Introduction to LTI Deep Linking

Introduction to LTI Deep Linking

What is Deep Linking?

Deep Linking is a recommended upgrade to enable deeper integration of LTI enabled products, extending the LTI toolbox by adding a new message type to streamline the process of setting up an LTI tool link. This new message type enables external (LTI) tools to appear in the same way that internal tools do. Using Deep Linking will eliminate a prime reason for custom integrations. Deep Linking adds a new message type allowing a Tool Provider to be engaged in the process of creating content (including LTI links) within the Tool Consumer. This allows the workflow to more closely match how tools within the Tool Consumer are added to a course, significantly improving the user experience for instructors and minimizing the differences between internal and external (LTI) tools.

What educational use cases are supported by the standard?

When an LTI tool link is added to a course, the instructor is presented with a page from the Tool Provider to configure the activity or content. When that item is saved to the course page it is already configured and ready to use, combining what was a two-step process into one step. The message can also be used to add other types of content to a Tool Consumer; see the specification for more details.

Who is this important to?

Instructional technology staff and instructors responsible for setting up and configuring content for delivery to students.

What problem is being solved?

Reducing the time and complexity of setting up an LTI tool link and streamlining the process of adding content from third parties into a Tool Consumer.

What are the features or new features of the standard?

  • Provides a new workflow for adding third-party content within a Tool Consumer
  • Implemented as another message type, similar to a launch message
  • A wide variety of content types are supported (such as LTI links, web links, images, file links, static HTML); supported types are controlled by the Tool Consumer
  • LTI links may be pre-configured with custom parameters
  • All transactions are secured by the latest LTI methods

What is the normal process flow?

The workflow for the Deep Linking message typically involves three steps, beginning at the application tool consumer.

Tool Consumer Request to Tool Provider

  • The user selects an option to add content from a third party and they are redirected via their browser to the tool provider.

Content selection in Tool Provider

  • The tool provider provides an interface which allows the user to discover and select/configure one or more items to associate with a link (or links) placed in the tool consumer.

Tool Provider Response to Tool Consumer

  • The user’s browser is redirected back to the tool consumer with details of the item(s) selected.

Does this update or replace one or more existing standards?

No, Deep Linking provides a new workflow for creating LTI links and other types of content in a Tool Consumer.

What additional information is important about Deep Linking?

Deep Linking is an “LTI Message” as distinguished from an LTI Service. The difference is that a Message involves redirecting an end user to another application through their browser session. An LTI Service is defined as a server-to-server process without a browser session active.