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Quarter 1 2013 ePortfolio hapennings

For a January update see here:

February 2013:

Supported Cathy Hope in Arts and Design (Communications unit) to plan e-portfolio implementation and create video tutorials of how to create journals in Mahara, how to create pages, how to add journals to pages.

Supported Ryan and Kym in Education (Teaching Discipline) in creating video tutorials for Mahara journaling and portfolio page creation as the e-portfolio implementation goes course wide. All first year students begin their portfolio from Semester 1 starting this year, they begin by making their own copy of the course long template.

Completed some overdue system administration work for Adam from Education - establishing a separate Mahara institution so he can manage the students rather than sending me the account keeping tasks. We also applied the Primary theme to make the interface more fun for students and the teachers.

Met with Sarah Ailwood from Law to discuss scenario based learning but ended the conversation talking about e-portfolios and she identified a range of learning needs that they could help address. 

March 2013:

Met with Cathy Hope (Arts and Design) a few times to work through Mahara and Moodle-Mahara workflows for students (reflections are being used as formative and summative assessment) and create related training videos, create relevant Moodle assignment dropboxes etc. We used text dropboxes and had students drop in secret URLs to portfolio pages. We took this approach because  the Mahara-Moodle integration doesn't support formative assessment strategies - expecting all work to be graded and only releasing a portfolio (and associated reflections) for editing once a grade has been given. I hope to raise this at the moodle-Mahara meetup in May in the design challenge workshop I'll be running, if no one else does.

Met with Calvary Health Care ACT (Louise Botha - from the Learning and Development area) to talk about options for deploying/providing Mahara. Louise had used mahara in the GCTE (Graduate certificate in Tertiary Education) last year thanks to Peter Donnan introducing the establishment of an e-portfolio as an assessment item. Louise does not have a budget to host Mahara or have it hosted and wasn't sure about using off shore Mahara service providers. I started to think of platform agnostic approaches as being the best option in this case. As it happens we bumped into Keith Lyons a at the coffee spot we chose and he takes the platform agnostic approach so he was able to tell Louise what he does and why. Afterwards we spoke about the need for development of rules and guidelines for digital portfolio use (e.g. privacy management) so that people will have criteria for choosing and using their platform.

Also this month Physiotherapy and Sports Science again signalled their interest in digital portfolios  in a meeting with the Saffire learning designers. To see how, why and where portfolio practice fits into the existing curriculum I recommended a curriculum mapping approach where by the teaching team map out their current curriculum (as per blog entry about the Risk Management unit) and use that as a starting point for planning change.

Teacher Education asked me to run a workshop for education students struggling with Mahara because they had fallen behind, 13 came along and reported the workshop as been very good value. We covered:
  • tagging
  • embedding photos in text boxes
  • sharing pages
  • copying templates (collections) and editing pages names and collection ordering
  • labeling artefacts according to competencies to make pages clear and navigable for audiences.
  • adding content from cloud services like Microsoft Skydrive.
  • uploading files from a computer
  • adding images and other files from Mahara files area to pages
  • attaching files to journal entries


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