Note: Some of the information in this article has been taken and/or modified from TotaraLMS Help Centre.
One of the greatest assets of Totara LMS is its capability to track certain aspects of an organization. Tracking instruments can improve the organization’s short term and long term goals. Incorporating the organization’s HR system and Totara’s tracking capability, creates a system of sustainable development, with available live information.
Organization members can complete activities, programs, courses and receive marks towards proficiency in competencies and objectives. In order to track all these activities, Totara has an advanced system of tracking, called reports. The main objective of reports is to display completion and competency information, so that the HR managers will source talent within the company.
This knowledge proves beneficial when it comes to filling temporary knowledge gaps, achieve certain goals, and promoting those members that have gained significant knowledge during their working career in the organization.
Sections/Summary of the Steps
Before getting into the details of the tracking process in Totara, please note the following Sections/Steps.
- Section 1: Introduction and management of reports
- Section 2: Creating User reports and User reports settings
This article also includes the following.
Section 1: Introduction and management of reports
In Totara LMS there are two types of reports
- User generated reports
- Embedded reports
User generated reports are reports created by the site administrator, and embedded reports are reports that come with Totara. Embedded reports provide a set of default settings which can be modified by the site administrator. Embedded reports cannot be deleted, but they can be edited so that they can be restored to the default settings.
To create reports navigate to Reports Builder from the Administration block > site administration > Reports
As we mentioned before, embedded reports come pre-installed with Totara LMS. An example for such reports include the Completion import: Course status and the Goal Status. These reports already have premade settings that can be altered by an administrator.
Managing Embedded Reports
When you open Manage Reports, you will come up to a list of embedded reports shown on the picture above.
All these embedded reports have default settings that control how the report first appears. When a developer inserts an embedded report, any user that visits an embedded report for the first time, the settings that the developer made are saved and the embedded report is listed.
Embedded reports cannot be deleted.
Click the ‘Refresh’ button to reset the report back to its default settings.
There are two types of content restrictions
- Restrictions using the Content Settings in the report settings which can be changed by the site administrator
- Restrictions where the developer has used embedded parameters to set restrictions which cannot be changed by the site administrator.
As an example of embedded parameters is the Audience members page has no content restriction applied and the page only shows results for the staff which are in the users organization.
Access restrictions are controlled by the developer. A site administration cannot change these restrictions using Access Settings.
As for the access restrictions, same rules apply for the report appearance. Only the developer can customize the report and the features that are available.
Section 2: Creating User reports and User reports settings
User Generated Reports
These types of reports are created by the site administrator. When this kind of a report is created, it is listed at the top of the Manage Report page. Also, besides the name, the type of report is listed i.e. which source the user generated report is based on. There are options to edit and delete.
Creating a new report
Every new report that you will create, it is going to be based on an embedded report i.e. that is the source.
In the ‘Manage Reports’ page scroll down in the New Report section.
- Enter the report name
- Select the type of report (Source). This will determine which columns and filters are available for the report you will create
- If you select Hide my reports, the report that you create will not be shown in My Reports for any users.
- At the end click Save Changes.
The report has been created. The next step is the Report Settings.
In the report settings you will set options in order to customize your report.
You will notice that there are tabs with settings. Click Save changes every time you switch between tabs to ensure saving your settings.
Just above the Edit Report heading, you will notice two options
- All Reports
- View This Report
The first option will take you back to the reports page, the other one will show you the report that you are setting.
In the General settings tab, you will find the basic information about the report.
There is a description field, the Source field, Report type etc.
Once you choose the Source of a report, you cannot change it in the Settings.
In the Columns tab you will select the columns that you want to appear in the report. These columns depend on the source of the report. Every single report source has different columns that it represents.
Columns can be added, removed, renamed and sorted.
Adding columns and customization
Adding columns is a straight-forward task. Click on Add another column drop down list and click on Save changes. Also, you can customize the heading of the column.
It is important to note that you can create only one column of each type. A validation error appears if you create a column that already has been selected.
