Canvas - How to Request and Use External Tools (LTI Tools)


Canvas can be extended by integrating external tools. Software companies, textbook publishers, and training websites all make Canvas external tools. Some are free, others must be purchased. Virginia Tech's Canvas external tools are categorized here based on broad categories for publisher tools, collaboration tools, multimedia tools, assessment tools, accessibility tools, and tools that didn't fit into those categories. 

Instructors can request new external tools be added to Canvas.

To be easily integrated with Canvas, external tools should be designed according to the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard. Some companies refer to external tools them as LTI tools. 

Canvas external tools are considered applications or apps. Canvas and some companies refer to external tools as LTI apps or external apps. 


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External Tool Types and Locations

External tools appear in different places in a Canvas course site. See the table for tool type and where tools appear in Canvas. 

Location in Canvas

Publisher Tools Collaboration 
Multimedia Tools Assessment Tools Accessibility Tools Other Tools
Course Navigation 

- Attendance
- Cengage*
- Class Notebook
- Macmillan HE LaunchPad*
- McGraw-Hill ALEKS*
- McGraw-Hill Connect*
- McGraw-Hill SIMnet*
- Pearson MyLab and Mastering*
- Pearson Revel*

- Chat
- Eli Review*
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Packback*
- Piazza*
- Zoom*

- Media Gallery - Analytics Beta
- Gradescope
- i>clicker registration
- LockDown Browser
- Portfolium
- Web-CAT
  - Twitter
- VT Add Guests
- LibGuides (VT Library Help)

& Modules

- Attendance
- Cengage 
- FlatWorld
- InQuizitive
- LinkedIn Learning
- Macmillan HE LaunchPad
- MatLab Grader
- McGraw-Hill ALEKS
- McGraw-Hill Connect
- McGraw-Hill SIMnet
- Pearson MyLab and Mastering
- Pearson Revel
- Pressbooks
- WileyPLUS
- Chat
- Eli Review
- Google Docs 
 Cloud   Assignment
- Hypothesis
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Microsoft OneDrive 
 Cloud   Assignment
- Packback
- Piazza
- Zoom
- Media Gallery
- My Media
- YouTube
- Analytics Beta
- Canvas Badges/Credentials (Badgr)
- Gradescope
- i>clicker registration
- Kaltura Video
- LabFlow (Chemistry)
- Labster (Biology)
- LockDown Browser
- Portfolium
- Smart Sparrow (Chemistry)
- Top Hat
- Turnitin Plagiarism Framework
- Web-CAT
- Blackboard Ally

- Apporto
- VT Add Guests
- LibGuides (VT Library   Help)
Rich Content Editor - LinkedIn Learning
- Wiley Resources
- Google Apps
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Media Gallery
- My Media
- Vimeo 
- YouTube
  - EquatIO

- Twitter
Collaborations   - Google Apps
- Microsoft OneDrive
Files         - Blackboard Ally  
Discussions - SCORM - Google Apps
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Vimeo 
- YouTube
    - Twitter
Quizzes - SCORM - Google Apps
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Media Gallery
- My Media 
- Vimeo
- YouTube
    - Twitter

*hidden by default from the Course Navigation Menu. 

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Accessing External Tools

How to access and use a tool depends on where it's integrated in Canvas:

Add to the Course Navigation Menu
  1. Log in to Canvas.
  2. Go to the course you want to add the tool to.
  3. Click Settings in the Course Navigation Menu.
  4. Click the Navigation tab.
  5. Click and drag the tool from the area below Drag items here to hide them from students to the area above it.

    Click and drag items from the bottom section to the top to make them visible to students.

  6. Scroll down and click Save. The tool will be added to the Course Navigation Menu.
Add to an Assignment
  1. Click on the Assignments tab in the course navigation menu and click +Assignment to create a new assignment. You can also edit an existing assignment.

    Image of the above instructions.

  2. For Submission Type, choose External Tool from the drop down list and click Find. 

    Image of above instructions.

  3. In the Configure External Tool window, click on the tool you want to add and click Select

    Image of the above instructions.
Add to a Module
  1. Click on Modules in the course navigation menu and click the plus sign to add the external tool to an existing Module, or you can create a new Module by clicking +Module.

    Image of the above instructions.

  2. For Add, choose External Tool from the drop down menu. Click on the external tool you'd like to add from the list and click Add Item.

    Image of the above instructions.
Add to the Rich Content Editor
  1. Create or edit an assignment, page, or discussion post.
  2. Mouse-over the two buttons in the Rich Content Editor circled below. In order from left to right, they are: 
    • Google Drive 
    • Embed Kaltura Media
    • Plugins

      Image of the above instructions.

  3. Click the Plugin button then click View All. 

    Image of the above instructions.

  4. You'll see more external tools:
    • Common Favorites
    • Embed Kaltura Media
    • Google Apps
    • Insert EquatIO Equation
    • Microsoft OneDrive
    • Twitter
    • Vimeo
    • YouTube
Start Collaborations
  1. Click Collaborations in the Course Navigation Menu. 
  2. Under Start a New Collaboration, for Collaborate using, choose Google Apps or Microsoft OneDrive

    Image of the above instructions.

  3. Choose the collaboration medium:
    • For Google Apps, under Kind, pick DocumentSpreadsheet, or Presentation.
    • For Microsoft OneDrive, next to Type, pick WordExcel, or PowerPoint

      Start new collaboration info set up

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List of External Tools & How To Use Them

Click the category to pull up the article or click on each tool for more information.

Publisher Tools

Collaboration Tools

Multimedia Tools

Assessment Tools

Accessibility Tools

Other Tools

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Requesting New External Tools

Canvas external tools are evaluated for integration based on level of interest. If the tool you want is already under evaluation, please request it anyway!

  1. Search for LTI-compatible tools at EduAppCenter. If a tool doesn't follow the LTI standard, it still might be able to be integrated with Canvas. You can still request it. 
  2. See if the tool is already integrated in Virginia Tech's Canvas.
    1. If the tool is listed under List of External Tools & How To Use Them, it's integrated in Canvas.  
  3. See if the tool is Under Evaluation or On Hold, request it.
    • If it's not on the list of external tools, please request it anyway! More requests mean more need, potentially expediting the approval process. 
      On Hold Under Evaluation Reviewed and Approved Reviewed and NOT Approved
        Perceivant Approved tools appear under Using External Tools: Publisher Tools FlipGrid
  4. Request tools by filling checking Request External Tool be Added to Canvas on the Canvas Learning Management System request form. 
  5. Follow up by replying to the request form's confirmation email. 
  6. Please be patient - Virginia Tech legal, IT security, software purchasing, and Canvas admins must all review the request.

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Getting Help with Canvas External Tools

I can't find the tool in Assignments or Modules

Make sure the tool is approved for use in Virginia Tech's Canvas.

I can't find the tool on the Course Navigation Menu
  1. Make sure the tool is approved for use in Virginia Tech's Canvas.
  2. See if the tool is hidden. Go to the site's Settings -> Navigation. Drag the tool to the top list and Save
  3. See help information for that tool. 
  4. Make sure script blockers aren't affecting tool display. See Script Blocker Problems in Canvas - How to Use Canvas at Virginia Tech (for Instructors).
I can't find the tool in the Rich Content Editor
  1. Click the Plugin button in the Rich Content Editor to see if it's there. 
  2. Make sure the tool is approved for use in Virginia Tech's Canvas.
External (LTI) tools won't load

See Recommended Browser Privacy and Security Settings for Canvas.

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