UD performs a standard review of any publishing house that will manage our students’ education records. This applies to publishing houses offering LTI integrations as well as those offering standalone services unrelated to Canvas.
Once a publishing house has been reviewed and approved (this can be a few weeks to several months), faculty can use its LTI tools and other resources to support their courses. Faculty should not use tools or services from unapproved publishing houses; doing so creates risk to students, the faculty member, and the University.
After a tool is integrated with Canvas, a link within a course will allow a student, teaching assistant, or faculty member to use the tool.
For more information regarding security practices at the University of Delaware, visit Secure UD.