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Pedagogy /
Mahara collaboration: groups, wikis, Google Docs


Don Presant's profile picture
Posts: 255

28 August 2011, 9:58

I'm currently struggling with how to use Mahara in a learning community context, laying out ways for people to collaborate on knowledge building and content creation.


Here's where I am so far..I'd appreciate any insights anyone could offer

Mahara Groups:
PRO:
-Members can showcase/share their knowledge skills and abilities on their own pages, for the purposes of team building
-Members can collaborate on group pages
CON:
-Group pages can be edited by anyone in the group, with no record of changes made
-Collections don't work for group pages

Mahara and wikis (e.g. MediaWiki)
PRO:
-mahara.org is linked to MediaWiki (at a high level) and enables login with the same user ID and password
CON:
-the wiki is not linked to Mahara groups and individuals. You're either in Mahara or the wiki

Mahara and Google Docs
PRO:
-Google Doc can be embedded within a Group page
CON:
-Google Doc can't be edited without going back to Google Docs, and the link does not go to the specific document

QUESTIONS:
Can/should Group pages become more wiki-like (ie with block level authoring controls, like MediaWiki)?
Has anyone seen /made a Mahara with an embedded wiki pages within Group pages?
Does Google Docs make more sense for this kind of thing? How can it be made to work better?

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4770

10 September 2011, 21:35

Hello Don,

We are currently working on changing how groups work. You can find some information on the implementation at https://wiki.mahara.org/index.php/Developer_Area/Specifications_in_Development/Groups_revamp though there will be some changes in the actual implementation. That will make it easier to determine who can do what in groups.

In regard to GoogleDocs, I'm afraid we may not be able to do more there as the implementation depends on what Google allows. I thought to remember that the "Edit" link took you back to your actual document, but maybe Google changed that. They've changed quite a bit lately, e.g. URLs, layout etc.

If you take a look at WikiEducator, a mediawiki site, you will see that you can embed these wiki pages into Mahara 1.4. Thus, basically that will also be possible for other wiki pages. All you need to do is have a specific filter for that wiki to allow iFrames through.

Cheers

Kristina

Don Presant's profile picture
Posts: 255

11 September 2011, 6:06

Thanks for the tip about MediaWiki Kristina...what would be the iframe code to embed it in Mahara? I can't find it on the wiki.

As for Groups, that "Lock admin-created page" feature will be a great step in the right direction!

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4770

12 September 2011, 7:04

Hello Don,

Do you mean for the Mahara wiki? I don't think we have the iFrame enabled. I only know it from WikiEducator: http://wikieducator.org/Help:Links If such an iFrame will be enabled, then Mahara will need a filter specific for this iFrame.

The revision of the changes to groups is currently in review. You are welcome to participate in the testing of the functionality.

Cheers

Kristina

Sigi's profile picture
Posts: 102

27 October 2011, 10:17

Hi Kristina and Don,

this is an interesting discussion! I have also been struggling with the group view which I think basically is a great tool in between the Moodle Courseroom and the individual Mahara View. I have found a workaround with my students. We agreed that everyone who is adding something to the group view has to put his name and the date. Well, you need to have very disciplined studenst for that ... just try it with teachers training... they will aslo create a mess within minutes ;-) . So whenever I have prepared a group view I make a copy which I keep inaccessible ... at least then I will always have the original version if someone messes up the content.

Ideally the group working on a single site should not be to big, 4-5 not more , then they can use the site for their teamwork and they care more and are unlikely to mess up.  Anyway if you do not want anyone to edit your site then you just cretae a normal ePortfolio and give access to whoever you want... this is the easiest way I found.

What also drove me crazy, after I had finally manged to get my google doc embedded is that even though I set it on public in Google noone - except me - can edit it directly.... same problem as Don describes....

If anyone has a good idea about using the group view function in a better way, just let me know.

All the best and thanks for your great support!

Sigi

 

anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 11

27 October 2011, 21:03

How and when will the new group approach mentioned below be available? We are moving to 1.4 very soon - well, as soon as I can finish getting training materials ready for course leaders who use Mahara in assessment!

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4770

29 October 2011, 0:47

Hello Gillian,

The group revamp will be available in Mahara 1.5. That version is currently under development, but the group feature is already done. If you cannot install a test instance of 1.5 yourself, you can try it out at http://master.dev.mahara.org - create a new group and you'll see the options that are available.

Cheers

Kristina

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anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 34

06 December 2011, 4:21

I'm glad I stumbled across this, was about to plan some mahara screencasts and two thoughts sprung to mind:

a) is it worth doing a screencast if a new release is coming soon

b) having read the wiki page, do I want to spring such a big change on our users part way through the year

I suspect not to point b), so will carry on with my plan for mahara screencasts (particularly the group features) for 1.4.

Maybe we'll go to 1.5 in the summer, but the main reason for moving to 1.4 was the mobile uploads features (successfully used PortfolioUp for iPhone and MaharaDroid on two Android devices successfully).

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