Monday, August 19, 2013

Easily add a learning tool from Edu App's LTI catalog with Nadav Kavalerchik's LTI patch for Moodle 2.5

This has got to be a leading contender for the Moodle patch of the Year! It makes it so simple and easy for me to add an external learning object from's LTI catalog. Thanks to Joseph Thibault for this Moodlenews newsflash which featured this tracker by Nadav Kavalerchik.

Just how useful is this patch? Well, I found the earlier process of adding a learning object from the LTI catalog to be quite unweidly and troublesome. When I read Joseph's post, I saw the value of the patch and I told myself that I had to install the patch on my Moodle 2.5 system. At the end of this post, you will know how easy it is to add learning objects by using Nadav's patch. My assumption is that you already have the /mod/lti module installed on your Moodle 2.5 site.

In the words of Nadav, "after applying the attached patch, a Teacher could (sic) now:
Step 1. Browse the catalog. ("edu apps catalog" screen capture) and Select a tool.
Step 2. Copy its configuration xml uri ("copy tool's configuration url" screen capture)
Step 3. Paste it into a new text input field "Tool configuration (XML) URL" (leftmost screen capture)
Step 4. Click the "+" button (next to the "External tool type" field)
New window opens up with tool's configuration details (parsed) available on the proper fields. (2nd from the left, screen capture)
Step 5. Update the relevant settings and click "Save" to go back into the LTI module settings page to finish setting up the tool."

Here's a series of screenshots that shows how simplified this process has become.

Step 1. Go to (thank you to Instructure for a great resource) and choose an External Tool. As of August 2013, there are in access of 125 such tools. 

I'm clicking on StudyEgg.
It plays videos with quiz questions interspersed within a video.

Step 2. Select and copy the "configuration url" of your learning object's website

The url is copied to the clipboard

Step 3.  On your Moodle coursepage, add an External Tool activity.

Choose the External Tool and then click  the "Add" button.

Step 4.  Enter the Activity Name, Paste the copied URL of Step3 into the "Tool Configuration (XML) URL". Then click the Plus (+) icon.

The magic's about to happen.
Step 5. Save the External Tool Configuration.

It's a little kind of magic. Nadav's patch pulls in the
other fields' values automatically. I like this part very much!

Step 6. Add the External Tool (the learning object's website) to your coursepage.

Almost there. Click "Save and display".

Step 7. Browse through the External Tool's shelves and click on a learning object or resource

Let's learn about how simple ideas change the world that we live in.
From TED Education.

Step 8. Launch the learning object

Click the link to launch the learning object!

Step 9. Enjoy the learning object!

What's great about StudyEgg are the
in-video assessments or pop-quizzes that test your understanding.

Isn't Moodle great? Again, thanks to Instructure for making available so many resources. So, here's that equation again:
Moodle + Instructure's Edu Apps = Infinite ways of learning!

Thank you Nadav for making the infinite ways of learning much easier. You just made Moodle this much stronger and this much more powerful. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to add more LTI tools from

Keep calm and keep Moodling.
Frankie Kam


I'm using Moodle 2.5 and version 2013050100 of the LTI mod.
To save you the trouble of patching the LTI mod yourself, here's the patched code (after applying Nadav's patch as found in the tracker).

I. Individual Files

II. All 5 files in one Zip file.
III. My entire mod/lti folder zipped
Go ahead and give it a try today!


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