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Learning Tools and Interoperability (LTI)

LTI 1.0 is supported on Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP4 and above. LTI 1.1 is supported on Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP10 and above.

Learning Tools Interoperability is an initiative managed by the IMS Global Learning Consortium to seamlessly integrate learning applications used by instructors into their courses. It includes a standard protocol for establishing a trusted relationship between the tool provider and the Learning Management System, so that students and teachers can have a seamless, integrated experience of using the tool within the context of their course. To learn more from IMS Global Learning, see

Instructors using external applications (such as virtual science experiments, interactive demos, or assessments) that comply with the standard can specify URLs in their courses as links to learning tools. Learning tool links can be customized by instructors or administrators to include personalized information and make the connection process easier for users.

LTI Tools are handled like any other Third-Party tool in Blackboard Learn. The availability of LTI tools can be managed globally by the System Administrator via the System Admin->Tools link. For more information, see Manage Tools.

Manage LTI tool providers

Instructors can manage their learning tool links individually by including Provider-specified keys and configuration information when creating a URL in their course. For instructor information, see link to a tool provider.

For institutions with multiple instructors using the same tool provider, or simply to assist instructors in creating Learning Tool URLs, administrators can manage provider information for their whole system.

Configure LTI tool providers global properties

You can manage the default settings for LTI tool providers. You can override these settings on an individual basis when setting up an individual provider.

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Building Blocks, select Building Blocks.
  2. Select LTI Tool Providers.
  3. Select Manage Global Properties.
  4. Under Feature Availability, select the default availability of learning tool links. Making learning tool links unavailable removes the extra configuration functionality from the Instructor's Create Web Link workflow, and only standard URLs will be supported in that workflow.
  5. Manage the settings under Feature Availability:
    • Enable the tool in courses.
    • Enable the tool in organizations.
    • Select your Creation of Tool Provider Links preference.
      • Allow links to any tool provider that isn't explicitly excluded allows users to add learning tool links to any provider that the administrator has not specifically excluded when managing LTI tool providers.
      • Allow links to any tool provider, but require approval for each new provider allows users to add learning tool links to any provider, but the links will not work until the administrator changes the provider's status to Approved.
      • Allow only links to approved tool providers will not allow users to add learning tool links unless the administrator has already approved the provider.
    • Select whether to allow any Tool Provider to post grades to the Grade Center.
      • This is a global setting. When enabled, Blackboard Learn will accept grades posted by external Tool Providers, but only into Grade Center columns created by Tool Provider placements in courses.
      • For a Tool Provider to take advantage of this setting, it must be configured with a placement that allows grading.
  6. In the Default Configuration section, set options for user data and user acknowledgement. This provides the default settings for what information is sent to the learning tool and for user notification and acknowledgement.
    • Send User Data: Select Never, Send user data only over SSL, or Send user data over any connection. The default setting sends data over any connection because secure information, such as username and password, is not being sent.
    • User Fields to Send: Select what information will be provided to the learning tool when the user selects the link. You can select any combination of Role in Course, Name, and Email Address. Depending on the nature of the tool provider, it may have specific requirements or specific functionality that depends on some or all of this information being passed to the provider.
    • Show User Acknowledgement Message: Select whether a user acknowledgment message appears when the user selects a learning tool link, such as a notification that the user is leaving Blackboard Learn for an external site. Yes turns the message on, and No turns it off, allowing users to go directly to the tool provider's page.
    • Message Text: If you select Yes for Show User Acknowledgement Message, provide the text for the message.
  7. Select Submit.

Add a new LTI tool provider

You can add new tool providers using Register Provider Domain.

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Building Blocks, select Building Blocks.
  2. Select LTI Tool Providers.
  3. Select Register Provider Domain.
  4. Type the Provider Domain, such as
  5. Select the Provider Domain Status - Approved or Excluded. Approved is the default setting. Selecting Excluded prevents users from adding tool links to that provider.
  6. Optionally, provide any Secondary Hostnames for the provider. The provider can supply this information.
  7. Tool providers can offer configuration for the entire site, or for each individual link. If the provider allows configuration for the entire site, select Set Globally and type the Tool Provider Key and Tool Provider Secret. Leaving the Default Configuration as Set separately for each link requires users to enter the Key and Secret when creating each link.
  8. Add any custom parameters required by the tool provider in the text box Tool Provider Custom Parameters.
    • Each parameter must be on its own line.
    • Parameters must be formatted as a "name=value" pair.
    • Custom parameters can include template variables that are resolved using data from Learn, in the Learn parameter format @x@ user.full_name @x@.

      More on Template Variables

  9. The Institution Policies section pulls preferences from the Global Properties. You can manage settings for the individual provider here. Any choices you make for the individual provider override the Global Properties.

Manage provider status

The LTI Tool Providers page lists the LTI tool providers and their current status:

  • Needs Approval: If you selected Allow links to any tool provider, but require approval for each new provider in the Global Properties, new tool providers will appear in this status until you approve them.
  • Approved: These providers have been approved, and their learning tool links are active.
  • Excluded: Users cannot add tool links to these providers.

Change the status of or to delete a tool provider

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Building Blocks, select Building Blocks.
  2. Select LTI Tool Providers.
  3. For the desired tool provider select Approve, Exclude, or Delete.

Managing placements

After you have added a new LTI provider, it appears on the LTI providers list. From here, you can manage the placement of the tool in Learn. Creating a name and placing the tool in a menu in Blackboard Learn is not required, but it makes it easy for end users to find and use. End users adding the LTI tool to their courses do not have to know the tool URL or secret key. If a tool provider has no placements, instructors can still use it in courses as described in link to a tool provider.

  1. From the LTI Tool Providers page, open the menu for the tool and select Manage Placements.
  2. Select Create Placement.
  3. Type a Label. This is the name that appears to end users in a course.
  4. Add a description if the tool appears to students in their Tools menu. Descriptions do not appear to instructors.
  5. Type a Handle. This becomes the database entry so it must be unique.
  6. Select Student Tool or Content Type.
    • A Student Tool appears in the student Tools menu and your description helps them understand what the tool is and what it does.
    • When you select Content Type, you must then select which content type to add. This selection determines which menu in the course the tool appears. Check Placement allows grading to add the grading features such as due date and points possible to the tool.
  7. Add an icon for the tool by selecting Browse and uploading an image file 50 x 50 pixels.
  8. Type in the tool provider information. In most cases, this is the same information you added when you created the tool, unless you are creating multiple placements for the same registered provider.
  9. Select Submit.