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Transitioning Students from Active Directory to Manual accounts

Scott Gage's profile picture
Posts: 64

21 October 2014, 13:35

Hi all,

As part of our Mahara setup we authenticate students via Active Directory. Since an ePortfolio is a personal area and could be used for more than just University work we're looking at a way for students to retain access even after they have completed their University work. How hard would it be to transfer a student's account from an Active Directory authenticated account to a Mahara only manual account? The idea would be that if they want to retain their portfolio we would switch them to a manual account that would still have all their content.



Aaron Wells's profile picture
Posts: 896

21 October 2014, 18:34

Hi Scott,

It would not be difficult at all. Smile You mainly just have to change the user's authentication method from "LDAP" to "internal". This can be done on an individual basis from the user's account settings page, or in bulk by a CSV upload. You might also want to switch them to a different institution for alumni, to make it easier to administer alumni separately.

"Internal" is the authentication method for a password stored in Mahara's own database. If you're not currently using it, you may have to set up an auth instance for this (you do this under the institution settings).

The password situation can get a little bit tricky. You can either set the user's password yourself from their account settings page (making sure to tick the "force reset password on next login" option if you do that), or have the student reset their own password through the "forgot password" link (which should work as long as they still have access to the same email address).



Scott Gage's profile picture
Posts: 64

22 October 2014, 11:09

Sounds simple Aaron, thanks! That alumni institution idea is a good one, I'll definitely use that :)

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4769

02 November 2014, 16:45

Hello Scott,

If you just want to change the authentication method, you can do that also without CSV, but by simply selecting the students on the "User search" page and then clicking the "Edit" button. See

If you want to change the institution, which I'd recommend if you want to keep them as alumni, then you'd have to move them to the new institution first via CSV. You can generate the CSV file from the "User search" screen though. :-)

If you move students out of your normal institution (provided they aren't already in "No institution"), they will lose their LDAP auth automatically and get emailed their internal username (or at least they should ;-) ).

Here are a few reasons why I think having a separate alumni institution is useful:

  • You see very quickly who is an alumni.
  • You can have an alumni theme that differs from your regular student theme.
  • With Mahara 1.9+ you can have a different welcome message on your dashboard for alumni.
  • You can set up portfolio templates just for alumni that they receive as soon as they become a member of that institution.
  • Alumni can share their portfolio pages easily with all alumni (share with my institution).
  • You can make the alumni coordinator an institution manager who takes care of login issues etc.




Sigi's profile picture
Posts: 102

23 October 2014, 6:30

Thanks for posting this simple solution.  It has always been an issue for Institutions with a single sign on from Moodle, to keep access open for the students After leaving their institution.  The Alumni institution solution is really the simples thing to do, especially as the students can decide whether they want to keep their contento on that Mahara or rather export it for using it on another Mahara.  Institutions do have to understand that It is the students who own this content and they have to grant them a possibility for further access. This is one of the biggest issues with Institutions.
So please spread Aarons Suggestion with an Alumni institution and international authentication.
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