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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 or (413) 545-2823.

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. On your course page, click Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon), top right). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the Section where you will add a link to the External tool (if you are using the Collapsed topics format, expand the Section).
  3. At the bottom-right of the Section, click + Add an activity or resource. The Add an activity or resource pop-up will open.
  4. In the Add an activity or resource popup, select External tool (Screenshot for external tool icon) and click Add. The Adding a new External tool page will open.
  5. For Activity name, enter a title for the external tool. The name you enter will display as a link on your course page.
  6. For Preconfigured tool, leave the drop-down menu set to Automatic, based on tool URL.
  7. For Tool URL, enter the URL you received from tool provider.
  8. Click Show more.... Additional fields will appear.
  9. For Consumer key, enter the "key" data you received from the tool provider.
  10. For Shared secret , enter the "secret" you received from the tool provider. Select Unmask to view the characters entered if necessary. 
  11. Configure grade settings if desired. See Set up an External tool for grading (below).
  12. 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. On your course page, click Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon), top right). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Next to the External tool to edit, click Edit, then select Edit Settings. The Updating External tool page will open.
  3. Under Privacy, select Accept grades from the tool.
  4. Under Grade, from the Grade Type drop-down menu:
    • select None to set the assignment to be ungraded and worth no points.
    • 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 score.
    • select Scale to grade using a scale, and from the Scale drop-down menu, select a Scale (see Standard & Custom Grading Scales in Moodle). 
  5. From the Grade category drop-down menu (optional), select the Grade category in your gradebook under which you would like the assignment grade to be placed. See Grade Category Options in the Moodle Gradebook for instructions on how to create a category in your gradebook.
  6. Click Save and return to course to return to your course page, or Save and display to view the External tool page.