Recent Changes to LMS Integration

(Update on July 21, 2015)

Some changes to the LMS LTI integration process has been improved.  If you are currently using LTI integration, you will have to make changes to your setup to take advantage of the changes.

The changes focus on how MOM handles things when an LTI-integrated course is copied within the LMS.  To see why this change is necessary, consider these situations:

1) Sally exports her course (ID 1234) from MOM and imports it into Canvas.  She teaches with it in fall semester, so her MOM course now has grade records for students from her fall course.  At the end of the term, she copies her Canvas course and reuses it for spring.  Her students records show up in the same MOM course (ID 1234) making it confusing for her.

2) Sally exports her course (ID 1234) from MOM and imports it into Canvas.  She teaches with it in fall semester, so her MOM course now has grade records for students from her fall course.  At the end of the term, her LMS administrator creates a copy of her course for Bob.  Now Bob’s students show up in Sally’s MOM course, making it confusing for her, and Bob is frustrated because he can’t change anything in the MOM course (like due dates).

To deal with these situations, we’ve made some changes:

1) When an instructor clicks on a MOM LTI link in their course for the first time, MOM will look to see if they are a listed teacher in MOM for the course the assignment is in.  If they are (like in the first scenario above), the teacher will be given an option:

The first option allows them to connect with the existing course, which would make sense for the first time using that course. The second option is what Sally would want to pick in spring semester.  Choosing this will trigger MOM to automatically create a copy of her MOM course.  Student records will end up in that new course, and all the links in the LMS will now take students to assignments in that new course.

 

2) If the instructor who clicks the link is not a teacher on the MOM course the assignment is from, then they’ll see a different page:

So in the case of Sally and Bob, this is the message Bob would see.  A copy of Sally’s MOM course would automatically be created, and Bob’s students’ records would be in that copy.

 

A few important notes:

  • How to get the new behavior:
    • This new behavior occurs when:  Using an institutional (global) key and secret, or using a key of the form:  LTIkey_####_1, where #### is the course ID.
    • If you are currently using a key of the form: placein_####_1, then you will still have the old behavior.  It is recommended you NOT change the course key until the end of your current term.
  • When keys will work:
    • Keys of the form placein_####_1 would only work if the person using it was an instructor on the course associated with the key.
    • Keys of the form LTIkey_####_1, they will work for anyone, so if someone copies a course using this type of key, there is no need to change the LTI key and secret.
  • Copies of copies:
    • Suppose that, in the LMS, Fred makes a copy of Bob’s course, which was a copy of Sally’s course.  All the LTI links are referenced off Sally’s course.  So MOM will create an automatic copy of Sally’s course for Fred (not a copy of Bob’s MOM course)
    • Likewise, if Bob was to copy his spring course for summer, all the assignments would be copies of Sally’s assignments, so if Bob made changes in spring, they would not be reflected in the summer copies.
  • Suggestions for large-scale LTI adoptions:  If you are planning on creating one LMS course using MOM LTI links, then copy that for a bunch of instructors to use, these suggestions are for you:
    • Have your master courses be separate from your normal user accounts/courses.
    • This helps prevent someone accidentally treating a master course as their own personal course.
    • Request a new MOM instructor account.  Call it something like schoolname_masters.
    • Create your MOM materials under that instructor account.  It’s OK to have others as teachers during development, but remove them after course is done.
    • Create your export from that account.
    • Ask your LMS administrator to create you a separate LMS account for master courses.  Import your MOM course under that account, and do any additional building/cleanup.
    • Have your LMS administrator create copies of that LMS master course for every instructor teaching the course.
    • When they get their LMS copy and click on a MOM link, MOM will create them a personal copy of the master (as in the Bob and Sally example above).  This way their students’ records are located in their own course, and they can make any necessary changes to the MOM course, like changing assignment settings.
    • If you find ways to improve the course throughout the term, since the master course doesn’t have any students in it, you’ll be able to modify the assignments without it causing the usual issues with student grades.  This way you can collaboratively work on improving the course for the following semester, since everyone will get a fresh copy of the master then.