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Moodle-Mahara MNet integration portfolio functionality


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4196

26 August 2021, 16:20

Hi everyone,

I'm putting this into the news forum as most of you are probably subscribed to this and thus would see this question.

Moodle HQ is considering removing the Mahara portfolio plugin from the core code and putting it into the Moodle plugin directory. Since we do not have an overview of how many institutions are using that connection actively, I wanted to enquire with you. I did also ask Moodle HQ if they could provide some numbers from the statistics if that data is collected.

So the question is: Who is using that functionality actively and to what extend in terms of numbers of students, amount of content pushed through in a month on average etc.? These questions may be quite hard to answer without looking at log files in Moodle, but maybe those who do use MNet have a sense of it's importance at their institutions.

What does the plugin do?

The portfolio plugin allows those with an MNet connection to save files, their own forum entries, glossary entries, and files uploaded to an assignment to save these from Moodle directly into Mahara via a few clicks. Files come across as files, and the others can come across as HTML files or as journal entries. They then have the time stamp of that forum post, for example.

Can this functionality be used with the LTI integration?

It only works with MNet. The LTI integration focusses still on the logging in from Moodle to Mahara and the submitting of  portfolios in Moodle. I'm not aware of many people using the 'sending to the portfolio' functionality and thus looking into making this possible in Moodle hasn't come up yet.

What would we lose?

The direct sending of content from Moodle to Mahara via a few clicks would be removed. When we used this with a couple of clients in the past, they quickly asked their students to just upload the submitted files to Mahara again from their computer or copy and paste their forum responses into a Mahara page rather than going through Moodle as it was as fast and sometimes even faster as no decisions needed to be made on how to import the content.

In terms of sending content via Leap2A, each forum post ended up in a separate journal in Mahara, making that also a bit unwieldy.

At this stage, MNet is still available. So you can still use the MNet link to log into Mahara from Moodle and also use the assignment submission plugin MNet edition for portfolio submissions. It is only the sending of Moodle content to Mahara that would not be possible any more directly in Moodle core if that functionality were removed. Having said that, the plugin would still be available in the Moodle plugin database, just not in Moodle core.

Thank you

Kristina

Mark Sharp's profile picture
Posts: 1

26 August 2021, 20:31

Hi Kristina,

yes we use the Mnet and portfolio submission plugins.

Our numbers are roughly as follows for the past year:

* 38 assessments set by 22 staff

* Totalling 889 submissions

Mark

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4196

27 August 2021, 7:54

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your response! Great to see that you are using the submission plugin. What about the export to portfolio? Do you have that enabled? I should have provided the path where to find it: Site administration -> Plugins -> Portfolios -> Manage portfolios If the 'Mahara ePortfolio' is disabled there, it's not in use.

Thank you

Kristina

Russell Boyatt's profile picture
Posts: 9

27 August 2021, 9:53

(For anybody else who briefly wondered why Portfolios didn't appear under 'Plugins' in Moodle!)  The Portfolio option only appears if you have 'Enable Portfolios' set to true, in the Advanced Features section.  

Thanks for posting to check Kristina - my institution has never had this functionality enabled, and simply asked students to upload directly into Mahara.

Thanks,

Russell

 

 

Roger Emery's profile picture
Posts: 49

08 September 2021, 8:40

Hi Kristina,

Hope you are well. I should introduce Mark who is our new services manager / lead developer at Solent.

 

We only use Mnet for SSO and assignment submission. We haven't enabled save to portfolio

 

 

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4196

13 September 2021, 13:50

Hi Roger,

Would love to meet Mark. Thanks for letting me know about your portfolio plugin use.

Cheers

Kristina

Ming Jiang's profile picture
Posts: 2

07 September 2021, 12:31

Hi Kristina,

We are sure that MNet integration is enabled at the ANU, but not so sure about how many courses are using it for how many submissions yet.

Do we know when Moodle HQ will make the change at all?

Regards,

Ming

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4196

08 September 2021, 7:10

Hi Ming,

This does not affect all of the MNet connectivity, just the 'Send to portfolio' one that to my knowledge not many people are using as the majority focuses on:

  • Logging in from MNet into Mahara
  • Using the Mahara assignment submission plugin to put a link to a portfolio into the 'Assignment' activity for grading.

These two things will continue to be available via MNet for some time. Moodle HQ hasn't given any time frame on removing these. Over the past few years, we have implemented LTI though to perform those two functions, including offering the ability to archive portfolios that have been submitted via the assignment submission functionality, extending what MNet offers with LTI, which is more supported in the wider community.

As for the 'Send to portfolio' functionality, if Moodle HQ decides to remove it, the functionality would be available in the plugin directory and thus could continue to be used on a Moodle site. It just won't be in Moodle core any more.

Thank you

Kristina

Ming Jiang's profile picture
Posts: 2

27 September 2021, 20:16

Hi Kristina,

Thank you for the clarification.

Please let us know if you had a timeline for this change.

Regards,

Ming

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4196

13 September 2021, 14:04

Hello everyone,

The responses that I received to my question centred around the Mahara assignment submission functionality that is currently available as a plugin in Moodle rather than the 'Send to portfolio' functionality from Moodle to Mahara. It is only the latter that Moodle HQ is thinking about removing. I did let Moodle HQ know that it would be OK to put it on the list of plugins to remove and make available via the Moodle plugin database.

So in summary: 'Send to portfolio' may be removed from Moodle core depending on the final decision from Moodle. It is supposed to be available via the Moodle plugin database. I don't think that the code has changed much since it was first introduced in Moodle and thus, organisations who do want to continue using it can get the code from the plugin database once it lands there. I do not have a timeline on when that should happen if it does.

In general, the Mahara project team is focussing on adding functionality to Mahara to support LTI. We are making LTI Advantage available, but are still working through if it will 'just work' for Moodle or would need further adjustments as the testing for the initial work was done with a different LMS.

Thank you

Kristina

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