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Welcome to LTI 1.3 for Blackboard Learn!

Blackboard Learn supports the latest version of the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) specification, which is LTI 1.3. This version of LTI provides enhanced security features and improved interoperability between learning management systems (LMSs) and external tools.

With LTI 1.3, Blackboard supports the use of JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) for authentication, which provides a more secure way to exchange user information between the LMS and external tools. It also supports the use of the Resource Link Launch Request (RLLR) message, which enables better communication between the Learn and external tool provider regarding the specific context of a learning activity.

In addition to these technical enhancements, LTI 1.3 also provides a streamlined user experience, making it easier for instructors and students to discover and use external tools within the Blackboard environment.

Blackboard's support for LTI allows users to integrate with a wide range of third-party tools and services, including multimedia content, assessment tools, and learning analytics platforms. This enables instructors to create more engaging and interactive learning experiences for their students, and allows students to access a variety of learning resources from within their Blackboard course.

Overall, Blackboard's support for LTI 1.3 demonstrates its commitment to providing a robust and secure platform for integrating with external tools and content providers, and to improving the overall teaching and learning experience for its users.

What Specifically is LTI 1.3?

Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) 1.3 is the latest version of the LTI specification, which is a set of technical standards that enable learning management systems (LMSs) to integrate with external tools and content providers. LTI 1.3 builds upon the previous versions of LTI, adding new features and enhancements that improve the security, interoperability, and user experience of LTI integrations.

Overall, LTI 1.3 is a significant improvement over previous versions of the specification, providing enhanced security, improved interoperability, a streamlined user experience, and easier implementation for developers. As a result, it has become the preferred version of LTI for many LMSs and external tool providers.

What are the Benefits of LTI 1.3?

Here are some of the key features and benefits of LTI 1.3:

Enhanced security: LTI 1.3 introduces new security features such as JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) and the OpenID Connect (OIDC) authentication protocol, which provide a more secure way to exchange user information between the LMS and external tools. This reduces the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive user data and improves the overall security of LTI integrations.

Improved interoperability: LTI 1.3 introduces the Resource Link Launch Request (RLLR) message, which enables better communication between the LMS and external tools regarding the specific context of a learning activity. This makes it easier for external tools to integrate with the LMS and provide a seamless user experience.

Streamlined user experience: LTI 1.3 introduces a new Deep Linking feature, which enables instructors to create links to specific resources within external tools and embed them directly within their course content. This makes it easier for students to access external tools and content without leaving the LMS environment, improving the overall user experience.

Easier implementation: LTI 1.3 introduces a new Developer Key and Secret mechanism, which simplifies the process of creating and managing LTI integrations. This makes it easier for developers to implement LTI integrations and reduces the time and effort required to maintain them.

Contributors on this article:

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Eric Preston

Former Staff Software Engineer

Integrations, Developer Relations and Standards