System Administrator's Guide/Moodle//Mahara Integration/View Submission

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Moodle & Mahara plugins for Portfolio assignment submission

You can install two plugins for Moodle that will allow Mahara users to submit their Mahara Pages to a Moodle course for assessment. An additional Mahara plugin allows Outcomes from the Moodle grading of the pages to be visible inside Mahara.

  • This page describes the installation process for Moodle 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2.
  • If you have Moodle 1.9, please see the installation instructions for Mahara-Moodle View Submission on Moodle 1.9
  • If you have Moodle 2.3 or later, see the corresponding section below.

Local-Mahara (Moodle plugin)

The first plugin is a Moodle local plugin. This sets up some mnet functions to

  1. get listings of a user's Mahara views within Moodle,
  2. submit a Mahara view to the Moodle mnet host (rather than to a Mahara group)

Mahara Portfolio assignment (Moodle assignment type)

The second plugin is a Moodle assignment type called "Mahara portfolio". When a student visits an assignment of this type they are provided with a simple interface to choose one of their Mahara pages to submit for assessment.

When the teacher looks at the assignment submissions, they see a link to the students' submitted views in Mahara.

Outcomes Artefact (Mahara plugin)

If you intend to grade the Mahara portfolio assignments using Outcomes, and you would like students to be able to keep track of the Outcomes for their pages on the Mahara side, you can do this with the Mahara Outcomes artefact plugin.

This plugin adds an "Outcomes" submenu item under the Portfolio menu in Mahara. Currently this only only allows for students to see their own outcomes.


  1. You need a Moodle 2.0+/Mahara 1.2+ pair already set up with SSO in the Moodle -> Mahara direction. Instructions can be found in the Mahoodle pdf document
  2. Get the two Moodle plugins mahara-contrib-local-mahara-moodle21.tar.gz and mahara-contrib-mod-assignment-type-mahara-moodle21.tar.gz. Unzip these. The into the Moodle. The local-mahara tarball contains a mahara-contrib-local-mahara folder, the contents of which should go into a local/mahara/ folder in Moodle. The mod-asssignment-type-mahara tarball contains a mahara-contrib-mod-assignment-type-mahara folder, and the contents of this should be put into the mod/assignment/type/mahara/ folder in Moodle.
  3. Log into Moodle as administrator and visit /admin to install the mnet functions.
  4. In the admin section, visit Networking -> Peers Click on your mahara host, and then on the Services tab. Under Mahara assignment mnet module, check Subscribe, and save changes.

Teachers should now be able to select the "Mahara Portfolio" assignment from the Activity drop-down in the Moodle courses.

Also take a look at Aarif's instructions for setting up the assignment submission plug-in.

Outcomes Installation

If you are going to use the outcomes artefact, you will also need to do the following in Moodle:

  1. Enable outcomes (under Site Administration -> Advanced Features)
  2. Add some outcomes to the Moodle site. This can be done at grade/edit/outcome/import.php by uploading a csv file containing a list of outcomes and associated scales. Outcomes csv format
  3. Apply some outcomes to the course which will have the Mahara assignment
  4. Add some outcomes in the assignment settings for each Mahara assignment

And you will need to do the following in Mahara:

  1. Get the Mahara outcomes artefact plugin from mahara-contrib-plugin-artefact-outcome-master.tar.gz. This should be unzipped inside the htdocs/artefact/outcome/ folder in Mahara.
  2. Install the outcomes artefact plugin in Mahara under Site Administration -> Administer Extensions (There should be a small 'install' link at the bottom of the 'artefact' list).

User Documentation

User documentation is available in the Mahara/Moodle outcomes micro manual.

Known bugs/limitations

Nothing stops a student from submitting a single page to two different assignments.

Nothing stops a student from submitting one page, and then subsequently resubmitting a different page to the same assignment (up until the due date).

Once a page is submitted to Moodle, it cannot be released for editing on the Mahara site *unless* you have the outcomes artefact plugin installed on the Mahara site. If the outcomes plugin is installed, submitted views are released at grading time, when the outcomes are sent to Mahara.

When a page is submitted, an invisible "secret url" access record is created to ensure the teacher has permission to see the submitted page in Mahara. However, when the page is released after grading, this record stays invisible to the page owner. Really it should be made visible, so that the owner can remove it if they wish.

See "discussion page" for a little bug to correct.

The Mahara assignment type has a "comment inline" option, which came from the online assignment type. It's not really appropriate for the Mahara assignment and should be removed.

The plugin does not automatically "uninstall" if the code goes missing. If the outcomes plugin disappears, quotas may stop being calculated by the cron job, due to a missing include file. Reinstating the outcomes code fixes this problem.

The plugin has issues with Moodle 2.3 and later. The plugin is based on Moodle's "mod/assignment" Assignment module, which was deprecated in 2.3 and replaced with the newer "mod/assign" Assignment module. Updated plugins can be found in the section below.


The original Moodle 1.9 version of these plugins were funded through a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Education to a collaborative group of the following New Hampshire school districts:

The upgrade to Moodle 2.0 and 2.1 was written by Aaron Wells at Catalyst IT, and supported by:

Portfolio assignment submission in Moodle 2.3 and above

At the moment there are two plugins that implement Mahara assignment submission in Moodle 2.3 and above versions.

Combined plugins (Lancaster University, University of Portland, Catalyst IT)

In September 2014, a combined Mahara assignment submission plugin was finished thanks to the funding by the University of Canberra. This plugin is a mesh-up of the Lancaster / Catalyst plugin and the University of Portland plugin to contain the advantages of both plugins. It will be made available in the Moodle plugin database and then replace the one currently listed there once the maintainer has been decided on.

For the time being, you can find the plugins needed on Github:

Both plugins work with Mahara 1.10 out of the box. For previous versions of Mahara, you will need to apply a patch as mentioned in the installation instructions.

For a brief overview of the functionality, see Aaron Wells' presentation at the New Zealand MoodleMoot on 3 October 2014.

Archived information

Note: The plugins below have been replaced by the "Combined plugins" above.

assignsubmission_mahara (Lancaster University and Catalyst IT)

The plugin was developed by Lancaster University and further extended by Catalyst IT. It is available for download on Github (notice that there are several branches for different Moodle versions). The plugin has funtionality of old Mahara submission type plugin with some imporvements. In particular:

  • graded page will never become editable again,
  • the same page cannot be submitted more than once,
  • the page used in the draft submission is not locked for editing in Mahara, but not avialable for being used in different submission.
  • collections can be submitted instead of only individual pages

The plugin also allows exporting old Mahara submission assignments to the assignments of new type. The plugin does not include features to communicate with outcomes artefact plugin. See assignsubmission_mahara github page for the installation instruction and documentation. The submission plugin is totally self-contained and does not require separate installation of additional plugins for its functionality.

Mahara assignment plugins set (Portland University)

This is the plugin set developed by Portland University and available for download from Moodle plugins page. It consists of three plugins:

Useful links