Dr. Charles Severance
University of Michigan
School of Information

Tsugi Building Learning Applications

Tsugi (Japanese for “next”) provides a way to develop and host “learning tools” in an Application Store. Tsugi tools can be seamlessly integrated into existing Learning Management Systems and Google Classroom. As part of its core architecture, Tsugi implements standards like IMS learning Interoperability, IMS Content ITem and Google Classroom.

TsugiCloud – A Free App Store for Open Source Tools from the Apereo Foundation. Teachers and LMS Administrators can quickly and easily install the tools from TsugiCloud into their LMS or Google Classroom. Software Developers can participate in the development of new these tools through the Apereo project.

…provides a free, scalable

The learning ecosystem of future

  • We need a way to build learning tools quickly w/out waiting for LMS upgrade
  • IMS learning tools Interoperability (LTI) provides a way to integrate learning tools
  • The LTI family of standards is getting more robust (and complex) all the time
  • We need to move from building LMS tools to building better teaching tools
  • We need to enable LTI tool development at a campus or even a course level
  • Why Use Tsugi?
    • 100% open source project part of the Apereo foundation
      Increases learning tool developer productivity
      Supports IMS LTI Standards
      Provides a scalable privacy-aware tool hosting environment
      A community of tool builders and shares


    • Campus IT
      – Respond to local faculty needs
      – support both on campus and MOOC applications
      – Consistent development/training for learning apps
      – Scalable hosting environment
    • Campus Developers
      – Write once integrate everywhere
      – Standards support made easy
      – Common UI/UX features
      – Simple development in ornament
    • Instructional Designers
      – Quickly design &Y create unique tools based on faculty needs
      – Tools can be quite simple: Project checklist, weekly reflection, YouTube analytics
  • Free AppStore – https://www.tsugicloud.org/
  • Exercise: Blackboard Learn
  • Why develop with Tsugi?
    It multiplies your capabilities.
    • LTI 1.0 1.1 2.0, caliper, common cartridge LTI advantage
      You did not use email as logical key in the user table. Correct length!
      Session Mgmt/extension/expiry
      Support offline grading – peer grading applications
      Coping with unreliable tools consumers – grade resent
      Build Thin Cartridges from LTI Links
      Handling settings on URL, custom parameters, etc.
      Support cross-LMS setting dialogs
      Make use of windows.post messages to resize frames

    Getting Started with Tsugi

    Developer Training – https://www.tsugi.org/lessons

    Developer Environment is also the AppStore environment

    As a test harness that allows you write code quickly and build application quickly.

    Https;//github.com/tsugitools/iframe – Iframe Tool

    Summer Project: TBlocks

    • Tsugi PHP Tools in post-GDPR world
    • TBlock model
      – each tool is a container
      – no direct access to the db
      – Interacts with core Tsugi using a. Local API backed by a REST web services
      – Launch data – course/ user / link / result
      – Uses link /result scoped JSOn
      – accesses a link scoped scoped key /value store
      – Can support more than php easily (I.e. python / django / node)

    Big Idea – Building a Simple Tool – Look at Tsugi – Try it and give feedback. Mature enough to run a local App Store or use the cloud App Store.