6 Themes For Moodle 3.1 To Distinguish Your Form And Function

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Themes have often been a topic of posts at Moodlenews: making Moodle look great is a key driver of being able to get teachers to take a 2nd look at it or to engage students (you can’t judge a book by its cover, but first impressions do matter!).

Over the years, Moodle has included many different themes its the core distribution, including Wood Grain and Steel. For Moodle 2.0 several were included in the core as part of a contest for quality themes. Most recently, the push for responsive resulted in Moodle only having two core themes: More and Clean. Today, the discussion has shifted to what a theme will look like in Moodle 3.2 and how it will help developers create new and exciting layouts and displays for Moodle classrooms and dashboards. Theme standards for Moodle 3.2 are crucial in the “rebooting” of Moodle, according to Lewis Carr at his iMoot talk that we covered.

If you’re using 3.1, however, there are loads of themes available. Some throwbacks, some new, some crowd favorites. Take a look at six below recently updated for Moodle 3.1.

Afterburner: this was one of the themes introduced in core Moodle 2.0. The theme is three-column and fluid-width but not responsive.

Anomaly: another theme included in Moodle 2.0. It is three-column and fluid-width with rounded corners. This also is not responsive.

Shoehorn: created by theme guru, Gareth Barnard, this theme is designed to be clean and professional. It is responsive and supports social media icons easily. There are loads of videos to help theme designers customize it as needed.


See our previous coverage on Shoehorn.

Elegancethis theme maintained by Bas Brands is responsive, sports two columns and a great looking splash page for login. It has loads of custom settings to create a brand match for your institution.

Watch an Elegance video overview here.

Check out a Moodle demo dressed in Elegance here.

See our previous coverage on Elegance here.

Snap: this responsive theme is the brainchild of Stuart Lamour (formerly of Sussex eLearning Team) in his role at Moodlerooms. It is a rethinking of what a course should look like. There’s loads of cues for students regarding completion and progress, a lot of white space, and a large image which makes a Moodle course look more like a crisp website than a classroom. While created by Moodlerooms for its clients, the theme is contributed and available for download from™rooms/Teacher/020_Design_Your_Course/000_Choose_Course_Theme/Snap_Theme™rooms/Teacher/020_Design_Your_Course/000_Choose_Course_Theme/Snap_Theme

Watch a Snap overview here.

See our previous coverage of Snap here.

Campus: this collaboration of David Bogner and Gareth Barnard strives provides maximum flexibility in customizing your Moodle site. This includes responsive header and logo, custom background, custom fonts, full-screen mode, sub-themes, frontpage slideshows and other marketing features and too much more the list.

See our previous coverage of Campus here.

We hope you make a sound choice, as we hope the outcomes of the ongoing Moodle 3.2 Design debate surprise us in positive ways. Let’s end with some words from iconic industrial designer Dieter Rams: “Principle of good design number 10: good design is as little design as possible“.

Moonami LogoThis Moodle Technology related post is made possible by: Moonami a company that provides a full range of Moodle services that combine the flexibility, scalability, and power of Amazon’s world-leading cloud platform (AWS) with fanatical Moodle support. Click here to learn more.

What would you include in our Moodle coverage? Let us know in the comments!

3 Responses

  1. Thanks for the info, it was very helpful. Many of these themes are good if you are using moodle 3.0 or above however most of them are not responsive so I would like to add one that I came across which I found very useful and aesthetically pleasing. Edwiser RemUI is the name of the theme and I am even including a link ( for you guys to check it out.

  2. Thanks for the link Cristian, I read it and thats exactly my point. I used it and I really liked it. Plus their service too is really good. They handheld me through the setup process as well for a small fee. Everything was super smooth dealing with RemUI

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