Using External tool

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.3. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Using External tool.


Why use an external tool?

  • Many websites provide materials and interactive learning excercises different from and complementary to Moodle's own resources and activities. The External tool module offers a way for teachers to link to these activities from within their Moodle course page and where available to have grades sent back into Moodle. Students only need to log in to Moodle; they do not have to log in a second time to the connecting site.
  • Sites which allow connection to Moodle in this way are known as LTI compliant and are called Tool providers. The "tools" are the exercises or materials which Moodle can connect to.

Finding LTI providers to use

Here is a list of LTI certified tools from IMS Global.

See also LTI Apps for another list of examples.

A working example

  • The Moodle School demo site has a Senior School Chemistry revision course The course is open to guests but activities are only available if you log in. Log in with username "student" and password "moodle". Enrol into the course from the settings block bottom right.
  • While there are many revision quizzes created with Moodle's own Quiz module, the Open Education ChemVantage site also offers videos,homeworks and alternative quizzes, so linking to such a tool provider allows teachers to save time generating their own teaching materials while benefitting from resources available elsewhere.
  • When students click the External tool link (in this case the ChemVantage Atoms & Elements quiz) they are automatically signed into the connecting site/tool provider (screenshot 1 below) and can take the quiz immediately.
  • When the student has completed the quiz, the tool provider displays their grade (screenshot 2 below) and when the student logs out of the tool provider, the grade is passed back into Moodle (screenshot 2 below)
1.Student logged directly into tool provider
2. Tool provider displays score
3. Score passed to Moodle's gradebook

See also