The external tool enables participants to interact with LTI-compliant learning resources and activities on other web sites. (LTI is an IMS standard for Learning Tool Interoperability.)
For example, an external tool could provide access to a new activity type or learning materials from a publisher.
To create an external tool activity, a tool provider which supports LTI is required. A teacher can create an external tool activity or make use of a tool configured by the site administrator.
To configure an external tool, the following details are required:
- Launch URL
- Consumer key – provided by the tool provider and used to uniquely identify the Moodle site from which users launch into the tool
- Shared secret – password provided by the tool provider
An external tool activity can pass the participants name or email address to the external tool and can receive grades from the tool which are then entered into the course gradebook.
Why use an external tool?
Many websites provide materials and interactive learning exercises different from and complementary to Moodle’s own resources and activities. The external tool offers a way for teachers to link to these activities from within their Moodle course page and where available to have grades sent back into Moodle. Students only need to log in to Moodle; they do not have to log in a second time to the connecting site.
Sites which allow connection to Moodle in this way are known as LTI compliant and are called Tool providers. The “tools” are the exercises or materials which Moodle can connect to.