You could probably win a game of Scrabble with the word laid out on the board: Learning Tools Interoperability, or LTI just to keep it simple.
Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is a standard developed by IMS Global Learning Consortium. The principal concept of LTI is to establish a standard way of integrating rich learning applications (often remotely hosted and provided through third-party services) with platforms like learning management systems or other educational environments. In LTI these learning applications are called Tools (delivered by so called Tool Providers) and the LMS, or platforms, are called Tool Consumers.
In other words: The Learning Tools Interoperability is a standard under development that standardizes the protocols between the LMS system and the external tools allowing external tools to function as if the tool were a native tool inside the LMS. So, for example: a student can acces and use an e-learning course from another school’s or companies LMS without ever having to leave his own LMS. By using LTI protocol, the alien course will look like a part of the regular LMS and the students results will be updated within his own learning environment.
What’s in it for me?
So, what’s the practical use of LTI for you and your students? Well, by using the LTI protocol, you can make far better use of different (external) tools within your own LMS, without having the trouble of interaction problemens betweens these tools. You can create a diverse learning environment for the student without forcing all learning software into the same system.
Learning Tools Interoperability also has the ability to improve the use of multiple learning management systems in production at the same time, which will ease the pain of changing from one LMS to another, if you would like to do so.