Both Moodle and Mahara share a common heritage of open source and learner-ownership; this second characteristic is emphasised in the case of Mahara.
The ‘learner-owned’ aspect can be a powerful one: intrinsic motivation is stronger than extrinsic, and aren’t learners always encouraged to see an e-portfolio as theirs?
However, if it is at all linked to a course of study or someone else’s definition of proficiency, to what degree does it ever truly belong to the learner: who writes the assessment criteria, who sets the deadlines…? If student and institution share ownership, is it negotiable?
We can tell a student that an e-portfolio is theirs but do they experience this and, if so, how? Not just questions for Mahara users but anyone employing e-portfolios.
Many good points made here: http://sclater.com/blog/its-my-eportfolio/