Daily Archives: April 22, 2011

Khan Academy running in Sakai and Blackboard using IMS Basic LTI

Update 2012: Google changes the levels of resources available in the free tier so this application can no longer run in the free tier :(. You can download a copy of what I was running at http://www-personal.umich.edu/~csev/software/khan/ – no guarantees of course – but it is a copy of what was working when I made the video.

This is a purely demonstration project after a few hours of hacking. I made a copy of the Khan Academy Exercise software and put it up on Google App Engine. I then modified it to accept IMS Basic LTI launches and auto-provision accounts and auto-connect Learners to Instructors as coaches. So the need to make a separate Khan Academy account for each student to select a coach is eliminated.

Khan Academy running in Sakai and Blackbooard using IMS Basic LTI from Charles Severance on Vimeo.

With Basic LTI in place, all is automatic based on the course roster in the LMS. Further, the accounts are fully name spaced by Consumer Key so information is nicely siloed for each course. I apologize the the roughness of this, I started yesterday and tried to see how far I could get. Thanks to the internal elegance of the Khan code and the fact that they had done some nice refactoring to support Facebook and IMS BLTI is similar to FaceBook, the modifications turned out to be pretty easy.

I demonstrate Khan academy plugged into Sakai and Blackboard’s free CourseSites system. Of course this would also work equally on any of the IMS Certified LMS systems like Desire2Learn, Moodle, Jenzabar, OLAT, etc.

This should not be considered production but after a few days, I can give out keys to folks who want to do simple demos with this instance. In the long term, I would love to see Khan Academy support BLTI on their servers and merge a cleaned-up version of this code into their source tree.