[Using Sakai] The future of Sakai - TurnItIn integration

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Adam Marshall-2 Adam Marshall-2
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[Using Sakai] The future of Sakai - TurnItIn integration


I also posted this message to the dedicated TurnItIn mail list: [hidden email] . If you have an interest in TurnItn then I would urge you to join this list as (I hope) this is where discussion will take place. At some point I will stop copying 'sakai-turnitin' posts to the 'dev' and 'user' lists.

It would also be useful if interested parties could add their name to the TurnItIn wiki page <https://confluence.sakaiproject.org/x/BQBn>. If you can't edit the page then pass the details along to me and I'll do it.


Dear all,

Matthew (Buckett) and I finally had the long-awaited conference call with Jessica Wells, Alex Bell and Gary Carr from iParadigms. The purpose of the call was to establish a route forward for the Sakai - TurnItIn integration and to answer a number of outstanding questions that we have compiled on behalf of the Sakai community.

The headline news is that *iParadigms are putting a lot of effort into ensuring that future Sakai integration will look much the same as it currently does to the end-user*. That is to say, it will be possible for the Sakai community to write brand new integration code for the Assignments tool (and others if necessary) that will replicate the current functionality.

iParadigms are NOT proposing to force Sakai to use the IMS LTI "external tool" route of integration. It is true that the new integration would pass some information around in an IMS LTI 1.1 standards compliant manner, but there are also a whole host of "custom extensions" to the LTI spec which allow tight integration with the Assignments tool. The IMS LTI spec can be used to pass marks back to the Gradebook tool.

The fact that the integration is based on IMS LTI is not that important, it may help to think of iParadigms offering a brand new API which we will need to code against.

The other headline is that *the API that is currently used by Sakai will not be withdrawn until a suitable replacement exists*. In other words, the current integration will not suddenly stop working: iParadigms are committed to ensuring that the switch-over to the new back-end is as smooth as possible.

We did raise a few questions that require clarification from iParadigms, these were in the area of error handling: what happens if TurnItIn tries to return some information to Sakai whilst the service is down for maintenance, or whilst the network is unavailable?

The documentation is available at: <https://guides.turnitin.com/03_Integrations/Learning_Tools_Interoperability_(LTI)/Turnitin_LTI_Custom_Setup_Guide_Future_Parameters>. Please post questions / comments about this to the [hidden email] list - Jessica is a list member and will be able to respond accordingly.

iParadigms do not expect the proposed extensions to be available for use until May / June 2015 so code development could not start until then.

I hope that this positive outcome will dispel some of the worries that have been circulating of late. I for one am quite pleased with how things seem to be panning out.

I have added this information to the TurnItIn / Content Review confluence wiki page: <https://confluence.sakaiproject.org/display/TII/Home>



** Note change of email address to [hidden email] **

Dr A C Marshall, WebLearn Service Manager, University of Oxford.
IT Services, 13 Banbury Rd, Oxford. OX2 6NN.

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