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Assignment submission via LTI

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4769

12 May 2017, 12:29

Hello Mahara community,

In Mahara 17.04 you'll be able to connect to your LMS via LTI for single sign-on purposes. If you are used to Mahoodle and only use it to provide SSO, you can now use LTI for that.

However, what you can't yet do is also submit assignments via LTI. We invite you to provide comments on the requirements for the assignment submission functionality before we look into how to achieve it technically. We want to get the student and teacher requirements right first. So, have your say or we won't be able to consider your opinion.

Check out the wiki page. You can comment on the page, add your own scenarios to the page or comment here in this topic and we'll transfer information to the wiki as needed.

Your username and password also work on the wiki.

Ideally, we'd like to get some more functionality into Mahara 17.10. Therefore, receiving feedback from you until the end of May would be very helpful.

Thank you



Chris Kenniburg's profile picture
Posts: 34

12 May 2017, 12:57

Ideally the same functionality of the Moodle MNET would work with LTI.  We plan to upgrade later this summer in June. Really nice job on the new version!


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4769

15 May 2017, 9:05

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your quick feedback. I think the question is whether we need all the current Moodle assignment submission functionality or can scale back a bit if certain features aren't used. Now is the time to make necessary changes. :-)

What of the feature set do you use?




20 May 2017, 18:32


If there are multiple institutions, then same users who can SSO to mahara from different moodle should get the same account in mahara.

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4769

21 May 2017, 17:01

Hi Andreas,

This is possible with LTI. It needs to be ensures though that the account has the same email address as LTI checks the email address. The user will need to be added to the institutions first though. Currently, that's a bit of a manual process: you set a student up in one institution (either manually or via LTI) and then add them to the other institution(s). Then they can happily LTI over. If they aren't already members of a second institution, they'll get an error message.




Julian Ridden's profile picture
Posts: 37

12 May 2017, 13:33

Thanks for starting this discussion Kristina.


I would ideally like to see the death of custom MNet code. Moving that same functionality to be delivered through the LTI standard should not just improve the amount of LMS's Mahara could work with, but also significantly reduce the maintenance of this integration significantly moving forward.


Questions I would love to hear the communities thought on (much of this is covered in the Wiki page that is linked):

  1. What should Mahara allow users to submit? (pages, collections, files)
  2. Where should these files reside? (copied to the LMS, linked to items in Mahara)

 And the challenge is to think of this not just from the user but also an organisational policy perspective. A surprisingly difficult beast to unpack and tame I have historically found.

I am excited at the potential and can't wait to see the responses.


Ralf Hilgenstock's profile picture
Posts: 160

12 May 2017, 18:29

Hi Kristina,

I've not yet tested the LTI implementation in Mahara. We found while using Moodle with LTI some situation where LTI was a problem. The main problem was found when we connected several LMS systems to one Moodle system as LTI provider

The LTI provider stored the connection only with the user ID. Its possible that users from different LMS systems have the same user ID. In consequence the LTI provider could not identify who the user really was.

I think you should check if this could happen when Mahara uses LTI. Specially if there are many LMS systems connecting to one Mahara system with institutions.

I'm not involved technically in the LTI processes and handlings. So I can't  tell more about this aspect.


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4769

15 May 2017, 9:07

Hi Ralf,

Our implementation looks for the email address. You can add a user to more than one institution in Mahara. If they then use multiple LMS, they'll be logged into their existing account. You will need to add them to the institutions first though or they'll see an error message because LTI finds that the email address already exists but not in the institution in which the specific LTI has been set up.




Keith Landa's profile picture
Posts: 20

14 May 2017, 16:25

Beyond single sign-on authentication, the Mahoodle integration also allows 1) direct export of materials in the Moodle LMS to a person's Mahara space, and 2) submission of Mahara portfolios (or collections) to Moodle assignments for assessment, grading, and feedback using Moodle's assignment and gradebook functions.

Of the two, the first (export to Mahara) is only "nice to have".  Students can upload their materials in parallel to the LMS and to the portfolio space.  Not as convenient as one-button click to export materials from LMS to portfolio, but doable.

The second (submission of portfolios as assignments) is definitely "need to have".  And the development on the wiki page show that focus, with all of the feature analysis that has been added for portfolio assignment and that export to Mahara sections are still to be developed.

One area of development that I don't think has been mentioned but which could have transformative effects would be to allow competency frameworks in LMS's and in Mahara to talk to each other through the LTI connection.  I don't have a vision for how that would work, but such a collaboration between the LMS and portfolio could be significant in raising the profile of competency-based education.

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4769

15 May 2017, 9:20

Hello Keith,

I added the idea of sharing competency frameworks to the wiki.

It's an interesting notion and brings up questions like:

  • Is the framework set up in one system and then pushed into the other?
  • How would content from both systems be represented in one framework or would they still be separate?
  • Where is the truth of the source?
  • What do you do when you decouple the two systems? Or students leave the institution and only have access to their portfolio but not the LMS anymore?
  • Will assessments made about the portfolio in the LMS, e.g. via the assignment, automatically translate into the framework on the portfolio?




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