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Create a template for others to work from

One popular feature of Mahara, particularly when using the system for assessment, is the ability to allow copying of pages or collections, which means that you can create a template for others to work from. Using templates is a means of scaffolding (or guiding) students in their work, reducing the anxiety created by a blank page, and making assessment a more efficient process. It is useful to include instructional cues such as question prompts in order to jumpstart the creation of content.

Once you have created a page or a collection of pages, you can either make this available for people to copy into their accounts manually or you can 'push' it directly into the accounts of people in a group.

Make pages or collections available to copy

The page(s) in a template have to be shared so that people can copy them.

  1. Click on the main menu icon, expand the Create section, and select Pages and Collections, or click on Create on the Dashboard.
  2. Click on the padlock on the page or collection that you want to share.
  3. Click Manage access on the dropdown.
  4. Click on Advanced options
  5. Click Allow copying so that it changes from No to Yes
  6. Click Save at the bottom of the page.

Lock blocks on a page

When creating a template, blocks can be locked so they cannot be removed by students. To do this, lock the blocks on each individual page.

  1. Open the page where you want to lock the blocks.
  2. Click on the pencil edit icon on the top right of the page
  3. Click on Settings cogs button below the edit icon.
  4. Open the Advanced section by clicking on the down chevron on the right-hand side
  5. Click on the button next to Lock blocks so it changes from No to Yes.
  6. Save the change.

Blocks can still be moved around but cannot be deleted.

Some blocks work differently when sharing i.e. Journals and Plans, and there is an option to skip, copy a read-only version, or make a complete copy. Click on the edit (cog) icon on the top right of individual blocks and check under More options for Block copy permission. Other blocks will copy over all their content including files that are stored in a folder accessed via the Files section.

As of November 2019, you will not be able to delete pages that have locked blocks on them, this is under investigation.

Give people access to the template

Finally, share the template to give people access to the collection so they can search for it - you can do this for individuals, groups or by making it available to all Warwick users. Your approach will probably depend on the number of students on your course.

Once you have shared the portfolio, provide your students with a link to the student guides Introduction to Mahara and Copy a portfolio template in Mahara.

The information on this page relates to Mahara 19.04 and was last updated November 2019.

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