Mahara is an open source portfolio building application. Mahara was initially released in 2006 and today is used by institutes and organisations all over the world.
Mahara is a fully featured web application to build your electronic portfolio. You can create journals, upload files, embed social media resources from the web and collaborate with other users in groups.
What makes Mahara different from other ePortfolio systems is that you control which items and what information (Artefacts) within your portfolio other users see. In order to facilitate this access control, all Artefacts you wish to show to other users need to be bundled up and placed into one area. Within Mahara this compilation of selected Artefacts is called a View. You can have as many Views as you like, each with a different collection of Artefacts, and intended purpose and audience. Your audience, or the people you wish to give access to your View, can be added as individuals or as a member of a Group or Community.
ePortfolio owners create Views using a 4 step process and Views have the following features:
- ePortfolio owners can receive public or private feedback on their View and Artefacts within that View.
- Users accessing a View can report any objectionable material directly to the Site Administrator.
- Users can add Views and Artefacts within a View to their Watchlist and receive automated notifications of any changes or updates.
- ePortfolio owners can Submit a View for Assessment by a tutor or teacher allowing for a snapshot of the View and associated Artefacts on a certain date.
Other features of Mahara include:
- A file repository which allows users to upload and share files.
- A comprehensive blogging tool is provided in Mahara, where blogs and blog postings are considered Artefacts and may be added to a View.
- A resumé builder which allows users to create digital CV's by entering information into a variety of optional fields.
- Sharing: Mahara provides a social networking facility where users can create and maintain a list of Friends within the system. ePortfolio owners choose whether other users can add them to their Friends list automatically or by request and approval. An ePortfolio owner's Friends lists shows those Views to which they have been assigned access.
- Moodle integration: Mahara provides a single-sign on capability that allows users, at the option of the administrator, to be automatically logged in to both their Mahara and Moodle accounts by providing a username and password at only one of these sites. The user can sign on at Mahara, and click on a link to her Moodle account, or sign on at Moodle, and click on a link to her Mahara account.