Moodle HQ’s Adrian Greeve and Moodle contributor Frédéric Massar wanted to use gamification to make a Moodle course entertaining and engaging to users. They aimed to achieve this only by using Moodle core and orphaned activities.
Inspired by “chose your own adventure” books, Adrian and Frédéric created the Stash Block.
The Stash Block is a combination of plugins, allowing an educator to reward a learner’s achievement with virtual items, such as a coin, some treasure or a key.
A teacher can add these items to various locations within the course so that when a student access the locations, the object is displayed then the student can ‘pick it up’ to continue their learning journey.
This encourages students to explore the course material in their quest to collect all the items.
Items can be set to be collected once or, educators might decide to provide an unlimited supply of items from a set location. This can encourage students to return to specific areas to collect more items.
Additional features of the Stash Block include trading or crafting, where items can be traded in for different items, for example three coins can be traded for a sword. The sword can then give the learner access to a “hidden” part of the course, immersing them further in their virtual journey.
The Stash Block will be particularly engaging for learners who enjoy looking for rewards, exploration and completion.
So what plugins create the Stash Block?
- Stash availability plugin. This allows educators to restrict access to course activities via items to be obtained in a learner’s stash.
- Filter plugin. This simplify the usage of the Stash Block by providing shortcodes to place items.
How to use the Stash Block:
- In Stash setup, click “add item”.
- Here you can add an image to your item and a description.
- Select a “drop location” for your item. This will decide where the learner can find the item. Remember to create a label so that you remember where it is. Here you will also choose how often the item can be picked up by learners – indefinitely, once a day, once every hour.
- You will then be taken to the stash documentation pickup page, copy the “snippet” and then paste it anywhere. The filter will then transform the code into an item.
Tip: Don’t forget to include instructions at the start of a course so your learners know why they should collect items to join and complete the learning journey.
The Stash plugin is available to be downloaded from moodle.org.
For more information about the Stash Block, watch Adrian’s presentation at MoodleMoot Australia 2017 below or read more at moodle.org.