Case Study from Solent

This case study was written after our first year of research and trails. We have come a very long way!


Solent has a fantastic record when it comes to student graduate employment. A project looking into fostering personal development was started by Dr Barbara Lee to see if Solent University provided any advice on PDP and how it could make things better.

It was decided that an e-Portfolio for all staff and students would be beneficial so that they can:

  1. Record/store key achievements/items of work that they were proud of
  2. Log their reflections/experience
  3. Keep track of their goals and skills and CPD
  4. Promote themselves to outside employers/higher educational institutions

Why Mahara?

We looked at various e-Portfolio platforms including PebblePad, Elgg, MyStuff etc

But we decided to have a play with Mahara!

  1. A demo site was there to play with to create a realistic e-Portfolio to show to staff and students for feedback
  2. We have a Moodle VLE that compliments Mahara
  3. It can be adapted to suit our needs!

It was very important to Solent to be able to embed our own careers advice into the CV/Resume builder. With Mahara we are able to put in links to the relevant information in our 'CareerBox' so students will always receive the same up-to-date advice. We could also change some of the language of the e-Portfolio ie Resume to CV etc.

After a trip to Mahara UK09 it was decided that Mahara would be adopted to run a 1 year pilot project. Click here to read Sam's notes from Mahara UK09

Pilot year

A continuation project was started in September 2009 that would look into how to implement Mahara.

  1. Linking Mahara to MyCourse and to CareerBox
  2. Using a number of key courses to review the issues inherent in introducing the resource to students through portfolio based course
  3. Through promotional activity and support pages promote the use of the resource to individual students
  4. Review issues around take up and use by students working with the resource on an individual basis
  5. Follow up on making exportability functional and understood by students

An interim report was presented at MoodleMoot UK 2010. A proposal paper will be submitted to Mahara UK10 with the intent of announcing our full results.

Next steps

Mahara has been officially approved by Southampton Solent University (29/04/2010) and will be widely available to any student or member of staff who wants to use it from September 2010 onwards Laughing. Over the summer a new server will be purchanced to replace the old one used in the pilot and there will be a full upgrade to Mahara 1.2.4. Work will also be done on the look and feel of the e-Portfolio (ie the colour and langauge files) and new resources will be developed to help reduce the number of 'inductions'.