The Story of Mahara: An ePortfolio for Moodle

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  • Conversation and descriptive paper but I hope share some insights into the complexities of attempting to redesign pre-service teacher education from the ground up.
  • The Story of Mahara: An ePortfolio for Moodle

    1. 1. Learning & Educational Technologies The Story of Mahara: An ePorfolio for Moodle Mark Brown Associate Professor Director of Distance Education April 2009 Moodle Moot Conference Edmonton
    2. 2. Some Eggo-centric Information… Mark “e” Brown [email_address] • Director of Distance Education • Apple Distinguished Educator • Recipient of National Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching • Editor of the journal Computers in New Zealand Schools • Member of the Mahara ePortfolio International Development Committee
    3. 3. NZ Open Source Awards Who can you identify?
    4. 4. Some Eggo-centric Information… • Director of Distance Education • Apple Distinguished Educator • Recipient of National Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching • Editor of the journal Computers in New Zealand Schools • Member of the Mahara ePortfolio International Development Committee • Member of the Open Source Formative Assessment Tool (FAT) Project Committee Mark “e” Brown [email_address]
    5. 5. http://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/projects FAT
    6. 6. Massey University Palmerston North <ul><ul><li>Auckland </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wellington </li></ul></ul>Extramural International • Multi-campus (18,000 students) • Major Distance Education Provider (16,500 students) • Almost 50 Years of Distance Delivery • In the process of implementing Moodle http://www.massey.ac.nz
    7. 7. Massey University Palmerston North <ul><ul><li>Auckland </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wellington </li></ul></ul>Extramural International http://www.massey.ac.nz • Multi-campus (18,000 students) • Major Distance Education Provider (16,500 students) • Almost 50 Years of Distance Delivery • In the process of implementing Moodle
    8. 8. • What is the population of New Zealand ? • What is the one thing you know about New Zealand? Questions
    9. 9. Kiwi Icons
    10. 10. The Story of Mahara
    11. 11. 1. Background to ePortfolios 2. Description of Mahara 3. Demonstration of Mahara 4. Embedding Mahara in Programme Delivery The Story of Mahara
    12. 12. Central Message While ePortfolios have tremendous potential we may limit their contribution to the life-long and life-wide learning agenda by restricting thinking to formal learning in institutions.
    13. 13. Central Message While ePortfolios have tremendous potential we may limit their contribution to the life-long and life-wide learning agenda by restricting thinking to formal learning in institutions. ePortfolios challenge traditional conceptions of learning.
    14. 14. Central Message
    15. 15. 1. Background to ePortfolios
    16. 16. 1. Background to ePortfolios A bit about eportfolios… <ul><li>Wealth of literature supporting the use of eportfolios in education </li></ul><ul><li>An eportfolio is an online collection of digital artifacts and reflections (e.g., images, lesson plans, assignments, feedback reports, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Provides more authentic and arguably valid evidence of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Three main uses and categories of eportfolio: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Showcase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ownership is a crucial issue </li></ul><ul><li>Metaphor of ‘student’ or ‘learner’ </li></ul>
    17. 17. 1. Background to ePortfolios Fits what we know… “ Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers.
    18. 18. “ Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write reflectively about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). 1. Background to ePortfolios Fits what we know…
    19. 19. “ Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write reflectively about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). 1. Background to ePortfolios Supports personalized life-long and life-wide learning Fits what we know…
    20. 20. • Do you use an eportfolio? • What category of use do you think has most value? Questions
    21. 21. 2. Description of Mahara
    22. 22. <ul><li>• New open source eportfolio - 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>• Mahara ( Te Reo Māori for ‘think’ or ‘thought’) </li></ul><ul><li>• Funded by New Zealand Government ($500,000 US) </li></ul><ul><li>• Collaborative project led by Massey University </li></ul><ul><li>• Designed to provide a life-long learning and social networking environment for New Zealand tertiary students </li></ul>2. Description of Mahara What is Mahara?
    23. 23. <ul><ul><li>• Strong consideration of pedagogy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Learners have complete ownership of data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Level of sophistication of settings and administration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Students can set permissions of access to various nominated groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Students can make different ‘views’ available for different audiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Flexibility of use across formal and informal learning environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• All artefacts have associated metadata including user defined tagging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Includes social networking functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Seamless integration with Moodle 1.9 & 2.0 </li></ul></ul>What sets Mahara apart? 2. Description of Mahara
    24. 24. www.mahara.org Collect, Reflect, Select, Connect, Share 2. Description of Mahara
