Stash block

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Stash is a block that allows a teacher to create and then show items around a course. Students can then go and collect these items which will then appear in their stash block. The stash block is a good way to encourage more interaction with activities and is invaluable for teachers looking to gamify their course.

Adding an item

  • A teacher can click on the settings link in the stash block.
  • This will lead them to a page that lists all the current items.
  • Click on the "Add an item" button to add an item.
  • Both a name and an image must be supplied.

block stash add an item.png

  • Clicking "Save and next" will progress to a location page.

block stash item location.png

Item location

The location page contains details about a specific item location. One item has the ability to be located in many different places. Each location determines how many times a student can collect an item from that area.

The hard part: embedding objects

Please see this video on YouTube about what and how to insert.

Click on the link to the item location

  • Click on the link to the location of the item (red rectangle in the image below) :

block stash link to the item location.png

Find the Snippet and copy that code

  • A window will pop with appearance dropdown menu, button text, snippet (this is the very important JavaScript code that will do the actual work), and location summary:

block stash link item location inside Smaug's castle.png

  • Notice that the 'Snippet' rectangle can be scrolled and resized. You can enlarge it by dragging the triangle in the lower right corner (red circle in the image below):

block stash snippet enlarged rectangle.png

  • Now you can select all the content of the Snippet box, which you will later paste into the Atto editor inside an activity:

block stash snippet selected for copying.png

  • Close the window.

Now select an activity or resource to harbour the item

  • Let us create a page named 'The Hobbit, book reading'
  • In that page, instruct the students to read the famous Tolkien book:

block stash required activity (page).png

  • Let us now create another page named 'After reading The Hobbit'
  • In that page, congratulate your students for having read a long book and... now it is time to insert the item (the ring) that will reward them for their reading activity:

block stash page where we will embedd the item.png

  • Notice the very first button (red rectangle) in the Atto toolbar that will expand the toolbar. You must click on that first button:
  • Now you must click on the button with the <> symbols to show the HTML code (green rectangle):

block stash page where we will embedd the item expanded Atto toolbar.png

  • And finally, you can now paste the snippet code into the page:

block stash page where we have embedded the item Snippet code.png

  • You can click on the <> button again and save your page with the embedded item.

See it in action in your own Moodle server

The authors of the plugins have crafted a sample course for you to try. It is the best way to see what this plugin has to offer. Please accurately follow these steps:

  • Enable the filter "Stash snippets" you just installed through "Site administration > Filters"
  • Enable conditional access, named enableavailability under "Site administration > Advanced features"
  • Restore now this backup file as a new course
  • Enrol a student in the new course
  • Now, login as that student and try the course
  • You will see some very easy to follow instructions:

block stash course just started.png

  • You need to collect 3 coins, one sword and one crown in order to complete the course:

block stash 5 object collected.png

  • When your stash has all the needed items, you will have completed the course!

block stash course completed.png

Frequently asked questions

Why isn't my item working properly?

There are a couple of possibilities that your item may not be working properly.

  • The code snippet will only work when inserted into an Atto editor, that only a teacher can see. Placing code into a forum post or database entry will not work. Items for these activities should be placed in the description of the activity.
  • Using the old TinyMCE editor causes the JavaScript to be saved in an invalid form. Please use the Atto editor instead.

It is highly recommended to use the shortcodes filter to insert the shortcode instead of the code snippet. Inserting shortcodes works in both TinyMCE and Atto editors.

How do I restrict access to an activity to rely on an item in the stash?

Restricting access to an activity through an item in the stash is possible, but requires the inclusion of the availability_stash plugin.

Isn't there an easier way to use the Stash?

Yes. Install and enable the Stash snippet filter in order to provide shortcodes to place items.

How do I disable trading between users?

If you do not want trading between users you can disable this function by turning on editing for the course. This will allow you to edit the block. There will be an edit icon on the block. Click that and click "Configure block stash" (you may have changed the title of stash, so 'stash' will be the title you now use). Under stash title is a checkbox to disable user trading.