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Introduction to Mahara

MyPortfolio is an online electronic portfolio web application, based on the popular open-source product Mahara, used to show learning progress over time by continuously adding learning evidence and reflections.

It can be used to create:

  1. Professional development portfolios
  2. Competency-based portfolios
  3. Online posters or response to an assignment task
  4. Reflective Journals 

'Why a portfolio?' video from Mahara

Take a look at this video produced by the Mahara team on why someone might use an ePortfolio.

Affordances

  • Staff can develop and share templates to help students start to build their portfolios. Students can take more control as they become accustomed to this way of working.
  • Groups can be used to provide an online space for students and staff to communicate, share, and provide feedback.
  • Students can be encouraged to evidence learning activity throughout a programme. They control access to relevant audiences.
  • Staff can refer students to publish to the e-portfolio after significant learning tasks, to remind them of what employers would be seeking from a graduate in that subject area.

[This summary is taken from the excellent resource at https://teachinghub.bath.ac.uk/tools-and-resources/tel/e-portfolios/]

At Warwick

Mahara has been used:

  • In Engineering, to replace the traditional paper Logbook kept by students on placement recording risk and constraint issues including but not limited to "general project risks, time, uncertainty, information, data, commercial, environmental, sustainability, health, safety, security, intellectual property rights, standards, risk management".
  • In Law, to create a reflective portfolio for a project or placement based "on the effort put in to make it work, the skill brought to the implementation of public legal education, the quality of reflection on the experience, and the evaluations of the host organisation and student peers".
  • In CTE, to record professional development, prompting termly scaffolded reflections on confidence as a practitioner, subject knowledge, professionalism, teacher modelling, behaviour management and other areas of practice.

Further information

Dublin City University, leaders in the use of Mahara, have collated a number of examples of using Mahara for assessment

This article, by Mahara developer Kristina Höppner (Catalyst, New Zealand), https://mahara.org/artefact/artefact.php?artefact=436631&view=36871 suggests ways in which to use Mahara for online teaching and learning. In the article, Kristan also notes 'Lisa Donaldson from Dublin City University in Ireland reports that several faculty are thinking of using Mahara more because their students can publish case studies, reports, and create online projects in a cohesive manner.'

An excellent introduction to learning portfolios from Dr. Helen Chen, University of Stanford.

Support for getting started with Mahara

The guides in this section will help you get started and the Academic Technology team is available to help you through this process whether you are creating a template to share with a group of students or designing and growing your own professional development portfolio. Get started with this selection of guides.

Mahara is accessed using the standard Warwick single sign-on. 12 months after students graduate they will no longer have access to their University Mahara ePortfolio. We recommend they export their portfolio before this date is reached.

Mahara has an excellent online user manual that is split out into versions - we are currently using version 20.04.

Academic Technology provides training on use of Mahara for staff and students.

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