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ACU video conference workshop - ePortfolios and Mahara

Description of the ACU workshop

Disciplines present

  • Paramedics
  • Midwifery
  • Occupational therapy
  • Nursing

Locations/Campuses (video conference using polycom solution)

  • North Sydney
  • Canberra (on site)
  • Ballarat
  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne

Reasons for integrating portfolio practice

  • Development and assessment of skills, attitudes and knowledge.
  • Employability: employers are increasingly preferring students provide evidence through e-portfolios (the following come from a study of what employers are looking for - not sure of reference)
    • critical thinking
    • communication skills
    • knowledge of and engagement in the relevant profession - e.g. volunteering

Discussion topics (in general) 

This agenda was designed to cater for people migrating from a non-Mahara environment, who have  ideas ranging from none to fully developed of what they will be using e-portfolios for, and assumes people have no experience with Mahara. (Even if people have experience with Mahara I spoke of features in future versions.)

(this Google Doc also contains links used during the workshop:

  • Exploring past experience with e-portfolio practices and what people were doing with the existing platform (pre-mahara)
    • E.g. what were the intentions of teaching staff in their use of e-portfolios
    • Are these goals unchanged? Do you have new ideas you want to try out?
    • Were teaching staff happy with the results students produced? What was the feedback from students?
  • Exploring how teaching staff would transfer what they were doing, and new things they want to do, over to mahara.
    • What goals/practices do you want to transfer to mahara?
    • have you seen or thought of new approaches you would like to try?
  • Exploring what can be done in Mahara
    • How might you implement your strategies in Mahara?
      4 key areas to Mahara:

      Artefact collection

      ePortfolio Creation



    • What can Mahara do that couldn’t be done before, or vice-versa?
    • what else is possible with e-Portfolios/Mahara that you might try in the future.

    • Licensing of artefacts (mahara v1.7) and other considerations.


The session resulted in an hours worth of ideas sharing on why ACU disciplines/staff want to use ePortfolios and successfully built a strong level of enthusiasm. During the second hour participants left with a good sense of what Mahara is capable of and the features available in the latest versions of Mahara (1.7+).


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