Don Christie, Managing Director at Catalyst IT, Maintainers of Mahara
HundrED shortlisted this 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 https://demo.mahara.org and get in touch with the Mahara team via email@example.com if you'd like to discuss your project.