Forums | Mahara Community
Maraha.org ...or a local installation?
20 February 2015, 1:18 AM
Forgive what might be a silly question from somebody who's only been here for a couple of days, but:
Should I expect to use this site as a place for a portfolio? Or is this really just for demo purposes and the developer community? The reason that I ask is that I'd like to see students creating e-Portfolios as part of a MOOC, but my university IT department has installed Mahara such that it requires a student login. In other words only current, enrolled students can access the service... which makes it inappropriate for a MOOC because it can't be 'Massive' if it isn't 'Open'. Also, they're saying they might not support Mahara in the future, due to staff cutbacks.
So. What's the etiquette and what are the practicalities? Could my hypothetical MOOC students be encouraged to register with Mahara.org and upload their work here, or should I be seeking some other solution? Perhaps commercial hosting?
I would appreciate your input.
20 February 2015, 3:45 AM
Mahara.org is not a platform for people to come and play with their eP. Mahara.org is the place to find information and ressources about Mahara and eP.
You should find and use free/paid services which run Mahara, for you and your students, but not store any valuable information on Mahara.org.
21 February 2015, 7:12 AM
Thanks for your answer. I understand much better now.
21 February 2015, 7:13 AM
That looks like a nice solution, and would fit my needs, insofar as I understand them at this point at least!
01 March 2015, 9:38 PM
Awesome that you'll be using ePortfolios and Mahara in your MOOC. Please consider letting the community know more about it. Maybe someone would like to join in?
As dajan wrote, Mahara.org is for the Mahara community to discuss the software and to talk about ePortfolio use. We do not promote using the site to create ePortfolios because we cannot support individual users with issues that they might have in their portfolios like a site where a help desk is available. Questions are answered in the forums by community members when they know the answer and have the time, which is not great for students who want an answer immediately if they run into a problem. ;-)
Did you already talk with your IT department whether a change to the login policy could be made? After all, you are teaching a course on behalf of your university I assume. Mahara allows for multiple authentication methods to be used simultaneously. That means that your university's students can continue to log in via their regular logins, but that other users could either register themselves or get accounts created by you. If you allow self-registration, you can require that an administrator needs to approve the account first. That prevents spammers from misusing your site.
If you set up the MOOC as an institution on your Mahara site, you could give it a different theme than the rest of the university sees (if needed), but regular uni students and other MOOC participants could still share resources, collaborate in groups and give access to each other's portfolios.
All the best
06 March 2015, 10:38 AM
While I don't want to criticise the hard-working (and significantly depleted) people in IT support at my university, going outside the university for portfolio hosting seems wise, given the way things are going. Believe it or not, we're still on Moodle 1.x... which means we're unsupported, and missing out on a number of useful features. Mahara.org was actually recommended to me by one of the IT bods.
I take on board the key point that student users wouldn't benefit from a full helpdesk if I tried to bring them here, and will look elsewhere. I remain interested in the idea of an ePortfolio not just as coursework, but as an 'apprentice piece'.
My thought process in recent months has gone something like this:
Why should study be geared towards the highly synthetic filtration process, whereby I and my colleagues grade student work, and determine if they deserve a certificate that that says they're competent? Instead, the MOOC should coach students as to what constitutes 'good'... and then we should let the portfolio speak for itself. Instead of receiving a copy of a certificate and then wondering if it came from a 'proper' university or a diploma mill, a potential employer would simply look at the portfolio, and make their own judgment as to its value.
Portfolio as qualification: the 21st century apprentice piece... and no marking required: because I have no budget to speak of... at least, no budget for marking, when we consider the (potentially) very large scale of a MOOC.
Would love to know what other practitioners think of this concept!
06 March 2015, 12:58 PM
There are a few providers that gear their offering towards individual ePortfolio users using Mahara. You could check a couple out from the links at https://groups.diigo.com/group/everything-mahara/content/tag/hosting or a Google search. You will have more space available with them as well compared to the 5 MB at mahara.org.