Adding an external app to your course in Canvas

External apps (also commonly called external tools or LTI tools) are tools and utilities, usually from a third party, that integrate seamlessly with Canvas by virtue of their conformance with an open standard called Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI). Apps make it possible to extend, augment, or replace Canvas's core capabilities with additional or alternative features.

On this page:


Identifying installed apps

At Indiana University, many external apps have already been installed by the Canvas administrator to make them available to use immediately. Some may be visible in your course already, but many are hidden by default, so you'll need to expose them to use them in your course. Most are installed in all IU courses, but some are restricted to specific campuses, schools, or departments. For a list and descriptions of the tools installed in all courses on a given campus, see What external tools are available in Canvas? However, your course may have additional apps installed that are not listed in that table. To see the list of tools installed in a specific Canvas course:

  1. In Canvas, navigate to the desired course.
  2. In the course navigation menu, click Settings.
  3. On the course "Settings" screen, click Apps.
  4. On the Apps tab, click View App Configurations. On the "External Apps" screen, you'll see all the apps installed in your course. Apps with a lock icon to the left of their name were added by an administrator at the university, campus, school, or department level and cannot be modified or removed. Apps with the settings (gear) drop-down menu on the right were added by a teacher or equivalent role within the current course. They can be modified or removed as needed.

Adding whitelisted apps from the App Center

Whitelisted apps are apps that have been pre-approved for integration into Canvas courses at IU, but have not yet been installed. If an app that is not installed in your course already appears in the Canvas App Center, it has been whitelisted, and you may add it at any time. To add a whitelisted External App, follow the instructions in How do I use the Canvas App Center in a course? from the Canvas Help Center.

Requesting non-whitelisted apps for your course or unit

Apps that are not whitelisted in the App Center must be vetted to ensure they do not present a security risk to the faculty and students who use them.

Important:
As an instructor, if you use an application managed by a vendor with whom IU does not have a contract, and it collects protected student data, you may be subject to sanctions, according to university policy Disclosing Institutional Information to Third Parties (DM-02). If your intended use will collect any FERPA-protected data in a third-party tool, do not use it before working through appropriate institutional offices to get a contract with the service. For guidance, see CITL's Use of Cloud Services in Instruction and/or consult your campus teaching and learning center.

Approval process

The approval process for integrating a non-whitelisted External App in Canvas can take several months, and involves getting proper contractual agreements, a UISO security review, and approval from university Data Stewards. External Apps that replicate services offered by other tools integrated in Canvas will likely not be approved.

To ensure that an app is reviewed in a timely fashion, submit your request by the dates below:

  • January 1: Summer semester
  • May 1: Fall semester
  • September 1: Spring Semester
Note:
Submitting your Canvas integration request for a non-whitelisted External App by or before the dates above does not guarantee approval.

Submitting a request

To request a non-whitelisted External App:

  1. Log into IUware and, at the upper right, click Requests.
  2. Click + New Request.
  3. Fill in the required information about the app and about yourself.
    • Include an accurate date by which the app is needed.
    • Under "Available For", select Cloud.
    • Under "Available Via", select Canvas.
    • Under "Add a comment", include any information about the app that would be helpful in the review process.
  4. Click Submit.

Your request will be assessed for possible integration into Canvas based on security and data transmission criteria.

  • If your app is approved for integration, you will be notified of the date and time when it will become available.
  • If your app is not approved for integration, you will be notified of the reasons the app currently does not meet standards for approval.
Important:
If an External App submitted for approval has a cost associated with it, that cost will be the responsibility of the user making the request once the app is approved for use in Canvas.

Exposing and using external apps in your course

Some pre-installed apps are visible by default, while others are hidden by default. Apps that you install yourself may appear immediately; others need to be manually enabled or inserted by the instructor.

Also, external apps can be used in many places in Canvas. Where and how the app can be used depends on the nature of the app itself. For example, many of the whitelisted apps (e.g., YouTube, Wikipedia, and LTI Maps) are designed to allow you to insert content from an external source into the rich text editor. Apps like Turnitin are used primarily for accepting, processing, and/or grading student work and are exposed in Canvas assignments.

See below for general guidance on how to expose or enable external apps in Canvas by tool location. The best way to find out where an app is intended to be used is to read the documentation for the app.

  • Course navigation menu: Some external apps are visible in the course navigation by default, but many are hidden.

    To add a hidden tool to your course navigation menu:

    1. In your course navigation menu, click Settings.
    2. On the Navigation tab, in the list of hidden tools (under "Drag items here to hide them from students"), find the desired tool, and then click the corresponding Settings (gear) icon.
    3. To add the desired tool, click the corresponding gear icon, select 'Enable', and then click 'Save'.

    4. Select Enable and, if desired, drag and drop the enabled tool to change its position in the tool list.
    5. Click Save.
  • Modules: External app module items are usually added manually by the instructor. To add an external app as a module item, see How do I add an external tool as a module item?
  • Assignments: External app assignments are usually added manually by the instructor. To create an external app assignment, see How do I add an assignment using an external app?
  • Rich-content editor: External apps designed to work with the Canvas rich content editor show up as a button in the editor toolbar as soon as they are installed.

This is document bfjs in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2017-11-17 10:21:58.

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