Mahara is an open-source e-portfolio system. It is a learner centred web-based environment that includes an e-portfolio system, blogging platform, resume builder and social network. Mahara is a verb in the Maori language, meaning to think, thinking, thought.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and Mahara epitomises this – it is an elegant application built on open source software and open principles.
Mahara supports the creation of e-portfolios and online learner communities. Features include:
- Manages, stores and displays media-rich content;
- Users have the ability to select who sees their information and in what format;
- Showcases accomplishments;
- Resume builder;
- Social networking;
- Group collaboration tools;
- Template sharing;
- Supports multiple languages and themes;
- Supports multiple organisations on a single installation;
- Flexible architecture;
- Interoperable with Moodle and other learning and training platforms;
- Import and export using open standards.
The e-portfolio system allows users to collect, reflect and share their achievements and development online, in a space they control, that is, not controlled by the institution. With regard to the social networking function, Mahara promotes online communities and social networking through groups, blogs and forums.
Mahara’s draws inspiration from the modular and extensible architecture of its bigger cousin, the Moodle learning management system. Mahara can certainly stand alone as an informal learning environment, but it can also be integrated with Moodle 1.9 or later via the networking feature. This allows users to single sign-on when roaming from Mahara to Moodle or vice-versa. The integration between the two systems is deeper again, for Moodle 2.0, via the portfolio plugin for Mahara. This enables users to export or push their learning artefacts from forums, glossaries, assignments etc to their Mahara e-portfolio. Feel free to check out our Mahara demonstration site.