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Assessing Mahara portfolios in Moodle: Changes to the Mahara assignment plugin


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The Mahara e-Portfolio does not have any structured assessment built in, but it can be connected to Moodle for assessment purposes using a Moodle plugin. This plugin was originally written for the Moodle 1.9 "assignment" activity (mod/assignment). In Moodle 2.3 the old mod/assignment module was deprecated and a new incompatible mod/assign module replaced it. Two separate universities made their own ports of the Mahara assignment plugin to mod/assign, and now I've merged these forks together into one version that uses the best parts of each and adds a few new features as well.

This talk was originally given at Moodle Moot NZ 2014 in Nelson, New Zealand. It includes a general introduction to Mahara aimed at an audience of Moodle users.

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Assessing Mahara portfolios in Moodle: Changes to the Mahara assignment plugin

  1. 1. Assessing Mahara portfolios in Moodle: Changes to the Mahara assignment plugin Presented by Aaron Wells, Catalyst IT // 3rd Oct 2014 Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0
  2. 2. Aaron Wells (Me) @AaronTheMad on Twitter
  3. 3. About Catalyst
  4. 4. Mahara: What the &$%# is it?
  5. 5. Mahara: the facts ● An open-source ePortfolio for education ● mahara: to think, thinking, thought ● Originated in 2006 as a collaboration between Massey, AUT, Open Poly, and Victoria Uni, with funding from the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission ● Today the project is mostly managed by Catalyst IT
  6. 6. What the &$%# is an e-Portfolio? “Mahara is a fully featured web application to build your electronic portfolio. You can create journals, upload files, embed social media resources from the web and collaborate with other users in groups.”
  7. 7. My definition ePortfolio: (noun) A multi-user content management system.
  8. 8. Mahara's features in outline ● Users create “Pages”, i.e. webpages ● Managing, and creating the content that goes in those webpages: images, files, blogs, etc. ● Pages can be organized into “Collections”, i.e. mini-websites ● Social network functionality to let users collaborate and share content (all content is Private until shared) ● User groups with forums and shared content ● Comments & group submissions for feedback & assessment
  9. 9. What the &$%# is it good for?
  10. 10. Mahara + Moodle = “Mahoodle” logo by Iñaki Arenaza (@iarenaza)
  11. 11. The magic of open source!
  12. 12. The 3 plugins of Mahoodle
  13. 13. As a student...
  14. 14. As a teacher...
  15. 15. Mahara assessment w/o Moodle
  16. 16. A proliferation of plugins... ● Catalyst 1.9 (mod/assignment) ● Catalyst 2.0 (mod/assignment) ● Lancaster University (mod/assign) ● Portland University (mod/assign) ● Catalyst merged plugin (mod/assign)
  17. 17. Synthesis! ● ← Nicer interface! ● Better support for drafts & exceptions ● Collections ● Unlocking pages ● Leap2A archiving (coming soon)
  18. 18. Your gateway to the Mahara ePortfolio: The Mahara community website: The Mahara wiki: The Mahara Launchpad project: (but it's usually easier to just link there from
  19. 19. About Catalyst
  20. 20. Catalyst Clients
  21. 21. Open Source Technologies