Mahara: use within Scottish Culture & Society

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Use of Mahara has proven beneficial in terms of improving student engagement and efficiency savings for the course tutors (joint module leaders Vera Macdonald & Anne Campbell) as traditional posters and presentations were replaced with Mahara e-portfolios.

As this module has >80 students per trimester the primary objective was to provide clear guidance to students on assessment criteria whilst bringing about time savings to the course team.

This was achieved by provision of simple Mahara template for students to populate, a template that was designed based on how easy it would be to grade. It did not preclude student creativity but did ensure that consistent presentation allowed graders to refer to associated rubric faster than before.

Student Support

Students were supported, as shown in the associated video, in use via use of instructional screencast outlining:

  1. Accessing Mahara.
  2. Copying template.
  3. Adding content.
  4. Submitting to Moodle.

As Mahara operates as an integrated Moodle plugin we used auto group creation to divide students between graders who were able to use simple filtering within Gradebook to access and grade their assigned group.

This was just part of a whole course grading strategy that we had developed over several years with each trimester adding additional technology based enhancements to assessment to reduce grading hours, provide feedback quicker and allow tutors to add additional face to face sessions with individuals and small groups.

Current cohort has 116 students and as with previous cohorts we have seen only limited queries over operation of the application and assignment.

Student Instruction Video

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