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“Mahara is an open source e-portfolio system with a flexible display framework. Mahara, meaning 'think' or 'thought' in Te Reo Māori, is user centred environment with a permissions framework that enables different views of an e-portfolio to be easily managed. Mahara also features a weblog, resume builder and social networking system, connecting users and creating online learner communities.” (Mahara home page, retrieved 10:09, 7 July 2009 (UTC))

See also:

System and functionalities

Here is a provisional list of Mahara's principal functions:

For the individual
  • Profile information and friends
  • CV tool
  • Goals and skills management
  • Filing system
  • Views, i.e. expositions that expose files, blogs, etc. to a chosen audience
For groups
  • Groups, to manage group activities (files, expositions, forum)
For institutions
  • Institutions, i.e. self-contained areas with users and groups. Users can be part of more than one institution.


Blogs are created by individuals and are always accessible through their personal profile page under "productions" or under the "My portfolio" tab and the "My blogs" sub-tab.

Adding a blog to a view

Blog blocks come in three types. Ia a view one can add

  • a specific blog
  • a list of recent posts to a blog
  • a list of blogs

Note: blogs must exist before they can be added.


Mahara integrates well with Moodel in two ways:

  • Transparent login from Moodle
  • Being able to grade views within Moodle

Mahara supports LEAP2A, the e-portfolio exchange standard.

Installation tips

Mahara - Moodle integration


Upgrade 1.2 to 1.3.3

When you upgrade to 1.3. from 1.2 make sure to copy the extensions you had in 1.2. Else Mahara will be stuck with system error that won't tell you anything (the trace in the apache error log is good enough to figure it out)

  • Move the old mahara directory
mv mahara
  • Copy the config file
cd mahara
cp  ../ .
  • Then copy the moodle-mahara extension or whatever else.
cd mahara/artefact
cp -rp ../../ .

Upgrade from 1.3.x to 1.7.x

Needs a change in MySQL settings
mysql -p
use mahara
mysql> GRANT TRIGGER ON mahara.* to XXXXX@localhost;
Adjust both "mahara" and "XXXXX", i.e. see the config.php file
Needs some changes in the configuration file of Mahara (config.php)
  • Define $cfg->passwordsaltmain