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Mahara Staff Profiles Making Information Count


10 CV Page


Scholarship, Research & Professional Practice


14 Gallery

Mahara Staff Profiles

What is Mahara? Mahara is an open source eportfolio system. This means that anyone can download it and use it for free.

Download a detailed user guide at

Mahara allows you to create an e-profile in a dynamic and user friendly way, allowing you to portray yourself using files, videos, slideshows and images, as well as using it as a social networking tool.

More details on Mahara can be found at


e-profile Create an e-profile, upload files, videos and slideshows. Share your profile through the use of social networking tools

This brochure is a introduction to the basics of Plymouth College of Art’s bespoke version of Mahara, which includes brief technical instructions for use as well as how to get the most out of your portfolio.

Plymouth College of ArT, Mahara and the XCRI-CAP feed

What are the advantages of using Mahara?

The XCRI-CAP feed is a national standard for course related advertising information introduced by JISC. The Standard aims to make course information more accessible and easier to interpret, possibly resulting in better informed students and as a result potentially higher retention levels.

Firstly by using Mahara in this way, we are putting student needs at the heart of XCRICAP feed. We are providing the information that they are saying they want. Our research showed that seeing what vast experience and knowledge the staff have, as well as the interesting array of personalities was a driver behind deciding to study at Plymouth College of Art.

Plymouth College of Art have taken a slightly different approach to the standard and asserted that students in the Art & Design community are unique in their information requirements. Initial research concluded that this was the case and that due to the creative nature of the courses, students were also interested in information that was harder to capture such as atmosphere, environment and most

of all course tutors. In short they wanted information that would give them a 3D perspective of the college and its courses. To capture this information we proposed an extension to the XCRI-CAP feed that includes a ‘Deliverer’ element that would link to course tutor profiles on Mahara. Our bespoke version of Mahara will be both visual and informative for a creative mindset and with the aim of attracting students in a way that the standard information may not.

The information provided by staff can be used for many purposes internally by departments such as Human Resources and Marketing. We hope that this central form of record keeping will therefore eliminate duplication of requests for information and give more user autonomy.

Mahara has a social networking facility which will allow for the creation of interest groups and professional networks. This will enable knowledge and information sharing as well as collaborative working. It will allow for personal development planning, CPD recording, journaling and record keeping. It can also be a file repository and provide a timeline view of your professional and personal progress which can be useful for future projects, funding applications, reflections and collaboration. It is time saving in information management, will improve your professional identity and it is therefore not surprising that Mahara has good presidency in the Art and Design sector. Mahara Staff Profiles


Where to start Entering the general content is your first step.

PROFILE Profile contains information about you

JOURNAL Somewhere for you to keep a record of professional or personal progress, This can also be used as a blogging tool



You can have several profile pictures as this has a function for allowing different views, this means you can have a professional public photo and a photo for friends and other contacts


Employment, Skills and Research profiling section

A fantastic tool for Personal and Professional Development Planning

NOTES Files Facility to upload documents for your own use or for public viewing within your portfolio


Mahara Staff Profiles

This can be used to create any other text fields that you feel would be useful

The staff and the knowledge they have of their area of expertise and their experiences in the working world were reasons for choosing this College.


Need support If you’re having trouble with getting started please contact: Project Manager Elaine Garcia Project Co-ordinator Kerry Dungay

Mahara Staff Profiles



..the tutors are all from the industry so it’s easy to respect and appreciate their suggestions...

Now that you have entered your basic information you can start to create your portfolio pages.

Standardisation and the XCRI-CAP feed As we need this information to be useful to students and internal departments, we need to create standard pages that contain the information relevant to these stakeholders. To meet this end we have created four standard portfolio pages. Standard pages for PLYMOUTH COLLEGE OF ART » Profile, p08 » CV, p10 » Scholarship, Research and Professional Practice, p12 » Gallery, p14

Be creative As well as the College’s standard pages there are many ways that you can customise your own pages when creating your portfolio. The most important thing is that it meets your purpose and you are achieving the feel that reflects you best. Remember that students will want to see information that shows you and your interests in a dynamic way. Always remember your audience when you are creating and sharing pages, for example, interest groups may have different information requirements than students viewing your public profile - so always try to make the information relevant to your audience. There are some fantastic examples of how Mahara has been used creatively and various tools and external media have been incorporated to enhance the look and feel of the information being displayed. University of the Arts London offer good examples of how Mahara can be used creatively and to organise work effectively. Examples can found at:


Mahara Staff Profiles

03 Copy a Page 01

From the ‘Portfolio’ tab make sure you have clicked on ‘Pages’ from the 2nd-tabbed sub navigation menu.


Go to ‘Copy Page’ from ‘Plymouth College of Art Pages’. Click on ‘Copy Page’


Do not edit the copy page other than to delete the ‘Copy of’ description for the Page title. Then save. Once you have copied the page, all the information that you have entered into the content section of your portfolio will automatically complete the template.

