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The Study Hall

The First Rule of Table Tennis and Canvas: Interoperability

Here at Instructure, we don’t take many breaks around a watercooler. Most Instructurites recharge with a handful of gummy bears and activities like foosball, mini hoops, or my personal favorite, table tennis. You may know the game by its more onomatopoeia-cal name—ping pong—but whatever you call it, the endless back-and-forth can be fun, fast, and full of fancy footwork.

Canvas Partnerships Integrations Interoperability LTI

Regardless of department, position, or years of experience, anyone in our office can join in a ping pong match as long as they play by the rules and use the tools of the game—a standard 40mm ball and a paddle with one red and one black side. It would wreck the fun for players and spectators alike if someone tried to serve a bowling ball with a lacrosse stick.

The same is true for Instructure partners who develop integrations for Canvas. As long as they use open standards from IMS Global, like Learning Tools Interoperability - LTI and Common Cartridge, they can create tools to enhance and extend the Canvas experience. We invite any provider to “play” by simply adhering to standards that ensure interoperability. Even the simplest integration has the potential to dramatically improve the user experience and to save valuable time and effort for admins, teachers, and students.

Need examples? Visit the Edu App Center where you’ll find more than 200. Some providers, including CK-12, Microsoft’s OfficeMix, and Zaption, have done amazingly cool things with the LTI spec. If their Canvas integrations were winning ping pong moves, they’d be on par with the forehand smash, the backhand topspin, or a drop shot off a chop.

Keep learning,
Troy Anderson
Director, Partnerships

Learning Tools Interoperability™ - LTI™ and Common Cartridge™ are trademarks of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. (