Happy Friday: My 5 Favorite Moodle sites for 2014

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My post, 5 Favorite Moodle sites from back in 2010 is the most popular post of all time on Moodlenews. However, a LOT has changed since 2010 in Moodle aesthetics so here goes a 2nd installment of my favorite sites from around the web since that date.

A few notes, responsive themes have really taken Moodle a long way in a short time (all but one of the themes listed is responsive). Most theme advances and development have occurred in only the last year. But this development has really spurred Moodle to greater heights in look and feel and usability (especially across the many devices that are used today).

Please also note that this is my personal opinion and there’s no way that I could have seen every Moodle (or created much of an objective measure to rank sites). At best the these 5 are just a few of the best according only to me, and the rank is somewhat arbitrary. What I value in a theme (nice color palette, responsiveness, great looking home page) is not the same as what others might value (accessibility, great looking courses, flexibility for teachers, etc.) so if there’s a theme you personally champion I invite you to post it to the comments (I could look at themes all day).

All that said, enjoy my updated list for 2014.

5. iMoot 2013, the Essential Theme [ and many, many others] – perhaps the most influential theme for Moodle of all time. Julian Ridden has really helped to push the envelope of what a Moodle site can look like with his Rocket, Essential, and Elegance themes (among others), but the supporting cast of players that helped bring Bootstrap to Moodle need equal thanks. Essential is just one of the many great themes that have helps to create a look and feel revolution on Moodle sites accessed from any device. What’s even more, there were more than a few Essential based themes that made our 22 Awesome sites list so the theme itself as an idea starts off this list of my favorites. Best of all is that you can download it today:


4. Cleveland College of Art and Design [] – I really dig the layout of the site. While it’s not responsive, the “metro” like theme (think Windows 8) is attractive and straight forward. Simplicity manages to keep this theme both attractive and easy to use.


3. Freiherr-vom-Stein-Berufskolleg Moodle [] – this German technical college has one of the best themes out there. A lot of its elements are “Essential-like” though some got a step or two further with hover over effects and more. Really a sharp and inviting theme which is even better than the college’s regular home page (in my personal opinion):


2. Sydney Adventist Hospital eLearning/eCommunity [] – this site sports a great color scheme, unique responsive design and functional home page. Kudos to the theme designer who gave this site an instantly welcoming look and feel; essential for a health care organization.


1. [] – A site with 1,000,000 users, many moving parts (demo, dev, docs, tracker, downloads, etc.), and responsibility as the home of the world’s most popular LMS has come a long way in the last year.’s responsive theme looks great across platforms and the color-highlights to let you know what section of the site you’re looking at helps to tie everything together and make getting help/exploring Moodle that much more familiar. The only negative to this theme is that it’s likely not to be released 🙁




6 Responses

  1. Thanks for the very kind comments on Essential. Glad you liked it.

    Site number three is a customised version of Essential. Same core code but new styling.

    I’m also proud to say I built the Hospital site as well.


  2. Julian gets 3 out of 5! Wow what a score, congratulations. Thanks to Pukunui and Julian for sharing your code through the Essential. We appreciate all of the time and energy that goes into this.

  3. We are Randolph College, a small liberal arts college in Lynchburg, VA. Randolph College has used Moodle for 5 years now and upgraded to 2.6 last summer.

    Our Moodle team have worked hard this year to redesign the homepage and setup a single sign on option so site wide uses have access to pages for Moodle learning and club/group activities.

    Currently we are working through the user roles to develop ways to do reverse classroom activities. Moodle is such a helpful product that most do not explore fully. Lots more to come from Randolph College.

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