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With Totara Engage it is possible to integrate your Totara site with Microsoft Teams (note that you will need a licence for MS Teams). The Microsoft Teams application can also include Totara Learn functionality if your subscription includes Totara Learn. This includes tabs for Find learningCurrent learning, Your library, and Totara notifications including tasks and alerts. From within the application users can interact with Engage content, such as resources and playlists, and Learn content such as courses, programmes/certifications and activities.

Integrating your Totara site with Microsoft Teams provides additional features including the following:

  • A messaging extension which allows users to search the catalogue from the chat interface and send an item to other users in the conversation
  • Pinning Find learning items (e.g. courses or playlists) to a tab in a Teams Channel

In order to use the Find learning tab in Microsoft Teams you need to ensure that the Catalogue default view is set to Grid. You can do this by navigating to Quick-access menu > Advanced features > Catalogue default view, then select Grid from the dropdown list.

Additionally if you want to use Current learning functionality in the Microsoft Teams app you need to enable the Current learning block. You can do this by navigating to Quick-access menu > Plugins > Blocks > Manage blocks, then ensure that the eye icon in the Hide/show column is open for the block.

Accessing the app

Once you have created the application, users can access it by following these steps:

  1. Sign in to Microsoft Teams.
  2. Click on the icon of three dots in the side panel and select More apps.
  3. Select Built for [organisation name] to display a list of all available custom apps.
  4. Click the app and select Add to access it.

Adding the Totara app to MS Teams.

Site Administrators can pin the app to the side panel, meaning your users will not need to search for and install the app themselves. 

Pinning an app to the side navigation bar.

Messaging extension

The messaging extension feature allows users to find and share any content from Find learning into their chat. As with any other MS Teams messaging extension, the user can find the Totara messaging extension in the chat toolbar ().

A conversation in the MS Teams messaging extension.

You can also pin the messaging extension app to the side panel by right-clicking it and selecting Pin.

Microsoft Teams requires the catalogue images displayed in the messaging extension to be made publicly-accessible via direct URL. This means that in order to display item images in the messaging extension the Allow public access to catalogue item pictures setting needs to be enabled via Quick-access menu > Security on your Totara siteIf you do not wish to enable this setting, the messaging extension will still be fully functional without the displayed images.

Totara Engage only

If you set up a Microsoft Teams integration with only a Totara Engage subscription then the app will be limited to Engage functionality, such as the Library (creating, viewing and interacting with resources and playlists), the Find learning page and relevant Totara notifications. Messaging extensions and pinning items to a Teams channel are both available, but content will be limited to Resources and Playlists.

If you create an app with multiple Totara subscriptions and then change your subscription to Totara Engage only, you will need to download the manifest file again and use it to update the app in Microsoft Teams. You can find more information about updating your app on the Microsoft Teams integration page.

The Totara Engage library in the MS Teams app.

Totara Learn

If you have Totara Learn installed then you can access learning resources in two ways.

Firstly the Find learning tab allows users to access the course catalogue. Here users can browse, search and filter for courses, programs and certifications. Additionally if you have Totara Engage installed then any resources will also appear in the catalogue. Each item in the catalogue is represented by a card showing the resource title and image, as well as the type of item (e.g. course or resource). Clicking each item will reveal more information, and then users can go to the selected item. 

The Find learning tab in MS Teams.

Alternatively, learners can view any learning they are enrolled on in the Current learning tab. If the logged-in user isn't enrolled on any courses, programs or certifications then this tab will be empty. For Totara Engage-only subscribers, the Current learning tab can be disabled under Quick-access menu > Plugins > Blocks > Manage blocks under the Show/hide column. This will need to be hidden prior to downloading the manifest.

Totara Learn activities 

If your subscription also includes Totara Learn then users can access learning activities within the app. All Totara Learn activities are fully functional in the Microsoft Teams app with a few exceptions. Due to the dynamic nature of the wiki and external tool activities, it is recommended that these activities are opened in the browser. This ensures that all functionality is available. An Open in browser button in the navigation panel allows users to open any page in a browser window at any time. For these activities a note will recommend that users open the activity in their browser.

External URLs

When using the URL activity you need to ensure that the activity uses either the New window or In pop-up setting. This ensures that external URLs are opened in a browser, as Teams applications do not support external URLs within the application itself. You can ensure that the New window option is enabled by navigating to Quick-access menu > Plugins > Activity modules > URL, then selecting New window for the Available display options setting, then Save changes.

If a URL is included using the text editor (such as in labels or topic summaries) you need to ensure that you select the Open in new window (target="_blank") setting.

Video and image URLs embedded within pages will be displayed in the same way in the Microsoft Teams app as they would on your Totara site.

Notifications

The Totara notifications sent to users within the MS Teams application are generated by the MS Teams bot framework. There are three bot commands, all of which can be edited/configured under Language strings:

  • Sign in: Users will need to sign in to the bot in order to enable notifications
  • Sign out: Users can use this to sign out and disable notifications
  • Help: This text can be configured to include any links to help documentation or contact details for the organisation's LMS helpdesk

In order to set up notifications in your Totara app follow these steps:

  1. Configure the bot framework as part of the initial integration set up.
  2. On your Totara site navigate to Quick-access menu > Plugins > Message outputs > Default message outputs.
  3. Enable the message outputs for Microsoft Teams.
  4. Users then need to sign into the bot to receive notifications.

Once you have completed these steps your users will receive Totara notifications, such as assignment or feedback notifications, within Microsoft Teams.


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