What is Totara? A Beginner’s Guide to Totara Learn LMS

Totara Learn, formerly known as Totara LMS, is a learning management system designed for businesses. As well as being a platform to host all your elearning content on, it has a host of features that make it the quickest, easiest and most reliable way to train staff.

What are the main features of Totara Learn?

Hierarchies

With Totara’s Hierarchies you can set up any number of frameworks that best represent the structure of your business.

You can create the specific structures and relationships of job positions and different sections within your organisation.

Learning can then be mapped to individual job roles, management levels, departments, teams and groups.

Learning Plans

Totara Learn enables staff to complete their certifications online or even at home. This allows staff to complete compliance training and certification in their own time.

It will also prompt them when they need to complete specific courses as their certifications expire.

Team Management

Regular team performance check-ins help keep your teams working well. The competencies, goals and objectives features within Totara Learn enable you to plan development across your team.

This makes sure that individual development plans and learning objectives fit with the goals of the wider team and the organisation, and that everyone is heading in the right direction.

Content Management

Totara Learn has a wide range of content authoring and management features, allowing you to create courses with a variety of learning content and activities.

Whether you’re adding your own content directly, uploading SCORM or IMS-based courseware or importing content from an external repository, with Totara Learn you have the control.

Offline and Blended Learning

Totara Learn allows you to manage a range of face-to-face learning events from internal classroom sessions to external workshops or small conferences.

Assessment and Achievement

Totara Learn has a range of assessment options from a powerful inbuilt quiz engine to more formal assignment submissions.

Reporting

All of this is tied together with full graphical reporting allowing you to view almost any statistic you need. From completion rates and audience data through to evaluation responses.

All the reports are exportable and the report builder will help you fetch the data you need.

Performance Management

Staff evaluations can also be completed in Totara, giving your employees a simple way to self evaluate their performance with managers able to view this and add their own feedback.

Audience Management

Using Totara’s audiences system, you can arrange staff into groups based on department or job role. This means you can create training courses for each audience. Then, members of that audience will be automatically assigned in that training.

Compliance Management

Totara Learn offers a range of tools to assign the right learning programs to the right people, automate recertification reminders and generate comprehensive reports on completions and non-compliance.

What are the benefits of using Totara Learn?

Engaged Learners

Learners can quickly and easily access all your content—videos, SCORM or AICC e-learning packages, webcasts, PDFs, question banks and more—alongside instructor-led training to deliver powerful blended learning experiences.

Shared Knowledge

Learners can be involved in informal learning using chat, wikis and forums.

You can also add Totara Social to enable learners to collaboratively share invaluable knowledge and curate the best content for future learning programs.

Open Platform

You can tailor the LMS to your own requirements with no software licence fees and complete access to the source code.

Innovation Network

With Totara Learn you have access to the global Totara Partner network, and can tap into a wealth of expertise and value-added services.

This means there is always a partner available that best suits your organisation and can help you get the most out of your learning technology investment.

Totara Learn – Top Ten Tips

1. Develop an attractive theme

It’s worth investing additional time and effort in producing an interface design that is clear and simple to use, and is engaging enough to really “wow” your learners.

2. Assign positions correctly

Totara hierarchies are highly configurable to provide the structures which facilitate position and organisation specific learning plans, competency evaluation and management.

3. Use the ‘bulk assign’ tool

The Bulk Assign tool enables you to assign positions/ organisations and managers easily from a CSV spreadsheet.

4. Test your SCORM content

Rather than forcing your learners to repeat tests, you can test for SCORM compatibility using a free tool such as this: https://scorm.com/moodle.

5. Know the limitations

It’s worth involving your IT team at an early stage in the process. If you’re migrating from a legacy platform you’ll need to produce a comprehensive technical specification to ensure that legacy data won’t be lost.

6. Be careful with video!

You should create some form of benchmarking to ensure the system’s infrastructure will cater for the software requirements.

7. Use programme management

Program management allows you to enrol learners by organisation, position, management hierarchy, cohort or individually, saving you time.

8. Test the learning journey using ‘user roaming’

It’s simple to do. Just log into Totara as the administrator, once you have done this you can click on a user and roam freely to see how the platform looks through their eyes.

9. Check automated emails are running on time

You need to ensure that email invites are sent at the correct times. Especially if you are running any classroom training using the face-to-face booking module/ or any live online sessions.

10. Seek professional support

It may be stating the obvious, but it’s sensible to enlist professional support at the outset of your journey.

Totara partners play a key role in developing the platform, and helping with the vision for the future of the system. As a Platinum Totara Partner, Webanywhere can provide a fully comprehensive Totara solution. Learn more here.