Improving the Interoperability of the OpenDSA eTextbook System
Wonderly, Jackson Daniel
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In recent years there has been considerable adoption of the IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard among both Learning Management Systems (LMS), and learning applications. The LTI standard defines a way to securely connect learning applications and tools with platforms like LMS, enabling content from external learning tools to appear as if it were a native part of the LMS, and enabling these learning tools to send users' scores directly to the gradebook in the LMS. An example of such a learning tool is the OpenDSA eTextbook system which provides materials that cover a variety of Computer Science-related topics, incorporating hundreds of interactive visualizations and auto-graded exercises. Previous work turned OpenDSA into an LTI tool provider, allowing for OpenDSA eTextbooks to be integrated with the Canvas LMS. In this thesis, we further explore the problem of connecting educational systems while documenting challenges, issues, and design rationales. We expand upon the existing OpenDSA LTI infrastructure by turning OpenDSA into an LTI tool consumer, thus enabling OpenDSA to better integrate content from other LTI tool providers. We also describe how we expanded OpenDSA's LTI tool provider functionality to increase the level of granularity at which OpenDSA content can be served, and how we implemented support for several LMS, including challenges faced and remaining issues. Finally, we discuss the problem of sharing analytics data among educational systems, and outline an architecture that could be used for this purpose.
- Masters Theses