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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

1. On the pages and collections overview page, click on the padlock icon on the lower left-hand side of the page or collection that you want to allow to be copied/used as a template and then click the Manage access link that appears.

Image showing location of the padlock icon for managing access to collections and pages The link below the padlock for managing access

This will open the sharing tab.

2. Click on the downwards facing arrow to the right of Advanced options
Advanced settings

3. Click the button to the right of 'Allow copying' so that it changes from No to Yes and then click Save at the bottom of the page.

Allow copying

Giving people access to the template

Remember 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 section below on copying the portfolio to their own Mahara pages and collections.

Locking blocks on a page

When creating your template, you may wish to ensure that blocks you add cannot be removed by the students. To do this, you will need to 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 (in the button list Settings, Edit, Share) at the top of the page
  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.

NB Some blocks work differently when sharing and you may not wish to copy over either the block or its content. Therefore, where these may contain user-generated entries, there is an option to skip them when copying e.g. journals and journal entries. You can check this by clicking on the cog icon on the top right of individual blocks and checking under 'more options' for Block copy permission. Generally blocks will copy over all their content including files - these will be stored in a folder at Home / viewfiles (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.

Share a group portfolio to group members

You can copy a group portfolio into the accounts of existing group members by setting the Copy for existing group members switch in the Advanced options. This is a good way to share templates with a wider group of people efficiently.

1. Create the group portfolio first in the group Pages and Collections section.

Group page

2. Click on the Share tab and then on the padlock to edit access.

Edit sharing options for a group collection

3. Click on advanced to expand the screen, and change Copy for existing group members from No to Yes.

Group share advanced options - share to group

Only regular group members receive a copy of the portfolio.

The portfolio is copied only once. If changes are made to a page, they are not pushed to the copied page automatically. When new members are added to the group and the template pushed into their accounts, members who have already received the template will not get another copy.

Copy a page or collection

1. If you want to copy a page or collection go to the Pages and collections overview page and click on the Copy tab.

2. Search through the pages/collections. You can see a preview of each page by clicking on its name. Once you have found the page or collection that you wish to copy, click the corresponding Copy page or Copy collection button to make a copy and begin customising it.

Copy page collection

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


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