Users can be assigned various role types within the system, some giving additional privileges beyond those of the Learner role. For example, a Site Manager or Editing Trainer may have the access rights to create or edit courses. In these situations, it can sometimes be helpful to be able to quickly switch to the Learner role type so that you can view the course as though you were part of the intended audience.
The Switch role to... option is designed to allow a privileged user to experience the site as a less privileged user. This is typically used by people who are designing course content to allow them to check the learner experience is as designed. This is a useful tool to quickly check the design of a course from a Learner perspective whilst it is being designed but is not intended for use in the completion of courses in a live setting.
The plugin for role switching has been deprecated in Totara 13.
Allow role switches
The Allow role switches tab allows (or denies) users with a specific role the ability to temporarily change their role to another specific role. For example, this might allow users assigned to an Editing Trainer role in a course to see Learner in the Course administration menu under Switch role, clicking this will allow the user to view the course as a Learner would see it.
The selected role must also have the Switch to other role (role:switchroles) capability to be able to switch.
The Switch role functionality is designed to enable users to test aspects of Totara Learn and view areas of the site as other user roles might. It is not designed to allow a user to complete a course when viewing it as another role, as completion tracking and user security measures prevent this behaviour.
The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Courses and categories in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more on how to use courses and categories, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.