Blackboard is now a business partner of Mahara and will provide these products through its open source service offer, Blackboard Open LMS.
Mahara is a project that operates as an open source web-based application to manage the ePortfolio and the social networks. It offers tools to create and maintain a digital portfolio, including their academic and professional training. Additionally, it includes social features that allow the interaction between users. Mahara also includes blogs, a presentation tool, a file manager, and a view creator, which allows creating versions of the contents of an account for a specific context.
As Mahara’s business partner, Blackboard will be able to participate in the development of new features and improvements of the tools services. In addition, Blackboard will be able to participate in the Mahara community and be recognized as an organization credited for supplying these services. With that, Blackboard continues to show its commitment to open source, expanding its possibilities and benefits for the community.
What is new in Mahara 15.10?
Bootstrap based themes
The Bootstaps framework allows creation of modern themes. The new themes are clean and simple; colors can be changed and the theme can be completely customized. All themes are responsive and can even be created from scratch through various Bootstrap tools.
Journals in different areas of Mahara
Mahara 15.10 journals can be kept in different areas. In this version, journals can be created at a group level, so that several students can contribute and even reflect upon ideas as a group. Additionally, journals can be implemented at a site level. This means that the administrator can create a journal and make it available for the people they choose. Another type of journal that can be created is the institutional level. Institutional journals are very helpful in the case of someone working in several institutions because the teacher can create one journal by institution and then replicate it in the portfolio of the students of their choice.
Reply directly to a feedback comment
With Mahara version 15.10, feedback comments can be replied directly (in private or public), which saves time.
Collections in the pages view
With Mahara version 15.10, display pages in the most recent field as well as past collections can also be shown. Previously, if there was a collection, the pages could only be displayed in the dashboard making the list of pages much longer and includes the complete portfolio. The new version can display pages that are not part of a collection as well as the total number of pages.
This makes the visual access to the content of different portfolios much faster and easier, which improves the usability for teachers by helping them find the pages they need, as well as their students’ collections.
Group Home Page has an edit button
Mahara version 15.10 saves the time for modifications because the group home page now has an edit button, which avoids having to go back to other navigation levels to make changes. Thus, the changes can be made directly on the group home page.
Page templates setup for administrators
When a new page was created in the previous versions of Mahara, the page had three columns by default. Currently, with the new Mahara version 15.10, the site administrator can decide the templates’ features. This can be done without the need to modify the code. Therefore, the page creation process is improved and made much easier, since the components to be included can be decided from the beginning. Changes will be applied to every page created with a specific template.
Login reporting by period for admins
In Mahara version 15.10, all logins from within a month or any other time period can be easily seen by the site admin and in the statistics. At the end of every month, these statistics show the amount of people that logged in within the previous month, as well as the institutions with which they are registered. The statistics charts have also been updated with a much more modern look and feel.
Site admins and institution admins can change email address directly
In Mahara version 15.10, both site admins and institution admins can directly change the email address of a user from the admin session. In previous versions of Mahara, a new account could only be added as a secondary account and not as the main one, to which notifications are automatically sent. In the new version, the new email account can be registered and recorded and it will instantly become the main account and the old account will be kept as a secondary.