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External Apps (Third-party tools) in Canvas: Policy, Procedure, and Support

The Office of Distance Learning (ODL) works with faculty and staff to install external applications (third-party tools) in our Canvas learning management system (LMS). We provide an external tool request form so we can determine whether the tool is already installed in our Canvas platform, or if it needs to go through the contract process that requires signing the ITS security and privacy agreement.

Once the contract (including the privacy and security terms) has been signed, we work with the vendor and the faculty/staff team who requested the tool to provide the following support:

  1. Integrating the tool into the Canvas LMS platform in our test instance
  2. Testing the tool in a sample course with sample users to ensure functionality
  3. Integrating the tool into the production environment of our Canvas LMS
  4. Including the tool in our External Apps documentation
  5. Writing support documentation for the tool
  6. If applicable, announcing the new tool on the Canvas Dashboard (home page notification banner), Canvas important announcements, and social media
  7. Promoting the tool during the term when high use of it is warranted or expected
  8. Providing training for the tool (if the tool is hosted by ODL)
  9. Maintaining and updating the tool, taking support calls about the tool, and working with the vendor to troubleshoot the tool when necessary

Please Note: We limit default course navigation menu items to only those the instructor intends for the students to use.
We do not set the external tool's installation to automatically populate on the course navigation menu of each course in the Canvas LMS. Instead, the installed tool is available as an optional navigation item that instructors can easily add to their course navigation menu if they wish to use the tool. This follows our recommendation for implementing the principles of universal design to meet the new accessibility standards.

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  • 03-Feb-2021