Catalyst to lead Mahara open source ePortfolio project

The Christchurch-based open-source specialist will own the Mahara trademark, and is signalling changes to the project's partner program.

Catalyst, an open-source software specialist based in Christchurch, New Zealand, has taken ownership of ePortfolio project Mahara's trademark, and will also lead its partner program, it announced overnight.

"The transfer of the trademark and a new model for community engagement through support companies heralds an exciting new phase in the Mahara project," Catalyst said.

Catalyst said it will work with partners to shift the current engagement model from partner fees to encouraging participation in the project and the community. It said that it would soon be in touch with partners to discuss the changes and to solicit feedback about the new approach.

Mahara is a social learning application used in a growing number of educational institutions around the world. It delivers a personal learning environment to users in contrast to more institution-centric Learning Management Systems (LMS).

Mahara's architecture was inspired by the modular, extensible architecture of Moodle, and many of its team have also been involved in that project.

It was first established in mid-2006 as a collaborative venture funded by New Zealand's Tertiary Education Commission's e-learning collaborative development fund in association with Massey University, Auckland University of Technology, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, and Victoria University of Wellington.

"We have a long and successful relationship with Mahara, and we are looking forward to using Catalyst's global staff to work with the community and take Mahara to the next level," said Don Christie, Catalyst director.