Editor’s note: this is a guest post provided by Steve Kessinger, Director of IST, Bluefield College.
Online learning continues to evolve, keeping even the most accomplished educators on their toes. There are numerous tools and resources available to supplement online education and I’m sure your faculty, like ours are becoming more interested in these resources. They also expect them to be fully integrated within the course.
The technical challenges to a small school like Bluefield College can be overwhelming which is why we were excited to hear about the Learning Tools Portlet in Jenzabar e-Learning. So many vendors have boasted “sure, we integrate with your system” but what that really translates to is “we integrate with your system as long as your IT guys spend 6 months in a cave banging out code”. We have a total staff of 3.5 FTE; we just don’t have time for that. Using the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard, we now have the ability to integrate a number of solutions that we once thought were beyond our capability. And it’s easy!
It only takes a simple click to get started (+ Add a new learning tool).
Then, all we need is a link, key, and secret provided to us by the vendor and we’re ready to go.
We’ve even started recommending LTI compliance to vendors. It’s a real return on investment for us and for them. We get the advantage of being able to integrate a number of tremendous products into our learning environment and we don’t have to use our limited resources on custom integrations since LTI is so easy. It’s also advantageous to the vendor since it allows them to serve other Jenzabar e-Learning customers and other LTI compliant LMS solutions. We’re currently testing LTI resources and we’re hoping that we can have some of these tools incorporated in courses for the Spring.