Mahara is a personal online platform that stays with you for the duration of your time here at Flinders. It is an online space where you can join up the dots
between different things and show progress over time, and a place to organise and showcase your work. It belongs to the account holder - this means you control all your settings and who sees what. You
can use your Mahara space for anything you like - personal notes, professional activity, scholarly activity and research, continuing professional development, career building and job-seeking, etc. Mahara works well to capture your
experiential and informal learning, and can also be used for formal coursework at Flinders, because Mahara integrates with FLO for authenticated assessment submission.
It can be a lot of things, but essentially, Mahara is a place to tell a story about you.
A personal-professional profile online: Create a professional-looking online presence, showcase your resume and collect all your social media accounts in one place.
A place to collect things: Upload, tag and store files you have created, or hyperlink to larger media files. You can also export forum posts, glossary entries and other FLO-created items from your topic into your Mahara space.
A place to capture your thoughts on the go: Journal your experiences, reflect, plan, make personal notes
A place to collaborate with others: A controlled space for sharing and co-creating in groups
A way to present to others: Creatively combine text and media into pages and collections, and share these for assessment, promotion, or job-seeking.
A conversational space: Connect your big ideas to the world and invite public comment
Chris's FFOUT portfolio:A previous staff member's portfolio created for Flinders Foundation of University
Teaching (FFOUT) professional development
Rob's portfolio:Rob was an Architectural Technology student at Southampton Solent University; his
portfolio shows his journey to becoming a professional
Serhat's portfolio:Serhat's record of learning from his Master of Distance Education at Athabasca University.
An exemplar showcase of coursework
Your Mahara account is linked to your FAN. You can always find it in your FLO user profile drop-down menu. When you are in Mahara, you can return to FLO at any time through a link inside your Dashboard page. This makes it easy for you to move
between FLO and Mahara - no extra sign-ins required!
Support for staff (for using Mahara in learning & teaching)
It isexpectedthat staff use Mahara themselves before using it in their topic or course - this will provide insight into the user experience as well as generating ideas on how the tool might be used to support learning and assessment.
Access design support and ideas for using Mahara ePortfolios as part of formal coursework, and to find out what others are doing with Mahara.
Teaching staff are responsible for relevant task-specific instructional support materials and advice to students in their FLO sites, because each task will be different. In time, a bank of shared instructional resources will be collected for
adaptation across contexts. You are encouraged to tell us what works well so that others can benefit from your experience. See the Demo site: Mahara in FLO here
You can save individual files into your Mahara space. These become individual items of 'content' which can then be used in your pages and collections for presentation. You can easily drag items from your desktop into Mahara. See Mahara files info here
Your Mahara account is limited to 200 MB storage capacity. It is recommended that you compress large files before adding them, and store large media files in other spaces and link to them. Used this way, Mahara becomes a way to curate media
items published to multiple places. Video files stored on YouTube will embed in Mahara.
Pages are small portfolios. A page is a place to collect a number of items together to tell a 'bigger story'. For instance, you can group presentation slides with a picture of you presenting, some promotional material, feedback received, and a reflection on the event. You can add items to pages from your 'content' or you can add straight from your computer. Pages can be formatted to group items in different ways - play with the options for maximum effect.
Mahara storage area is limited to 200MB when you add images, videos or other multimedia resources by uploading them directly to Mahara. So, be mindful about adding multimedia resources to your ePortfolio pages. A good alternative way is to add/keep your media in different media storage websites and embed them in your Mahara pages. You can embed them using the External group in the page editing panel.
There are two main tools used to embed external content.
You can use the External media tool from the External group when editing your page.
Two options are available in the External media tool:
Embed code: Content from the sites
listed in this section can be embedded using the<iframe>embed
code. This is the preferred method to embed
external content. The default sites are:
Collections are bigger portfolios - literally, a collection of pages joined together. You will need to create all the pages first before grouping them together in a collection. See Mahara collections info here
If you are presenting this media as part of a collection (portfolio), you will need to manage the privacy settings of these outside-Mahara items. For instance if you make a Mahara collection and share a secret URL to that collection with someone,
all the items you have linked to your collection should also be viewable by that person.
It is possible to use Mahara for groups. Anyone with a Mahara account can create public or invitation-only groups , and can request to join other groups. All members of a group need to already have picked up their Mahara accounts.
Please note that with groups, you will need to exercise the same kind of due care that would for any other social media. See Mahara groups info here
You may be instructed to use Mahara as part of your formal coursework at Flinders. The instructions for what you need to do should be in your FLO site - if not, ask the teaching staff for them.
You are only able to submit pages or collections to the Assignment tool, not individual items of content. For instance if you are submitting a Journal, you will need to put that journal into a page.
When it is time to submit your Mahara work to FLO, you will do so via an Assignment tool which will be especially set up to receive Mahara assignments. When you go through the 'submit' process, you will be prompted to choose your page/s and/or
collection/s from a list displayed in the tool. Click which one/s you want to be submitted and complete the submission process.
The Assignment tool may be set to:
Unlocked (which means you can keep working on that page or collection in Mahara, and teaching staff will see all your changes)
Locked (which means you will not be able to make changes to whatever you have submitted until unlocked by the teaching staff - but you can make a copy of it at any time)
Remember that your Mahara work is time-stamped. If you are asked to complete coursework in Mahara (for instance, keep a journal with regular entries) you will need to keep up to date as expected. If you create your entries all at once they will
all have the same date.
You will have access to your Mahara account for the duration of your FAN. If you want to keep the contents, pages and collections in your Mahara account, you will need to export it all into another account of your choosing –
Folio Spacesworks well, because it is also made by Mahara. To export, you will first need to create an account to send it to, and then export from your Flinders Mahara content using Leap2A format. You may need a little tidy up once imported.