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Student Engagement

Student Development

4 minute read

NEW PRODUCT RELEASE: Suitable Launches LTI Integration With Blackboard & Canvas

John Steele

John Steele

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This fall, we'll be showcasing this new feature at our Virtual Product Release Party. Get an in-depth look at the features outlined below. Sign up now!

At Suitable, we are out to change the way college and university administrators view education and their role in the lives of students. Central to this mission is the idea that outside-the-classroom activities offer just as many educational opportunities as inside-the-classroom activities, and that colleges and universities should treat them as such.

Unfortunately, for the forward-thinking universities who want to explore this vastly overlooked element of the student experience, there are two large roadblocks standing in the way. 

The first roadblock is developing a measurable framework for the co-curricular experience. How will your school assess the learning that happens outside the classroom? If you have followed Suitable for any length of time, you’ll know that this type of evaluation and tracking is one of our strong suits. We can help you establish a set of core competencies and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), connect your school’s entire co-curricular experience and deliver all necessary information and intervention to students

The second issue is how you’ll manage data.  As universities have transitioned to Learning Management Systems (LMS), bringing assignments, grading, degree progress and more entirely online, newfound opportunities have emerged to utilize the data from other systems in place at your school.

That’s why Suitable will now offer full LTI integration with LMS platforms Blackboard & Canvas, allowing data to be mapped and synced between Suitable and these LMS systems with the touch of a button.

In order to connect experiential learning activities, campus events, internship opportunities and more with academics, administrators need a way to control both systems from the LMS or, if need be, from Suitable. This way, activities, assignments, event check-ins and achievements can be logged and controlled by the student from their smartphone, and their progress can be automatically added to their LMS file and put toward their final grade.

Beyond simply updating student data, this integration--built on IMS Global’s Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI)  framework--will allow instructors to seamlessly include outside-the-classroom activities in course requirements, as homework assignments or even seamlessly track progress outside the classroom throughout an entire semester. 

What Is LTI? 

First things first...what is the Learning Tools Interoperability Framework? 

Screenshot at Sep 01 17-03-54In this graphic, your LMS is the learning platform and Suitable is a learning tool you can sync to it, collecting data from all these different points along the way. Courtesy of IMS Global

LTI is a set of standards for handling data that allows data from different tools (like Suitable) to sync seamlessly with your LMS system. This means that data can be passed back and forth between both platforms. If data exists in your LMS already, you can decide for certain fields if you’d like Suitable to overwrite that data or not.  

LTI also provides deep linking, which allows you to push data from one platform to the other with the push of a button, making it simple and fast. 

Why Do These Integrations Matter? 

Think about this for a second: your university spends millions of dollars on outside-the-classroom experiences for students. So why not break down the imaginary wall between your classroom and your campus and use those resources to reinforce your lessons? 

Students that engage in learning experiences outside of the classroom report having higher levels of motivation, recall the course material more vividly and have improved academic performance in the class. Plus, you’ll expand opportunities for learning and accommodate different learning styles. 

Universities are starting to understand that outside the classroom learning, coupled with in-class instruction, offers a number of benefits beyond the obvious use of resources. Let’s check them out. 

Career Readiness

According to a study from UCLA, 85% of students say getting a better job is why they are attending college. So why should only part of their college experience be geared toward getting the career they want? 

Studies have also shown that, while students are going to career centers less and less, helpful career advice on campus leads to success after graduation. Which is why many universities are encouraging more mentoring between students and professors and more involvement by professors in the development of their students towards career readiness competencies. 

With the LTI Integration from Suitable, professors can create experience sets that cover these competencies as course requirements, track student completion throughout the semester and ensure that all students leave the course having progressed towards a skill that will aid them in their future career. And this progression will have come from dynamic sources--inside and outside the classroom. 

The Post-Pandemic Career Center CTA

Scaffolding

While employers value many traits in potential job candidates, leadership skills are valued near the top. 

With the LTI Integration, professors can encourage students to seek leadership opportunities as part of their education with point total activities. 

Point Total Activities allow you to create a points system for tasks and require a certain number of points by the end of the semester. 

Professors could create a points system that offers higher points for activities that denote leadership. They could even scaffold activities into levels so as students advance, they earn more points, encouraging them to seek leadership roles.

You can track student progress (and let your students track it as well) using gamification elements like the leaderboard and achievement badges to encourage students further.

Advanced Data Analytics

By unifying LMS data and student engagement data, universities can get a more complete picture of a student’s progress and involvement. 

This has a wide variety of uses, including making reporting easier and allowing for more exciting insights. 

But perhaps the most critical use is it would allow another data point to encourage intervention by advising teams hoping to encourage persistence. Students who fail to engage are far less likely to finish college, so keep tabs on them and find ways to successfully intervene before the situation gets dire. 

The LTI Integration is an exciting, simple way to bridge the curricular and co-curricular experience at your school. By tracking the impact of outside-the-classroom activities with the same rigor as in-class activities, you’ll know which are most successful and which are failing to engage and deliver outcomes.

To learn more about the above-mentioned features, register for our webinar, coming up in October, where we’ll take a deeper dive into this new feature and its capabilities.

LTI Integration Webinar CTA

Or if you’d like to sign up for a product demo, contact a Suitable expert today. Because the initial integration is handled by Suitable, no prior technical knowledge is required. Our team is excited to continue creating simple solutions to complex problems.

 

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John Steele

John Steele