The technology industry at large is constantly changing, and the eLearning subset of it is no different.
As the eLearning industry developed and grew, various learning management systems (LMSs) popped up to help content creators deliver their content to learners. Content creators can be academic publishers and professors alike, and both parties may choose to use a dedicated LMS or a combination of LMSs in order to provide a learner with the necessary materials they need to successfully complete a course.
This meant that, depending on where they sourced their content, if a publisher of choice provided content in one or many forms of distribution and/or what LMS their institution or department decided should be used, a professor may feel restricted in what materials they can and can't provide to their students. This also meant that, depending on the school they attended and/or their program of study, a student may need to log in to multiple user interfaces - and remember several passwords - to access the full breadth of their learning materials.
Enter Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI).
LTI Benefits to Creators
With LTI, both publishers and professors now have the ability to adopt any number of LMSs without creating this poor experience for the student. A publisher can sell more of their content if it's able to be sent to more destinations. An economics professor at a university that chooses Blackboard as its standard LMS can more likely provide a wider variety of content to their students because it's an LTI-compliant LMS.
LTI Benefits to Learners
Thanks to LTI, students can be provided with a single access point to more diverse content to succeed in their classes. Streamlining this experience for learners makes it more likely that they actually access the digital content, rather than “giving up” because they’re frustrated with having to acclimate to and manage multiple platforms amid trying to meet deadlines and perform well.
MyEcontentFactory Supports LTI
At Gutenberg Technology, we fully embrace LTI. Content created in our platform, MyEcontentFactory (MEF), can be distributed to any LTI-compliant LMS.
When LTI is used in a traditional sense, a creator can create a specific set of content and push it to any LMS, but they’ve got to follow the rules and format of the platform to ensure that their content is displayed correctly. It creates, essentially, a 1:1 relationship.
For example, content can be created by Publisher A and they’ll create versions for Blackboard and Canvas. From there, they’ll use LTI to send the content to each particular platform.
MEF flips this process around a bit. Rather than requiring creators to work within the 1:1 parameter, MEF uses LTI in a way that allows MEF to become a central point. All content can be created in MEF once and then, using LTI, can be sent directly to each LMS. The difference is that with MEF, there’s no need to create a different version for each platform - MEF handles those transformations and ensures all of the required or requested formatting rules and regulations are carried through to each platform or distribution method.
Additionally, MEF makes editing content easy. With other methods, when there are edits to be made - whether it’s adding an entire module or simply fixing a typo - the content needs to be exported from the platform, edited, and reuploaded. MEF drastically simplifies this process by allowing edits that are made directly within MEF to go live as soon as the new content is saved. No more exporting and re-uploading involved.
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