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LTI Access Without A Role for IDs for Course Support

How do your instructional designers set up LTI links in Canvas without having enrolling in the course or use ActAs as the actual teacher in cases of testing tools in prepping or supporting courses? 

For Blackboard, for example for Original Courses, there used to be the Quick Enroll function but there is a similar problem for Ultra courses where they have to manually enroll now.

For example, an instructional designer tried setting up VoiceThread using the LTI in a course; however, it wasn't giving them the four options for a new LTI link (course view, assignment, etc.) because they weren't enrolled in the course.  Do folks have best practices in working with this limitation?


Ms. Toni P.

5 Replies
Community Champion

@tpennac1 We have an admin role in Canvas that has the permission of adding LTIs among many other permissions that we assign our designers to.  We have not run into any issues using this method.

For what it is worth though, we have a very limited amount of people that can setup LTIs in courses and the course instructor is not one of them.  When we were letting basically anyone with Teacher level or above do it, we were finding that faculty were integrating LTIs that were a security risk.  We have a process for auditing all tools students use especially those that plug into Canvas and some of the ones faculty were adding did not or would not pass.  We then pulled back and locked everything down so it forces all tools to go through approval and then someone with access adds it to the course or our account.

Hope this helps!


@nwilson7 Thanks for your response!  I agree that this can be tricky within the Instructor role and for this university, the instructor access needs would vary from school to school and this is for scenarios where a Designer or Admin would be building out or testing the course. 

Do you know what permissions that you added to an Admin or Sub Account Admin role to allow adding LTIs without conflict as even a Root Admin by default may need to enroll as an Teacher or TA default roles for proper testing of LTIs on the course side.


Ms. Toni P.

Community Champion

@tpennac1 For ones that you really need to be a teacher we do one of two things.  If it is a university supported one then we will "act as" the teacher to test as much as possible.  I know some you really need to be the teacher for so act as will not help.  We normally add LTIs at a higher level than individual courses so we sometimes will create a dummy course within the account level with the LTI enabled that we are a teacher in to test, I can't remember ever adding myself to a live course to test.  

When it is not a university supported LTI, the work really falls to the instructor to test.  We work closely with them to make sure everything is setup to the best of our knowledge but ensuring that it is functioning 100% falls to them.  

Most of the ones that I have run into that you really need to be the teacher in the course also require the teacher to have an account within the tool so this has forced our hand at putting more effort on the teacher since the designers and/or tech folks most of the time do not have that second account in the other system.  For example all the textbook companies we work with.

Not sure either of these are super helpful to your question.  


@nwilson7 This makes sense.  In many cases you can add the LTI but it may not function for testing unless you have an actual role and as you mentioned for publishers, you may need to be the actual instructor.  For a tool like VT, it doesn't to be the specific instructor but needs a Teacher role.

Have there been specific permissions set on an Admin role or Sub Account Admin role that have worked for most LTIs?  These are in our case University supported and implemented LTIs and they are working with the LTI at the course level as a Sub Account Admin or Elevated Sub Account Admin for integrations configured already at the Root and often at the Sub Account level.  It sounds like as expected; there is no ideal solution but different workarounds.  Thanks again for your help.  

Community Champion

Hi @tpennac1 

As far as I know, it's really up to the LTI creator to decide which roles will be functional on their end.  As a Canvas admin, I have encountered plenty of LTIs that only work for certain course based roles, but there are others that work just fine with my admin account.  I think a lot depends on exactly how the external app functions and how that functionality is mapped over to the LMS.  In many cases, the LTI launch account has to be linked to an account on the vendor's system (with a login button), and I think a lot of those will fail for admins since we won't always have the correct credentials.  Even without this issue, some developers may only check for course roles and not even consider admin roles, so that could be the case too.  Other than acting as one of the course teachers, I don't know of a universal solution for this issue.