Thursday keynote by Sam Taylor

Growing up with Mahara

Mahara homepage of Solent UniversitySouthampton Solent University have been exploring the use of ePortfolios to support employability and personal development since 2008. In 2009 Mahara was chosen as the tool of choice, and a number of pilot studies were conducted to test its effectiveness in supporting developmental activities. Staff and students were both invited to contribute to the evaluation and planning stage, which in turn identified key issues that would need to be addressed.

The huge success of these pilots, and its flexible and customisable nature, led to university-wide adoption of Mahara in 2010. Since then, the use of ePortfolios has been growing at Solent University not just in numbers but also in usage scenarios by staff and students.

This talk will take you on Solent’s journey from its first steps into ePortfolio exploration, to full-scale implementation of Mahara, concluding with where we are now and what we are planning next. Live student ePortfolios will be showcased where possible, in addition to stories from staff and students about their experiences of using Mahara.

About Sam Taylor

Photo of Sam TaylorSam is a Learning Technologist at the Defence Academy for the United Kingdom, as part of Cranfield University. Prior to this she had been supporting the use of Mahara at Southampton Solent University in the UK since 2008. She was responsible for the development of help materials for staff and students at her university, as well as designing activities that utilise the many features in Mahara to support personal development and employability focused assessments.

Sam has presented her work at many events, including Mahara UK, MoodleMoot UK & Ireland, MoodleMoot Germany, and more recently was the keynote speaker at the MaharaMoot Barcamp in Germany last year. She does her best to keep the Mahara community posted on what she’s up to by sharing news and stories via social media and her blog, and she loves to show off her lecturing colleagues’ and students’ live ePortfolios. She gets very excited at how inventive her colleagues and their students are year on year in their use of Mahara. She has seen the use of Mahara rise, so much so that it’s now the third most used online technology at Solent (after Moodle and Turnitin which are both compulsory).

Sam is delighted to have been asked to present to you all, and to meet those in real life who she’s only ever spoken to online. If you haven't seen it already, feel free to visit her Mahara ePortfolio.

Last modified: Monday, 23 March 2015, 9:58 AM