I was honored to have been asked by her to give a virtual presentation and be available for Q&A afterwards. Thankfully, Sigi could get a time slot that was not too bad for NZ time. Thus, I could stay for the entire session and learn how Mahara is being used in Germany and in Austria by schools and universities through mini presentations.
This event showed me that I should practice presenting in German more as I stumbled through some of the words and sentences more than I would have wished for. Being used to speaking English all day, I am a bit rusty in German. Following the presentations of members of the audience was much easier. 🙂
There’s also a recording of my presentation which includes the 2 minutes that I could not be heard in Germany due to Skype losing its connection and me not realizing it as I was in presentation mode.
Oskar-von-Miller Schule Kassel
Claudia Schmidt reported how the Oskar-von-Miller Schule in Kassel uses Mahara. The students keep their electronic portfolio in Mahara and use it as basis for face-to-face discussions with their teachers. They have certain activities to fulfill that they post on their pages.
The students also keep an application portfolio with which they school has had great success (after a great deal of convincing of potential employers to consider them).
Pädagogische Hochschule Wien
Thomas Strasser showcased how his students use Mahara to document their experience of their student teaching for their practical studies. They do not only use one type of portfolio, but depending on the purpose, there are three types that are important:
- showcase / presentation portfolio
- reflection portfolio
- process portfolio
They experiment with a number of ideas from the Mahara 1.4 Cookbook to make the portfolio work more relevant for the students. The portfolio is not seen as assessment portfolio but rather as vehicle for giving constructive feedback and discuss it with peers instead of just with an instructor. They also emphasize social interaction and encourage their students to publish hobbies and special interests on their profile pages for others to discover and connect with them.
Language Center of the University of Leipzig
Kátia Aiko Murata Arend outlined how she uses Mahara with her Portuguese language students. She uses it with her students to collect and reflect on texts for media and text analysis thus keeping all her teaching and learning material in Mahara. The students add to that throughout the semester and are highly motivated using this medium in their studies.
KAMahara in Karlsruhe
Norman Mewes and Sigi provided some examples of how they use Mahara in the school context. KAMahara is a Mahara installation for a project which is used by a number of schools to explore its potential.
Students use the ePortfolio to apply for jobs, for example. They also do not wait to make their pages available to their teachers until they have finished their portfolio, but give them access throughout the development process to invite feedback and improve their showcase portfolio which they are going to use for their job application along the way.
Sigi showed us a couple of examples highlighting students who use Mahara to document and reflect upon their internships in the real world. She showed how different the portfolios of the students can be depending on the preference of the students and how they wanted to express themselves.
During the MoodleMoot, a number of presenters had another presentation slot in which they went into more detail regarding their use of Mahara. But already these brief showcases allowed me a glimpse into how Mahara is being used in German schools and German and Austrian universities. The variety of uses is fantastic and also the getting together of the practitioners to share their ideas and discuss them with each other.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.