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Mahara Glossary

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Artefacts are all types of content that you add to your personal content area, i.e. text, journal entries, pictures, audio files, video files, images etc.


In general terms, authors are content creators and have the full rights on their works be it text, audio, video, still images or any other form of expression. If you are not the author of your own artefacts but wish to use somebody else’s work, make sure that you are allowed to do so. If you cannot use their work, you should not put it into your portfolio or use it in groups.




Blocks exist on pages. They contain your artefacts that are displayed in context on a page to make up the portfolio.




A collection is a bundle of pages that contain your artefacts. A navigation block or the navigation bar helps to move from page to page in a collection.




The dashboard is your start and overview page after you logged in. You can customise the information you see on your dashboard and for example have easy access to pages shared with you, your notifications, forum topics you are following etc.




You can create groups and invite other users into your groups to work collaboratively on projects. Groups can use forums for discussions, a group files area for sharing files, journals to reflect collectively and create and share pages and collections.




You can collect personal reflections about a topic or learning progress in a journal. It consists of a series of these reflections that you write in individual journal entries. Per default, you have one journal, but you can add more if you enable multiple journals in your settings. You can add journals to pages as a whole, as individual entries or selected based on tags.

You can decide to publish a journal entry so others can see it if it is in a page or keep it as draft for yourself only.




Notifications are automatically created by the system and inform you about new feedback on your pages, new forum posts in groups, new access to other users’ pages and much more. The notifications appear in your inbox and can be delivered via email.




You can design pages by arranging artefacts on them. You define the page layout and - if enabled - the theme for it. You give other users access to pages so they can view your work and comment on it. Several pages can be added to a collection. All users can create personal pages and group members may be able to create group pages.

Pages can also be created as templates for further use by others.


Plans are simple ToDo lists consisting of tasks. You can add your plans as blocks into your pages.


Portfolios gather stuff, i.e. learning artefacts and evidence. In Mahara you place your artefacts into pages which you can bundle up into collections. A page or a collection can then already be your portfolio. Thus, you can create many different portfolios. You decide whether you want to share your portfolios with others or keep them for yourself. You can create portfolios for many purposes, e.g.

  • reflecting on courses;
  • creating and reflecting on projects;
  • personal reflecting on individual development or separate learning processes;
  • creating résumés and your learner biography;
  • creating a showcase of your best work and much more.

Your profile page is visible to other users on Mahara. You should only display as much information about yourself as you are comfortable for other users to see. Your display name or if you do not have one, your first name and last name, is displayed along with your profile picture. Users may also be able to contact you and invite you to groups. All other elements on your profile page are optional.




The résumé (or CV / Curriculum Vitae) details your education and employment history, your achievements as well as skills and interests in a tabular format. Generally, you use it when you apply for an internship or job. However, as the elements in your résumé are reusable, you can also use individual elements in other portfolios.




Tags are keywords that facilitate searching for your artefacts, pages and collections when the title and description are not enough. You can view all your tagged content in a tag cloud in the sidebar and find content again more easily.