Hiding columns and rearrangement
If you don’t want a particular column to be shown in the report, you can just unpick it from the list of columns. There is an eye icon you can press, if it is closed the column is hidden; if it is open the column will be shown.
Also you can rearrange columns using the up and down arrows on the right.
The deleting of columns is very easy. You just click on the red cross icon and the column will be removed.
The sorting option will allow you to set a default column and sort order on a report.
An importing point to emphasize is that when users view the report, they can manually sort it. During the active session, user’s preferences will be saved. After the session is finished the report will return to the default settings that you set here.
The Filters tab will allow you to customize the filters, that is, the search options that will appear on your report. The types of filters are determined by the data source of the report. Each report source has its own set of default filters.
Adding, deleting and moving filters
To add a new filter to the report, scroll down to the last field and you will notice a drop down menu 'Add another filter…' If Advanced is checked the filter will not appear in Search by box. The user must click 'Show advanced' to see these filters.
Deleting the filters is a straight-forward tasks, as are many other deleting commands in Moodle. Just press the red x cross, and the filter will be deleted.
In order to move the filters, use the up and down arrow on the right of the table.
In the content tab, you can control the restriction to the records and information that is available when a report is viewed.
In the Report Content menu, you can select the settings for the overall content control.
If the option 'Show all records' is selected, no restrictions will be put on the report, and all the available records will be shown.
If the option 'Show records matching all of the checked criteria' is selected, the report will show records that match the specific criteria you will set up.
If no criteria is set the report displays no record.
Show by User’s current organization
When setting this option, the report displays results that depend on the organization that the user has been assigned to.
Note: The organization is set in the Position tab in the user profile.
If the 'Include records from child organization' is set to 'Yes', then the user will be able to view completed records related to their organization AND any other child organizations; if 'No', the user can view the records to their organizations.
Show by the Organization when Completed
This report displays completed records that depend on the organization that the user has been assigned to.
If the Include records from child organization is set to Yes, then the user will be able to view completed records related to their organization AND any other child organizations , if No then the user can view the records to their organizations.
Show by User
When you select Show records based on the user the report will show different records depending on the user that is viewing the report, and the user’s relationship with other users.
Include records from a particular users is used to control what records a user viewing report can see, and if A user’s own records is selected the user can see their own records only. If the Records for user’s direct reports is selected, the user can see the records that belong to users who report to them. When Records for user's indirect reports is checked the user can see the records that belong to any user below them in the management hierarchy, without their direct reports.
Show by completion date
If Show by completion date is selected the report displays records within the selected timeframe.
The 'Include records from' sets the timeframe of the report
- The past – shows only records with a date older than the current date
- The future – shows only records with a future date
- The last 30 days – shows only records between the current time 30 days before
- The next 30 days – shows only records between the current time and 30 days into the future.
Also you can click 'Include record if date missing', so that records with no date can be included in the report.
In the Access tab there are controls that are set to restrict which users can view the report.
Restrict Access option sets the overall access settings for the report. There are two options
- All users can view the report option allows no restrictions to the report and all users will be able to view the report
- Only certain users can view this report option restricts users so that selected groups can view the report.
Restrict Access by role
The Context option is the level within the system that the user has access to. Site Administrators have System level access, while learners may only have Course level access.
There are two options
- Users must have role in the system context allows users that are assigned a role at a system level (site-wide level) to be able to view the report
- User may have role in any context allows users that have been assigned the selected role anywhere in the system.
Roles with permission to view this report
To set these roles, in the Restrict access the option must be set to Only certain users can view this report. If the All users can view this report is set, this option is disabled.
There are two settings in the Performance tab. The Performance tab is used mainly when there are big reports that have to be displayed.
Restrict initial display option controls how the report is initially displayed. This option is recommended for large reports such as when you would be filtering results of the site logs. This setting increases the speed of the report, by allowing you to apply filters and display the results instead trying to display all the data.
The default setting is Disabled. If you enable it the report will not generate results until a filter is applied or an empty search is run.
A Lambda Solutions Video Tutorial
Below is a video tutorial for using Reports. If the video does not load below, you can view it here.