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Portfolio Commons project

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 131

11 October 2013, 4:41 AM

Portfolio Commons is a project which adds remote export functionality to the Mahara software.

In addition to the local export options which are built into Mahara, Portfolio Commons provides remote export capability, for exporting html pages from Mahara directly to remote repositories, using the SWORD protocol.

This makes it easy to deposit content into a remote repository without leaving the Mahara interface.

It was funded as a JISC Rapid Innovations project.

I've just uploaded the project to GitHub. It is a plugin, but I had to tweak some core files too to get it to work. So I have provided the full Mahara code for a fresh install, for testing, for anyone who's interested.

Hopefully it will be the basis of something useful to the Mahara community for the future.

There are more details here:


Best wishes,Mike

Don Presant's profile picture
Posts: 255

11 October 2013, 6:02 AM

Hi Mike:

This is great and intriguing..I wonder if we can expand the use cases from the original purpose  of creating a permanent archive for the student for after leaving the institution?

For example:

  • to archive student learning for institutional accreditation purposes?
  • to package evidence collateral for assessment between systems?

For those who want more info, the project page link is here:

Great work!

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 131

13 October 2013, 1:32 AM

Hi Don,

That is definitely a possibility. It could be useful for any kind of permanent record, it doesn't just have to be a learning repository.

In theory it should work with any kind of system which implements the SWORD protocol (sounds like a bad Hollywood movie but is in fact an open API standard for depositing to repositories or other sites).

Best wishes,


Aaron Wells's profile picture
Posts: 896

11 October 2013, 12:38 PM

Hi Mike,

Interesting stuff. Once 1.8 is out perhaps we can take a look at upstreaming at least the core changes necessary to support external export plugins.



anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 131

13 October 2013, 1:34 AM

That sounds good Aaron. It would interesting to think about other remote export possibilities.

Best wishes,


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3864

15 October 2013, 4:48 PM

Hello Mike,

This sounds like a great project. Will have to find a SWORD repository to test this out. I agree with Aaron that it would be good to look at the changes you needed to make to core and see if we can implement them in general. Maybe another JISC project for the full integration of the repository functionality? ;-)




Don Presant's profile picture
Posts: 255

21 November 2013, 12:22 PM

Here's an interesting blog entry from one of the suppliers to the project:

I'm really quite intrigued by the idea of using it as an OER for eportfolios, not just an archive...all sorts of possibilities.

Don Presant's profile picture
Posts: 255

20 December 2013, 5:58 AM

Quick update on this file...


Simon Grant of JISC CETIS just hosted a Hangout discussing how the InLOC competency framework spec could better support export of learner records and employability portfolios.

I brought Portfolio Commons forward as as an optional avenue and there was some interest in this, possibly furthering the Leap2A spec to include a JSON output ("Leap2J").

The next Hangout is Jan 16 at 2pm UTC (not a good time for NZ)


Mike, I mentioned that I would try to lure you to participate in this...

Is there any interest in Wellington? If so, I can try to get the time changed to something that would be early morning for you, evening for early can I go?


See below Simon's agenda and below that a link to my portfolio page outlining the opportunity for Mahara.

InLOC and learner records...

On the agenda is, specifically, whether we want to broaden our scope to investigating / recommending a learner record format to fit in with InLOC. Candidates include:

  • some JSON format from the new HR-XML range
  • Europass CV
  • JSON-LD version of Leap2 (we could call it “Leap2J”)
  • xAPI (Tin Can)

and we would probably need to extend any of these to allow for a good range of expression, similar to Leap2A—if we covered all the functionality of Leap2A we could offer that to Mahara as a way forward for them to deliver parts of their information—have they done anything along these lines?


InLOC and Mahara ePortfolio

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 112

20 December 2013, 7:48 AM

What about, which is the rich snippets that Google (and other search engines) use to read data?  The easier it is for Google to parse data, the easier it will be for potential employers to find the info that a job applicant wants them to find.



Don Presant's profile picture
Posts: 255

21 December 2013, 2:28 AM

Hi Melissa: and microdata look fascinating on a number of levels, though it would probably need lots of scaffolding for the vast majority of users. Maybe a form? That's a good search-based option, though the job/skills/competencies part seems a bit underdeveloped at the moment:

JobPosting: baseSalary, benefits, datePosted, educationRequirements, employmentType, experienceRequirements, hiringOrganization, incentives, industry, jobLocation, occupationalCategory, qualifications, responsibilities, salaryCurrency, skills, specialCommitments, title, workHours

My suggestion to extend Portfolio Commons is for export of pages or collections from an eportfolio to support a permanent external record of assessment, for Open Badges, or other purposes, which could include some kind of skills marketplace, or even institutional accreditation.

(In the spectrum of learner ownership, this would mean that the learner would lose some or all control of their content, for quality and audit purposes.)

InLOC is a proposed standard for specifying competency frameworks. It could act as a dictionary between job postings and portfolios.

Simon Grant was the key JISC person behind Leap2A and would like to find a way to revisit that idea, possibly with a "Leap2J" (JSON-LD) with InLOC as a grammar for interchange.

I may sound like I know more than I do at the moment, but could soon disabuse you of that notion. You can read more here, and if you're interested can get involved on Google+





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