Integrating Xorro-Q with your LMS

Xorro-Q is an LTI tool.  This means that you can easily add Xorro-Q activities to a learning management system (LMS) by using LTI integration, provided that the LMS is LTI-compliant.  Many LMS's (for example Blackboard, Canvas, Desire2Learn and Sakai) are LTI compliant. 

Doing this enables Single Sign-On for all users between your LMS and Xorro-Q, as well as the ability to select and play specific Xorro-Q activities in an assignment. Additionally, the LTI integration allows you to export scores to your LMS gradebook for any graded (or scored) items. 

The following article applies directly to using Xorro-Q's LTI interface in Moodle and in Canvas.  It should also be applicable to other LMS systems. 

Configuring Xorro to use LTI  *  Configuring your LMS for Xorro-Q: Moodle  /  Canvas  *  Facilitators' instructions on using Xorro-Q with LMS Systems   *  Participants' instructions

Xorro-Q uses the LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) standard to connect to LMS systems.  LTI defines how participants (and groups) are enrolled into Xorro-Q by the LMS as required during an activity.  It also defines how the Results from that activity are reported back to the LMS.  

Using the LTI interface, Facilitators can launch the activity from within the LMS, and participants will access it through the LMS only.

Configuration (Administrators & Institution Managers)

To set this all up is straightforward.  You need to be an Institution Manager in Xorro, and to have administrative privileges in the LMS system to be able to perform these initial changes:

1. Configure Xorro's institution settings to enable LTI;

2. Ensure that all practitioners ("Facilitators") have a Xorro-Q account.  A simple bulk import is available for this purpose.  By default all will be created having just a Free Facilitator privilege.  Ensure that any facilitators needing higher attendance levels and/or heavier usage than accomodated by the Free Facilitator package, have a Plan assigned to them (see Xorro-Q Licensing and Pricing Explained).

2. Configure your LMS by adding Xorro-Q as an external tool type. This will make it available to all LMS practitioners.  We have prepared instructions for Moodle and for Canvas.

Configuring Xorro to enable LTI

Logged in as an Institution Manager, browse to Institution Settings (from the Profiles menu, upper right of window).

At the foot of the Settings page, follow the link to "Manage LTI keys."

Create a new key pair (or multiple pairs if you wish).  Record these keys for use in the LMS (described in the next section).

Return to the Settings page, and enable the "LTI Support" checkbox.

Having LTI enables at institution level means that your Facilitators can now search and filter their activities list to find "LTI activities".

Configuring Moodle to enable Xorro-Q using LTI

Logged into your LMS as Administrator, browse to Site Administration>Plugins>Activity modules>LTI>"Manage External Tool Types."

Add an external tool type.  You'll need to specify:

  • The tool's Name (most likely you'll call it "Xorro-Q");
  • The base URL for the tool (use http://q.xorro.com/lti)
  • The consumer key and private key - copy these from the Xorro Settings page (preceding section).

Check to make sure that the new tool (Xorro-Q) is now available to all practitioners through the drop-down menu of available types.

Select a default Launch container.  Note that Xorro-Q is able to run smoothly embedded into your LMS pages.

Configuring Canvas to enable Xorro-Q using LTI

Logged in as a Canvas user with appropriate permissions;

- Go to Settings", and select "Apps"

Click the button "View App Configurations"

Check that Xorro-Q is at the foot of this list.  If it is - then you have access.  Proceed to Facilitator Instructions to use it.

If it is not, then click on "+App" to add it.  You will need to provide a name "Xorro-Q"),  and a consumer key / shared secret (from the preceding step in Xorro-Q, in which you created a key pair).  Set Proivacy drop down list to "Public". Enter the launch URL as: "https://q.xorro.com/lti".  Press the "Submit" button.

Facilitator Instructions

This article is intended for facilitators learning how to apply Xorro-Q's integration with an LMS.  It concerns the following topics:

Creating the assignment in your LMS Accessing Xorro-Q from your LMS for the first timeLinking the assignment in your LMS to your Xorro-Q activity, and launching it Publishing your assignment in the LMS Using Q-Launcher with LTI-linked activities

 Pre-requisites: You need to have a Xorro Facilitator login, and a login to your LMS.

The usual procedure is to create an activity in Xorro-Q using your QF site in the usual way.  Elect to make this activity an "LTI activity".  Next, in your LMS, set up an assignment or resource which you want your studentas to visit.  You'll specify Xorro-Q as the type of type of assignment.  Last, you'll need to link this assignment page in your LMS, to the target Xorro-Q activity.  Here's how:

1.  Facilitators: Creating a Xorro-Q activity in your LMS:

In your Course, add a "resource" (or "activity" or "assignment").

  • Give the resource or assignment a name.  
  • Select "External Tool" as the type.  Select Xorro-Q as the External tool type (this will be available from the drop down menu).
  • Do not enter any Launch URL.  Leave the field blank (anyway the url should always be https://q.xorro.com/lti).
  • If you wish, you can change the Launch container (eg "new tab" or "current page") from whatever default your LMS administrator has set.  Xorro-Q does support embedding into the LMS pages.
  • Decide on grading and other settings as usual.  (Note some limitations at the foot of this email).
  • When ready, press "Save and return to course" or "Save and display."
  • You will now see a page offering to load the tool.   Clicking the "Load" button will launch your Xorro-Q Facilitator login.

