External Tool Approval Process

What are external integrations?

Canvas provides a large number of functions as part of the core Canvas product. For enhanced functionality that is not present within Canvas, third-party applications can be integrated into Canvas courses via the Learning Tools Interoperability standard, commonly referred to as “LTI.” LTI integrations allow for third-party applications to appear in the Canvas interface and navigation, while allowing the third party to receive the student data it needs to properly function (if any). In some cases, LTI integrations are simply used to provide authentication into a third-party resource, like the ARES Course Reserves system or third-party publisher plugins. Other cases can be more elaborate, like plagiarism detection tools, external testing and course recording systems like Echo 360. 

What integrations does Emory currently offer through Canvas?

Teaching & Learning Technologies maintains an available tools list.

How does an instructor or instructional designer request a new integration?

Canvas LTI integrations are requested via through the Canvas LTI Integration Request form. Requestors will need to provide an explanation of what the integration is for, cost, vendor information and any relevant student data being passed into the third party. 

Why doesn’t Emory allow faculty or instructional designers to install their own integrations?

LTI integrations usually involve some transfer of student data, which can include name, enrollments, email and other information, to the third-party provider of the integrated service. Because of the potential for data security risk, all LTI integrations have to be vetted and tested by the Teaching & Learning Technologies team, and possibly other entities including Information Security, the Registrar and the Digital Scholarship & Pedagogy IT Governance Sub-Committee, before the integration can be installed. Student records retention policies need to be considered as well. In some cases, having LTI integrations installed at the course level can have larger unintended consequences, so the TLT team works with faculty and the instructional design community to ensure a functional, supportable environment. 

How long does it take to enable the integration?

Please provide the Teaching & Learning Technologies team with at least four months to assess the integration for suitability and supportability. Listed below are example deadlines for requests expected the following semester. These may vary depending on the complexity of the request.

  • For use within Canvas by the fall semester, the deadline is April 1st before the desired fall semester.
  • For use within Canvas by the spring semester, the deadline is September 1st before the desired spring semester.

Why does it take so long to get an integration approved?

In some cases, it may not. If the vendor integration is anonymous and straightforward, we should be able to move more quickly. In other cases, the vetting and security approval process can take significant amounts of time to move through the relevant offices and to receive the necessary approvals. Generally speaking, the more student data is transacted to and/or from the third party, the more scrutiny the integration will receive.

How will my integration appear in my course?

The appearance of the integration is dependent upon the way the vendor has configured it. In some cases, integrations will populate the left-hand navigation in your Canvas course. Other integrations may occur within the assignment creation interface or on the Modules screen. In other cases, LTI integrations will show up in the list of External Tools when creating an assignment. The LTI integration vendor should be able to tell you where to look for your integration within Canvas, and you may also email classes@emory.edu to request that information from Teaching & Learning Technologies.

How can I hide integrations I don’t use?

Integrations that are enabled institution-wide (like Respondus Lockdown Browser) show up in the navigation by default, but can be hidden in the Settings / Navigation area of your Canvas course.