The recent announcement by Totara that they will fork their development in 2016 and no longer remain lockstep with Moodle has been seen as a significant shift in Moodledom. However, for those in the Moodle community who are not intimately familiar with both platforms, the simple and fundamental question of “what’s the difference?” is important to answer. Fortunately, the folks over at Paradiso have provided a straightforward and essentially comprehensive comparison of the two platforms.
First, they rightly point out that:
The primary difference between Moodle and Totara (apart from the funny names) is that Moodle was originally developed to be a free alternative for educators to create elearning content, with a focus on collaboration and continuous development and evolution, whereas Totara was conceived as an enterprise solution for organizations rather than education.
Paradiso then provides two different visualizations for comparing the two platforms. First is a tabular comparison between functionality:
Next they offer a comparison between core Moodle functionality and the added extensions developed by Totara:
The comparison also includes discussion about how hierarchies, muti-tenancy, learning paths and appraisals work (or are even available) in both platforms.
If you’re interested in the complete breakdown, check it out here. Then tells us about how you think Moodle and Totara stack up in the comments below. Please note that the Totara extensions (green above) may have open alternatives and be available in the Moodle Plugin Database as 3rd party addons as well.
(Note: Paradiso is a suporter of MoodleNews. All of the images in this article are taken from this Paradiso post.)