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The City of San Antonio Provides Training and Engagement Through Totara Learn to Help Employees Reach Career Potential

The City of San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the United States. The City of San Antonio’s Training and Development is focused on creating and delivering the most impactful opportunities to assist employees in reaching career potential. The City of San Antonio works with eThink Education to use the Totara Learning Management System to promote and cultivate career development for city employees of all levels.

The City of San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the United States, boasting a large and varied number of city employees. City of San Antonio’s employee training and engagement team is focused on creating and delivering the most impactful opportunities for employees to reach career potential. Training and Employee Engagement is a division of Human Resources and uses the online eLearning tool, Totara, to promote and cultivate career development for City employees.

The Challenge

The City of San Antonio was previously using the employee training LMSTotara Learn, but were looking for a higher level of support from their hosting provider, some might even say learning experience platform (LXP) level support.



The City of San Antonio began evaluating other Totara vendors and found the support they needed with eThink Education’s fully-managed and unlimited support model for Totara. After deciding to host their Totara installation with Platinum Partner eThink, the eThink Team had to work with an incredibly quick timeline.

The City of San Antonio needed to move their site over to eThink’s environment in just three weeks. As such, they needed a rush job to complete their site transfer and standup before the end of their previous contract.

To make the immediate transfer more digestible for both teams and end users, they decided to replicate their site theme and look.

“We considered other platforms, but at the end of the day we knew we wanted a seamless transition and a vendor with strong knowledge of how we could continue our pursuit of online learning for City of San Antonio employees. eThink was the right partner to take our enterprise eLearning journey to the next level.”

Lori Steward, Human Resources Director for the City of San Antonio
The Solution

Site Migration & Theme Styling

In an effort to transfer their site quickly and keep it as similar as possible to what they had previously, the eThink team worked closely with the City of San Antonio to design a theme similar to the one they’d used with their previous host. They selected the OneTopic course format to try and mimic the look of their last theme.

HR Import

Although they were already familiar with HR Import, eThink was able to assist the City of San Antonio with this process by providing best practice suggestions that helped improve the process. HR Import allows them to sync their existing employee user base into their new Totara instance, ensuring an easy transition of their employee roster and accompanying user data. This allows City of San Antonio’s employees to immediately begin their training programs as soon as they are hired.

“Our experience with eThink was an all-hands-on-deck implementation,” said Michelle Martin, Learning and Design Architect, City of San Antonio. “They ensured all bases were covered for a successful implementation in such a short time frame.”

Course Creation

Additionally, eThink assisted the City of San Antonio in structuring their course content in a way that would give them the user experience, reporting, and learning outcomes that they desired.



“Once implementation was completed, we began to revisit how to build courses that aligned more with learning outcomes and goals. eThink provided good insight on managing audience groups, certification of course completions, and customized reporting. Their due diligence as a Totara Partner has resulted in better execution of compliance training to 10,000 employees across 37 city departments.”

Michelle Martin, Learning and Design Architect, City of San Antonio
The Results & Future Plans

The City of San Antonio was very happy with the quick and efficient implementation eThink was able to provide. They were fully migrated and live on eThink before the end of their previous contract, helping them to avoid overlapping contracts. The look and feel of their site remained similar enough that there were limited user issues and questions post-migration.

Since their move, the City of San Antonio has not only seen an improvement in workflow, but can confidently rely on eThink to provide immediate support and thoughtful suggestions for improvements.

“eThink provides immediate solutions and detailed feedback on questions,” said Martin. “With their guidance and support, we now understand more of the functionality available within Totara and the best practices that enable us to provide a smooth user experience for our employees.”

During the Discovery & Implementation stages, eThink and the City of San Antonio also worked together to plan a Phase 2 of their project, since the initial transfer and stand-up was rushed. With eThink’s help, they plan to add:



  • Single Sign On (SSO) using SAML so users are able to gain easy access to any of several related systems with a single ID and password.
  • Seminar functionality to enable training managers to create, manage and report on in-person events and incorporate a blended learning strategy in their training.
  • Reports for training managers related to learner progress, course completion, and more. They are looking to expand beyond the standard reports in Totara and potentially incorporate an outside reporting tool to add more indepth reporting capabilities.


With eThink’s unlimited support and consultation, the City of San Antonio is confident of the direction of their project and looks forward to continuing to collaborate and find the best way to support and enhance their training efforts during the months and years to come.

“We look forward to utilizing the robust tools that Totara offers for a more customized experience for our employees”

Michelle Martin, Learning and Design Architect, City of San Antonio Training and Engagement

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