The Evergreen version of Totara Learn (formerly Totara LMS) will introduce new features and experimental functionality on a monthly basis. To see what is new please browse by month below or use the menu on the right-hand side. You can then see all of the new features that were introduced with that release.
What is Evergreen?
Evergreen is a new release mechanism, which will allow us to release features and improvements more regularly rather than having to wait for our annual release. All the features that are initially released in a version of Evergreen will be included in our next major version of Totara Learn.
While the Evergreen version of Totara Learn is production-ready and able to be used for fully live sites, there are considerations that your organisation will need to take into account before deploying Evergreen. It is important to consider both the technical (e.g. how much of your site has been customised, the complexity and number of integrations you have), alongside the more business focused consideration of implementing Evergreen (such as your ability to run multiple UAT cycles per year and support any necessary business change).
Your Totara partner will be able to discuss the suitability of an Evergreen deployment with you. Additionally you can also read more in our Policy documents.
New graphical library
When creating reports for graphs there is now a new graphical reporting library. Site Administrators can choose to either to use SVGGraph or ChartJS, this is configured under Reports > General settings from the Site administration menu.
Room identifier setting for seminar
There is a new Room identifier settings for seminars which determines how much detail is displayed along with the room name in seminar session listings.
Program assignment interface improvements
There have been some improvements made to the assignment interface for programs, including the ability to search and filter assignments. There is also a simplified interface for adding assignments, which prevents too many records being loaded at the same time.
Certification assignment interface improvements
As with the program assignment interface, the assignment interface for certification has also seen similar improvements. There is now the ability to search and filter assignments, as well as an improved interface for adding new assignments.
Seminar notification update and addition
The old [facetofacename] placeholder has been replaced by [seminarname] to better reflect the naming of this feature. There is also a new seminar notification placeholder for [seminardescription] which allows you to add a description of the seminar activity to your message.
Prevent SCORM timeout
There is a new setting for SCORM that allows you to Enable the SCORM player to keep the user session alive. This setting is only configurable by Site Administrators and can be used in order to prevent unwanted session timeouts during SCORM attempts.
Due to the fact that it keeps user sessions alive while the SCORM attempt is in progress, it may be considered a minor security concern and has been added to the Security overview report as such.
Warning for competency scale ordering issues
It is now possible to correct any ordering issues involving proficient values being below non-proficient values. Warnings are shown when proficient values are out of order, and it is possible to change the proficiency settings of these scales to correct this situation.
Require passing grade for seminar activity
Seminar activity completion options have been enhanced by the addition of the Require grade activity completion setting.
In order to provide backward compatibility with previous seminar activity completion options, the upgrade will set Require grade to Yes, any grade and Passing grade to 0 on any seminar where Learner must receive a grade to complete this activity is enabled. This has the effect of exactly reproducing the previous behaviour.
Upload seminar attendance
It is possible to upload a CSV file with attendance information for each event attendee. If event manual grading is enabled, the CSV file may also include grades.
OAuth 2 authentication method
The OAuth 2 authentication method allows you to enable login via other services, such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft accounts.
Reorder course sets
Use titles in section links block
You can now change the display style of topics within the section links block. By default, it will still display the section link as a number, but this can be switched to either Title only or Number and title in the block settings.
Improved messaging during hierarchy deletion
Improvements to the onscreen messaging and warnings during bulk deletion of hierarchy frameworks and items.
Default saved search option in reports
A saved search can now be set as a default view for a shared custom report.
Seminar cancellation overview report is now an embedded report
The seminar cancellation report can now be edited via the report builder, allowing permitted users to add those filters and columns most relevant to your training team.
Improved navigation within learning plans
A new link is now provided for learners to navigate back to their main learning plan tabs after viewing the details of a particular learning item or competency.
Streamlined workflow for adding new users
There have been a few changes to the add a user workflow to give administrators more options when saving or updating user accounts.
In Totara 12.4+ a new Create and view button has been added to allow admins to easily view the user's profile after creation (rather than being taken back to the list of users with Create user button. Similarly there is now an Update and view button when eding a user's profile.
For Totara Evergreen there are futher changes. Instead of the previous buttons, both creating a user and editing their profile will have Save and view and Save and go back options to take you from the task to the user profile or list of users respectively.
Additionally for Totara Evergreen Browse list of users has been renamed Manage users, and Add a new user has been renamed Create user.
Ability to unlock closed appraisal stages for all roles
Last month we released new functionality to allow users with appropriate access rights to unlock and reopen previously closed stages for a specific appraisee, role and stage. This functionality has been extended so that all roles within a stage can also be unlocked.
Seminar event manual grading
Trainers can now enter a grade for each attendee of a seminar event while taking attendance. This feature allows a trainer to separate grade from an attendance score and capture a true representation of a learner's attendance, attention and understanding at a seminar based training event.
Manager approval from seminar reports
A new approval link column has been added to the default column list for the Seminar Sessions source in the Report Builder.
