Enhancing Canvas Course with Third-Party Tools


Purpose

The purpose of this webpage is to provide instructors the resources to learn how they can add various third-party applications and enhance the capabilities of Canvas. These third-party applications are called Tools, and they are delivered by Tool Providers. These are things like interactive exercises that a student might do for a grade. The LMS (systems like Canvas, Moodle etc.) is called a Tool Consumer.

Why do I care?

Canvas goes a long way in helping instructors teach more effectively but it is not perfect in any sense. It does not have many important functionalities. It also does not have those 'nice-to-have' features that you wish it had. But there are various third-party applications that can help you get those features without doing much additional work. You can add many third-party applications to your courses, enhancing the capabilities of Canvas. Once you add a third-party tool by following the few simple steps, you and your students will feel that the tool is a part of Canvas. You can easily navigate between various learning tools within Canvas without having to log into each tool separately. The scores of students are recorded in Canvas Gradebook similar to the native assignments of Canvas.

Examples

A list of some of the external tools can be found at eduappcenter.com. You can add these tools to your Canvas course. For example:

Other external tools have their own websites and are not on this list. For example, Code Workout can be a great tool for you if your students have to solve programming exercises. It is a third-party tool that lets students answer and get credit for small programming exercises. Once you add Code Workout into Canvas, it will enable students to work on coding exercises from within Canvas, and receive a score in the Canvas gradebook for doing that assignment. Neither you nor your students will have to log into the Code Workout's website. You also won't have to copy the grades manually to Canvas gradebook. You can create assignments from within Canvas and students will solve those assignments in the same way they might do any Canvas-native assignment.

What's Next?

We have created a detailed step by step tutorial on how you can add these third-party tools in your Canvas course. Click here to follow the detailed tutorial to learn how to add a tool provider within Canvas.


These tutorials are a part of the SPLICE Project. If your institution uses Moodle, you can follow these steps to learn how to add a tool provider in Moodle. If you want to develop your own tool, you can follow our LTI tutorials.