Saturday, July 25, 2009

E.Portfolios – Mahara

Last week I was faced with a quite confusing task of setting up an e.portfolio using a Mahara account. Prior to this, I had never heard of Mahara, nor understood the concept of an e.portfolio. I decided that I should look around the internet to get a better idea of the purpose of them and the relevance to me. Throughout my research I found out that e portfolios really stood for electronic folios and they are collections of work designed for a specific objective. (Siemens, 2004). I also discovered that they “are gaining recognition as a valuable tool for learners, instructors, and academic organizations.” (Siemens, 2004). When I read this, I questioned what exactly made them relevant for me or the teaching profession in general. I continued looking through the many different sites that were related to e.potfolios, until I came across a site that stated just how it was related to teaching. “An e.portfolio is a purposeful collection of work and information that: represents an individual's efforts, progress and achievements over time, is goal-driven, performance-based and indicates evidence of the attainment of knowledge, skills and attitudes, includes self-reflection; and is a tool for facilitating life-long learning and career development.” (Miers, 2005).

After finally understanding what e.portfolios were and the relevance of them, it then left me with another step to complete… understanding how it works. This is something that I am still working on, however after playing around with my new Mahara account, it made me think about the use of these not just for teachers to create a professional folio to present for interviews and to show their work to professional, but also for students, especially students in high school. I remember having to write my own resume in grade 9 and found that it was always a hassle to print off all my references and certificates that I referred to in the resume itself. If I had known about an e.portfolio program and knew that I could compile a comprehensive resume online, I could have directed my potential employer/s to my e.potfolio or handed it to them via disc. It would have been a lot easier and tidier way of handing them my resume (plus good for the environment).

I am still yet to full understand how to navigate my way through Mahara, however I do know that once I can use it efficiently, it will become a very useful resource in my career that I can constantly build on and refer to.


Miers, J. (2005). Professional E.Porfolios in Education. Retrieved July 19, 2009, from

Siemens, G. (2004). E.portfolios. Retrieved July 20, 2009, from


  1. Hi, Jill,

    I'm not a Mahara expert, but I have been studying e-Portfolios solidly for almost two years now. There is a vast amount of literature on the subject, much of it from conflicting and isolationist points of view.

    I know my efforts are focussed on the UK scene but please have a look through my blog and perhaps even look at my demo e-Portfolio. - see links below:

    Best wishes

    Ray Tolley NAACE Fellow
    ICT Education Consultant
    Maximise ICT Ltd
    Winner of the IMS 'Leadership Regional Award 2009'

  2. Thanks so much!!! Any info i can get to get my head around e.porfolios in general is greatly appreciated!