Blocks: DemoStudent block

Maintained by Picture of Greg GibeauGreg Gibeau, Picture of Dom RoykoDom Royko
The DemoStudent block gives instructors a way to enroll a "demostudent" in their course, then switch back and forth between their instructor view and the student view.
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Current versions available: 4

Students have a different view of your course than instructors do. This block provides a way to test the student experience beyond the existing Switch role to... link in the Settings block.  Instructors in a course can use the DemoStudent block to create a personal "demostudent" account, and then switch between the demostudent user and their instructor role.  The demostudent user can complete assignments and quizzes with persistent data to verify grading, and can be used to test restricted access using groups or groupings.


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Picture of Greg Gibeau
Greg Gibeau (Lead maintainer)
Picture of Dom Royko
Dom Royko: Lead Maintainer
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  • Richard Samson
    Fri, Jun 16, 2017, 4:32 PM
    Is there any possibility of a new version of this great plugin? I don't like to change files manually (version.php file mentioned above).
  • Picture of Kees Koopman
    Thu, Aug 1, 2019, 5:25 PM

    After the install of DemoStudent in my Moodle 3.7-environment, i get the following error when i try to install the block in a course:

    The block demostudent does not define the standard capability block/demostudent:addinstance
    line 631 of /blocks/moodleblock.class.php: call to debugging()
    line 609 of /blocks/moodleblock.class.php: call to block_base->has_add_block_capability()
    line 228 of /lib/blocklib.php: call to block_base->user_can_addto()
    line 1421 of /lib/blocklib.php: call to block_manager->get_addable_blocks()
    line 1398 of /lib/blocklib.php: call to block_manager->process_url_add()
    line 1502 of /lib/pagelib.php: call to block_manager->process_url_actions()
    line 975 of /lib/pagelib.php: call to moodle_page->starting_output()
    line 1295 of /lib/outputrenderers.php: call to moodle_page->set_state()
    line 244 of /course/view.php: call to core_renderer->header()

    What's going wrong?

    Sincerely, Kees
  • Picture of Blair F.
    Fri, Aug 2, 2019, 4:24 AM
    That's strange, Kees, because the DemoStudent block definitely defines block/demostudent:addinstance. Can I ask what role you're in when you try to do it? Admin, or Teacher? I don't have any clues, yet, but I'm looking for some.
  • Picture of Blair F.
    Fri, Aug 2, 2019, 4:34 AM
    I just want to mention that, since an upgrade from Moodle 3.4 to 3.6, anyone who did not already have a DemoStudent account created in out Moodle instance could not create a new one. Anyone with a previously created DemoStudent account could continue to enrol as a demostudent in anyother course. I believe that this has nothing to do with the DemoStudent, itself, but is a side-effect of another issue around profiles (see: ) I suspect that once that issue is resolved and rolled out, DemoStudent will function as it always has. I'd almost be willing to bet on it.
  • Picture of Kees Koopman
    Tue, Aug 20, 2019, 8:05 PM
    Hi Blair, Thank you for your reply.
    My role is Admin.
    When I install the block in Moodle this is the error I get back:
    I hope we can solve this problem.
    Sincerely, Kees Koopman.
  • Picture of Dom Royko
    Tue, Aug 20, 2019, 11:59 PM
    Hi Kees,

    The error you are seeing could be due to this:

    I recently (in June) updated the plugin with a workaround for this issue. Are you using the 2019... version?
  • Picture of Andreas Panagiotopoulos
    Fri, Oct 4, 2019, 7:27 PM
    It can't be installed in moodle v. 3.7 and v. 3.6.. Could you please fix it?

    Thank you!
  • Picture of Andreas Panagiotopoulos
    Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 3:44 AM
    Any news for fixing the problem?

    Thank you!
  • Picture of Acqua Alta
    Thu, Oct 17, 2019, 6:19 AM
    Officially, the latest version of the plugin DOES support Moodle 3.6 and 3.7.Go to the "Versions" tab on this page and see for yourself:

    In any case, I guess it would help the developer if you'll give more details about your issue - Which error did you encounter when trying to install the plugin?
  • Picture of Dom Royko
    Thu, Oct 17, 2019, 7:08 AM
    I've confirmed the bug on a fresh install of Moodle 3.7.2. Andreas sent me the error messages and I'm looking for a fix. Same issue as before (MDL ticket linked above) - on installation, the plugin is trying to assign a capability that has not been created yet. Users who are upgrading an existing installation already containing the block, will most likely not see the error.
  • Picture of Blair F.
    Tue, Oct 22, 2019, 4:30 AM
    Is anyone else getting the error message, "Exception - Call to undefined method cachestore_dummy::find_by_prefix()" when a user tries to create a DemoStudent account for the very first time? We're using Moodle 3.6.6.
  • Picture of Dom Royko
    Tue, Oct 22, 2019, 4:46 AM
    Hi Blair, I was just testing a fresh install with 3.7.2, and did not see this. The plugin certainly never explicitly calls cache functions. However, it sounds like it could be another manifestation of this issue:
  • Picture of Blair F.
    Tue, Oct 22, 2019, 6:00 AM
    Thanks, Dom. I'm not sure, but we have a bunch of new instructors experiencing this, or similar, since updating to Moodle 3.6. In SOME cases, the above message doesn't occur, but when they try to switch to demostudent, they are taken to a user profile account with missing username fields that are also disabled. They are unable to get past that point. When I look at the Participation list for those classes, I notice a demostudent account with no username, id, etc.
  • Picture of Blair F.
    Sat, Nov 2, 2019, 4:29 AM
    Just an update: We implemented the solution mentioned in and it made no difference. We are still experiencing this strange issue with new users.
  • Picture of Blair F.
    Fri, Dec 20, 2019, 2:36 AM
    Is anyone else still experiencing the issue that prevents NEW teachers from creating DemoStudent accounts? This is really starting to become a problem for us, since we have more and more new faculty every term, so more and more faculty are not able to use this wonderfully useful plugin.
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