Mahara Hui UK 2015

This year’s Mahara conference took place at my beloved Southampton Solent University, with both Kristina Hoeppner (@anitsirk) and Sigi Jakob (@Networking_Lady) as the two keynotes. I was so looking forward to all the networking and idea sharing, however I picked up a horrible bug, meaning my ability to think and partake in meaningful conversations was somewhat limited. I felt really upset as the same thing happened to me at the NZ Hui 😦 I am normally a really chatty person full of ideas, but for this event I just couldn’t get as involved as I wanted. I even left the FREE drinks reception early as I felt so unwell (so sorry to all those who I had promised to chat to – I felt dreadful).

Anyway, a week on and I’m still unwell, but feel I need to get something written before I forget everything that I took away from the event.


moofy2I really liked this year’s format – just one stream running at a time meaning that we got to see everyone’s presentations! Without going into too much detail, I thought I’d share some of the key points that I took away from the conference:

  • Mahara is a living work space. What the learners do with it is up to them, however scaffolding may help them make the best use of it.
  • New Mahara 15.10 will be more intuitive, comes with more site themes (and the ability to tweak the CSS), cleaner navigation options for collections – all with a responsive Bootstrap theme.
  • A mobile-friendly media player will be added to new Mahara.
  • Students are now muli-modal learners – Mahara could be used to ease staff into the digital landscape (thanks Teresa!)
  • Lots of discussion with TDM VLE Middleware of the prospect of getting an eLearning apprentice
  • Saw great examples of it being used on a massive scale for so many different purposes – assessment, PDP, employability
  • Ask your learners ‘How do they want to learn?’ (thanks Sigi x)
  • Could CDS contribute some of their dev budget towards the Mahara project? (thanks Domi)
  • We need to provide a framework for our CDS staff who would like to use Mahara for CPD and potentially their HEA Fellowships.
  • More integration with openbadges – Open Badge Factory could users to issue badges (thanks Dajan!)
  • Special shout out to the rather awesome Perins School and their students who gave an eye-opening presentation of their use of Moodle, Mahara and social media tools to facilitate and support the learning journey 🙂

Hashtag: #MaharaUK15

Many thanks to Teresa for storifying both days:

Cranfield Defence and Security presentation

This was my first IRL presentation with Aurélie (we did one online for iMOOT15) and despite my poorliness, I had a BLAST! We walked through our implementation and showcased some of our early adopters. We also shared how we are trying to spread the word of Mahara using case scenarios and ‘selling’ them to course directors during planning meetings and course committee meetings. Thanks to the audience for the pictures on twitter:


Taken by Sigi)

Taken by Domi)

We then moved onto our case study – MSc in Explosives Ordnance Engineering. These students are using Mahara to support group work off campus and plan for the three stages of their assessment. Below is a quote from Course Director Tracey Temple on her thoughts on Mahara:

“As Course Director and Module leader for the Explosives Ordnance and Engineering MSc I wanted a platform that the students could share work and interact with when they are undertaking group work.  This need was especially important when group work consists of full and part-time students.  Mahara e-portfolio has enabled this to happen as students can communicate via the Mahara pages and forums from wherever they are based.  The Marhara e-portfolio is also a great platform for students to share information in terms of research papers and ideas.”

Here are some links to our Mahara in case you are interested:

Hoping you guys enjoyed the popping candy 😉

Thanks to Roger for organising and chairing most of Mahara Hui UK – here’s to the next one 🙂


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