I’ve published a couple of plugins which I developed for Mahara, as part of our implementation of an e-Portfolio system here at UAL (workflow).
I had a number of requests from Mahara users at other institutions to make these available. They make it possible to browse through work created by others in Mahara. This has a lot of potential value in pedagogical terms. It makes it possible to share examples of good practice; it can be inspiring to see the level of peers’ work, and this can act as a spur to quality; and it helps increase the sense of community in the online space. Having a common online exhibition space can raise the stakes for those posting content to it. Continue Reading →
The new version of Mahara (1.8) has been released over at mahara.org
I’m pleased to say that this new version incorporates some new features based on work I’ve done to customise Workflow, UAL’s own Mahara-based eportfolio service.
The most significant of these are a new flexible layouts system for user-created pages, which makes it possible to design pages with rows of content, as well as columns; and a vertical content chooser panel for adding content to pages.
The flexible layouts feature in particular was a lot of work to implement, so it’s good to see it integrated into Mahara core, with the assistance of the Mahara development team at Catalyst in New Zealand.
This is one of the main benefits of open source software in my view – people at opposite sides of the world can contribute to the same project, and users with their own priorities can address them with development initiatives, which can then often benefit the wider community.
Needless to say this wouldn’t have been possible with proprietary software.
I recently received quite a few reports from WordPress users that media uploads weren’t working on one of the blogs here. I was unable to reproduce the problem, so I couldn’t do much to diagnose the problem. I contacted the users having the problem and asked for more specific details. The information they provided helped me to track down the cause of the issue.
I overhauled the WordPress plugin ‘wp-reportpost’ for compatibility with recent versions of WordPress. Could have done with a complete rewrite but I’m afraid there aren’t enough hours in the day. The plugin is available here:
We’ve had a few people here on myblog.arts who’re interested in the stats for their blogs. We run Google Analytics for the whole network of blog sites, but digging down to the individual site level for statistical information can be tricky – and I can’t give the whole University access to the GA account.
So I put together a WordPress plugin which takes advantage of the Google Analytics multitracker script format. As a WordPress site administrator I can enter GA account details to track the whole site, and that script is embedded in every page on the site. However, now I can also add GA account details setup by individuals for their own blogs, and the tracker script will include that account too when embedded on the pages of the relevant blog.
For the moment the option to add account details to a blog is only visible to the site administrator (super-admin) and I will be adding GA tracking for individual blogs on request. I’m doing it this way because I don’t think it’s appropriate for students to get hung up on the stats for their blogs. The sites they’re making here are primarily for research, reflection and tracking learning development, and might have a smallish target audience.
For other sites, for example certain staff initiatives, it is useful to keep track of page visits.
The plugin is licensed with GPL3 and available to use here:
Over the summer I have applied numerous updates to our test version of Workflow, our e-portfolio system based on the Mahara software. We’ll be pushing the changes to the live version of Workflow over the course of September. Many of the changes have been contributed by the main Mahara development team as part of the latest release, but some are customisations which I’ve made myself. I’m going to document those in this post, along with the thinking behind them. (All images link through to full size versions.)