Language Centre of the University of Pardubice in the Czech Republic has been using Mahara since 2012. In the past academic year I tried to learn about the opportunities ePortfolio tool can offer in the teaching and learning process. Several groups of students were selected for four pilot projects: Mahoodle, Résumé, Blogging and an International project.
About the Author
My name is Linda Pospisilova, I learnt about Mahara from a European Mahara evangelist Sigi Jakob Kuehn from Germany in 2011. I spent one year learning about Mahara, experimenting there, building my own ePortfolio. Thanks to the ESF project we were able to have our own Moodle and Mahara instalations and as said above, in the year 2012/13 I decided to explore Mahara with our students.
Find me at:
LinkedIn: Linda Pospisilova
Facebook: Linda Pospisilova
- First name: Linda
- Last name: Pospisilova
- City/region: Eastern Bohemia
- Country: Czech Republic
- Occupation: English teacher
In the fall term of 2012/13 the students enrolled in Moodle course “English for Graphic Arts” were provided with specific content focused on basics of chemistry, graphics and printing techniques. They were asked to choose a topic of their interest and expand on the theme by means of designing a Page in Mahara and presenting their project in the face-to-face sessions. Equal distribution of themes was assured.
The students created Pages on selected themes and presented them to their classmates using Mahara Page as a presenting tool. The benefits could be seen in multimedia aspect of presented material whereas the drawback was experienced with low level of repeatability of using Mahara as a presenting tool. In the following semester the students did not opt for Mahara when presenting a similar project.
Résumé in Mahara
In the fall term of 2012/13 the students were instructed and consequently asked to create their Resumé in English language, design a view of the Resumé and share it with their tutor. The most beneficial aspect of this experiment was opening the door to students’ creativity and visualization of the standard curriculum vitae format. It is essential to motivate students in updating their CVs regularly and maintaining their ePortfolio alive.
Blogging about Nursing
In the summer term of 2012/13 a larger group of 43 students of Nursing was invited into Mahara only to participate on the Blogging project. The students were requested to share their hospital internship experience and stories with the aim to offer students with no practical experience some form of professional advice. The students were at the same time motivated to read the blog posts and deliver feedback.
Going International with Mahara
In the summer term of 2012/13 a group of 20 Czech students of English for chemistry on the B1 language competence level was requested to prepare a Page on selected topics such as Chemistry, Student Life in the Czech Republic, etc. and the students were informed about the mission of this project and the target audience they were supposed to keep in mind. Their target audience were students of Chemistry and English for Specific Purposes at the University of Oulu. Their digital artefacts were presented to students in Finland to be commented on or expanded. Generally, this was the most successful project of the past academic year due to the international aspect. The students appreciated meaningfulness of their effort and at the same time expressed to certain extend disappointment with lack of feedback in some cases.