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Talis Aspire Reading Lists Moodle Integration


The activity module has been tested with all current versions of Moodle. See the full matrix of versions tested. If you do become aware of any issues affecting the plugin, then feel free to raise them with Talis directly, or by adding issues to the github repository here.

Feel free to submit Pull Requests too!


Copy the 2.x-activity-module/mod/aspirelists directory to your {MoodleRoot}/mod directory.

Log in to Moodle as an administrator and you should be prompted to upgrade mod_aspirelists.

If you are already logged in as an administrator - go to the 'notifications' page.

"mod_lti" must also be enabled for this module to work.


create access keys in Talis Aspire Reading Lists

First off, you will need to contact Talis Support to ask them to enable the access-keys permission in Talis Aspire Reading Lists.

Once that is set, from the Talis Aspire Reading List navigation menu, select Admin -> Integrations. On the "Integrations" page, click on Add new access key.

  • A form will appear, choose a distinct, descriptive name and click Add.
  • Make note of the API key and Shared secret that are generated.
  • Do not share key's and secrets between different instances of moodle.

Configure moodle to use the Talis Aspire Reading Lists LTI tool

In Moodle, go to the Site administration menu and choose Plugins -> Activity modules -> LTI

You should be taken to the LTI / External Tool Types page. From here, click Add external tool configuration.

At the next form, fill out the following:

Tool Name
Whatever you call Talis Aspire Reading Lists at your institution.
Tool Base URL
Consumer Key
This should be API key from above
Shared Secret
This should be Shared secret from above
Custom Parameters
You will almost certainly need to add some custom parameters here - read this article for more information
Show tool type when creating tool instances
Check this if you want TARL to appear as an option when an instructor adds an LTI resource as an External Tool (note that you may not need to do this as the ativity module will add a 'resource' which can be chosen instead of using the built-in 'External Tool' activity type)
Default Launch Container
Choose either Embed or Embed, without blocks, depending on your preference

Everything else can be ignored for now. Click Save changes. Your external tool should now appear in the Active list.

Now go to the Site administration menu and choose Plugins -> Activity modules -> Course Resource List.

You should be taken to the Course Resource List settings page. Fill out the form as follows:

Target Aspire URL
This should be https://{tenancyShortName} with no trailing slash. It should be the same as you entered in Tool Base URL above, but leave off /lti/launch
Module code field
The course database field in Moodle that contains the module/course code that lists are associated with in TARL
Module Code Regex
Often module/course codes need to be rewritten slightly to match what is in TARL, enter a regex that will pick out the module code in the first matching group
Time Period Regex
If the module code in Moodle contains the time period for the course, enter a regex that identifies it in the first matching group. The time period code here will need to match the 'slug' of a time period in Talis Aspire Reading Lists
Time Period Mapping
A JSON string that maps the strings extracted from the above regex to the time period slugs in TARL - you only need to do use this if you have multiple codes in moodle that need to map to the same time periods in Talis Aspire
Default height of an embedded list
If a list is displayed inline within a course, this value will control the default height of the iframe

Click Save changes. Course Resource List should now be available as Resource in the Add an activity or resource menu when editing a course.

If you need help with any of the settings here, please contact with screen shots of the above settings pages.

Performance tips

When using large numbers (greater than 5) inline lti resources on a single course page it is recommended that they do not default to expanded. This can lead to high volumes of simultaneous LTI requests, slowing down responses and, on rare occasions, the possibility that some requests may not return if too many courses are being loaded by multiple users.

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