Totara Learn Review

Totara Learn
New Zealand
Deployment Model:
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Totara Learn At A Glance

Good: Built-in performance management features, Totara Cloud solution for SMBs, extensive partner network for implementation, support and other services.
Bad: The software can be challenging for companies that haven't implemented an LMS before.
Bottom Line: Fully customizable open source solution that empowers organizations to deliver training to their employees.

Product Overview

Totara Learn (formerly Totara LMS) is an open source LMS solution that enables organizations to fully customize their learning portals. Administrators can add plugins and other customizable features that fit their needs. The software is available on all devices, so learners can access their courses anywhere.

While Totara Learn is intended for all company sizes, Totara Cloud specifically targets small and medium businesses (SMBs) that want an easy-to-implement solution. The SaaS solution uses open source technology but still has all the benefits of a cloud deployment (e.g., no installation needed, no worries about hosting on own server). It has features similar to Totara Learn, and if a company needs to scale up, they have the option to host it on their own servers or work with a Totara Partner.

Totara also offers Totara Engage, a learning experience platform that allows learners to collaborate with each other in the flow of work. Learners can create and share content, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts and images, for likes and comments. It also has a recommendations engine that suggest relevant content to learners based on their job roles, skills or goals. In addition, managers can track engagement with reporting tools. Finally, Totara Engage integrates with Microsoft Teams.


Totara Learn includes a hierarchies feature that lets administrators assign learning paths based on their organizational structure. If an employee needs to complete recertification requirements, the administrator can create a personalized learning path that includes notifications of upcoming deadlines. The software also has gamification features that award employees Open Badges for completing their requirements.

In addition, there’s an assessment engine that supports a variety of question types, and administrators can track the assessment scores and completion rates. Then, there’s a reporting feature that includes personalized dashboards and customizable templates. Users can share their reports and export them for additional analysis.

Finally, the software has performance management features, such as performance reviews and 360-degree feedback. These features help managers monitor their employees’ performance so that it aligns with their goals. Managers can assign training courses based on the skills the employees want to learn or areas that need improvement.

Target Market

Totara Learn is intended for all company sizes in many industries, including retail, health care, nonprofit and government. We’ve listed 10 of its customers below.

  • Bridgestone
  • City of San Antonio, TX
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • JetBlue
  • Powell's City of Books
  • Red Hat
  • United States Beef Corporation
  • USDA
  • WorkSource
  • Volvo

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New clients can benefit from working with a Totara Partner for specialized implementation, training, consulting, data migration and other services. The implementation process and timeline vary based on the Totara Partner and the client’s specific needs.

Totara Learn can integrate with a company’s existing applications, like human resource management systems (HRMS) or customer relationship management (CRM) software. It also offers extensions for additional LMS features, such as an authoring tool or a content library.

Customer Service & Support

Users can join the Totara Community to connect with other users, get help from the support team, participate in webinars and more. They can also browse the Totara Help knowledge base and receive additional training via the Totara Academy. In addition, Totara holds a user conference that includes in-person networking, industry best practices and news concerning on the software.

Phone support is available for Totara Cloud users, and clients that work with a Totara Partner can reach out to their partner for additional support.


Totara Learn’s open source code is free to download onto a company’s server. Totara Cloud includes a cost, however, its pricing is not available publicly, so please contact the vendor or one of its partners directly for a quote.


Totara Learn is an open source software, so there could be a learning curve for companies that haven’t implemented an LMS before. And while it offers support via its Totara Community forums for on-premise deployment, there’s no advanced support available unless companies work with a Totara Partner.


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Founded in 2011, Totara’s mission is to provide companies the freedom to learn by empowering them to customize software themselves to meet their changing needs. It strives to provide an open, innovative solution and to build honest, transparent and serviced-focused relationships with its partners and customers.

Totara’s name came from the Totara tree, which is native to New Zealand, the site of its headquarters. Totara has additional offices in San Francisco and the U.K.

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