Canvas External Tool Request
While Canvas supports many built-in features for teachers and students, additional features can be added with third-party vendors. Referred to as external tools, these applications take advantage of the IMS LTI standard to integrate data and functionality in various ways. Some add navigation to the course menu bar while others add functionality to the rich content editor or to the type of external assignments that can be used.
External Tools can be added district-wide or school-wide and must be requested with the school administrator’s approval. Learning Technologies maintains a list of external tools used by the district and by individual schools (see External Tools In PPS to the right).
School staff (as a delegate of the principal) may request for an external tool to be added to their school account. Prior to doing so, schools should fully research the external tool being requested. If the tool is fee-based, the school will need to make the purchase once it is approved. We recommend completing the request to add the external tool prior to making the purchase to ensure that PPS will be able to approve the integration.
Prior to requesting an external tool integration, schools should:
- Research the external tool application and the Canvas interface to ensure it will produce the desired outcome with minimal instruction or user confusion
- Check that the external tool has been vetted and is approved for PPS use (if it has not, submit for approval)
- Understand how the external tool will impact both teacher and student users especially users that will not use the tool. Will it confuse students? Generate questions or support? How will that support be answered or communicated upfront?
- Consider the impact on users who may not use the tool (such as clutter on the course menu, confusion about the tools use, instructions on how to use it, etc)
- Create a plan for supporting and training teachers on the tool
- Understand that Learning Technologies and OTIS Support are unable to provide support for applications that are not district-wide implementations
- The Learning Technologies team will review the external tool for PII, needed contracts, and/or purchasing requirements.
Please include any information you have regarding contract or vendor contact in your request.
- Canvas Leadership team will review the external tool to consider its impact on Canvas navigation for all users.
- If approved for use, the school lead and school admin will be contacted to confirm their support plan for their users.
- External Tool integration will be completed into the appropriate Canvas sub-account and tested. The requestor will be notified when completed.
The approval process can take weeks depending on the complexity of the integration and the responsiveness from the Vendor.
Questions should be sent via the service ticket from the original requestor or email firstname.lastname@example.org.