Author (no Person account): 
Kristina Hoeppener
What's in the future of Mahara?

On 3 June 2015, the Europortfolio community organized a webinar in which I talked about the future of Mahara, the open source ePortfolio system. The presentation consisted of three parts:

  1. Overview of what Mahara is;
  2. How features make it into Mahara;
  3. The high level roadmap for Mahara.

Mahara was started by New Zealand tertiary institutions in 2006 and has been an open source project from the start. Since its humble beginnings in a far-away country almost ten years ago, it has spread around the world and is used in hundreds of schools, universities, other tertiary providers, professional organizations and projects around the world. Mahara users can be found on all continents but Antarctica.

In true open source fashion, anyone, including YOU, can contribute to the project. And contributors do not need to be programmers. There are many different ways of contributing to an open source project because a software development project does not only consist of programmers. In the presentation I highlight the ways of how people can support the Mahara project with their knowledge and ideas. Everyone is part of the community that releases two versions of Mahara per year.

What can users of Mahara expect in the upcoming releases of Mahara? While we do not have a detailed roadmap, we do have focus areas in which many improvements fall. The five big areas are:

  • Usability: Continued effort to make Mahara easier to use;
  • Front-end: Upgrade to Bootstrap themes and therefore more modern look an feel;
  • Mobile: Improve the mobile experience;
  • Assessment: While Mahara started out as Personal Learning Environment and has its strengths there, organizations often do want to be able to use it for some sort of assessment or formal processes. We want to enable them to do that. One idea whose implementation has started is to provide evidence maps in the form of SmartEvidence;
  • Integration: Web services expansion to allow connecting to other platforms for shared data or transfer of data, authentication and other management tasks.

If you are interested in this session, you can watch the recording of the presentation. The full recording is well worth watching as the chat was very lively and contains a number of great conversations and points of departure for further investigation. One of them is that there will most likely be another Mahara User Group: MUM (Mahara Users Midlands, UK). There may already be a group near you.

Education / lifelong learning
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