Multi-select custom fields for organisation types used for dynamic audience rules
Organisations can be linked to organisation types, which in turn can have any number of associated custom fields. The March Evergreen release now supports the use of the multi-select custom field type as dynamic audience membership criteria.
Dynamic audience rule based on course or program enrolment
Users can now be assigned to an audience where they have an active enrolment in a specific course or program.
Dynamic audience rule based on temporary manager
Users can now be added to an audience based on their Temporary Manager.
Number of direct reports dynamic audience rule
Administrators can now create dynamic audiences using rules based on the number of direct reports a user holds. For example, 'all managers that have at least 3 direct reports' or 'all managers who have 4 or 5 direct reports'.
Has direct reports dynamic audience criteria
Dynamic audiences can now be created based on whether a user has a team reporting directly to them.
Has appraisees dynamic audience criteria
Users can now be added to an audience based on whether they have been assigned appraisal capacity in any of their job assignments.
Seminar waitlist report is now an embedded report
The seminar waitlist report can now be edited via the Report Builder, allowing permitted users to add those filters and columns most relevant to your training team.
New course end date default setting
Administrators can now choose whether 'course end date' is enabled or disabled by default in new courses.
Marking attendance for seminar sessions
It is now possible to mark learner attendance at both the Seminar event and session level.
Job assignment ID based audience rule
A new audience rule has been created allowing users to be added to a dynamic audience based on their job assignment ID number. This feature has been designed to support scenarios where some job assignments have the same title but a different ID number, and where staff may hold the same job assignment title, but be assigned this role within different departments or teams.
Ability to unlock closed appraisal stages
Users with appropriate access rights can unlock and reopen previously closed stages for a specific appraisee, role and stage.
Log in as user shown in log reports
When an administrator 'logs in as' another user, any activities completed or pages viewed as that user are now recorded as being completed during a logged in as session.
Improved user tracking within Appraisals
Totara Learn now records the name of each user completing an appraisal stage, including those users completing on behalf of other users (via Log in as) or users later assigned a different appraisal role.
Configurable CSV delimiter for seminar attendee bulk upload
Seminar global settings now include a site wide default CSV delimiter option and when uploading attendees to a seminar event, a range of csv delimiters are available for selection.
User creation date based audience rule
A new audience rule has been added allowing users to be added to a dynamic audience based on the date/time their user account was created within your Totara Learn site.
Historic course completion based audience rule
Dynamic audiences now include membership rules based on historic course completion and historic course completion dates.
The look and feel of the course catalogue has been improved to make it easier for users to browse, filter or search for courses, programs and certifications. Site administrators can also configure the new Grid catalogue to suit your organisation's preferences.
Navigation block re-design
The places in which the navigation block will appear and the content it will display has changed.
When viewing a site, category, or user page the navigation block is hidden by default, although it can be restored by a site admin. The reason the block is hidden at these levels is because all items in the navigation block can also be accessed from the top menu bar, the user menu, or other blocks.
When viewing a course, there is a navigation block dedicated to the current course. It includes items such as participants, badges, grades and quick navigation top topics within the course.
The size and amount of default content of the footer has been significantly reduced.
Additional block regions
Blocks can now be added to a full width header and footer region and a central block region is available within the front page.
New block appearance options
Blocks can now set to display without a header and/or a border. Blocks can also be renamed from their default title.
Multiple signup based on attendance status
The ability to sign up for multiple seminar events can now be controlled by the learner's previous attendance status. This means learners who were unable to attend or fully attend an event, will now be able to re-book.
Admin menu improvements
The Administration block on the left has been replaces by the new admin menu, which can be accessed from the top menu bar. This improved navigation will allow administrators to customise the menu with those areas they regularly access, in language they understand.
Full text search
It is now possible to add full text search indexes into database schema, and to execute full text searches against them. This has been documented in the developer documentation, so clicking the read more link below will take you away from this help space.
The Seminar module has seen a comprehensive code refactoring, paving the way for further developments and improvements.
Report content restriction by audience
In addition to organisation, position and job assignment content restrictions, report content can now also be restricted by audience.
Certification based audience rules
Dynamic audience rules now include a user's certification status and certification date.
Improvements to the consistency of system notifications around appraisals. Now if you assign a learner to an appraisal after the activation the learner will receive the activation notification.
Authentication method audience rules
A new dynamic audience rule has been added based on a user's authentication method. This has a range of applications including limiting certain learning items from the view of self-registered users versus users who are authenticating via an internal system.
Default settings for HR Import
The general settings for HR Import have been updated to default settings, allowing for each HR Import Element (Organisation, Position, User, Job Assignment and Competency) to have it's own settings and scheduling.
Front page configuration
The Front page has seen a number of updates to streamline and simplify the display of content and navigation items within the centre column, including a new centre block region.
The breadcrumbs container will no longer appear if there are no breadcrumbs to display.
File viewing on iOS
We have improved support for viewing PDFs on iOS devices.
