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Mahara ePortfolios: Beginner's Guide

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  • Create folders of your self-produced materials in a private area within Mahara, just like on your own computer, with an easy file search facility
  • Create a variety of journals and plans in Mahara – facilitating your own action research and experiential learning journey
  • Make an impressive online profile and digital resume using Mahara profile fields and tailor your own profile view
  • Create scores of new web pages or mini-websites (collections of pages) entirely from scratch and customize each of them to allow much more flexibility and control over who sees what and when
  • Set an environment to receive public or private feedback on your pictures, videos, and articles
  • Connect with other Mahara users and get social: discuss topics of common interest in forums and share views with each other in collectively-owned web pages
  • Manage different groups of learners within Mahara, tutor them and lock-down their work from further editing if you need to
  • Customize and administer your Mahara site to your own preferences using a number of configuration settings for easy administration

Mahara ePortfolios helps you to use software as you follow an experiential learning cycle. In Mahara you can:

  • Plan your learning.
  • Do what you do and gather evidence of your competence as you do those things.
  • View and organize your work by structuring your data in easy-to-make (web)pages and (mini-website) collections of those pages.
  • Reflect on your learning by use of professional journals, engaging feedback on your pages and establishing and engaging in online communities who share a similar interest.

Mahara ePortfolios: Beginner’s Guide is a step-by-step guide to develop a feature-rich and highly personal electronic portfolio. Form a digital repository of reflective journals, action learning plans, presentations, reports, images and videos. Easily share this with your friends, family, tutors, students, project team and others using this step-by-step guide written in a clear and easy to learn manner.

This book guides you to build an impressive e-Portfolio and to work in professional communities of interest within a Mahara walled garden. It brings to life the key features of Mahara which will help thoughtful people to display their artefacts coherently and to engage with like-minded peers professionally.

This book introduces you to exciting features of Mahara framework and helps you develop a feature-rich e-portfolio for yourself. You will see how easily you can create folders, upload multiple files like project documents, pictures and videos and share them with your friends. You will learn to set up single pages and collections of pages which organize these files, making these visible only to your own chosen peers, supervisors or friends. Then, you will allow people to give their inputs.

You will learn to create journals, learning plans, your professional resume, group spaces and forums which help you get connected to the rest of the world. Customization and administration of your Mahara site will be easy after you have gone through this book. Imagine how good you will feel when you will see your knowledge, success, and ideas going live and available to your chosen audiences for their inputs.

Mahara ePortfolios: Beginner’s Guide is a step-by-step guide to building an impressive professional e-portfolio using Mahara. It covers the key features of Mahara that will help you set up your customized digital portfolio and display the artefacts in your preferred way allowing contribution from selected users only.