Profile Page A little word ‘About me’ This information comes from the ‘Introduction’ in your content section and will be displayed to prospective students. It will be important to use this as a hook for engaging students and drawing their attention to the rest of your profile information. Try to be as succinct as possible and avoid jargon. Think of it as a movie trailer that draws the potential audience in so try to make it enticing.

Social Media links As previously mentioned, when adding social media links to your Mahara profile, always have your target audience in mind. Social media links can include feeds and information that you are adding for you own interest to save time and have all your feeds in one place. There is no reason why you cannot use a Mahara page as your very own exhibition to the general public or to targeted audiences.


Mahara Staff Profiles

You will find all your social media blocks in the content section and these can be added to your specific ‘portfolio page’. It will be your decision on what you would like to include and what will best suit the relevant audience. When used correctly these social media links could very well open doors and create new professional opportunities for you. Just as a side note, remember when thinking about your target audience whether the information you are providing is appropriate and correct.

There is no reason why you cannot use a Mahara page as your very own exhibition to the general public or to targeted audiences.

This is the information that will be included in the XCRI-CAP feed and for public viewing.

The CV page will be for institutional use only, unless there are elements that you specifically want potential students to be able to see.

Personal and Professional Development Plans (PDP) As academic professionals, continuous professional development (CPD) is essential. This can be managed effectively using the ‘Plan’ function, located in the content section. This tool is easy to use, can save time on planning and can work well at highlighting deadlines. You may not feel that this would be relevant to you, however if it is, it could be beneficial.

It would be interesting to see our teacher’s profiles and previous that before people attend we have insight on what our teachers are like...what to aspire to...


Mahara Staff Profiles

Best fit instead of one fit As part of our bespoke design we have slightly changed the terminology to better suit the use of Mahara for Higher Education staff profiles and make it more applicable to Plymouth College of Art staff and the Art and Design community. The Skills section now has a tagging facility that has value both for organising your information and for departments such as HR. The tagging system is weighted which means that you will be able to view the areas of practice that you are most active in. We have added a section where you can record your Exhibitions, Commissions & Professional Practice Achievements. We also now have a section for Professional Qualifications and Grades. A fantastic facility now also exists to record Awards, Recognition and Press coverage. This provides the opportunity to further your networking potential and collaborative-working as well as attracting possible funding opportunities.

Tagging facility the tag cloud

CV Page

This is the ‘CV’ institutional view

A view of CPD plans and tasks.

Mahara Staff Profiles


TITLE scholarship, research & professional practice This page has been designed with flexibility in mind and to meet the needs of a wide range of disciplines and research activities. This section will include significant citations in terms of: exhibitions; commissions; pubications; community projects; industry engagement; pedagogical & curriculum development; and peer recognition We are aware that research can take many forms/outputs and don’t always take the form of a formal written publication. Within this page the system has been customised to allow for a range of outputs that a member of staff may have. Please note that you do not need to use all of the sections available but they are there for you if you need them. There are multiple aims for the Scholarship, Research and Professional Practice page To demonstrate your interests and research activities To maintain a record of your research outputs in one place To promote knowledge of research activities within the institution To form collaborations with others in similar research and professional pratice areas In addition to these fields, other information such as profile pictures, galleries, contact details, etc might be useful to include within the research pages and to also give readers a really good idea of your interests and research activities. 12

Mahara Staff Profiles

Research Outputs

Books and publications

Awards, recognition and press coverage Exhibitions, Commissions & Professional Practice Achievements

Mahara Staff Profiles


Gallery As an Art Institution we are aware how important a gallery space can be to be able to show your work online. Even if your discipline is not digital, being able to display digital copies or photographs of your work can visually enhance your portfolio and profile pages. The Gallery section of your portfolio provides you with a virtual exhibition space in which you can group together different elements of your work and create collections and slideshows of any images you wish to use. Images can either be uploaded within Mahara or can be linked via external sites such as Flickr or Picasa. Moving Image files can also be utilised and again can be uploaded to Mahara or linked from sites such as Vimeo or YouTube. Galleries can be used throughout the portfolio and can be placed as a mini-slideshow, thumbnails or a link within other pages of the portfolio.


Mahara Staff Profiles

Images within the Gallery can also be used within individual pages to add a visual element to each page. Please also consider when creating a Gallery whether to include information relating to each piece of work such as a description of the work, how it was made and why it was created. The more information available the more likely the viewer is to be engaged with the work and look through your public profile.

Mahara Staff Profiles


Your Contacts & Access


Project Manager Elaine Garcia

For more information on JISC Course Data Programme:

Project Co-ordinator Kerry Dungay

For more information on Plymouth College of Art Course Data Stage 2 Project

Access your Mahara account

For more information on CREST GuildHE

To access your account

Staff profiles digital pdf single  

Mahara is an open source eportfolio system. This means that anyone can download it and use it for free. Mahara allows you to create an e-pr...

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