At the end of July I gave a presentation at MoodleMoot NZ about the new features for MyPortfolio. As there were so many we knew that we could not finish them all for the August 1, 2011, release. On Wednesday, we released the last lot of them along with a number of bug fixes. A few highlights of the new features (taken from my release notes):

  • group types: They are now more flexible and you can have more settings when you create a group. If you have the staff role, you will see more options than a user with the default rights.
  • text box: Now mainly called “Notes”. They are re-usable across pages and can have comments like other artefacts. Your existing text boxes have been converted into notes and reside under Content -> Notes. You can create new notes from a page and they get added to the re-usable ones. You can edit your notes from the Notes page as well and every instance of the note will be changed (similar to how journal posts work). You can also include notes created in groups to which you have access and make a copy of them.
  • changes to the profile and how it is handled: You can share your profile now only with your institution. Basic information like display name, institution membership, send a message is still visible to everybody. But you can keep the rest to your institution and other people only. Your profile page now shows up as page under the Share Tab (due to a bug that couldn’t yet be fixed it is called “Profile view”). “Logged-in users” still appear in the access list, but you can take them off. You can now also share other pages with your entire institution.
  • multiple file upload: When you click on the “Browse” button for uploading files, you can now select more than one file to upload at once.

A new member of the Mahara community had tested the fullscreen mode in the current TinyMCE and found that it works. Thus, a long open bug could be closed and users on MyPortfolio can now also increase the editor window easily.

If you are a Mahara user, you can test these features yourself. They are all part of the future Mahara 1.5 release. The wiki tells you how to set up your developer environment and get the code for your experiments.

These features have all been made possible thanks to funding from the NZ Ministry of Education and in there the Managed Learning Environment Project Group (now part of the Sector Access and Interoperability team) around Paul Seiler.

Let’s see how the close to 40,000 users from over 810 schools in NZ like these new features. Yes, that’s over 110 new schools since the end of July. đŸ™‚

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