Canvas works in a relatively open way, much more so than most LMSs. In some way it works as a lens to the web where your content can be made available, rather than trying to be a large unwieldy shell that tries to do everything, such as Blackboard and Moodle. For example Canvas doesn’t have blogging or wiki tools. This means we have to integrate with external tools such as WordPress for blogging. It’s wonderful to have an LMS recognise the blogging as a web experience and its role in supporting web literacy.
To facilitate integrations, Canvas makes available its code for 3rd party companies to develop integrations called LTIs. You can see all the apps available in Canvas in course menu settings.
Once there you can click on “Installed” to see all the lti apps turned on by RMIT so far.
It is wonderful that Martin Bean, our Vice Chancellor and President announced when launching Canvas at RMIT that everything will be turned on. You can also view the LTIs potentially available at the EduApp Centre.
One app that was turned on in early adoption but which at the time of writing was turned off, was the Redirect tool. This simple tool created an extra heading in the course menu that can hyperlink to anywhere. In the example pictured below I have simply called it the Redirect Tool with a link to our blog. You can name the course menu item whatever you like.
Now while this can be used to hyperlink to external content, there creative ways the Redirect Tool can mix content within the Canvas interface. The redirect tool enables a menu of specific Canvas Pages with the headings of your choosing enabling navigation amongst pages without the sequential limitation of the Modules. It helps with design flexibility. A good practice example is this course from Laura Gibbs.
One area I am excited about is the potential to make Canvas work in a more social ways with integrations with tools such as ELGG. With the the social collaboration tool Corus so popular at RMIT, it will be great to start trying out these other social tools within Canvas for those of us who like social first design. I am not sure if Corus is considering creating a Canvas LTI.