Requesting External Apps or LTIs for Canvas

External applications, also referred to as LTIs (Learning Tools Interoperability), are apps that can be plugged into Canvas to expand its capabilities, like creating badges to award for total grade point reached or supplemental quizzes. However, Humboldt must fully screen and test every external app for compatibility, accessibility, security, and other requirements, so instructors are asked to follow the procedure below in order to be able to safely incorporate these apps into their Canvas courses.


Requests should be made well in advance of the time you expect to start using the app(s). The length of time required to test your app may vary quite considerably, depending on the complexity of the app.

  • Fall Semester Deadline: March 1
  • Spring Semester Deadline: October 1
  • Summer Semester Deadline: February 1


Any external app integrated into Canvas at Humboldt must meet the following requirements:

  • Application vendor must not permit direct sales to students via Canvas or any other means. This is distracting to students and a possible invasion of privacy.
  • Application vendor must be a viable company that will provide ongoing technical support. Humboldt staff cannot support external applications.
  • The application must meet Humboldt's accessibility requirements
  • Application vendor must be able to secure any Humboldt student data their app “touches”, restricting their use of student data to what is minimally required for the app to operate correctly (sometimes referred to as the principle of least privilege).
  • Application vendor does not sell student data. Humboldt student data is confidential and protected by law.
  • If there is a cost attached to acquiring or subscribing to the application, the requester must identify available funding. Neither Information Technology Services (ITS) nor the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) has the funds to cover the use of these tools.


All requests are reviewed by Information Technology Services and Canvas Administration Learning Management Staff (CALMS). Please familiarize yourself with this process before submitting your request: Request form: Canvas External or Third-Party Application Request Form
The review process includes, but is not limited to:

  • A discussion with faculty to determine if the product requires Canvas authentication and course enrollment feeds. The use of student data, which is subject to FERPA regulations, in some external apps, may lengthen the review process significantly.
  • A consideration as to whether the functionality or features offered by the app already exist within Cal Poly Humboldt’s services or systems as alternatives.
  • Verifying the external app’s technical compatibility within Canvas. This might include the permissions required for specific roles (Admin, LMS Support, Librarians, Media Specialists, and Designers); error-free installation; and security issues.

Requesters are also expected to undertake basic quality assurance testing to ensure the app’s compatibility with general Canvas functionality (CALMS will provide you with a test script).

Ready to Submit a Request?

1. Complete the request form and submit it with all required accompanying documents by the deadline noted above. If you have any questions please email with External Apps in the subject line.
2. ITS and CALMS will review the request to determine if all the required information has been provided, including:

a. Proof that the app meets Humboldt's accessibility requirements
b. Proof that funding is available for any acquisition costs
c. Assurance that any required contracts or agreements with the vendor are in place

3. If all the above conditions are met, CALMS will proceed with a pilot implementation involving the requesting department and update the Canvas informational website with information about the app.
4. CALMS will coordinate all pilot activities and produce a report at the conclusion of the study with one of the following recommendations:

a. Pilot successful. The app will be installed during the next appropriate maintenance window.
b. Pilot not successful. The app will not be installed and reasons will be provided to the requestor, who may follow up with the vendor and resubmit their request at a later date.


1. Vendor support contact information.
2. Faculty and students must contact the vendor support directly with any questions or issues encountered when using the app; Humboldt and CTL cannot provide support for external apps.
3. The Humboldt CLT Instructional Design team may include training on functionality for approved external apps for faculty after a successful pilot. Requesters are encouraged to assist in organizing such training.