Seminar notifications multi-language filter
Seminar notifications now support the multi-language filter so messages can be viewed in a user's selected language.
Course completion reports
Course completion reports can now include a column for the note recorded against a Recognition of Prior Learning.
Totara content marketplace provides support for browsing and importing external content from content providers directly into your site.
Content providers can implement a new 'marketplace' plugin type to integrate their content into Totara Learn.
The release includes a marketplace plugin for GO1, which provides direct access to search and include GO1 aggregated content.
Support for pluggable course creation workflows
There is now support for general purpose, pluggable workflows which provide an extensible way to provide different workflows for a specific task. The first workflow type to be implemented is the course creation workflow, which provides a way to design custom workflows to collect information and generate specific types of courses.
Read more within the developer documentation...
User consent statement filter for site policies report
The Site Policies report now includes a consent statement filter alongside a few minor improvements to other Site Policy report filters.
Added HR Import source for competencies
Competencies can now be created, updated and deleted via HR Import.
Competency framework and items export improvements
Competency frameworks and competency items can now be exported in a HR Import compatible format
Redesigned Top Navigation
The Top Navigation area (previously the Main Menu) has been redesigned to improve the user journey and look and feel of Totara Learn. The new Top Navigation changes include:
- The ability to add third-level navigation
- Site logo now sits within the navigation bar
- Messages and alerts have been moved to navigation bar
- Language selector located within navigation bar
- User menu sits within navigation bar
Improved approval request messages for Learning Plans
Managers receive different Alert and Tasks messages depending on the Manager view and approve workflow settings in the corresponding Learning Plan template.
Course type option for uploading courses
When uploading multiple courses via CSV file to Totara Learn it is now possible to set the course type as either E-learning, Blended, or Face to face. By default, the value for coursetype is E-learning. This is only for the scenario where the coursetype field is missing from the CSV file or the field is empty.
There are a few improvements for caching including the ability to use the igbinary serialiser and Redis cache store in your Totara Learn instance.
It is possible to allow NGINX and other webservers to log username in access logs. When you allow logging by a webserver in the access logs they can send the username as a custom header which can be logged and stripped out if needed.
Progress bar calculation improvement
The calculation of a user's progress towards completion of a program or certification has been improved to take progress of all involved courses into consideration. This progress is now displayed as a true percentage in a progress bar.
Featured Link block: Course images for course tiles
It is now possible to have a custom image associated with each course, program, and certification in Totara Learn. A user can set a specific image in the course/program/certification settings and they can also set a default image for all courses/programs/certifications.
When you set up a Featured Link block with a course/program/certification tile it will use the set image for that course/program/certification, if there is not one specifically set it will use the default image.
New workflow and interface for adding blocks
Blocks are now added via an Add Block icon available within all available block regions. This icon displays a list of all available block types and features a dynamic search field.
Report column deprecation
Please note that some column options have been deprecated in this version and will be removed from the next major release of Totara Learn. It is advised that you use alternative column options as this will not only improve performance of your reports it will also prevent any problems with your reports when upgrading Totara Learn.
Restrict access: Time since
It is possible to restrict access to an activity based on the time since completing (or not completing) another activity. This might be useful if you wish to stagger a learner's journey through the course.
Course, Program and Certification images
An image can now be set for each course, program and certification via their respective settings pages and site administrators may set a default image all courses, programs and certifications.
Recovering seminar notifications
When upgrading to Totara Learn 9+ from a Totara Learn 2.x version you might experience some deprecation of notifications, with some failing to send. It is now possible to restore all missing notifications as a site administrator.
Performance related data
In order to protect users' personal data, site managers can no longer access report columns relating to a user's performance by default. It is still possible to grant them permissions by enabling the totara/appraisal:viewallappraisals and totara/hierarchy:viewallgoals capabilities on the site manager role.
HTML editor for Site Policies
An HTML editor is now used when adding and editing Site policy statements and translations. A preview function was also added. This enables the policy creator to view how the policy will be rendered to users.
Anyone upgrading from an earlier version of Totara 11 who has previously added site policies and wants to use html formatting will need make sure they properly transfer these. You can read instructions of how to do this on the Site policies help page.
Featured Link Block: New gallery display options
The way the gallery tile works for the Featured links block has slightly changed, so that each image is configured as a sub tile within the gallery tile. There is also a number of new options when using the gallery tile type, including the ability to add transitions, control the order, and set the gallery to auto-play.
Automated selection of Job Assignments within Appraisals
When an appraisal is activated or when learners are dynamically or manually added to an active appraisal, a learner's job assignment is now automatically linked to their appraisal assignment.
If a user has multiple job assignments, this automatic assignment will not apply. If a user does not have a job assignment, an empty job assignment will be automatically created.
Full width top and bottom block regions within the homepage and Dashboards
The homepage and any Dashboards now have a full width block region at the top and bottom of the page. This allows Site Administrators to add images and content to these areas via configuration.