Once there was RAPID…
Once there was RAPID for Personal Development Planning but now many see it as an outdated system and are seeking its replacement. Mahara is a piece of e-portfolio software that includes options to do all sorts of things to record your development. You can have a reflective journal, an electronic CV, pages that you can upload videos, pictures and RSS feeds to name a few. In addition it can help to make the job application process easier with the ability to put tags into your journal or page to save time when looking back over your portfolio for certain skills or key words.
As a recent graduate with experience of the job hunt after University I know how it feels to prep for the dreaded interview. It would often take time to think of a good example where a certain skill was used. With Mahara the process of reflection doesn’t just make the job hunt easier, but it could also help us realise our actual development within our degree time, not just for the end of University when we shoe horn examples into job application answers. In my time at University I certainly wasn’t aware enough of the competencies I was developing and it is through reflection, via inputting information into an e-portfolio, that the students can highlight to themselves the great attributes that Loughborough graduates are gaining in their time here.
I personally think it is a very useful tool but more analysis and evaluative work is to be done, hopefully by using a group of students to trial the software we can build a picture of how useful Mahara could be.