Saturday, April 03, 2010

Beginner's Guide to Mahara

I have reviewed a brand new book from Packt Publishing that is a very good beginner's guide to how t use Mahara 1.2. Mahara is an open source e-portfolio system coming out of New Zealand. Go to to learn more about it.

We are just finishing a pilot project at Mount Royal University using Mahara 1.2 as an e-portfolio and e-journalling system. I have been the lead on this project, which means I had to learn how to use the software fast. I found this book to be a great resource for an faculty and students that need to get up to speed on using Mahara quickly.

I like the book for the following reasons:
  • It is an easy read. I have used several Packt books before to learn software and this one works very well.
  • It has several examples, hints and tips that will help anyone get comfortable with Mahara.
  • The book is also organized in a very logical way so it can be used a reference book for looking up how to use features when you need it.
  • I really liked how it explained how to set up your views. This is probably the most challenging feature of Mahara to grasp, but the screen shots in the book are view useful.
  • You can acquire the book electronically as a lower cost. E-books have the advantages that you can carry it around on your computer or USB drive and you can search the text electronically with the search function on your PDF viewer.
  • There is also a demo site that you can use with the practice activities in the book if you don't have access to a Mahara site.
  • For the techy people there are also appendices about how to plan to install and install Mahara.
If you are at all interested in learning more about Mahara, I highly recommend you acquire this book. Go to for more information about it.

If you would like to download a preview a sample chapter click here.

Rod Corbett