Mahara - It takes a village
In this second part of our mini series on Mahara, we look at how features and other improvements make it into the software.
When the project started in 2006, a dedicated project team undertook the initial analysis, conducted research into personal learning environments, electronic portfolios, and usability. This work was and still is incredibly important because it laid the foundation for a number of concepts that are still used today.
After the project phase finished, Catalyst took on the responsibility of maintaining the software on behalf of the community. In the beginning this was done together with another company, Flexible Learning Network, who supported the strategic vision of the project. Since around 2012 Catalyst has taken on more and more responsibilities, resulting in becoming the company that leads the development of the Mahara software and also manages the community.
One of the reasons we keep going is that the job isn’t complete. In that the education system still doesn’t value the individual student as it should. The education model is about getting thousands of bums on seats and churning them through the system. It’s not the fault of the institutions, it’s just how the financing works. It doesn’t necessarily create the creative, confident learners that we need in our businesses, in our communities. So there’s still a job to be done here, and Mahara is working with institutions to get that change to take place.