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Pedagogy /
Help to create Faculties

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 15

08 August 2013, 2:54 AM

Hello All,


 I am very very noob mahara developer. My client (an educational instituion ), need a portfolio system for their students with a moodle integration. They need a portfolio for students plus  there is a should be system that students can submit there workfs / assignments and those should be graded by teachers...Clearly this is the integration of Mahara and Moodle -> Mahoodle.. I have two doubts to ask :-


1. Which is the  best way to implement, first create mahara portfolios, then install Moodel or the reverse way??


2. They need to connect students into different faculties , eg:- science, economics etc. well what  I can use this for this purpose> Groups or Institutions?

I dont understand the concept of Insitution in Mahara yet


pls help...

08 August 2013, 8:42 AM

Hello Mike

There is no rule to tell you which part of a Mahoodle solution you have to build first. Most of the time I built I create and open a Mahara instance on the same time than the Moodle one.

Question 1
If you are running out of time, I would say it depends what would be the core activity you propose to your students. In most of the cases students have to access material for their learning (courses, supports, learning contents, resources, etc.) and then provide documents for assessment. In that case it is definitively more logical to build the Moodle side of your solution for your client.

On the other hand,  if the most important thing is to crate a space where students can gather and build an actual picture of their skills and knowledge, starting with Mahara first is logical.

Question 2
An institution is a landing place when a user connect to Mahara (e.g. one Moodle server can send users in one and only one institution). So if you have only one Moodle server you will have only one institution on Mahara. So you can separate your students in groups.

If you have more than one Moodle instance, so one for each faculty, your users will SSO to Mahara and will be placed in their respective institution. Then you would use groups to separate those students in workgroup or classes.

If you are new to Mahara I recommend you read the user manual and also the  two books published by Packt Publisher on Mahara. So you will have a better overview of what are ePortfolios and what is Mahara.

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 15

09 August 2013, 2:05 AM

thank you for the response.. but I still want clear my doubt about the facutlies.. My clients have 3 faculties ..

1. science

2. economic

3. music


So each students must be into any of this faculties or more.. Once a student submit the work / assignment,  the concerned faculty must validate and access it. My doubt is, in Mahara system structure, how can I use this different faculties ??


I was having the idea that each institution can be faculties.. I mean I can create an institution named science and so forth.. But now I am confused. Is that the correct way ???



pls help







09 August 2013, 10:27 AM


My questions are

  1. has your client three Moodle instances; one for each facuties?
  2. can the students belong to more than one facutly?



anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 15

10 August 2013, 2:29 AM



1. should they have such instances?? they dnt have any thing, I have to build a system for them


2. yes a student can be into more than one faculty.. but if this make things difficult, I can convince my client that, students can be into only one faculty



Aaron Wells's profile picture
Posts: 896

09 August 2013, 12:38 PM

Here are some of the highlights of the differences between Groups and Institutions:

Mahara Institutions are primarily there to allow for "multi-tenanted" Mahara; i.e. situations where separate schools or universities are sharing the same Mahara site. So what institutions do is divide up the users for user administration purposes:

1. Each user belongs to EXACTLY ONE institution

2. An institution can have "institution administrators" who can manage the accounts of the users in that institution

3. Each institution can have separate authentication plugins

4. Each institution can tell its users to see Mahara using a different theme

5. An institution can have "Institution Pages" that are shared with all members of the institution, and which new institution members get a copy of

Groups, on the other hand, are the primary way that users interact with each other in Mahara:

1. A user can belong to many groups

2. A user can choose to join and leave groups; OR the groups can be created by site or institution administrators who can force users to belong to the group

3. Groups can have forums and shared "group pages"

4. A group can be configured so that group members can "submit" a Page to that group for evaluation.

They share some things in common:

1. They're obviously both ways of grouping users together

2. They can both have their own Pages & Collections

3. They can both be used for access control (show this Page to members of this Group/Institution)

Like Dajan said, if your students can belong to more than one Faculty, then you probably want to use Groups for the Faculties rather than Institutions.

Since you plan on using the Mahoodle MNet (aka XMLRPC) method to communicate between Mahara and Moodle, you're also limited by the fact that Mahara can ony hold one XMLRPC authentication instance for a particular Moodle site. So if you've got just one Moodle, shared by all three faculties, you will not be able to have more than one Institution connected to it by XMLRPC.

I hope this helps!



anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 15

10 August 2013, 2:34 AM



I thank you very much for your detailed explanation of my doubts. I was strangled with the dount of Institution / groups for my faculty requirement.. Surely, I should use  GROUPS for my requirement instead of INSTITUTIONS cuz my client has only one school / college.



2. about the mahoodle.. what my client needs, the students  can  submit the articles / assignment that teachers can veryfy and grade.. So for this purpose, if  more than one moodle instances are needed, then surely I would love to do that


3. Can you please give me your  contact email, that I can send more doubts ??




Aaron Wells's profile picture
Posts: 896

12 August 2013, 4:30 PM

Hi Jeevan,

2. Mahoodle: The normal usage has one Moodle site and one Mahara site. Check out the Mahoodle documentation for more details. If you Google "Mahoodle" you should also be able to find some videos that demonstrate how it works from a teacher and student perspective.

3. I prefer to talk over the Mahara forum so that other members of the community can benefit from the discussion as well. (Unless your institution would like to hire my employer, Catalyst IT, for consulting purposes, in which case please email and we can set something up. Smile)



Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3561

18 August 2013, 5:47 PM

Hello Jeevan,

You don't need multiple Moodle instances in order to connect your users to Mahara. I suggest the following:

  1. Set up Moodle.
  2. Set up Mahara.
  3. Follow the configuration guide for setting up "Mahoodle", the connection between Moodle and Mahara as described in - I recommend to set up Moodle as the authority and Mahara as being the recipient of SSO. That way you are more flexible in your use of Mahoodle.
  4. Besides setting up the authentication, also set up the portfolio side of things in Moodle (towards the end of the Mahoodle guide).
  5. Create groups for your students based on their instructors / courses. If you have to create many, I recommend you set them up via CSV (see ) because then you can easily manage your users as well via a CSV file. Alternatively, if you also have LDAP set up, you could use the user and group sync plugin.
    Alternatively, you can set up the Mahara assignment submission plugin so your teachers can grade students' work directly in a Moodle assignment without having to set up Mahara groups. There is a discussion about two upgrades to this plugin to work better with Moodle 2.3 onwards at .




anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 15

19 August 2013, 7:37 PM

Thanx Kristina,

thank you for the mahoodle setup up info and about the plugin.. Surely I will use that.


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