Technology Enhanced Learning at Sussex

Required for Mahara (archived)

Mahara is an electronic portfolio system used at the University of Sussex by students to create and submit work for assessments with an “e-submission via Mahara” submission location.

Important! This page is for assessment processes with Study Direct, used for modules which started during the 2014-17 academic years. Please see the Canvas web pages for information on current processes.


An electronic portfolio allows you to produce and collect a variety of digital content which you can curate and present within an online portfolio page or collection of pages for submission to an assessment. Further guidance on how you will be expected to use Mahara within the context of your module and assessments will be provided by your tutors.

What types of assessments will use Mahara?

Portfolio assessments are generally categorised as one of the following:

  • Criteria-based portfolio (view example): evidence the development of skills and practice to demonstrate competencies to meet a set of targets or requirements.

  • Product-based portfolio (view example): showcases a finished product which may consist of multiple parts.

  • Commentary-based portfolio (view example): reflects on thoughts and ideas which are recorded over a period of time.

How to access Mahara

The following video will demonstrate how to access the Mahara e-portfolio system via Study Direct.


How to create a Mahara portfolio

We have included a series of PDF guides below which will provide a general overview of how to create and edit Mahara portfolio pages and collections. Please refer to instructions from your tutor on how to create your Mahara portfolio as this may vary for each assessment.

PDF Guides
  • Copy an assignment template.Your tutor may have created a template for your assignment. This will be in the form of a Mahara page or collection that you can copy.

  • Your Mahara profile is one of the items of content you can add to pages and collections. It is important that your real first name and surname are used. They should have been completed automatically. Do not change this name as it is essential for managing your assessments.

  • Pages - copying and creating. Mahara pages are the place you bring together content to present it to others. This can include items such as files, journal posts, media and additional text. Content can be added to as many pages as you wish.

  • Editing pages - layout and adding content blocks. When you create a new page in Mahara you can edit the layout, change the title and/or description or start editing the content that you display on the page.

  • Uploading and displaying files. Your Mahara portfolio is built up using different types of content. This guide will take you through using Files. These are your images, documents and other files you want to include in Pages for your readers to download.

  • Journal. This gives you a space to record your ideas and thoughts online. You can then share some or all of your journal entries by adding them to a page.

  • Creating a collection of pages. Once you have created pages in Mahara you can bring them together in a collection. This links the pages together and gives the same access permissions to all of them.

Submitting Mahara portfolios for e-submission

The following video will demonstrate how to submit a Mahara e-portfolio page or collection via e-submission.

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