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Mahara Experiences in Higher Education

25 September 2022, 21:26

Dear colleagues:

We share a work of integration of the Mahara e-portfolio at the University of Zaragoza (Spain) through 6 years of innovation projects and three university teacher training processes (here).

We hope it will be of interest to you.

Best regards.

Alfredo Berbegal


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4729

27 September 2022, 16:07

Dear Alfredo,

Thank you very much for sharing your article with us. I read it with great interest to learn more how portfolios and with them Mahara are used at your university. You and your co-authors mention a great number of factors that influence the portfolio strategy at an institution of higher education, and I commend you on having undertaken a longitudinal study. They are not easy to come by but provide lots of valuable insight in how a portfolio strategy evolves.

Does your university offer students to continue keeping their portfolios after they graduate to support them in their lifelong learning efforts?

Do you have some practical tips on navigating the tension between using Mahara as personal learning environment and as assessment tool? Do you use the Mahara assignment submission plugin in Moodle for the latter?



27 September 2022, 19:51

Dear Kristina:

Thank you very much for your interest. It is a pleasure to share common efforts and hopes. I am responding to the questions you raised in the forum.

1. The problem of continuity to explore the degree and professional portfolio is the adherence of a teaching team to the competence assessment system through the digital portfolio. So far, two innovation projects and one doctoral thesis have been developed in the field of teacher education. The reality is that a political-institutional commitment is needed to promote the underlying paradigm and teacher training.

2. This issue is linked to the progressive assumption of the e-portfolio as a personal learning environment. It requires a modular vision of initial and continuing training and synergies between training areas and subjects that adopt learning products in a cross-cutting manner. In this sense, the teaching coordination of teaching staff in and from the students' personal environment is key. The potential of the connectivity of learning products throughout longlife learning converges with an understanding of vocational guidance in terms of life design.

3. The moodle task submission plugin is activated, so that there is a direct communication of the learning products in the moodle training courses with the Mahara personal environment. The problem is that, for the moment, this practice is not the majority, so that students do not get into the habit of archiving their products for progressive selection and organisation in terms of building their degree portfolio or professional pathway.

Much remains to be done. It is not easy to assume the socio-constructivist cosmovision of professional training that underlies an initial and continuous training structured around students and their competences development  in their academic-professional profile.

At least in this community we feel a little bit more accompanied in this beautiful and interesting challenge, which has structural connotations on the way we understand the training of our students and their professional development in Higher Education.

Best regards.


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 4729

29 September 2022, 7:59

Hi Alfredo,

Thank you for the additional information. How do support the instructors in setting portfolio tasks? Do you hold regular workshops? Do you have a dedicated learning designer that supports them throughout the academic year?

What do you think could be done to encourage students to reflect on a regular basis to establish the habit in them to collect their learning evidence and reflect on it? Have you developed strategies for that in your programme?

Thank you


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