  • A step-by-step approach that takes you through examples with ample screenshots and clear explanations
  • Create, customize, and maintain an impressive personal digital portfolio of web pages and mini websites (collections) with a simple point-and-click interface
  • Create and manage online learning communities and social networks through groups, shared file areas, and forums
Page Count 328
Course Length 9 hours 50 minutes
ISBN 9781849517768
Date Of Publication 25 Jul 2012
Registering with a Mahara site
Time for action — registering to the Mahara for Beginners' demo site
Logging in for the first time
Time for action — logging in
Mahara's user interface — finding your way around
A workflow for building your portfolio
Setting up your own profile
Time for action — editing your profile
Time for action — uploading your profile pictures
Time for action — editing your résumé, goals, and skills
Your profile page
Time for action — viewing and investigating your profile page
Adding a text box to your profile page
Time for action — creating a text box for your profile page
Time for action — editing a text box by adding a hyperlink
Time for action — adding an image to your text box
Your dashboard page
Time for action — viewing and investigating your dashboard page
Time for action — changing your settings
Time for action — open up your notifications inbox
Putting your files online
Time for action — adding some folders and files to your portfolio
Uploading more than one file
Time for action — zip, upload, and unzip
Writing in your journal
Time for action — creating your first Mahara journal
Make a plan and set some tasks
Time for action — make a plan and set some tasks
Time for action — exploring notes
Linking to files, folders, plans, and journals on your dashboard page
Time for action — linking to files, folders, plans, and journals on your dashboard pages
What are pages in Mahara?
Time for action — create a page and edit the content
A word on small page headers
Adding/removing columns from your page
Time for action — editing your page layout
Time for action — adding page details
Page access
Time for action — editing your page access
Secret URLs
Time for action — create a secret URL
Editing your page once you have created it
Copying pages
Time for action — copying a page
Page feedback
Time for action — feeding back on a page's content
Collections — linking pages together
Time for action — create a collection
Assessing the quality of your page/collection
Page quality checklist
Exporting your portfolio
Time for action — exporting your portfolio
Time for action — creating a group
Navigating your new group
Time for action — opening up and navigating around your group
The groups shortcut side block
Joining an open membership group
Time for action — joining a group in Mahara for Beginners
Managing your group members
Time for action — managing group members and changing roles
Group forums
Time for action — creating a forum
Forum topics
Time for action — adding a discussion topic
Posting to a topic
Time for action — replying to a topic post
Finding groups
Time for action — finding and joining a group
Joining a request membership group
Time for action — requesting to join a group
Making friends!
Time for action — finding friends and adding them to your list
Managing your friends
Time for action — filtering and removing friends
Less learner-driven aspects of Mahara
Time for action — adding users to your institution
Bulk uploading users to your institution
Time for action — adding institution users by CSV
Approving pending users
Editing user account settings
Time for action — finding and suspending a user
Switching user roles in your institution
Time for action — creating institution staff and institution administrators
Controlled membership groups
Course group roles
Create a controlled membership group and allow course roles
Time for action — setting up a controlled membership group with course roles
Time for action — adding a tutor to your controlled group with course roles
Submitting work for assessment
Time for action — submitting a page to a course group for assessment
Time for action — releasing a page submitted for assessment
Putting it all together into an assessment process
Time for action — an example assessment process with Mahara
Extending Mahara
Mahara extensions list
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Time for action — create a list of CPD activities
My Learning
Time for action — determine multiple intelligences and display them
Time for action — determine your learning styles and display them
Time for action — embed some content using Embedly
Social sharing — Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
Time for action — add a Twitter Tweet button to a Mahara page
LinkedIn profile
Time for action — embed your LinkedIn profile in a page


Richard Hand

Richard Hand graduated with a first class honors degree in Computer Science from the University of Bristol in 2008 and now works full time as a frontend web developer and consultant.

Richard has worked with Mahara since joining TDM (http://tdm/info) in 2008, being responsible for management, configuration, hosting, and training. He has also developed on a range of open source software solutions including Drupal, Joomla!, and Moodle.

Derrin Kent

Derrin Kent (www.derr.in) loves personalized learning and open source software. Derrin has been working with Mahara since its version 0. He is MD of The Development Manager Ltd. (www.TDM.co). www.TDM.co is a company who speaks six European languages fluently and who proudly runs a range of symbiotic business operations including: ‹‹

  • www.OssServices.com: Professional Codeline Development, Web/Instructional Design, and Managed Services for open source softwares including Mahara and TotaraLMS ‹‹
  • www.WyreAcademy.com: ICT Professional Talent Management, Short Courses, and Apprenticeships—all via Blended Learning, using TotaraLMS for Apprenticeships (specialist distro) and Mahara ‹‹
  • www.FolioFor.Me: An online ePortfolio built upon Mahara ‹‹
  • www.UK-LPI.org: The Linux Professional Institute Master Affiliate for the UK and Ireland ‹‹
  • www.CloudNOVA.net: High availability open source software hosting

Thomas Bell

Thomas W. Bell has completed higher education in Environmental Sciences and he has a passion and enthusiasm for IT. Thomas is all about getting involved with the latest tools to improve the use of resources, communication with one another, and our role in developing our earth sustainably. Thomas follows his Environmental education with a commitment to sustainability in all walks of life, both personal and business. He is actively thinking of ways to improve processes, procedures, software and so on, to improve efficiency and therefore, sustainability. He is currently developing efficient use of technology in the apprenticeship delivery of the Wyre Academy, including use of cutting-edge tablets, signature capture, and fully implemented cutting-edge LMS solutions. Thomas has been working with IT company TDM - which delivers e-Learning content, codeline development, training, and bespoke corporate branding - for over two years and is directly involved in the implementation and delivery of a new IT apprenticeships scheme through the TDM Wyre Academy. See http://opensourcesoftwareservices.com or http://www.wyreacademy.com. Thomas has been regularly training groups in Mahara ePortfolios, TotaraLMS, Joomla!, and Moodle for over two years.