Mahara – e-Portfolio (formative)

Assessment Type: Coursework (Portfolio)

Below are the TEL recommended workflows, for three formative e-portfolio assessment scenarios, using Mahara. If you are setting up a summative e-portfolio visit Mahara – Summative. The guidance provided is for typical use of Mahara.

Visit the Maraha guidance for instructions.

Scenario 1 – When using Mahara Groups for a range of activities

Mahara Groups allow small groups (such as tutorial groups) to work together. They can use a discussion forum and a shared portfolio.  Groups also provide the option for students to submit their work to the group, allowing staff to provide feedback.

  1. Create a Mahara Group and add students.

    Staff can contact the TEL team to create the group and give the tutor the role of group administrator.  Students can then be invited to join the group.  For large cohorts, the TEL team can help create groups and populate them.

  2. Students submits their work to the Mahara Group.

    Students submit their Mahara Page or Collection to the relevant Group. The work becomes ‘locked’ and is not editable again until the tutor ‘releases’ it back to them.  Only staff in that group can view the work. It is not visible to other students. If required, the settings can be changed such that an archive can be made of each submission.  This is a backup, held in Mahara, of work submitted to the group.  This option could be considered a sensible precaution if ‘formative’ work leads into ‘summative’ work later.

  3. Staff review and provide feedback.

    Staff review all submissions from a tabbed area, called Submissions, in the Mahara group. Staff can select each portfolio in turn and add private comments to the work. These are visible only by the author of the work and the author of the comments.  If the student chooses to share the work with others (peers or employers), private comments would be hidden.Mulitple comments can be made, but staff should be aware these become uneditable after 10 minutes.  Students can delete them.

  4. Staff provide result and release work.

    When reviewing has been completed, staff can give the work a ‘result’ and then release the work.  There is usually a short delay (depending on whether ‘archiving’ is enabled) until the students can start editing their portfolio again. Results are either Revise, Pass or Fail and in all cases, we advise using Revise.  Pass or Fail are ‘final’ results and will prohibit the student from ever submitting that work again. Selecting Revise allows the students to work on their portfolio and resubmit again in the future for further feedback.

  5. Students review feedback.

    Once released students will be able to see the staff comments on their work.

Visit the Maraha guidance for instructions.

Scenario 2 – Sharing with others for feedback

Students have control over who they share their portfolios with.  They can share with peers, tutors or external people such as placement employers.  This allows students to gather critical commentary on their work.

  1. Students share their work with others.

    Students can share their portfolio internally within Mahara, so that peers or tutors can view their work. Sharing with people who do not have accounts in Mahara is also possible, by creating a secret (i.e. public) URL that can be shared via email.

  2. Others add feedback.

    Other people can add feedback via the commenting feature.  Comments can be made private so that only the author of the comment and the author of the work can view them. While the work is being shared with others the student can reply to comments and enter into dialogue with the feedback author.Comments are editable by the author for 10 minutes.  The student can delete comments.

  3. Student stops sharing their work with others.

    When the feedback period is over the student can remove sharing rights, so others will no longer be able to view the work.

  4. Students can review the feedback for future use.

    Students can review the feedback comments or dialogue and further develop their portfolio.

Visit the Maraha guidance for instructions.

Scenario 3 – Submit to a Moodle Assignment

Although submitting to Moodle would often be used for summative assessment, it can provide the ability to capture formative feedback alongside other activities the students have been doing there.

  1. Create a Moodle Assignment for Mahara submission.

    Staff can create a Moodle Assignment, selecting the option to allow Mahara submission.  This allows students to submit from their list of available Mahara Pages and Collections.If required, it is possible to change the default settings of the Assignment so that marks are not required, and only feedback needs to be given.

  2. Students submit their work to the Moodle Assignment

    When students access the Assignment, they will be presented with a list of available Mahara Pages and Collections.  They can submit one item for review.The portfolio work they submit will become locked and therefore uneditable, until the tutor releases it back to them.

  3. Staff review and provide feedback.

    Staff can View all submissions within the Assignment, where they will see a web link to the portfolio work submitted by students. The work will open in the Mahara interface, in a new web browser window or tab. Staff can review it and leave comments on the work, if required.In the Moodle Assignment staff can Grade the submission, providing a grade (if required) or feedback comments as would normally be done in a Moodle Assignment.

  4. Staff provide result and release work.

    Once all the grades (if needed) and feedback are completed, the Marking workflow can be changed to ‘release’ results back to students in Moodle.  This will also result in the Mahara work being released back to the student for further editing.

  5. Students review feedback.

    Once released students will be able to read their feedback.

Visit the Maraha guidance for instructions.

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