What is Mahara?
Mahara is a tool used to build and display e-portfolios. An e-portfolio is a collection of reflections, evidence and experiences held together in one place online. Its purpose is to demonstrate learning, skills, professional development and to record achievements and qualifications over time.
An e-portfolio can be made up of one or many pages, and can be shared with different audiences. For example:
- a page for you as a tutor for assessment which includes evidence and reflections based on assignment briefs
- a page to showcase work and act as a CV for potential employers.
Why use Mahara?
It is the scope of what you can do within Mahara that makes it far more applicable to contemporary student work. They don't get inspired through the traditional written essays and that includes other versions i.e. wikis, blogs etc. This tool allows them to present ideas and work in a multitude of formats and is visually appealing as well as still meeting academic requirements...overall students enjoy using it.
Debbie Sadd, Senior Lecturer in Leadership & Strategy, Faculty of Management.
Mahara gives students a structure for:
- collecting evidence of their learning, skills and professional development
- identifying goals - what are they are doing now, what do they want to do, how do they intend to achieve this? Questions which will enable students to develop short and long-term aims
- reflecting on achievements so that students can see progress and learn from their experiences
- organising work and reflection, enabling students to showcase their achievements and experience
- sharing portfolios of evidence with tutors, peers, future employers, external contacts etc. to gain feedback or demonstrate experience.
We can already see from early submissions that the year one nursing students have gained some very impressive electronic portfolio and ICT skills that are likely to not only help them with their undergraduate studies but also to "stand out from the crowd" when seeking graduate employment.
Nikki Glendening, HSS, Senior Lecturer in Nursing