External Tools on CN are built on LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability). So, you may see External Tools and LTI Tools used interchangeably in some places. External tools can enrich the learning experience through smooth integration with learning tools from outside of the CN platform.
This article will show the various ways and places external tools can be added to a Pathway LMS course. What instructors and institution CN admins need to be cautious of is that the examples in this article only demonstrate the general procedure of implementing external tools. Different external tools work differently. You will need to follow the instructions and suggestions of each external tool provider when implementing their tool. Feel free to contact CN support email@example.com if you need assistance from the CN Team.
Manage External Tools
There are two ways to manage external tools in a Pathway course.
Option1: Click the course settings gear icon next to your course title, then click Manage External Tools.
Option2: Click Manage External Tools from the bottom of the left course menu.
Add/Configure External Tool
Both ways will take you to the same page. Click the green button from the top to add a new External Tool.
Choose one of the following options:
Define New External Tool: if you are going to define an entirely new tool by yourself
Select Admin Defined External Tool: if you know that your institution has added the external tool in CN but needs course-level configuration
When adding or configuring an external tool, you will need to enter the following required information:
1. Name of the tool. The name you entered will appear to course members.
2. Consumer Key (obtained from the tool provider. If you are configuring an Admin Defined External Tool, this information should have already been filled out.)
3. Shared Secret (obtained from the tool provider. If you are configuring an Admin Defined External Tool, this information should have already been filled out.)
4. URL (obtained from the tool provider. If you are configuring an Admin Defined External Tool, this information should have already been filled out.)
1. In most cases, you can choose "Public" for Privacy. But, if you are not sure, please double check with the tool provider.
2. For an Admin Defined External Tool, you will need to add other information, such as Additional Params. Please follow your institution admin's or the tool provider's instructions.
3. Please pay attention to Tool Placement at the bottom. By default, the tools you configure will become available for assignments and activities. If you want the tool to be accessible from the left course menu, check the corresponding box. If you want the tool to open in a new window, check the corresponding box.
Manage Existing External Tools
Tools that are added by your institution admins can not be edited or removed. You can always edit or delete the external tools added at the course level.
Access External Tools from Left Course Menu
If an external tool is added to the course menu, course members will be able to access it there.
Note: for Pathway courses, we recommend keeping students' focus on the course path. Therefore, the course menu may not be an ideal location for external tools. Please read on to see how to integrate external tools into the course path.
External Tool as Learning Activity
To make an external tool a learning activity on the course path, you will take the following steps:
Step1: Create a new activity and select "External Tool" as the activity type.
Step2: Complete the form below by entering an activity name and description and selecting an external tool. If the tool has not been added to the course, you can add it from the first option "+Create a new External Tool". Once creating the activity, Save Activity.
This is the student view of the activity. They can click the blue button to launch the tool.
External Tool as Assignment
If an external tool is supposed to be used as an assignment, you can create this assignment on the course path following the steps below:
Step1: Create a new activity and select "Assignment Submission" as the activity type.
Step2: Complete the activity form with an activity name, description, "Launch External Tool" as the submission type (see 1 in the screenshot below). Then, select a GradeBook item to connect with this activity (see 2 in the screenshot below). If you do not have the GradeBook item yet, select "+Add a new GradeBook item" to create a GradeBook item.
Step3: Complete the GradeBook item creation form. Make sure you select the right external tool. Click "Add Item" once done.
Step5: Once the GradeBook item is connected, complete the rest of the assignment activity creation form. You need to enter the minimum points for completing the activity. Then Save Activity.
Your students will then be able to launch the external tool from this assignment. Since each external tool works differently in terms of assessment and grade pass back, please consult with the external tool provider for more specific instructions.
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