    25. 25. <ul><li>Mahara is based on an Artefacts, Views and Access framework </li></ul><ul><li>Views are a collection of any number of artefacts that exist in a student’s portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Students can create any number of ‘views’ and assign view access to any number of individuals, groups and/or communities as they wish </li></ul>Basic Framework… 2. Description of Mahara
    26. 26. <ul><li>A representation of the framework… </li></ul>2. Description of Mahara
    27. 27. <ul><li>For example… </li></ul>2. Description of Mahara
    28. 28. 2. Description of Mahara Showcase view…
    29. 29. Institutional view… 2. Description of Mahara
    30. 30. 2. Description of Mahara Development view…
    31. 31. 2. Description of Mahara
    32. 32. 2. Description of Mahara Click and drag…
    33. 33. 2. Description of Mahara Blogs…
    34. 34. 2. Description of Mahara Groups…
    35. 35. • Had you previously heard of Mahara? • How many people have actually used Mahara? Questions
    36. 36. 3. Demonstration of Mahara
    37. 37. 3. Demonstration of Mahara demo1 1133MB • External host • Retains student ownership • Provides a sustainable model • Reduces burden on institution http://www.myportfolio.ac.nz
    38. 38. 4. Embedding Mahara in a Programme
    39. 39. 4. Embedding Mahara in a Programme An example from pre-service teacher education…
    40. 40. Context Content Professional Practice Structural Framework Three Interdisciplinary Strands
    41. 41. Context Content ICT Inclusion Biculturalism Professional Practice Three Integrating Themes Structural Framework
    42. 42. Context Content ICT Inclusion Biculturalism Professional Practice Learning to be Learning to do Learning to know Learning to live together
    43. 43. Context Content ICT Inclusion Biculturalism Professional Practice Learning to be Learning to do Learning to know Learning to live together Learning to Change
    44. 44. <ul><li>Anchored around core questions… </li></ul>• What does it mean to be a teacher in a diverse but inclusive society? • What do students need to do to become literate citizens in a socially just democracy? • What do students need to know in an uncertain world needing to address future sustainability? • What does it mean to live in Aotearoa/New Zealand in today’s globalized world? • How can teachers help to change the education system to make it fair and socially just for all? 4. Embedding Mahara in a Programme
    45. 45. Graduate Profile… 4. Embedding Mahara in a Programme
    46. 46. Signature features… <ul><li>• 4 year programme </li></ul><ul><li>• Living graduate profile </li></ul><ul><li>• Inquiry and social justice </li></ul><ul><li>• Explicit conceptual framework </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on literacy and numeracy </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary content knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating themes (ICT, Inclusive, Biculturalism) </li></ul><ul><li>Team teaching and emphasis on authentic assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible delivery through e-learning and online teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Adoption of an eportfolio across the programme </li></ul>4. Embedding Mahara in a Programme
    47. 47. • How would you rate this use of eportfolios? • Do institutional eportfolios threaten learner ownership? • What is the place of an eportfolio in student assessment? Questions
    48. 48. Conclusion
    49. 49. Personalised life-long learning, augmented by eportfolios, must be rooted within a system-wide digital learning culture Conclusion We have learnt that…
    50. 50. Conclusion I N F O R M A L <ul><li>The ‘traditional’ learner </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• Pre-school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Primary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Secondary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Post-secondary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Course </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Course </li></ul></ul>
    51. 51. Higher education is all we focus on for approximatelty 4 out of 80 years? That is, 5% of lifelong! How many % of all learning opportunities do we cover with our focus on formal learning? What about a learner with a less conventional path? Conclusion <ul><li>The ‘traditional’ learner </li></ul><ul><ul><li>• Pre-school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Primary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Secondary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Higher Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Course </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Course </li></ul></ul>I N F O R M A L
    52. 52. <ul><li>Should we change our focus from… </li></ul>An institutional ePortfolio provision <ul><li>Something that caters for… </li></ul><ul><li>Every citizen </li></ul><ul><li>In every phase of their lives </li></ul><ul><li>For all aspects of their learning </li></ul>Conclusion
    53. 53. <ul><li>What do you think? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is our focus too narrow? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you support an ePortfolio for every citizen? </li></ul></ul>Questions
    54. 54. More Information <ul><li>Mahara Project pages: [http://eduforge.org/projects/mahara] </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roadmap </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Download </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forums </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mahara Documents: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ePortfolio literature review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student and staff user guides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helpdesk Reference Guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation Guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case study questions </li></ul></ul>• Mahara download: [http://www.mahara.org] • Flexible Learning Network Ltd [ http://www.flexible.co.nz]
    55. 55. Discussion

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