A Totara LMS with a Custom UI and Bespoke Webhooks

A Learning Platform Designed Around Delivering Webinars

The Client

MBL provides learning and development for professional service firms, delivering training in a number of areas including compliance, law and tax.

MBL offers a blended learning experience including face to face seminars, conferences, and in-house training. Their digital learning, which compliments their face to face training includes webinars, Learn Live (interactive live lessons through Adobe Connect), and now SCORM content on their learning platform.

The Brief

MBL wanted to improve their digital offering by introducing a Learning Management System which allowed them to deliver interactive eLearning content. They wanted to be able to deliver SCORM courses as well as having a platform on which to host their webinars, both new and old.

A key requirement for MBL was that the user journey was improved for learners and trainers alike, so they needed a complete user interface design to make the system as intuitive as possible for everyone using it. MBL wanted to streamline the way users accessed the full range of MBL content, including consolidating their 3 login systems, and offer an excellent experience for all users.

The Challenges

Key challenges our developers were faced with were:

  • Developing a custom Video activity within Totara so MBL can make the most of their webinar videos
  • Building a way of importing over 600 existing webinars onto the new LMS
  • Building an easy way of adding multiple new courses each week without having to configure every detail manually in Totara
  • Integrating MBL’s booking system into the LMS, passing information about users and enrolments instantly, securely, and robustly
  • Customising the LMS to allow MBL users to have a range of subscription types and access levels
  • Integrating SSO across multiple systems, some of which we don’t have full control of

As well as the technical challenges, our designers were tasked with creating a fresh look and feel for the user interface, but making sure it still feels like part of the MBL website.

Our Solution



A Totara LMS for 23,200 learners with custom UI design and bespoke webhooks to integrate MBL systems. The platform has a number of custom elements including:

  • User-friendly interface design
  • Custom made webinar activities
  • Integration with MBL booking system
  • Interactive mobile & tablet experience
  • Live interactive courses
  • Data transfer to CRM system
  • Single Sign-on

“BuildEmpire is a trusted partner on our digital transformation journey. Their Agile approach allows us to flex our requirements in line with the changing demands of the business, without any compromise on quality.”

Sarah Maundrell – Operations Director, MBL Seminars


User-Friendly Interface Design

The User Interface we designed for MBL keeps the learner’s experience streamlined and intuitive, allows students to clearly see what courses are available to them, what courses are in progress, and what certificates they have earned.

Our design team retained the main MBL colour, but refreshed the rest of the digital colour palette to feel more modern and vibrant. The new interface adds clarity to the platform and creates a calm, learner-focused environment for the users.

Custom Made Webinar Activities

The custom-made video activity we built for MBL’s Totara platform allows students to watch webinars as part of a course and then answer quizzes on the content.

The students are automatically asked to provide feedback, which is sent to MBL admins automatically, minimising the time MBL staff have to spend configuring activities within Totara.

To assist the migration of webinar videos, we built a plugin that sends resources from MBL’s old learning platform to the new Totara platform via webhook.

Integration with Booking System

MBL’s clients are able to either purchase single courses for themselves and their colleagues or purchase a subscription, all via MBL’s booking system. Rather than leaving the LMS and the booking system as two separate entities, our developers built a webhook that integrates the two.

This means that when a booking is received organisation and use profiles are created in Totara ready for the learners. If the subscriptions are then updated, renewed, or cancelled, Totara is automatically updated.

Interactive Mobile & Tablet Experience

As well as offering webinar courses, MBL wanted to start offering more interactive content by using SCORM. Totara natively allows trainers to add SCORM activities to courses, so our development team used this as a base and developed the new user interface for both mobile and desktop use on top of this.

Our developers enhanced the mobile user interface to make sure that SCORM courses always open in full screen to give mobile users a much better experience.

Live Interactive Courses

Learn Live is a live interactive course that MBL delivers via Adobe Connect. As well as being able to promote Learn Live within the LMS, it was also important to make sure all the information including learner

As the course was held outside Totara, our team built another webhook to collect the Learn Live completion information and record it in Totara. This means that all training information is stored in one place and certificates can be issued from Totara.

Data Transfer to CRM System

As well as making sure their new Totara platform was up to date with necessary learner information, MBL wanted to make sure their original CRM was also always kept up to date with all the information Totara was collecting.

So, we made sure the platforms were fully integrated so student information and course completion data can be gathered and fed back to update MBL’s CRM, from Totara, saving MBL time and ensuring student data is always correct.

Single Sign-on

In order to give the users a seamless journey from the MBL website to the LMS, we implemented the Microsoft Azure SSO solution.

The result is that students no longer need to enter a username and password to enter the Totara LMS as this will be captured from the student logging into MBL’s homepage, and an authorisation token sent to Totara. When the user enters the LMS, they are taken straight to their dashboard of courses for a personalised experience.

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Want to Talk to Us?

If you have a project you would like us to take a look at, you can contact us through our contact form and someone will be in touch, or email contact@buildempire.co.uk.

Or, if you prefer, give us a call in the office on 0161 641 2434 for a chat.