The latest version of Sakai, version 2.9, improves the existing features that allow for the connection of Isaak/Sakai courses to external tools.
The biggest improvement is institutionalizing the configuration process for these tools. This allows approved external tools to appear as peers to Sakai’s own tools when instructors choose what they would like to add to their course sites.
The process of adding External tools to Isaak-Sakai is outlined in Brock University's Isaak-Sakai Wiki.
The Sakai tool and the specification that supports the connection is the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) specification. Approved direct LTI connections, and clever indirect connections, to tools external to Isaak, Brock University's Sakai-Based LMS are now possible. If you are interested in submitting a connection please complete this application to start the process.
The ability to add tools alongside Sakai’s current listing of possible tools also provides an opportunity for university services to tightly integrate with courses in addition to making instructors aware that they exist.
Privacy and Third Party Responsibilities
Brock University has a number of relevant policies and procedures about the handling of the type of information the LMS contains and its use by third parties:
These policies and procedures reflect The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) which has been a part of Ontario legislation since 1988. On June 10, 2006, this act was amended to apply to the province's universities.
It is important to note that many uses of LTI are internal to Brock University, and in this case the concerns are almost exclusively about the handling of private information, non disclosure and due care by other parties.
While the LTI tool itself is not the point of collection, it is however the point at which information previously collected is being used in a new way. This is enough to warrant a modified collection/use notice which the Sakai 2.9 External tool provides for and will be a requirement for potential external tools.
Brock University also requires that when a third party is given private information that third party is to provide assurances, and in many cases, evidence that they will protect private information, minimize its collection, limit (if not eliminate) its reuse and assume responsibility for breaches of privacy. This is typically done through a Brock University Confidentiality and Privacy Agreement or a comparable agreement proposed by the third party.
External tools must also prove that they are accessible, ideally to AODA/WCAG2 AA standards, but pragmatically, no-less accessible than this web page is.