If so, what versions support this, and is there documentation available? If not, is there an ETA for supporting these new LTI specifications by IMS Global?
Thanks for the mention Alberto Ruiz. The recent releases of my BasicLTUI Building block do include support for the Content-Item message and I expect to be adding support for the new (official) Membership service very soon.
I asked this question at the Blackboard Architect Round Table session at DevCon16 this morning and the response was that both were under review but support for LTI 2 would come first. (Note that neither is dependent upon LTI 2, this is a Blackboard prioritization decision.)
the Stephen Vickers B2 SPV Software Products: BasicLTI Building Block provides you with many LTI extensions.
I saw you asking through the BbWorld Developer LIVE. It's a pity I could not be there this year. Groningen and Las Vegas is too much for my budget!.
Thank you both for this helpful information.
Thanks Stephen. For clarification, currently Blackboard Learn is LTI 1.1 compliant. Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) - Blackboard Help If the feature is in the 1.1 spec, it's supported. If not, then no. And as Stephen mentions, I've also been told that we're actively working on LTI 2.0.
Mark Kauffman, just to clarify your comment about "if the feature is in the 1.1 spec, it's supported", I think this would be more accurately stated as "if the feature is required for LTI 1.1 certification, it's supported". One of the most disappointing omissions, in my mind, is the lack of support for custom parameter substitution variables. Instead you support the Blackboard template variables - this demonstrates that support would be possible, but it is a shame that full interoperability is lost by solely adopting a proprietary solution.
Thanks Stephen, do you mean that the 2016 release no longer supports custom launch parameters? Our current Blackboard install (9.1.201410.160373) with LTI v1p0 supports custom launch parameters very effectively and this would have a negative impact on the tools I've developed so far.
Custom Parameters are still supported. Stephen is referring to dynamically rendered data. LTI supports a set of vendor-agnostic template variable to allow rendering of data at the time of launch. Blackboard Learn does not support the LTI template variables in favor of the template variables already available in Learn.
For instance, you can add a custom parameter to send the user name by setting a custom parameter username = @X@user.id@X@, which would be rendered to the current user's user name that clicked the link at launch time.
It would show in the launch as custom_username = shurrey if I clicked it.
Dynamic Rendering with Template Variables
Thanks Scott Hurrey, that is what I was referring to - the lack of support for the standard custom parameter substitution variables, not the lack of support for custom parameters. That is, whilst Learn 9 allows you to specify a custom parameter of "username=@X@user.id@X@", the interoperable way of achieving this across different platforms is to use "username=$User.id". Sadly Learn 9 does not support the latter.
The other limitation I see with Learn 9 and custom parameters is that it does not appear to be possible to specify custom parameters for an instance of an LTI launch link which has been added using a placement. All instances of a placement pass the same custom parameters, there is no mechanism for customising individual instances of placements (as you can do when creating an LTI link manually within a course). This means that any LTI Tool Provider which uses custom parameters to tailor the behaviour of individual links (e.g. to specify the chapter of a textbook being opened, or request a particular template to be used) cannot be used via a placement. Since this is one of the main purposes of custom parameters, I see this as a serious limitation.
While I definitely see the value in using the IMS replacements, one can live with it given there is a well-established alternative from a Learn perspective. If you move to another LMS, you will have to recreate those things and can use the supported method there.
Now the placement issue is one that I've faced with multiple client and partner developers. It is most definitely a limitation that often results in a ton of extraneous menu items making it overwhelming for the instructor. This might be less of an issue if there was a way to assign a placement to a course, but that would be the least attractive option, IMHO. We should offer the ability to add custom parameters at the link level so one placement can be customized by the instructor.
I would encourage someone to open an Idea in the The specified item was not found. space to put this on the radar of Product Management if it isn't already.
But this still means that Tool Providers have to provide different documentation for Learn 9 from other Tool Consumers which support the LTI specification. There is no reason, in my mind, why Learn 9 could not support both should it wish to do so, but to select its own proprietary format at the expense of the standard is disappointing.
Fair point. No arguments from me. My only point is that I've heard from a lot of developers over the past few years about the placement limitation, less -- but still a significant amount -- about the extensions mentioned in this thread, and only occasionally regarding the use of template variables versus LTI Replacements.
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