3rd Party Tools

What are 3rd party tool integrations?

One of the driving factors behind Canvas adoption was the growing number of requests for improved support of third party tools and services, which Canvas can facilitate by supporting third party tools integrations. Third party tool integration functionality varies by tool; many integrations provide a single sign-on experience so that students do not need per-tool accounts. Some can also exchange data to, for example, populate the Canvas gradebook with students’ assignment scores from work completed in third party tools.

How are new integrations added?

First, the EEE Team consults with campus subject matter experts in security, FERPA, privacy, and other risk assessment areas to review potential integrations and determine whether or not we are able to support those integrations while safeguarding students’ information.

The EEE Team also reviews the technical requirements of each integration. While some integrations may be rejected due to concerns in these areas and others may take more time to review and integrate than is ideal, our goal is to fulfill these requests as often and as efficiently as possible.

When an integration is approved, the EEE Team manages configuring the integration in UCI Canvas. Most integrations are made available campus-wide, while some may be set up such that they are only available for courses in a particular school or department (for instance, in the case where a school or department has established a contract and funding model for use of a paid service that does not cover the broader campus).

Why are tools not enabled by default?

When a new integration is set up, it can be enabled or disabled by default. An enabled integration will generally result in a new link appearing in course space navigation menus (the list of tools that appears on the left-hand side of the screen within a Canvas course space).

In surveys, instructors have told us that the default course navigation menu can already be somewhat confusing due to the number of options. To avoid adding confusion, third party tools are typically set up as disabled by default so that they will not appear until instructors choose to enable them.

How do I request a new integration?

Simply send an email to eee-support@uci.edu if you have an integration request and an EEE Team member will follow up with you. We may ask you for some additional information to make sure we understand the purpose and value of the tool (which can help us prioritize integration work and support other instructors who ask about their options for accomplishing particular tasks), we’ll work with the vendor to gather the information we need, and we’ll keep you updated.

Can I expedite an integration?

If you have an existing relationship with a third party tool provider, you may be able to help expedite a new integration by asking the vendor to complete the ‘Light’ version of the Higher Education Cloud Vendor Assessment Tool (HECVAT). The HECVAT is an assessment mechanism developed through collaborative efforts so that higher education institutions can pool their efforts, gathering a standardized set of shareable information from third party tool vendors. A completed HECVAT is a big step in the vetting process and really helps to move a new integration forward!