The Legacy LTI Versions Are Deprecating. Are You Prepared?

Sunil Kumar July 21, 2021

Technology in Education is changing at a rapid pace and your product must keep pace. Very recently, IMS released the deprecation schedule for earlier versions of LTI. Yes, you read it right, IMS Global will no longer certify the legacy versions and will, in a year’s time, stop support for them as well.

It is crucial for companies and institutions to migrate their platforms to LTI version 1.3 and Advantage to be able to serve their users seamlessly.

Before we get into how that migration process works, let’s understand a little more about these new versions.

LTI Advantage is the next generation of the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standards designed to enable plug-and-play integration of educational applications and tools. Before LTI 1.3, the changes were all additive, but with LTI 1.3, the payload format and security model have changed significantly. Hence, there is a need to migrate existing LTI 1.1 (and 1.0) links to support the LTI 1.3 or LTI Advantage format.

Why migrate to LTI Advantage

Let’s look at the benefits it offers:

1. Better Security

The IMS Security Framework adopts the industry-standard protocol IETF OAuth 2.0 for authentication services and JSON Web Tokens (JWT) for secure message signing. It adopts the Open ID Connect workflow paradigm.

2. Enhanced Teacher Experience

LTI Advantage has a package of three services, i.e., Names and Role Provisioning, Deep Linking and Services, Assignment, and Grade Service; these services add additional functionality to enhance teacher or user experiences greatly. 

3. Names And Role Provisioning

Names and Role Provisioning services help toautomate the provisioning of the course enrollment process securely and safely.

4. Deep Linking

Deep linking simplifies selecting and adding linked content while creating a course and supports deep integration to specific collections of content.

5. Assignment and Grade Services

Assignment and Grade services provide a means for collecting actionable assignment scores and grades across various digital resources available to users in the system.

6. End of Support for Legacy LTI Versions

As discussed at the beginning of this article, support for LTI versions like 1.0, 1.1, 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.2, and 2.0 will end on June 30, 2022. With that deadline in mind and with the benefit that the new versions offer, making the migration decision should be quite easy.

How to migrate LTI 1.0 to LTI Advantage

Step 1 – Provide support for LTI 1.3 Core

LTI v1.3 uses OpenID Connect and OAuth 2.0 and wraps the name/value parameters in a nicely designed JSON Web Token (JWT). 

Step 2 – Migrating from Basic Outcome to Assignment and Grade Services 2.0

LTI Advantage introduces a richer API around grades reporting, called Assignment and Grade Services,  essentially replacing the Basic Outcome service. Assignment and Grade Services allows the LTI tool to create and manage grades, exchange scores, and instructor feedback.

Step 3 – Migrating to Deep Linking 2.0

From a functional viewpoint, deep Linking remains mostly unchanged between version 1.0 and 2.0. However, the actual payload being exchanged for the request and in the response are quite different.

Step 4 – Migrating to Names and Role Provisioning Services 2.0

Names and Role Provisioning Service 2.0 offers the same functionality as its previous version, the changes primarily focusing on streamlining the payload.

Step 5 – LTI 1.3 Core or LTI Advantage Certification

IMS Global provides three variations of LTI certifications that a Tool Provider or Tool Consumer can target for:

  • LTI Advantage Complete – Any Learning Tool or Platform that completes certification testing for LTI 1.3 Core and all three LTI Advantage services.
  • LTI Advantage – Any Tool that completes certification for LTI 1.3 Core and either one or two services is considered.
  • LTI 1.3 core – Any Tool that completes certification for LTI 1.3 Core only is considered.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or need support for your migration. We are an IMS Global member and can help make this transition smooth for you.

Sunil Kumar

Sunil, working as a lead consultant at Magic EdTech is a passionate developer who enjoys working with emerging technologies and translating business problems to software design and development.