Multitenancy is a topic that is popping up in discussions around learning management systems. Many people are unsure of whether or not they need it, whether the learning management system is a multitenant LMS, and some don’t even know what it is. Multitenancy is when one organization with different groups, each with their own courses, materials, and needs, uses one central learning management system, but are separated within the system. As an example, if you are an organization with 5 divisions or operating entities (these are what we would refer to as tenants in the LMS), you and each of your customers would use the same LMS, but would remain divided. The alternative to multi-tenancy is to have a separate Moodle or Totara system or installation for each group. This requires a lot of management, and can sometimes be quite a hassle.
Some people are under the impression that multitenancy is the same across the board, but this is not the case. Your multitenant LMS capabilities will depend on whether you are a Moodle user, or a Totara LMS user, your will differ. Let’s go through multitenancy in Moodle and Totara individually.
Multitenancy with Totara
Within Totara, there are management hierarchies that enable managers to assess and supervise learning. Management roles can be assigned, and there are development plans that are specific to each tenant organization available. Both of these options allow administrators to manage their own staff performance and progress. With Totara, users can be sorted by a variety of specifications, such as organisation, position, or country. Courses/programs can be set to specific tenants, with the possibility of scheduled reports that are automatically administered across the site. Additionally, Totara already has the following features that support multi-tenancy: Organization and position framework, audiences, audience visibility, audience dashboard, and roles assigned to different categories and courses.
Multitenancy with Moodle
Moodle is not a fully supported multitenant lms, but it does have a few capabilities. Moodle has a pseudo-multi-tenancy capability which combines Front-page settings with the use of Course Categories. This can be done by configuring the “Front page items when logged in” setting to Enrolled Courses. With regard to branding courses to specific departments or business units, the Course Categories can be named after the department, and Subcategories can be labelled as Course Topics. Each Category and Subcategory can then be themed separately from the Corporate/Organizational theme. Roles and capabilities can be assigned to specific categories to allow access to edit courses. Additionally, this can be done by inheritance to the Subcategories and courses.
For more information about multitenancy including when it is required, methods and approaches, what you can do with it, and how it can help address your organization’s issues, check out our eBook on Multitenancy with Totara and Moodle. Click the link below to download this free resource.