October 2, 2023, by Laura Nicholson
Author: Claire Storr
You might be asking, what is Mahara?
If you are, Mahara is the University’s ePortfolio platform and can be accessed via mahara.nottingham.ac.uk. To login, use your University of Nottingham username and password. There is no need to request an account. It will create one for you when you log in for the first time.
Earlier this year, Mahara underwent a big upgrade. It has been a few years since Mahara was last upgraded which means that there were a number of new features made available. One of the big changes introduced was the ability to submit portfolios for assessment in a group. These submissions then can be archived.
Another major new feature was the ability to apply Smart Evidence competency frameworks to portfolios. This means that Smart Evidence frameworks could be set up so portfolios can be assessed against professional standards and frameworks from awarding bodies. I could go on and list a number of new features however it is worth discovering them all for yourself.
Why use Mahara?
So now you know about some of the exciting developments, you might be thinking, why would I use Mahara? Well, there is a variety of reasons. If you are a student, you might have to create a ePortfolio as part of your degree or you might maintain an ePortfolio to help you get a job once you graduate. As a member of staff, you might use Mahara for professional development or to log CPD.
If you’re wanting to know more about how to use Mahara, you are in luck. There are a number of handy how to guides which have now been developed. These guides can be accessed via the Mahara Help and Guidance page on Moodle. This page features a range of different guides covering all aspects of using Mahara for both staff and students. This page will continue to be developed with more resources over the upcoming weeks and months. Anyone can access this page who has a University of Nottingham Moodle account as it is a self-enrol module. So, if you are interested in using Mahara, this is the first place you should look. with resources available for both staff and students.
As well as this, we are introducing two new training sessions on Mahara which you can book onto via Central Short Courses. The first course is a general introduction to Mahara called Using ePortfolios in Mahara. This session will go over the basics of how to create an ePortfolio, how to use groups and give an introduction to some of the assessment tools in Mahara.
There is also a second new training course which builds on Using ePortfolios in Mahara. This session is called Using Mahara for Assessment and looks at the assessment tools in Mahara in greater detail. However, if you have never used Mahara before, you should sign up for Using ePortfolios in Mahara first as this session will not cover the basics of Mahara.
As you can see, there has been a lot of exciting things happening lately with Mahara so now is the time to start exploring and experimenting with Mahara. Plus you can take advantage of the new resources and training opportunities as well.
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