Guides & Research

Moodle vs Totara: Which LMS is Right for Me?

September 19, 2019

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Moodle and Totara are both robust and flexible learning management systems, but how do you decide which one is right for your organization?


What is Moodle?

Moodle is an industry leading open source learning management system to deliver your eLearning programs. With over 202,000,000 users in 200+ countries, Moodle is a proven platform for educators, trainers and learners.

As a highly flexible LMS, Moodle can be used to conduct courses online or to support face-to-face teaching. Functionality can be extended with over 500 plugins for assignments, quizzes, grading, certification, and social and collaborative learning.

More About Moodle

READ MORE: Check out our Moodle User Guide: An Introduction To Moodle, which will provide you with an overview of what Moodle can do and how it has been utilized across different industries.


What is Totara Learn?

Totara is an open source distribution of Moodle.  Moodle was primarily built to suit the needs of Education where Totara was designed for Corporate Learning. You get the same benefits of using an open source platform and leveraging Moodle with a significant increase in functionality.

So what gain do you get in functionality?  Check out our comparison chart below or click here to learn more about Totara.

More About Totara


Totara Learn 12 and Moodle 3.8 LMS Feature Comparison Charts

There are many similarities between the two popular open-source LMS options and we are here to help you identify which fits with your needs:

Evaluation and Measuring Engagement

Feature Moodle Totara
Feedback (evaluations)
Conditional feedback questions
Automated feedback reminders  
Choice (polling)







Course Management

Feature Moodle Totara
Multiple course formats
Activity completion criteria
Activity completion editor
Course completion criteria
Course completion upload  
Course completion editor  
Bulk course creation
Recycle bin
Bulk update activity completion settings  
LTI Integration

Instructor-led Training (ILT)

  • deliver & track in-person training across multiple locations
  • room and resource inventory management (double booking prevention)
  • performance & attendance tracking





















Feature Moodle Totara
Activity results leaderboard
Topic access retrictions
Quiz access password
Course access keys
Points, awards, leaderboards, and badges







Content API’s / Web Services

Feature Moodle Totara
Web services for user management, course enrollment, grades, and SSO  





Feature Moodle Totara
Language translations
Language customization
Right-to-left display support
Multiple time zone support
Multiple date and calendar formats
Restrict view content by language  








Social and Collaborative Learning

Feature Moodle Totara
Live chat
Forums - Instructors can add private replies  
User-to-user messaging - mute conversations  
Forum summary report and export  
Peer based assessment
Emojis in messaging  
Group conversations  
Group messaging  
Wikis, shared glossaries, shared databases, workshops, group assignments
Course groups and groupings














Access Management

Feature Moodle Totara
Guest access
Self registration
Self registration with approval  
OAuth authentication
Password policy
Custom access rights










Catalogue Management

Feature Moodle Totara
Categories and subcategories
Clone and copy courses
Course and activity tagging
Custom course fields
Custom program and certification fields  
Custom tile-based course catalogue  
Featured learning navigation  
Custom course, program & certification icons  
Custom course images
Record of prior learning  
Backup and restore
Custom catalogue search and filters  















Enrollment Management

Feature Moodle Totara
Manual and self enrollment
Cohort/audience based enrollment
Dynamic audience based enrollment  
Competency  based enrollment
Learning plan based enrollment  
Program and certification assignment  
Automated enrollment  
Self-enrollment with audience restriction  
Direct seminar event enrollment  
Direct seminar event enrollment with audience restriction  














Feature Moodle Totara
Organizational hierarchies  
Positional hierarchies  
Competency hierarchies
Import competency hierarchy
Export competency hierarchy
Competencies linked to courses
Competencies linked to activities  
Custom competency completion scales
Positions & organizations linked to competencies  
Positions & organizations linked to company goals  












Talent Management and Succession Planning

Feature Moodle Totara
Position and organization competencies added to learning plans  
Competency types
Proficiency achieved date  





Content Marketplace

Feature Moodle Totara
eLearning content marketplace with GO1  
Integration with OpenSesame  





Learner Personalization

Feature Moodle Totara
Alerts and tasks  
My learning dashboard
Multiple dashboard(s)  
Record of learning  
Current learning/course overview
Last course accessed block
Activity completion based progress display
User tours
Duplicate user tours  












Assessment and Achievement

Feature Moodle Totara
Open badges
Badge issue for course completion
Badge issue for program completion  
Badge issue for audience membership
Badge issue for activity completion
Badge issue for competency completion  
Badge issue for group membership  
Custom certificates  
Quiz tool
Gradebook and grading
Anonymous graders  
Marking rubrics and workflows
















Design and Navigation

Feature Moodle Totara
Audience based dashboards  
Custom main menus
Audience based navigation  
Customizable responsive theme
Graphical featured links  
Full-length block regions at top and bottom of a page for dashboards, front page, and course pages  
Streamlined add block workflow  
Configurable administration menu  
Customizable user menu
Font based icons
Block-by-block customization  
Main navigation menu items visibility based on dynamic rules  
















Adaptive Learning

Feature Moodle Totara
Program management  
Conditional dividers between course sets  
Activity completion tracking
Activity access restrictions
Activity relative dates (due dates relative to users start date) 
Activity access restrictions unlock delay after completion of other activities  
Activity access based on audience or language  
Activity access based on position or organization  










Performance Management

Feature Moodle Totara
Appraisal management  
360° feedback  
Company and personal goals  
Custom goal scales  
Track informal learning with uploading evidence  









Audience Management

Feature Moodle Totara
Cohorts/set audiences
Cohort based themes  
Dynamic/rule based audiences  
Automated workflows  
Course/certification/program visibility  
Course/certification/program enrollment  
Learning plan assignment  
Goal assignment  
Access rights assignment  












Team Management

Feature Moodle Totara
Team dashboard  
Temporary manager(s)  
Performance management  
Team alerts, tasks and statistics  








Feature Moodle Totara
Site policies
Site policy versioning
Multi-language site policies  
Configurable consent statements  
Consent records
Data export
Data deletion/purge











Content Management

Feature Moodle Totara
SCORM 1.2 compliant
LTI v2 support
IMS support
H5P support
Static content creation
File, folder and link upload
External repository APIs
Database (knowledge banks)













Learning Plans

Feature Moodle Totara
Learning plans
Multiple templates
Custom workflows  
Assigned by position/organization  
Assigned by cohort
Assigned by audience  
Priorities & due dates for learning plan items  
Add competencies to plans
Add courses, programs & certifications to plans  
Add learning objectives to plans  
External evidence for competencies
External evidence for courses, programs, certifications  

















Compliance Management

Feature Moodle Totara
Set programs of study  
Adaptive programs of study  
Recertification management  
Scheduled learner and manager reminders  








User Account Management

Feature Moodle Totara
Profile information
Custom profile fields
Multiple job assignments  
Manager assignments  
Multiple manager assignments  
Position assignments  
Organization assignments  
User upload
HR data import feature  
Bulk user actions















Offline and Blended Learning

Feature Moodle Totara
Event booking management  
Event and session attendance tracking  
Multiple attendance management  
Declare interest workflow  
Sign-up sheets  
Customizable approval workflows  
Room and asset management  
Manager reservations  
Custom seminar notifications & messaging  
Custom fields for seminar forms & elements  
















Extended Enterprise

Feature Moodle Totara
Tenant user administrators   V13
Tenant managers   v13
Tenant dashboards   v13






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Last Updated: May 15, 2020.

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