Add an external tool at site level
  • 11 Aug 2023
  • 2 minutes to read

Add an external tool at site level

Article Summary

Instead of just adding an external tool to a course, you may want to add a tool at the site level to make it available for other users to use elsewhere on the site.

Totara supports LTI 1.0, LTI 1.1, LTI 1.3, LTI 2.0 and the LTI Advantage extensions, the latter of which adds:

  • Names and Role Provisioning Services: Securely sends details for course participants and groups
  • Deep Linking: A better way of adding links and content from an external tool
  • Assignment and Grade Services: Transmits grades and comments left by a Trainer between Totara Learn and the external tool
Note that Totara only supports LTI 1.3 as a consumer, i.e. using external content within Totara. Using Totara as a provider, i.e. exporting content to other sites, is not supported.

You can add and configure external tools at the system level by following these steps:

  1. Log in as Site Administrator or Site Manager.
  2. Go to Quick-access menu > Plugins > Activity modules > External tool > Manage tools.
  3. On the Manage tools page, either enter the tool URL and select Add, or select Configure a tool manually.

If you have an LTI cartridge then you can enter that URL (as in the first option of step 3 above) and all the required information will be automatically configured for you. 

When adding a new tool there are a number of configuration options, most of which are the same as when setting up an external course on a course. However, there are some that differ such as:


Tool configuration usage

This allows you to determine if a preconfigured tool is available as an option when adding an External Tool on a course, or if it appears as a separate item in the activity chooser. If you decide to list it as a separate item then it will also display any description you have entered for the tool, in the activity chooser.


Content-Item Message

Enabling this option will mean the Select content button is active when this preconfigured tool is added to a course. The button will enable the trainer who is setting up the tool to access any specific configuration within Totara, rather than having to launch the tool to access additional configurations (as was previously the case). This helps ensure that learners do not end up being confronted with unconfigured tools (where the Trainer had not realised additional configurations were required within the tool itself). 


You will need to complete the two mandatory fields (Tool name and Tool URL), but it is recommended that you configure each setting as required.

Next steps


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