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Samantha Moss - Solent's Mahara Journey


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Presentation delivered by Samantha Moss of the Solent Uni eLearning team to the JISC Netskills Effective Practice with ePortfolios workshop on 10th November 2010

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Samantha Moss - Solent's Mahara Journey

  1. 1. E-Portfolios November 2010 Solent’s Mahara Journey Looking at E-Portfolios Samantha Moss E-Learning Support Officer
  2. 2.  New university (5 years old!)  19,000 students  Strong focus on skills for employment  Key subjects: Maritime, Fashion, Business, Journalism, Sport Science & Animation/Media  Strategic Development Plan: ◦ Flexible delivery ◦ Forming partnerships with local businesses & FE providers ◦ Commitment to social justice Solent Profile
  3. 3. Led by Dr Barbara Lee Analysis of course documentation Considering how Career Box and any portfolio project would link Evaluation of available portfolio products Identifying how to take forward the development of an e- portfolio product that links to Moodle Project 1: Fostering PDP (2008/09)
  4. 4. Student Feedback Online survey: 81% of students said that they would use an E- Portfolio “I am currently signing up to commercial job websites that offer this service but I don't think they’re very successful in finding the right employers. If there was something similar affiliated with the university, I believe it would instantly be taken more seriously by perspective employers.” “Any aid which assists in getting a job would be useful.” “It would just be so much easier to use a tool that organised and kept track of everything bit by bit, rather than having to go back and piece it together bit by bit in retrospect.” “It would save me a whole lot of stress!”
  5. 5. Staff Feedback “In relation to the students I deal with most, I think their own professional development can be enhanced by posting evidence of their own work (publications), conference papers and other professional activity which may be of interest to prospective employers. This would be of particular use for post graduates.” “It would be good from the perspective of skills development for a university career. It would be ideal and deter them from using Facebook; it would be more academic.” “Mahara would be useful for the students who are away for 6 months doing tasks. It would be good if work could be authenticated by supervisors as they have a problem with fake signatures. Time would be saved if portfolio work was carried out in real time as opposed to when they return from their task.”
  6. 6. Project 1: Outcomes  Adoption of Mahara  Creation of ePortfolio animation
  7. 7. Why Mahara? • Met all requirements • Easy to customise • Integration with Moodle • Large support community • LEAP2A • No commercial tie-in • If it breaks we can fix it (we hope)
  8. 8. Project 2 : Implementing Mahara 2009/10
  9. 9. Customising Mahara Solent theme (theme shown is 2010/11) Changed the language Fixed-width applied Changed ‘help’ files
  10. 10. Pilot units Journalism & Media writing 35 students Online CV 3rd years – develop an online presence Curriculum Plus – CV & Career Building Unit 50 students Submitting work for feedback Increased student engagement
  11. 11. Usability study group Mahara 1.1.6 9 Students from all levels and course types 5 set tasks: Creating ‘views’ for CV, Personal Interests, Examples of Uni work and Reflections on a project, as well as their Profile. Students to submit ‘secret URLS’ via myCourse assignment upload tool (online text) Then student would write in a reflective journal their thoughts and experiences during that task
  12. 12. Student Feedback: Positives: It got easier – became more creative with pages Give them the edge Would use it from September to collect their work Negatives: Long time to upload big files – off campus issues No option to change page themes and background colours Profile pages confused them (Single Sign On – our fault!) Wish list: Snap boxes horizontally - Merge boxes within boxes Templates for each page Less randomly generated ‘Secret URL’ – i.e. customisable
  13. 13. How are we doing? Full-scale Mahara implementation 4 x 0.25 Teaching & Learning Fellow posts (Mahara, Assessment & Employability) Mahara Development Group Innovation projects Sharing ideas & experiences with external stakeholders
  14. 14. Want to see it? November 2010
  15. 15. Final thought… MyPortfolio It is not just a CV builder & file store This is a tool to help lecturers come up with inventive ways to support the delivery of employability skills to their students during lessons. It is a professional platform for students to promote themselves to the outside world
  16. 16. Contact me: Twitter: @samwisemoss More details: My ePortfolio: November 2010
  17. 17. Any Questions?