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Mahara

Mahara is an ePortfolio system. An ePortfolio is a system in which students can record evidence of lifelong learning, such as essays, artwork or other such things they produce that can be stored digitally. Mahara also functions as a Social networking system – think Facebook. Students can interact with their classmates and instructors and create their own online learning communities. Mahara also includes blogging, a résumé builder, and LMS integration.

Mahara artefactsThe Mahara Framework

With Mahara, you control which items and what information within your portfolio other users see. Such items and information are termed artefacts. To facilitate this access control, all artefacts you wish to show to other users need to be arranged into one area. In Mahara this compilation of selected artefacts is called a ‘page’. You can have as many pages as you like, each with a different number of artefacts, intended purpose and audience. Your audience, or the people you wish to give access to your page, can be added as individuals or as a member of a group. It can even be made publicly available.

For example you could create:

  • a page for your friends and family that includes holiday photos and a personal journal
  • a page for your tutor, which includes assessments and your reflective learning journal
  • a page to showcase your best pieces of work and your résumé for potential employers

Access the ePortfolio system by visiting http://mahara.ucd.ie/.

Get In Touch!

 

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How do I log in to my UCD Mahara account?

You can access your ePortfolio Mahara account by visiting mahara.ucd.ie. Log in by entering your UCD Connect credentials (username and password) into the sign-in form on the top-right of window.

What is the Mahara Dashboard?

After you successfully logged in to Mahara, you see your Mahara “Dashboard”.

The Dashboard is your Mahara “Home” page and only you can see this page.

The default Dashboard displays Tabbed links to your Dashboard, Content, Portfolio and Groups sections.

Below the tabs it also contains:

  • Latest Pages (a list of pages which others have shared with all College Mahara users)
  • My Pages (a list of your own pages)
  • Inbox (a list of recent messages)
  • Topics I am Following (messages in Forums that you have joined)

On the right hand side it also contains:

  • Pending Friends and group invites
  • Group memberships (and your membership status)
  • Online users (currently or recently online)

You can customise the dashboard so that you always see the items that are most important to you by click ing the Edit dashboard link.

What is the Content section for?

Use to Content section to build your profile, adding personal information your are willing to share, images, texts, and files etc. They won't be visible until they are published on a page.

What about the Portfolio section?

The Portfolio section is where you create pages, add content to the pages, and organise pages in Collections to be presented and shared online.
By default your Portfolio has a Dashboard page (which is Private) and a Profile Page (which is Public).

What is my Profile Page?

Access your Profile page at any time by clicking on your username, either on the top-right of window or listed in online users.

The default Profile Page includes the following blocks:

  • About Me
  • My Pages
  • My Groups
  • My Friends &
  • Wall

These areas will be filled with content once you start using Mahara. As you create pages, receive messages from other users, have access to others’ portfolio pages and use the forums for discussions information and links will appear here. Your Profile Page is visible to other users on Mahara by default.

We advise you not to use your Profile Page as your portfolio because you cannot control who can look at the information you make available on your Profile Page.

Warning!!

Always remember to think about your own personal security before releasing contact information on a publicly available page or even to other Mahara users.

What is a Journal?

The Journal is an online tool within which you can record your thoughts and experiences.

A journal is the equivalent to a blog.

You can create as many journals as you need based on different blog topics.

What is a Mahara Résumé?

The Resumé builder allows you to create an online curriculum vitae / résumé. You can either publish your entire résumé or individual components of it in your portfolio.

Who can see my ePortfolio?

Portfolio Pages are defaulted to be private.

The default settings on Mahara are very private. The only time that somebody can see your portfolio pages is when you share the pages with them. Your lecturer can see it once you submit it for assessment.

The profile page is public.

The Profile page on your Mahara portfolio IS ALWAYS public. Any content placed on the Profile page will be visible to registered user of Mahara in UCD.

Change Privacy Settings.

To alter the default privacy  settings and make your portfolio pages visible , go to Dashboard -> Portfolio -> Share.

What is a Page?

A page contains a selection of the content that you wish to arrange and present as part of your portfolio. The content may include:

  • raw text
  • selected files
  • résumé details
  • journal posts
  • video and audio files
  • RSS feed to an external blog
  • hyperlinks
  • etc.

You can create and link as many pages as you like to make up your e-portfolio.

What is a secret URL?

By default, your Mahara account is active as long as you are a student at UCD. All data will be cleared from the system once you have completed your studies in UCD.

How are tags a useful feature in Mahara?

"Tags" are a really useful feature and are being increasingly used in modern web technologies. When you tag something, you are giving it a label, which describes something about it. Each tag is a single descriptive "keyword" Tags become useful later on when it comes to searching for items. All files tagged with a certain keyword are grouped together, so they become much easier to locate.

How long is my Mahara account active?

A secret URL is used if you would like to give someone who isn't already a member of the UCD Mahara site access to your Mahara page. The URL is simply a link to the page, which you can set up as a hyperlink in an e-mail so that others can open it. The URL that is created is difficult to guess so that the general public can't see your page.

How do I export my e-portfolio?

The “Export” option is located in the “Portfolio” tab. Mahara enables you to export your entire portfolio or particular parts of it in two different formats:

  • HTML and
  • Leap2A.

HTML

Typically, you will export in HTML format, which allows you to share your portfolio as a web page. The exported file is a zipped file that contains your e-portfolio pages and the supporting documents. You can create a webpage out of your Pages that you can edit with suitable software, and you can publish on your personal website.

Leap2A

Leap2A is the standard format for eportfolios. Exporting the portfolio in this format will allow you to transfer the content to other eportfolio software that accept the Leap2A specifications.