Moodle vs Totara – Which is the Right Choice for You?

Moonami is proud to be partners of both Moodle and Totara Learn. We’re often asked about the difference between Totara Learn and Moodle.

As two open source learning management systems, Totara Learn and Moodle have plenty in common – but equally, there are many important differences between the two. The primary difference between Moodle and Totara is that Moodle was originally developed to be a free alternative for educators to create elearning content, with a focus on collaboration and continuous development and evolution, whereas Totara was conceived as an enterprise solution for organizations rather than education.


One difference that sets Totara apart is the ability to set up hierarchies for your organization. This feature is key for an organization as it means that specific training and learning paths can be auto-assigned based on the learner’s position, geographical location or department.


Multi-tenancy is a feature that with a single LMS license, an administrator can set up a number of ‘tenants’ which can reflect different departments, partners, vendors or customers, each with their own branding and unique access. Multi tenancy is not supported in Moodle, which could be the kicker if you are a large organization with departments located in different locations, or channel partners that require their own personalized learning environments.

Learning Paths and Competencies

Learning plans are an important facet of an LMS, and are absent from the basic Moodle code. The ability to define which courses should be taken for individuals or a group makes a huge difference within a corporate context, where particular roles and positions require varying combinations of courses and material unique to them. Linked to the learning plans are ‘competencies’, a feature of Totara missing from Moodle. Competencies are like learning plans in that they are a set of courses that must be taken in a specific order to progress, and can be signed to a certain job role or organization. Competencies define the skills and knowledge required for assessing staff performance.

Totara vs Moodle : Choose The Right One For Your Organization

The question really comes down to your needs and budget. What features do you need, and how much are you willing to invest in ensuring your employees or students have access to the necessary training and resources? Be aware of the work involved with customizing Moodle into a workable LMS. Totara is an enterprise-ready LMS which caters specifically for the needs of businesses rather than education.

To find out which is more suitable for you and your organization’s needs, download a handy feature comparison table to see where Totara Learn 12 and Moodle 3.7 differ. Contact us to learn more.