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The external tool activity in Totara Learn lets you incorporate content from external LTI tool providers. 

LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability, which is a standard for developing and integrating external learning applications with a learning platform, such as Totara Learn. Using LTI, external learning applications can receive data from and send data to your Totara Learn site.

Content creators can add an external tool directly to a course. Alternatively, a Site Administrator can add one at the system level, so that Course Creators can reuse it throughout the site, which is great for shared applications.

Totara Learn supports LTI 1.0, LTI 1.1 and LTI 2.0.

Add an External Tool

To add an external tool to your course page:

  1. Click Turn editing on.
  2. Select External Tool from the Add an activity/ resource menu.
  3. Enter the activity name, this is the name that appears on the course page for learners.
  4. Customise the available settings, see External Tool Setting to learn more.
  5. Click Save and display (or Save and return to course).

External Tool Settings





Activity name

Give the title you wish the learners to see on the course page.-
Activity descriptionGive a short description here.-

Display description on course page

Choose to show the description along with the activity name.


Display activity name when launched

Have this appear when the learner clicks the link.


Display activity description when launched

Have this appear when the learner clicks the link.-

External tool type

This is how Totara Learn communicates with the tool provider. If in doubt, leave as default.-
Launch URLThis is the URL of the external tool you are connecting to.-
Secure launch URLSimilar to Launch URL, but used instead of the launch URL if high security is required. Totara will use the secure launch URL instead of the launch URL if the Totara site is accessed through SSL, or if the tool configuration is set to always launch through SSL. The Launch URL may also be set to an HTTPS address to force launching through SSL, and this field may be left blank.-
Launch container

This is how the external tool will be displayed. Choose from:

  • Default: If in doubt; leave as default.
  • Embed: The external tool will be embedded in the course page with blocks and navigation bar.
  • Embed without blocks: The external tool will be embedded in the course page, but without blocks.
  • New Window: The external tool will open in a new window.
Consumer key

The consumer key must be provided by the tool provider. The method of obtaining a consumer key varies between tool providers. It may be an automated process, or it may require a dialogue with the tool provider. Tools which do not require secure communication from Totara and do not provide additional services (such as grade reporting) may not require a resource key.

Shared secretFor pre-configured tools, it is not necessary to enter a shared secret here, as the shared secret will be provided as part of the configuration process. This field should be entered if creating a link to a tool provider which is not already configured. If the tool provider is to be used more than once in this course, adding a course tool configuration is a good idea.-
Custom parametersCustom parameters are settings used by the tool provider. For example, a custom parameter may be used to display a specific resource from the provider. Each parameter should be entered on a separate line using a format of "name=value"; for example, "chapter=3". It is safe to leave this field unchanged unless directed by the tool provider.-
Icon URLThe icon URL allows the icon that shows up in the course listing for this activity to be modified. Instead of using the default LTI icon, an icon which conveys the type of activity may be specified. If Totara is accessing Totara through SSL then use the secure icon URL field.-

Privacy settings

All of the privacy settings below may be overridden in the tool configuration.




Accept grades from the toolSpecify whether the tool provider can add, update, read, and delete grades associated only with this external tool instance. Some tool providers support reporting grades back to Totara based on actions taken within the tool, creating a more integrated experience.-

Share launcher's email with the tool

Specify whether the e-mail address of the user launching the tool will be shared with the tool provider. The tool provider may need launcher's email addresses to distinguish users with the same name, or send emails to users based on actions within the tool.


Share launcher's name with the tool

Specify whether the full name of the user launching the tool should be shared with the tool provider. The tool provider may need launchers' names to show meaningful information within the tool.


Common module settings

See Common Module Settings to learn more.

Activity completion

See Activity Completion to learn more.

Restrict access

See Restrict Access to learn more.


See Tags to learn more

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