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Frequently Asked Questions

It is the York St John eportfolio tool. It allows students and staff to collect and present materials, resources, and to record experiences during the course of their studies.

The easiest way is to access Mahara through Moodle. Click on the Services tab in the top menu.

Screenshot of link in Moodle top menu to Mahara

If you are asked to log in, use your York St John username and password.

By default, everything in Mahara is private except your Profile page which is visible to all York St John staff and students.

You can choose to share any pages or collections with other members of the university or even generate a secret URL if you need to share it with someone outside York St John.







Mahara, our e-portfolio tool allows students to collate evidence, reflect and develop. Students are in control of the content displayed and added to their e-portfolio space and therefore this tool facilitates independent and autonomous learning. This means that effective use of the e-Portfolio for learning and/or assessment within a programme requires students to have an understanding of the expectations of tutors.

Please note: We are currently implementing PebblePad at YSJ, Mahara will be phased out between 2021-2024. If you are wanting to use an eportfolio tool, please contact tel@yorksj.ac.uk who can help you with PebblePad.


Mahara guide for academic staff

Dashboard and Navigation

Quick guide to creating a Mahara e-portfolio submission portal in Moodle

How to create a Mahara submission portal in Moodle (video guide)

How to Create a template and share it with your students

Providing feedback in Mahara 

What's New in Mahara

For more detailed information on what Mahara can do, you can view the Maraha.org user manual.

Students - See the Digital Training Team's Mahara help for downloadable resources, contact digitaltraining@yorksj.ac.uk or visit the Service Desk in Fountains Learning Centre.






A significant difference in the Mahara ePortfolio system is that it is learner centred – a form of Personal Learning Environment (PLE). This is in contrast to the more institution-centric Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). To this end, such technologies are often referred to as 'disruptive technologies', as the locus of control is shifted to the student.

It works as a user-centred, personalised learning space allowing the user to shape the way they present themselves to the world. Content and layout can be personalised to create multiple Views which meet the specific, differing or changing requirements of the user. This ties in with one of the key tenets of personalised learning, that students become key partners in the design of learning to suit their needs.

An ePortfolio has a much broader scope as an online collection of reflections and digital Artefacts (such as documents, images, blogs, resumés, multimedia, hyperlinks and contact information). Learners and staff can use an ePortfolio to demonstrate their learning, skills and development and record their achievements over time to a selected audience.

If you think of Moodle as the formal, structured side of e-learning, then Mahara is the social, reflective side. A VLE and an ePortfolio complement one another in an online learning environment.

Technology Enhanced Learning | York St John University