LEAP2A is a standard for interoperability of e-portfolio systems. It is an Atom based format that allows export and import of e-portfolios. Recently the 2010-07 version of the specification has been released.
In 2009 version 2009-03 of the LEAP2A specification was implemented in Mahara 1.2. This work was done by Penny Leach and Nigel McNie working for Catalyst IT and it was a joint project between Catalyst, the University of London Computer Center (ULCC), Glasgow University and JISC.
Because of her involvement in both the Mahara and the Moodle community, Penny was the ideal person to add LEAP2A support to Moodle which was done in 2009.
For the latest version of the specification JISC generously offered to fund the necessary work to upgrade Mahara. In an effort to distribute the knowledge about LEAP2A in Mahara, Liip decided to sponsor the introduction of a developer to the Mahara LEAP2A implementation. For this reason I got the chance to work with Penny on the upgrade of LEAP2A in Mahara. The goal was to be ready for the 1.3 release of Mahara.
During the time we were working on the LEAP2A upgrade we were in continuous contact with Simon Grant who works for JISC. He provided invaluable help for tons of detail questions and was a great help during testing. Thanks also go to the Mahara community and especially Andrew Nicols from Lancaster University Network Services who helped with testing as well.
We managed to commit all the necessary changes before the feature freeze and< on friday 10.09.2010 Mahara 1.3 was officially released including the updated LEAP2A version. Penny in the meantime also backported the changes to Mahara 1.2 in anticipation of the 1.2.7 release, so that all Mahara versions with LEAP2A support will be up-to-date with the latest specification. She also updated Moodle to support LEAP2A version 2010-07.
With this another step has been taken towards improving interoperability of e-portfolio systems.
I greatly enjoyed working on Mahara and it was interesting to learn a bit more about the inner workings of LEAP2A. Talking to Simon Grant, I was also pulled in by his enthusiasm and dedication to improve interoperability between e-portfolio systems.