Cengage is a publications platform with an LTI to integrate with learning management systems. The LTI allows access to ebooks and two subject management tools, Mindtap and Webassign. The tools enable academics to link their subjects to an ebook and its media and activities such as quizzes and assignments.
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The use of the Cengage LTI is not funded UTS wide, but rather each faculty will have an agreement with the vendor to use the tool. Therefore, the Cengage LTI will be installed on a Canvas subject-site basis until the use of this technology becomes more widespread. Once an agreement has been reached with the vendor, academics who want to include the Cengage LTI on their subject sites will have to lodge a request ticket through ServiceConnect.
Once installed, Cengage LTI can be launched via the hamburger menu on top of the modules page. Other options are using the plus button in a module, selecting “external tool” and then finding “Cengage LTI Advantage” on the list.
Linking to Cengage
Once the LTI is launched, two options become available:
- Adding a link to an eBook only, or
- Linking to a “Homework Platform + eBook”.
The later allows academics to link the Canvas Site to a course in Mindtap or Webassign. To do this:
- Click on “Add Homework Platform”
- Search the book and click link to course.
Academics will then be prompted to:
- Create a new Cengage course
- Copy a previous instance, or
- Linking to an already existing one.
Once this is done, a deep link to the course will be added to a module in Canvas. Additionally, the linked course will become available in the LTI under the “Homework Platform + eBook” section with a select content button next to it.
This button will allow academics to link the whole course – or cherry picking chapters and quizzes created on their Cengage courses – to be deep linked in the Canvas modules.
When linking an assignment there are different behaviours to consider depending on whether Mindtap or Webassign is being used.
All Webassign assignments are synced with Gradebook. This means that linking to a Webassign assignment will automatically create a new column in Canvas Gradebook.
With Mindtap on the other hand, it is possible to select whether an activity does count towards the final grade or not. To set a activity to appear in gradebook, on the Mindtap Course overview:
- Toggle the “Edit” switch on the top right hand side corner to green with a tick
- Check the assignment wanted to be edited
- Click on the “Batch Actions” menu at the bottom right
- Click “Edit Settings”
- A pop up menu will appear and the “Graded” radius button needs to be selected
- Click Save on the pop up menu
- Toggle the “Edit” switch back to orange with a “x”.
After this is done, when a Mindtap assignment is embedded in Canvas, it will automatically be added as a column on Canvas Gradebook.
Grades are automatically synced once the activities are submitted. Depending usage load, the sync could take up to 24 hours, but in our tests with only a few submissions syncs were complete in a minute or two.
Linked Mindtap graded quizzes are displayed with an assignment icon whereas non grades ones are only displayed with a link icon.
On published Canvas subjects and modules, students will be able to click to access these materials and activities. The first time they click on these, a login form will display. If they didn’t already have a Cengage account, one will be provisioned to them via the create account link, giving them access to the linked Cengage subject and materials.
To avoid Cengage course student enrolment issues, It is strongly recommended that the first link students click on is the the deep link generated when the Cengage course was initially linked.
Cengage deep links will be blocked by default by browsers’ pop up blockers. Users can choose to disable the blocker for the particular domain or simply click on “Click here to open your Content”.
UTS subject rollover process copies the most recent occurrence of any given subject before the next session begins. The new Canvas subject site will include all the Cengage links and the LTI itself. However, the new site isn’t linked to a Cengage course so the first step of adding a homework platform and either creating a new or copy an existing course needs to be done once again.
The good news is that if the same Cengage Homework Platform is used (Course attached to the same eBook), then all the other links will automatically start working, so no additional editing would be necessary.