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Blackboard supports third-party tools through Building Block (B2) and Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) integrations. These integrations allow single-sign on between third-party content or services or improve instructor/student efficiency by streamlining usage or synchronizing grades. Most LTI tools work exactly as expected and designed.

Not sure what third-party tools we have? Please review this list.

We are aware of five (5) types of errors with LTI tools:

Authentication  BrowserBlank ScreenStudent PreviewExpired API
What happens?

In a few cases, the LTI tools will generate an error when attempting to access: The authentication failed; the authentication is stale.  Please try again.

In some cases, you need to enable a pop-up to allow the tool to open a new window.

 In other cases, a browser, such as Safari, may have trouble accessing the resource. Instead of launching the tool, the link will redirect back to the content area where it is located. 

Occasionally, attempts to access the LTI resource will produce a blank page. This tends to happen if the LTI link has an apostrophe in the link name.  

For example, if the LTI resource has a link called "Dr. K's Connect Math Course" for McGraw-Hill Connect Math may produce this issue.

Instructors who enter Student Preview mode, and then open a page created with an LTI Integration will not be able to exit Student Preview from the LTI tool.

In a rare situation, a vendor may need to refresh API (application program interface) to allow Blackboard to communicate with their systems via LTI.

What tool does it affect?We've encountered this error on occasion with VoiceThread and ALEKS.We've encountered this error with VoiceThread and ALEKS.We have not yet encountered this issue, but we are aware it may happen.The Exit Student Preview box is moved behind the LTI page, and Student Preview mode is still activeWe've encountered this error with eXplorance for SCEs.

See Recommendation #1 below.

See Recommendations #2 and #3 below.

Instructors should avoid using apostrophes in any LTI link name. 

Select another content area in your course and attempt to Exit Student Preview.

If you receive an error message about an API error, please open an RT ticket.

NOTE: Review the "functioning as designed" list of LTI tool behaviors.


Blackboard is aware of these issues and has identified a future fix, but not a specific timeline. Until such time as we know the issue is resolved, we recommend:

  1. Users should NOT click the launch button if presented. When the launch page opens, Blackboard has started to authenticate the user into the associated LTI application. Clicking the link will cause an authentication issue and produce the "stale" error. Instead, please wait and let Blackboard auto-redirect to the resource. The link should work as expected. 

  2. If you are using Safari, please switch to Chrome and follow the information in the first step.

  3. If Blackboard still does not redirect to the LTI tool, please make sure you allow Chrome to open pop-ups. By default, pop-ups are blocked, but Blackboard needs to open windows.
    1. You may see a message in the address bar: Pop-up blocked Pop-up blocked – 
    2. Click the link for the pop-up window you'd like to see.
    3.  To always see pop-ups for the site, select Always allow pop-ups from [site]and thenDone.

    4. You should be able to click the launch button at this point, or close the window and access the tool from the course.

Functioning as Designed: Not a Known Issue with LTI

  • The LTI course tool behavior was redefined by Blackboard (v3200.10) to appear in an iframe lightbox if the link is not set to open in a new window. The workaround is to set the LTI tool link to open in a new window. If you do not want the link to open in a new window for aesthetic or functional reasons, please open an RT ticket to schedule a consult with the Bb system admin.

  • When the Student Preview tool is used, the box will appear above the LTI iframe in which the LTI link is launched, which blocks the exit preview message that allows the instructor to delete or retain the student preview data. The workaround is to click on the Home icon to view the course menu and access a different content area before exiting student preview mode.

Both of these tool behaviors are functioning as designed by Blackboard.


Related ArticleKnown Issues with Blackboard