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In Totara Engage users can assign any public resources or playlists to topicsTopics, along with hashtags, have been introduced to improve the findability of informal learning content within Totara Engage. All accessible learning content in Engage must have at least one topic assigned to it.

Choosing your set of topics, and keeping the number of topics manageable, will require careful consideration. Consider how your learners think of learning content and which topics will make it easiest for learners to find learning that interests them. 

Topics differ from hashtags in that they are intended to be a small, broad set of tags, controlled by the Site Administrator. There should be enough topics to comprehensively cover your site's content without being so many that browsing and selecting from the list of topics becomes difficult. Hashtags provide far more granularity as they can be created by most users and there is no limit to how many there can be. Think of topics as formal tags and hashtags as informal tags.

Your users can click on a topic to find more resources, playlists and workspaces. For example, a user viewing a resource could click on one of the topics to find other resources about the same subject matter. Topics are also taken into consideration in the recommendations engine.

Manage topics

To view the topics set up on your site navigate to the Quick-access menu and search for Manage topics, or go to [yoursite]/totara/topic/index.php.

On the Manage topics page you can see a table of all of the available topics on your site. This table displays the name of each topic, when it was created, and buttons to edit or remove a topic. As this table is an embedded report you can click Edit this report to add or remove columns from the table.

Manage topics report.

Adding topics

On the Manage topics page, click the Add topics button in the top-right corner.

You can then enter multiple topics at a time by typing one topic per line. When you're done, click Add.

Adding multiple topics in bulk.

You can change the name of a topic at a later date by clicking the edit icon () in the Actions column.

Removing topics

On the Manage topics page, click the remove icon () next to a topic to remove it.

When you remove a topic you cannot recover it, so do not remove topics unless you're sure you want to delete them. If a topic is removed then any resources or playlists assigned to that topic will not be deleted. As a Site Administrator you should email your users to notify them about any deprecated topics, and ask them to review their resources and playlists to assign new topics as required.

Usage of topics

You can also see how frequently the topics on your site are used by navigating to Quick-access menu > Usage of topics.

This embedded report shows how many Totara Engage items are assigned to each topic. For example, in the table below you can see that there is one article (resource) and one playlist assigned to the Leadership topic. This can be useful as it helps you to understand which topics are the most popular, and which might be overlooked.

The usage of topics embedded report showing how many articles, surveys and playlists are assigned to each topic.

As with the Manage topics report you can add or remove columns from the table by clicking Edit this report. If required you can also filter the list to show the following component types:

  • Survey
  • Article
  • Playlist

Totara Academy

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using playlists and resources in Totara Engage. Here you can find out more about creating and sharing playlists and resources, as well as find best-practice guidance.

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