Researching a new LMS? Get the lowdown on Totara Learn

his is a guest post from HowToMoodle's Ian MacKinnon. 

When you’re starting to explore e-learning for your organisation, the research alone can be a daunting task. There are so many providers offering LMS products and services, it can be hard to understand what they are and if they’re relevant for your needs.

The big picture - what is Totara Learn?

Totara Learn is an award-winning, feature-rich learning management system used by over 1,300 organisations and 8.5 million users worldwide. It’s popular for its flexibility, impressive feature set and great value for money with its unique open source subscription model.  

Popular features of Totara Learn include:

  • Interactive course building using the in-built tools, and support for your externally created content
  • Scheduling and management of classroom and live online training events
  • Easy management of compliance and mandatory training
  • Manage staff development plans complete with objectives, priorities, due dates and progress updates
  • Performance management suite including 360° feedback, custom appraisals and goals
  • Extensive report builder to create custom reports with graphs and automated scheduling
  • Personalised dashboards with statistics, alerts and visual charts showing you, your team or your organisationwide progress
  • Mapping of your organisation’s hierarchies for tailored allocation of learning and reports

Personalised dashboards give your learners everything they need to know at a glance.

Who uses Totara Learn?

Owing to the flexibility of Totara Learn, it’s used by organisations that need to manage both online and blended learning. It’s popular in a range of sectors including:

  • Retail
  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Not-for-profit
  • Finance & insurance
  • Hospitality & travel

How does it benefit organisations with different training requirements?

Totara Learn is a great fit with startups to multinational corporations for managing the learning needs of internal training departments, extended enterprise e.g. reseller networks and commercial training.

Totara Learn manages the full cycle of internal employee training, starting by synchronising profiles from a HR system, induction and continuing training programmes, with management oversight and reporting, through to development plans and performance/talent management.

For external training, including extended enterprise and commercial, Totara Learn brings significant benefits including:

  • Keeping client and customer data separate, and ensuring only relevant courses are visible to users
  • Allowing managers from clients to keep track of their team's progress on the training
  • Creating client or customer-specific dashboards
  • Using the built-in tools to assign training for new products, upskilling, or for training qualifications
  • Easy integration with ecommerce solutions
  • Synchronisation with CRM databases
  • Reflect corporate branding with flexibility for adapting the look and feel for different users
  • Immediate scalability to adapt to a growing customer base, whether a gradual or sharp increase in users

How flexible is Totara Learn?

Totara Learn is chosen by varying organisations because of the flexibility and business freedom it offers. It’s an open source and modular system that offers straightforward integration with other systems, and, if you need it, you can safely add extra functionality.

But you don’t have to have software developers on your team as Totara Learn has an abundance of included features that can satisfy most organisation’s formal and informal learning requirements.

A few examples of organisations types that have implemented Totara Learn with HowToMoodle include:

  • A global retail chain implementing Totara Learn for induction programmes and manager development at their head office. They benefit from the interactive course building tools, structuring options for their development and induction programmes, mapping of company internal hierarchies and the extensive reporting options.
  • A data security training company benefits from Totara Learn to deliver their microlearning SCORM e-learning modules across their client portfolio. Keeping client data separated was vital, so being able to group users together via Totara Learn’s hierarchies and audiences is a major focus.
  • A national healthcare business required a solution to provide essential compliance training to its geographically dispersed team of nurses and clinicians. Totara Learn is a perfect fit enabling them to deliver recurring compliance courses with automated reminders and comprehensive regional reporting.
  • A leading provider of management, sales and marketing training qualifications uses Totara Learn to deliver its custom-designed courses to corporate clients and individual customers. To cater for their larger corporate clients, they benefited from a HowToMoodle theme plugin, 'Multi-T', allowing them to create a separate, unique branding experience for each client.

How do I get started with Totara Learn?

An important business benefit  of Totara Learn is the freedom from vendor lock-in – Totara Partners implement the system and provide the key services, giving you the freedom to choose your preferred provider with annual contracts allowing you to move if you’re not happy.

You also get to choose between different tiers of partners – from Platinum down to Gold or Solutions Partners – reflecting the different levels of experience in providing Totara services.

Choosing the right Totara Partner

HowToMoodle is a Totara Platinum Partner, and we’re confident that we ‘re well placed to provide the high quality, professional, full project Totara services to you including hosting, support, branding, training, configuration and consultancy you need for a successful implementation.

Without getting too technical, Totara Learn shares a lot of the same code as Moodle which we’ve been supporting as a Partner since 2004. Our long-term experience is a compelling reason to choose us as your preferred supplier.

When considering which Totara Partner, it’s important to consider a wide range of questions. Here’s a short list to get you started:

  • What hosting options do they provide? Where is their hosting platform?
  • Will they provide free upgrades?
  • What is their level of customer satisfaction and retention?
  • What support options do they provide to your administrators? What about your end-users or technical team?
  • What options for branding and look-and-feel do they provide?
  • What training options are available to your team? Will that be sufficient to ensure your team is confident with the system?
  • What level of implementation support can they provide? Are they on-hand to help set the system up to a level that you require?

Looking to get started with Totara Learn? Browse our network of global Totara Partners here, or contact us if you need help finding the right partner for your organisation.

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