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Add an External Tool to your Moodle Course

Many web-based teaching and learning tools can be integrated with Moodle via a method called Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI). You can connect these tools to your Moodle course with the External tool activity. If you are a Teacher or Course Designer, you can configure External tools in Moodle yourself with the information you receive from the tool provider. If you need assistance, contact the Instructional Media Lab at instruct@umass.edu.

Add an Already-configured External Tool

Some External tools that are used at UMass Amherst have configurations pre-set:

Add an External Tool Manually

Note: You will need three specific credentials from the tool provider you are working with to set up an External tool: the URL, the Key, and the Secret. Tool providers may use slightly different language to describe these three credentials, but each typically includes those three words.

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, click Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon)). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the Section where you will add a link to the External tool. (If the Section is collapsed, click the Section title to open it.)
  3. At the bottom-right of the Section, click + Add an activity or resource. The Add an activity or resource pop-up will open showing a tile for each available Resource or Activity.
    Note: By default, the panel opens to All and shows all Resources and Activities. If you have starred favorite activities or resources, the panel will open to Starred. To view only Activities, at the top of the pop-up, click Activities.
  4. (Optional) On the External tool tile, for information, click the Information icon (info icon). If you frequently add External tools, click the Star icon to add this activity type to the Starred tab. 
  5. Select the External tool link or icon (Screenshot for external tool icon). The Adding a NewExternal tool page opens.
  6. For Activity name, enter a title for the external tool. The name you enter will display as a link on your course page.
  7. Click Show more.... Additional fields will appear.
  8. For Consumer key, enter the "key" data you received from the tool provider.
  9. For Shared secret, enter the "secret" you received from the tool provider. To reveal the characters entered for the shared secret, click the eye icon.
  10. For Preconfigured tool, leave the drop-down menu set to Automatic, based on tool URL.
  11. For Tool URL, enter the URL you received from tool provider.
  12. Configure grade settings if desired. See Set Up an External Tool for Grading (below).
  13. Click Save and return to course to return to your course page, or Save and display to view the External tool page.

Set Up an External Tool for Grading

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, click Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon)). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the External tool, click Edit (at right), then select Edit Settings. The Updating External tool page will open.
  3. Under Privacy, ensure the Accept grades from the tool checkbox is selected.
  4. Under Grade, from the Type drop-down menu:
    • select None to set the assignment to be ungraded and worth no points.
    • select Scale to grade using a scale, and from the Scale drop-down menu, select a Scale (see Standard & Custom Grading Scales in Moodle.)
    • select Point (default) to grade the activity out of a simple number of maximum points, and in the Maximum grade field, enter the maximum possible grade.
  5. Click Save and return to course to return to your course page, or Save and display to view the External tool page.