You may be wondering what happened to version 2.8, this is a fast paced environment to be working in but no, you haven’t blinked and missed an entire release. Totara Learning have made the decision to move straight on to version 2.9 with only a minor point release in between. This is to lay the foundations for the next major release, Totara LMS 9 in 2016 where Totara will fork from Moodle. Don’t worry, there will still be an intrinsic link between the two systems but there will be less reliance on Moodle releases allowing Totara more flexibility to develop new features and interfaces for a growing commercial market.
Enough of the background story I hear you say, tell us what is coming.
Instead of a long list of functionality, here at Kineo we decided it may be more useful to give some detail on what needs are being met by the release of Totara 2.9.
Encourage frank and useful feedback on learners to be given by selected peers and team members in confidence.
Totara 2.9 incorporates the functionality to give anonymous 360 Feedback which can be configured when creating or editing 360 Feedback. Enabling this hides the name of responders to the 360 Feedback. Responders can see whether a 360 Feedback is anonymous in the header of the response page, along with the number of requests sent.
Prevent learners from being un-enrolled from learning when details such as their business unit, job title or location change.
Within Totara 2.9 there are new options that allow you disable automatic changes in membership for dynamic audiences. This will allow you to prevent users from being removed from an audience when they no longer meet the criteria defined in the rule set and as a result stop them from being un-enrolled from any learning they have been allocated as a result of being in the said audience.
Reduce the time and effort that is required to generate new reports.
You can now copy and paste your existing report templates. This will make it easier for site administrators to generate new reports. The cloning of user generated and embedded reports will create a full copy of the report including its columns, filters and settings.
To display blocks on a number on pages throughout the LMS that have user specific information such as Course Completions, Program / Certification enrolments and learning progress without the need for customisations to a site.
The introduction of the new Table Block seems like a small addition but will allow a great deal of flexibility in what can be displayed to users. The block will show tabular data from a selected user generated report and optionally a saved search for the report will allow the block to only display a limited set of data from the report if desired.
As always there is a whole lot more to know, so for further information about Totara Version 2.9 have a read here. To find out if Totara LMS is right for you, have a look at some of the benefits and client case studies.