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Mahara/Moodle integration /
LTI as an alternative for Mahoodle?

Don Presant's profile picture
Posts: 255

26 July 2014, 10:22

OK, he said obsessively, as people in Australia and New Zealand quietly enjoyed their weekends...

Looking into this further, including the Moodle Assignment activity itself, I've come up with the following workflow...

Can others comment? Is there a way to make it simpler while maintaining rigour?



Student completes page/collection in Mahara

Student exports page/collection as  HTML, saving the zipped folder to their computer. This saves attached files. There may be issues with embedded media, external or internal. This needs to be tested.
(So far: direct iframe embed code ok, External Media didn't work. Should test internal mp3/mp4 embedded media)


Instructor has created two Assignments:

Assignment 1: File upload

Student submits page/collection as a zipped file to Assignment:File Upload

Instructor archives zipped file (can unzip and check)

Assignment 2: Mahara submission

This locks the page/collection until it is released by the instructor.


The order of these may be reversed, but should check if student can export locked page/collection

Anne Stevens's profile picture
Posts: 6

28 July 2014, 9:40

My 2 bobs worth. Working for 5 District Health Boards in NZ using this as a regional initiative after success with Mahara locally.

 We use Mahoodle for our Nursing portfolios. I am interested in your workflows as we have been experimenting with different options.

Our challenges are as follows and hoping someone has some easy answers :)

Version 2. When the portfolio is ready the nurse uploads a consent / declaration form in Moodle giving permission to access the portfolio in Mahara. This notifys the group coordinator who then assigns an assessor. The coordinator then contacts the nurse and asks to share the portfolio with the assessor. Then once the portfolio is successfully assessed the nurse is notified and then submits via Mahara which locks the portfolio. This is version 2 of of experiment. This version leaves the portfolio "open" and the possibility of editing by the nurse while the assessment is underway.

Version 1 was the nurse submits via Mahara which locks the portfolio. The  coordinator asks the nurse to share with the assessor. The issue we found with this option was that the group coordinator was then needing to often release the portfolio in order to get missing items added or clarification. The nurse then resubmits. This version was messy.

Our assessment process can take 90 days as this is the time given us by the Nursing Union

My thoughts and challenges on the submission process are as follows:

The possibility of some level of status of the portfolio like "ready for assessment" or under assessment that gives access and control to the assessor who may have some role within the group other than group administrator. This allows the assessment process to flow then its locked, ready for zipping, after the assessment. Maybe some changes to the tutor role as I don't know how this works yet.

Long story. . We also have possibility of the audit requirement by Nursing Council or other external body. So the zipped file upload could be a good option.

Your final process of the two assignment uploads seems to be good once its final. Its the process before its final that we are struggling with so far.

The assessment process with some control for the assessor. Some status flags to indicate, in Mahara, that the porfolio is ready for assessment, under assessment and passed assessment.

We are just about to upgrade to Moodle 2.7 and Mahara 1.9.1 with the assessment plug-in.

Looking forward to your responses. :)




anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 34

28 July 2014, 16:30

Hi Anne,

From what I can understand the LTI and Archiving additions will work to support version 2.

IE the nurse can submit a portfolio and rather than lock the portfolio a snapshot will be taken and the snapshot assessed, allowing the nurse to keep working on their portfolio. Used with other sharing options this allows the nurse to continually work on their portfolio, while other people can conduct their formative and summative appraisals of the work.

All of this works via the Mahara assignment plugin in Moodle, and sharing options (e.g. secret URL/etc) in Mahara.

External accreditors  could gain access to either the snapshots (using an auditing staff role in Moodle - thereby accessing the archive via Moodle gradebook) or to the live portfolio process (via a secret URL generated by the student - this link could be submitted to the same assessment item by allowing checking the portfolio and online text options in the assignment config in Moodle).

A question arises that perhaps Kristina could help with, it is the archived version that is linked to the gradebook, so will Mahara be used to load and view these archived LEAP2a files from the Moodle gradebook?


Anne Stevens's profile picture
Posts: 6

29 July 2014, 11:57

The snapshots of the portfolio sounds good. This will work for the assessors during the process.

Then we could get them to submit in Mahara which would lock it after the process is completed. They then start a fresh profolio for the next competency level, rather than one evolving portfolio.

We use the gradebook as a trigger to pick up complete PD that interfaces to our HRIS.

Be keen to see all these steps working.

Appreciate you response. I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4049

31 August 2014, 16:38

Hello Shane and Anne,

Currently, the archive would only be stored on the Mahara server and there wouldn't be a link to it in the gradebook as the assessed page, the one that was linked in the assignment, was a live page and not the archive.

I guess if the archive is to be linked, then we would need to make the archive first, i.e. when the page is submitted and not when it is released.




anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 34

01 September 2014, 12:26

Hi Kristina, 

I think you are right, ideally the system would take the snapshot of the portfolio on submission.

Of course formative assessment is still possible while the portfolio is in draft mode. This has the benefit that the student doesn't see the message that their portfolio has been locked for assessment - they are are free to keep working on their portfolio if they wish, straight away. I believe this will enhance their experience with Mahara and Moodle and the submission process, and lead enforce the message that they own their portfolios.

Two options for handling resubmissions might be 1) a version number could be added to for subsequent submissions and a link list created in Moodle linking to each version. 2) the sumissions are overwritten. 

I'm in favour of a link list of versions.

This allows the gradebook to retain a link (or links) to the submitted portfolio after grading.

I assume will need a "moodle user portfolio viewer" in this case - ie teacher clicks on link to portfolio in gradebook, mahara loads the archive for viewing?



Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4049

03 September 2014, 8:25

Hello Shane,

"I assume will need a "moodle user portfolio viewer" in this case - ie teacher clicks on link to portfolio in gradebook, mahara loads the archive for viewing?"

Currently, the archive would be stored on the server as Leap2A file that would need to be unzipped before it can be viewed in Mahara. Even if we went with the HTML version, that would need to be unzipped. So we'd need to find a way to accomplish the viewing part easily without incurring a long delay.




Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4049

08 June 2014, 18:32

Hello Don and Shane,

Yes, the specs were to have an archive of the portfolio for audit purposes only and not for immediate viewing online as in live archive. We had chosen the Leap2A export because that gives the most true picture of what the portfolio looked like and the portfolio can be imported back into Mahara if needed, e.g. if the student should work on that portfolio more instead of a version that they had already changed. This would not be possible with the HTML export.

But it is always possible to expand that work in the future through additional funding. The work that UC is funding is laying the groundwork for a lot of other possibilities and it is awesome that we are going to have it. Thank you, Shane!




anonymous profile picture
Account deleted
Posts: 33

03 March 2014, 11:12

I went through this exercise, we have LTI must use and Mahara was an obviouse choice for external tools.

When I looked at it what part,s of Mahara would I use as external tools? Moodle has a good spread of tools, all report to the Moodle gradebook. Mahara has simular features less the gradebook reporting.

Further looking and examination of objectives. The principal objective is to provide social pathways for learners, that have some similarities to the software they use outside of the school environment. Move over FB Mahara is on the job.

The question remains which parts of Mahara would you LTI, without loosing the social pathways or PLE?

My 2 bobs worth.

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