Moodle vs TotaraLMS: A Comparison One Year After The Fork


By Iris Vermeren, Channel Marketing Manager, Totara Learning

In 2015, when it was announced that TotaraLMS would fork their code, posted a comparison of Moodle vs Totara. Now, a year later, we thought it was high time to give an update as to how these two LMS platforms compare.

Many people have a hard time understanding the differences between these two Open Source LMS (Learning Management Systems). With Totara and Moodle sharing over 65% of their code, it’s only natural to ask that question. Moodle and Totara LMS are both robust and flexible LMS and both offer complete software license freedom (no vendor will lock you in).

So, in terms of functionality and features, what are the key differences?

Moodle provides a solution designed primary, secondary and higher education in mind. If you are a school or university, Moodle is likely going to fit your requirements. Moodle (acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) lets you extend and tailor your learning environment using plugins made and supported by an enthusiastic user community.

Totara LMS was built upon Moodle, with extended e-learning features designed for the enterprise. It includes much of the same functionality and community-sourced plugins as Moodle, but offers a host of tools to help you manage hierarchy, performance, certifications, assignment of courses, competencies, learning programs and reporting out-of-the-box. In short, a platform designed for professional training and development.

Totara is specifically designed for corporate learning in contrast to Moodle’s educational orientation. Large corporations such as Samsung, Sky and Sony as well as a number of government agencies use Totara. That’s not to say Moodle is not in the enterprise: adjustments and customizations could make Moodle replicate Totara’s functionality.

In the past few years, Totara has added hundreds of thousands lines of code comprising a series of modular, interwoven extensions layered on top of Moodle. All the additional features in Totara, such as reporting and audience management, reflect the different needs of businesses. Totara is now almost independent from a standard Moodle installation.

Making a decision to choose, or even change LMS, will depend on what you want your LMS to do. We’ve put together a Totara and Moodle comparison table to help you understand what you’ll get from both.

The comparison table looks at everything from learners to IT considerations and even the marketing and design of your LMS, so provides a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know when you’re thinking about upgrading to Moodle or Totara LMS.

The main differences are hierarchy, assignment of courses, competencies, program management and reporting. A few other features could cater to your internal management of staff learning and development needs. Some functionality and benefits we have not highlighted here, so make sure to check out other comparison tables to get a clear idea of what you get with each platform to ensure you make the right choice for your organization.

Download the comparison table (in PDF) here: Moodle vs. Totara Comparison Table

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