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Introduction: What is Mahara eportfolio system?

Mahara eportfolio system is a web application that is designed to help students, professionals and everyone else demonstrate their achievements. When we apply for a new job or seek to collaborate with others, we often need to showcase our work. Whether you’re a web designer showing off your beautiful designs or a project manager with evidence of previous successes, a portfolio proves to others that you have what it takes to impress. This is where Mahara comes in.

Mahara allows you to organize your work in a timeline, create links between the different projects and share your portfolio with others. It is open source software that was created by the University of Auckland in New Zealand and has been used for many years by educators and students alike. The software can be downloaded for free from the website mahara.org

Mahara eportfolio is also an important tool used by students to demonstrate learning as they progress through a course. The portfolio can then be assessed as part of the course or even shared with people externally to showcase the student’s best work for evaluation. This particular benefit is helpful for students with little or no employment experience. 

mahara logo

The rise of the eportfolio

Many people these days use eportfolios, and one of the best on the market is Mahara. A web application created by the Mahara Project, the tool is more than a simple receptacle of student work. It turns the portfolio into a living, breathing entity that is constantly added to and developed. Eportfolio systems, such as Mahara, have some serious advantages over the traditional ‘hard-copy’ portfolios of the past.  Mahara eportfolio system is a type of digital portfolio that allows students to showcase their work and skills in a digital format.

The rise of the eportfolio system is due to the fact that it is an efficient way for students to showcase their skills and abilities. It also helps them stand out from other applicants as they can show what they are capable of doing. These days, companies are more likely to use the eportfolio software for talent acquisition and recruitment purposes. They want to see what kind of work someone has done before hiring them instead of relying on their resume alone.

From the student’s point of view, they can quickly demonstrate areas in which they excel, and discover which other areas need improvement, so they can adapt their learning strategy accordingly.

Community sharing

Educators can create Mahara student communities and forums, whereby students share work with other students and teachers, for feedback before submitting. The forums also act as a learning tool, as students share ideas to further each others’ understanding of a topic. It works as a great community building exercise, too!

Assessment is easy for teachers, with all of an individual student’s work in one place. They have easy access to assess work and can monitor progress against core competencies. It also makes it easier for teachers to assess project work over a long period of time.

What are the benefits of using Mahara eportfolio system?

Mahara is a free and open-source social networking software, designed for universities and other educational institutions. It allows users to create profiles, post multimedia content, share status updates, and follow the activities of their friends.

Additionally, the benefits of using Mahara are:

  • It is free and open-source
  • It is easy to use and intuitive
  • It requires little configuration
  • It has a large user base

Mahara and Moodle

When the Mahara eportfolio system was developed, one guiding principle with its design was that it should be learner-focused. A Personal Learning Environment for users. Whereas Moodle LMS (Learning Management System) is an institution-centered learning platform by contrast.

Moodle easily integrates with Mahara, using various plug-ins. This allows your students and educators to benefit from the whole Mahara experience. What’s more, it is easy for students to share their eportfolio with others across devices, so they can use it for job seeking, promotion requests or when applying to university. 

And just like an individual portfolio, Mahara is also developing. The open-source nature of the application invites contributions from techies all over the world, meaning it constantly evolves in a way that suits all users. 

If you need help setting up Mahara, or integrating Mahara with your LMS, please contact us.

Vinny Stocker


Vinny leads the Malaysian team. He's a published author, instructional designer, and Moodle consultant at Pukunui. Vinny also runs LMS training throughout South East Asia.

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