Moodle vs Totara LMS – It’s a good time to consider which LMS platform is right for you

Totara Moodle Fork

Background Information

Totara LMS was originally developed in 2011 as a custom distribution of Moodle to meet the needs corporate enterprises. Since that time Moodle and Totara LMS have been developed in line with each other, however in June 2016 the decision was made to progressively move Totara LMS away from its Moodle foundations. Unlocking Totara LMS from Moodle will allow the system to continue to accelerate its rate of innovation.

One of the key reasons behind the decision was a desire to make Totara LMS even more accessible and intuitive for users and to further enhance the experience learners have interacting with the system. Totara LMS now has improved site hierarchy and navigation and more flexible theming and branding than ever before. This is something that our clients and their learners value about the system.

We have already seen benefits from this decision in Totara LMS v9.0  (released in late 2016). Below is a snapshot of the key developments in this latest release.

Totara 9 Infographic 1

We are currently upgrading our Totara LMS codebase to be compatible with v9.0 and will be looking to upgrade our client sites in Spring 2017.

A few of our clients were previously using Moodle but found that it didn’t meet all their organisation’s needs. The key drivers for migrating from Moodle to Totara LMS were their complex compliance reporting requirements and the ability to effectively manage learning plans and pathways. The relatively small investment required in Totara LMS licenses has been easily recouped from the efficiencies they have made in these two areas alone.

What’s involved with migrating from Moodle to Totara LMS?

There are several factors to consider when migrating from Moodle to Totara LMS. The good news is if you are running a standard installation of Moodle then updating to Totara LMS can be a very straightforward process.

Consider Moodle Plugins and Code Changes

Many organisations have customised their Moodle implementation by using local plug-ins. These have never officially been supported in Totara LMS, but due to the similarity between the two platforms in practice most Moodle plugins function in Totara LMS without any problems.

If you’ve made changes to your Moodle code base, our development team will need some time to resolve any conflicts, but the good news is our in-house development team have had lots of experience migrating from Moodle to Totara LMS so will be able to provide you with all the support and information you require.

Upgrade Compatibility

If you are running Moodle version 2.2 through to v 2.9 then migrating to Totara LMS is fully supported and your Moodle site can be upgraded directly to Totara LMS.

If you are running Moodle 3, your site cannot be directly migrated to Totara LMS, however we can discuss what functionality you are using and discuss the best migration plan for your organisation. For example your course catalogue can be simply backed up and restored in Totara LMS and user data can be transferred using Totara’s powerful bulk upload features.

If you are using Moodle and considering upgrading to Totara LMS the safest course of action is to upgrade sooner rather than later. We will happily discuss the implications for your organisation and encourage you to contact us for more information.