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Advanced features contains a number of features that may be enabled/disabled globally by the Site Administrator. You can access it from the Administration block by going to Site administration > Advanced features.



Outcomes are specific descriptions of what a learner has demonstrated and understood at the completion of an activity or course. Each outcome is rated by some sort of scale.

In simple terms outcomes are similar to sub components of a grade. A grade is an assessment of overall performance that may include tests, participation, attendance, and projects. Outcomes assess specific levels of knowledge through a series of statements, that may be coded with numbers or letters. Thus an overall grade can be given for a course, along with statements about specific competencies in the form of outcomes.

Please see Outcomes for more information.


A comments block can be added to any page in Totara, enabling users to easily add comments. A similar interface enables comments to be added to glossary, database activity and blog entries. The comments interface uses AJAX so that comments are added instantly without needing a page refresh.



Tags allow learners and trainers to describe their interests in a way that is easy for people with similar interests to find them. The user's profile has a place to enter interests, which will create or add the user to an existing tag. Tag pages can be viewed and blog posts can be tagged.

Please see Tags for more information.


The Notes feature is a way to attach information about a user by another user. For example, a trainer might attach a note to a specific learner about the hobbies and interests that seems to engage that learner.

Users must have the permissions to view notes and manage notes in order to use this feature in any context. Thus learners might be allowed to view or even manage notes within a course.



Portfolios in Totara Learn make it easy for a learner to export their work to an external portfolio. For example, learner work might include forum posts or assignment submissions that they believe demonstrates their knowledge.

Please see Portfolio for more information.

Web services

Web services enable other systems to login to Totara Learn and perform operations.

Please see Web services for more information.


'Messaging' refers both to automatic alerts from Totara Learn about new forum posts, assignment submission notifications etc, and also to conversations using the instant messaging feature.

Disabling messaging will also stop alerts and tasks along with their associated emails from going out.

Please see Messaging for more information.

Read notifications

Displays when messages such as forum messages have been read. The read notification can also be deleted after a specified time.

Please see Forums for more information. 

Notification email override

Allows user to add an extra email that can be used to send email notifications to.



If statistics are enabled for the site, graphs and tables of user activity may be generated.

Please see the Server Help page for more information.

RSS feeds

RSS (really simple syndication) feeds in Totara Learn enable people to stay up to date with forum posts, glossary entries, and other events within Totara.



Blogs in Totara Learn are user based, each user has their own blog. Users can also register their external blogs, such as Blogger or Wordpress, so that entries are automatically included in their Totara Learn blog.

Please see Blogs for more information.


The Totara Learn network feature allows a Site Administrator to establish a link with another site and to share some resources with the users of that Totara.

You can also use Totara Connect

Completion tracking

Completion tracking is a process that assists course completion and activity completion features. It must be enabled in advanced settings before it can be used anywhere in the site. Select the roles that require tracking (usually learner) under Site administration > Grades > General settings > Graded roles.

Please see Course completion for more information.

Restricted access

Restricted access enables trainers to restrict the availability of any activity according to certain conditions such as dates, grade obtained, or activity completion. When it is enabled by the Site Administrator, a Restrict access setting appears in the settings of activities or resources.

Please see Restricted access for more information.

Enable RPL

When enabled, a course can be marked as completed by assigning the user a Recognition of Prior Learning. It is also possible to enable this for course page modules.

Please see the Achievement Help page for more information. 

Plagiarism prevention

Plagiarism is when a learner submits content they have copied and the real author was not given credit for the words. Plagiarism prevention detects when this form of cheating or academic dishonesty has happened.



Open badges allows the awarding of badges for meeting specified course and site level criteria. Enabling this allows the creation and award of badges on the site.

Please see Open badges for more information.

Report caching

Report caching is used to increase the performance of selected reports.


Audience based visibility

The visibility of each individual course, program or certification can be set to:

  • Visible to all users
  • Visible to enrolled users
  • Visible to enrolled users and members of the selected audiences

Enabling this setting will change the visibility of courses, programs, and certifications across the whole site, meaning the existing visibility settings and the viewhiddencourses capability will no longer apply, so courses, programs, and certifications that are currently hidden may become visible.

Please see Audiences for more information.

Totara Connect server

Totara Connect is a single-sign-on and user identity solution for multiple Totara servers.

Please see Totara Connect for more information.

Enhanced catalog

The enhanced catalog supports the search by course activity and other criteria including custom fields across categories. When disabled, the standard catalog will appear.


Dynamic appraisals

This setting allows you to specify whether appraisals lock on activation and no longer update assignments and roles or continue to update after activation.

Please see Appraisals for more information.

Display hierarchy shortnames

Hierarchy shortnames are able to be displayed in addition to the fullname in hierarchy forms.


Program extension request

When enabled extension requests can be turned on for individual programs. This allows the program assignee to request an extension to the due date for a program. This extension can then be accepted or denied by the assignee's manager.

Please see Managing programs for more information.


Personal and organisational goals are able to be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Goals for more information.


Competencies are skills that can be attained through completion of course work or on the job training. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Competencies for more information.


Staff appraisals are forms that can be created that are required to be answered at specified times by the staff, manager, manager's manager, or appraiser. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Appraisals for more information.

360 Feedback

360 Feedbacks are forms that can be created that can be answered by specified people. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see 360 feedback for more information.

Learning plans

Learning plans are used to specify the training required by staff and are able to be reviewed by managers. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Learning plans for more information.


Programs allows you to create learning paths for learners where you can define dependencies and control the order and flow of the competencies and courses your learners complete. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Programs for more information.


Certifications allows you to create learning paths for learners that need to be repeated after a specified time. You can define dependencies and control the order and flow of the competencies and courses your learners complete. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Certifications for more information.

Totara dashboard

Dashboards allow Site Administrators to design multiple interface options for a user to access upon logging into Totara.

Please see Dashboards for more information.

Report builder graphs

This allows data from report builder reports to be aggregated and displayed as a graph.

Please see Graphical reporting for more information.

Record of learning

This displays all of the learners completed and current learning.Please see My learning for more information.


These allow the assigning of users to managers, organisation, and position hierarchies.Please see Positions for more information.

My team

This allows managers to see information regarding their staff learning and items that require manager approval.Please see Team for more information.

Program completion editor

When enabled (checked), the Completion tab will be made available to user's with the totara/program:editcompletion capability when editing a program or certification. This will allow them to edit completion records, both historical and current.Please see Program completion editor for more information.

Multiple job assignments

When enabled (checked) this allows users to have more than one job assignment. This feature is enabled by default for new installations and upgraded sites.
When disabled:

  • Only one job assignment can be created for each user.
  • HR Import will prevent uploading multiple job assignments for a single user when disabled.
  • Any existing multiple job assignments within the system when the setting is disabled will still remain; they will not be automatically removed and they will continue to function until they are manually removed.
Please see Job assignments for more information.

Enable site policies

When enabled, you will be able to create and manage multiple site policies. Current site policy will be lost.

Please see Site policies for more information.
On this page

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Plugins and Advanced Features in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more on how to use Plugins and Advanced Features, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

Provide feedback about this page using the link in the bottom right of this page. 

Still have questions? Why not post them in the forums of the Totara Community?