2. Facilitators: Accessing Xorro-QF from your LMS login for the first time:

If you pressed "Save and Display", you will next be asked to log into Xorro-Q's QF service.  You need to have already been provided with a Xorro-Q facilitator login (or you can create your own seperately to this process).  If this is the first time you (the facilitator) have accessed Xorro-Q from the LMS, then you will be asked to link your identity as an LMS user, to your Xorro Facilitator identity.  THIS MUST BE DONE CORRECTLY THE FIRST TIME SO EXERCISE CARE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE TWO ACCOUNTS BEING LINKED ARE YOURS.  If they are, press the blue "confirm" button.  If they are not, then press the gray button to link to a different Xorro QF account.

Once you have linked your LMS account to your Xorro Facilitator account you won't need to do it again.

3. Facilitators: Linking to and Launching (Running) a Xorro Activity

The next form displays a list of all available LTI activities in your Xorro-QF account.  You can choose one of these to link to your LMS resource, by pressing the blue "Link" button to the right of the target activity.  (You can view any activity in a new tab by just clicking on it).

Having selected and "linked" an activity to your Assignment, the activity now presents in a form entitled "Linked LTI Activity "Ready to Run" , with an invitation to "Run" it.  The students won't "see" or be able to follow the activity until it is running.  Press the Run button.  Here's where you can set the start and end dates to limit participant access to the activity.  You can also select to permit repeat attempts (but only the first attempt will be recorded to the LMS).

On selecting "Launch" you will see the activity running in the default Launch container.  The view you are looking at is your Xorro QF activity Running page.  You have all of the same controls you enjoy when you run an activity from within Xorro-QF.

 See also:  Practice Activities: making activities repeatable, and reporting first- or best-score from multiple attempts

4. "Publish" your Assignment in your LMS

Until you "Publish" the assignment in the LMS, your students will not see any link to it.

5. Using Q-Launcher with your LTI-linked activities

Q-Launcher is a popular and intutive alternative to the QF site's activity running page, for controlling real-time Xorro-Q activities with large audiences.  The main advantage of using Q-Launcher is that its collapsable floating toolbar does not dominate the display.  This makes it much more convenient for use with slide shows, videos or other applications demanding the display.  It is also somewhat more versatile for "asking" instant questions.  However, there are some minor limitations when using Q-Launcher together with LTI-linked applications

Currently (February 2017) Q-Launcher will not permit you to (select and) launch an LTI activity.  You can however use Q-Launcher to "join" an LTI activity which has already been launched (through the QF site, eg via your LMS).

Commonly Facilitators will want to set up an "assignment" within the LMS, then link it to the LTI activity in Xorro-Q.  Doing so brings up a prompt offering to launch the activity.  If this is done, then the Facilitator will not be able to run any other real-time activities until this one is ended.  It is suggested therefore that the LTI-linked activity should not be launched until immediately before the session starts.  This can be done by the Facilitator by navigating to the "assignment" in the LMS, and re-opening it.  The external tool (Xorro's QF site) will present at that point; then choose to "Launch" or "Run" the activity.  Only now should the Facilitator open Q-Launcher.  Doing so and logging in will bring up a prompt in Q-Launcher (since a real time activity is already running) offering either to "join" the running activity, or to close it and start a new one.   Select "join."  The real-timeLTI activity is now running and can be controlled in the usual way from within the Q-Launcher application.

A further issue with the current version of Q-Launcher is that it displays a Facilitator URL to which participants might browse, and makes available a QR code for the same purpose.  These are excellent aids for activities not intended to be accessed from an LMS system.  However they are in fact misleading and confusing factors when combined with an LTI activity, since LTI linked activities must be accessed by participants only through the LMS.  Facilitators are advised therefore to expressly warn audiences against using the Facilitator URL (or the QR code) to access the activity, and instead instruct participants to access the activity only via their LMS logins. 

Participants Instructions

Participants can not access LTI activities through any other means than via the LMS link.

They must go to the course page in your LMS and click on the link to the resource (which in turn points to the Xorro-Q activity).

The participant view of the activity will open directly for the participant.

Results and Reports

Facilitators can still view Results as before by logging in to their QF.xorro.com site.

In addition, Xorro-Q automatically posts summary results dfor each participant, into Canvas.  This is done on a cyclic basis, approximately once per hour.

Not Supported Yet  (as at October 2016)

  • Xorro-Q's LTI interface does not yet support setting start and finish times for activities from the LMS page.  Leave these settings blank.  Instead, you will need to set these as you launch the activity from  within Xorro-Q;
  • Q-Launcher presents LTI activities but does not yet sort these to the top of the list of available activities.
  • Currently you can set an LTI enabled activity to be available multiple times to a student, however the student's first attempt is what is recorded into the LMS.  A future development will permit this to be updated as the student progresses, with their "best attempt" scores if you prefer.

 

 

Categories: Xorro-Q, Admin / IT.
Tags: LTI.