An e.portfolio is a collection of work or information that can either represent a person's efforts, progress and achievements over a period of time.
An e.portfolio may be a showcase of students' work, show how proficient a student is in areas of their education, a collection of records of experiences or steps needed to complete a project or a professional portfolio that allows for compiling resumes, cover letters and lists skills for potential employment.
e.portfolios can be used to enhance professional practice, social learning and provide another way to assess students' learning. They can also act as a way to support students in self-directed learning. e.portfolios also provide opportunity for self-reflection.
'Mahara' is just one of the systems available to allow users to create their own e.portfolio. Mahara is a user centred system that also allows for users to give 'permissions' to viewers to only be able to view parts of their portfolio (which would be handy in a job application situation). Mahara is simple to use as it provides all of the required tools to upload documents and artefacts that you want to include in your e.portfolio.
e.portfolios are yet another useful tool in an educational setting that can replace the need for a paper based folio of a student's work and engages students by providing a different platform for presenting work.