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Mahara Meetup - SE England

Don Christie's profile picture
Posts: 19

18 March 2014, 12:45 PM


Following on from the successful MacHara lead of our Scottish friends, we are looking at the possibility of establishing a Mahara user group for southern England. There is a suggestion that we could hold a meetup in Brighton, Monday 31st March. I can bring news from Mahara HQ in New Zealand. Looking for other agenda items.

Also looking for a venue and a suggested time. Catalyst will sponsor drinks and food.


Domi Sinclair's profile picture
Posts: 6

19 March 2014, 3:40 AM

Hi Don, 

This sounds like a great idea. I'm always happy for an excuse to spend the day in Brighton!! 

Quite by coincidence this morning at MUGGL (Moodle User Group for Greater London) I asked a question to gage the level of interested in a Mahara London User Group (MahUGGL). There seemed to be quite a bit of interest, and some who would like to be involved in a SE one remotely (as no time/ fund to travel outside London).

Perhaps we could combine the 2 so that either we have 1 group which meets 4 times a year, 2 times in London and 2 times outside, or we have 2 groups but with someone reporting in between the 2?

Best wishes,


Roger Emery's profile picture
Posts: 44

20 March 2014, 4:47 AM

I'm wondering if we involve JISC RSC SE (and London?) as RSC South-East sponsor lunch for the regional Moodle User Group meetings with local colleges supplying the venue. A large network of FE colleges to draw on for case studies.

We have run a couple of add-on Mahara sessions to the Moodle group with some success and Sam T here at Solent has been talking about getting a MUGSE up and running.

The SE Moodle groups meet at sub-regional level (east / west) in the autumn and spring term, then a joint meet in the summer. (or some approimation thereof) - so variation on your idea Domi but along the same lines.

This would certainly be of interest to those unable to attend a national conference, but we do have to be aware that the local moodle groups do feel as if they are running out of steam a little as it is so embedded in so many unis/colleges that there is little new to share (or certainly a perception) so the attendance is slowly dropping.

So have to be careful not to water down the national events, and provide something worth attending at a local level - lots of show and tell (especially from students) would be one way to go and not an overlong day so more people can make it a day return on the train - 11-3 or something?

Votes for talking to JISC anyone? Might be a source of a venue



Gideon Williams's profile picture
Posts: 108

20 March 2014, 9:58 AM

How about we split the difference London - Brighton = Southampton :o)

Would love to be involved as a big Mahara user pre-18

Nitin Parmar's profile picture
Posts: 9

24 March 2014, 12:21 AM

I'd certainly be in favour of Southampton rather than Brighton too.

There's a direct train from Bath to the former, so it'd be very easy to get to.

If there's anything that I can do to help organise (and perhaps host a future one...?), do let me know.

Domi Sinclair's profile picture
Posts: 6

21 March 2014, 3:37 AM

I don't think it would hurt to talk to JISC, they might be able to contribute.Rodger - would you/ Sam like to do this or if not I could try to email someone there. 

I think by splitting a Mahara UG between locations we might be able to stop it from going stale, as we can feed from a wider community of practice (taking the best from London meeting to the next meeting in Soton for example). 

Not sure whether we want to make this a sub-group/ tack it on an exising Moodle group as some Mhaara users might not be using Moodle. Also a big point of a UG for a lot of people would be to allow them to focus on Mahara and stop putting it on the back-burner to deal with the VLE. 

Perhaps if we had 4 events a year, with a strong Twitter presnce (for those outside the event to join in but without relying on potentially unobtainable tech) and a hashtag for conversations outside the events?

Roger Emery's profile picture
Posts: 44

21 March 2014, 3:55 AM

Hi Domi,

Yes agree it should be its own distinct group - I was using the experience from the local moodle groups as an example. The VLE certainly does overshadow too much

I'll give the RSC SE a shout and see what they think - would you be able to do the same for your contact in London RSC? May be able to make it joint/split/shared.




Rose Heaney's profile picture
Posts: 4

21 March 2014, 4:40 AM

All sounds good Domi & Roger - and don't let's forget school representation (as per Perins school above) as these students make their way to HE/FE further down the line.

Would Evan Dickerson be a good point of contact at London RSC - he was at our Moodle (MUGGL) meet the other day?


Roger Emery's profile picture
Posts: 44

21 March 2014, 5:50 AM

Question - who does represent schools? Becta is dead - what's left?

I'm not sure the best way to communicate to with the schools sector to invite them in.

Rose Heaney's profile picture
Posts: 4

21 March 2014, 7:30 AM

Maybe they just connect with us here as per Perins?

Sorry if this is duplicate - phone in & out of signal at crucial point
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