Contact innovator

Create - Share - Engage


location_on New Zealand
Mahara is open source software that enables students and professionals to create media-rich portfolios of their learning progress, achievements, and reflections.
Don Christie, Managing Director at Catalyst IT, Maintainers of Mahara
Mahara allows students to manage how the world sees them, and their own destiny, moving away from institutional ownership and having more control at a personal level.

Don Christie, Managing Director at Catalyst IT, Maintainers of Mahara


HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.
Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
2 000 000
Updated on May 21st, 2022
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Mahara was created to give learners the chance to collect important evidence of their learning journey in a space that they control and where they decide who can access their evidence and reflections.

How does your innovation work in practice?

Being an open source software, Mahara is typically installed on a server by an organisation that wants to make portfolios available to its community. Multiple organisations can also use one instance of Mahara, allowing for easier collaboration and sharing across organisational boundaries.

Learners, who could be students or professionals, can create portfolios based on topics or learning experiences, upload or embed their evidence and reflections, and then share it with others for feedback. These portfolios can be used for a variety or purposes, including learning, professional development, formative and summative assessment, showcasing of a project, work-integrated learning, and professional registration, e.g. for for teachers.

Educators can set up templates to scaffold the portfolio setup process and support learners in their reflection journey. Through integration possibilities with learning management systems, Mahara portfolios can be included in more formal learning settings.

How has it been spreading?

Founded in 2006, Mahara is used around the world in schools, tertiary / higher education institutions, and in the workplace. The vast majority of organisations maintain their own platforms and therefore have full control over the look, who can access the site and how it is being used to support the different learner groups. Tertiary / higher education institutions in particular may offer alumni continued access to their portfolios after they graduate.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

You can check out the public demo site at and get in touch with the Mahara team via if you'd like to discuss your project.


Achievements & Awards

November 2021
Innovation page created on
October 2021
Evonne Cheung, finalist in the category 'Open source contributor' in the New Zealand Open Source Awards 2021
October 2021
Finalist in the category 'Open source software project' in the New Zealand Open Source Awards 2021
November 2014
Kristina Hoeppner, finalist in the category 'Open source contributor' in the New Zealand Open Source Awards 2014
October 2007
Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration
July 2006
Project established with funding from New Zealand's Tertiary Education Commission's e-learning Collaborative Development Fund

Spread of the innovation

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