Get On Board The Moodle ‘Fordson’ Theme Train Through Any Of Its 7 Tracks

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The launch of the “Boost” theme has been a game-changer when it comes to how developers approach Moodle themes. It set a solid and popular framework –namely, Bootstrap– and laid it out across Moodle’s components. But while “Boost” greatly simplified the process of designers to build a well-appointed and user-friendly experience that was still unique, it did not prevent developers from adding whole new levels of functionality. In fact, some of the “Boost” children have taken advantage of this new frontier to try unusual, and some would say crazy, new features.

Case in point, Dearborn Public School District’s Chistopher Kenniburg. His team’s theme “Fordson” has been the subject of constant praise, particularly by the K-12 community that was originally its intended audience. But with the latest upgrade, featuring seven special tracks, or “Presets,” the theme is looking to dazzle the Moodleverse in every category.

Here are the 7 “Fordson” presets. They can be switched at any time from an easy-to-reach panel and, true to the “Fordson” spirit, they offer rogue-like levels of customization and fine-tuning.

  • Dearborn Public Schools: The default “Fordson” look, this one comes with low-emphasis (“muted”) colors, smoothing effects, and lots of “styling” and interactivity. It allows for a slideshow of image backgrounds on the main page. It is usually where new features are available first.
  • K-12: A classic preset, this one focuses on large elements and font sizes and reinforcing cues to let the students know the context they are in for a course or activity.
  • K-12 Vertical Block Tiles: This preset adds a right-side panel next to the content where relevant blocks can be added, like a calendar or a contact form.
  • K-12 Fullscreen Background Image: Self-explanatory, this one uses the images set as background header and extends it vertically for extra pizzazz.
  • e-Learner: A more careful adaptation, this preset adds transparent borders for a more professional look and feel.
  • University Learner: A full-width take on main content allows this one to fill more text in one screen and minimize distractions.
  • Corporate Learner: This one is a simpler, “unassuming style” made to reflect the brand’s palette with just a few clicks.

Kenniburg likes to keep himself busy. On a Moodle Forum thread, he shares some preliminary details of a new take on the Moodle login page.

Read the “Fordson Theme Instructions” manual live document here.

Install or download “Fordson” from the Moodle Plugin Directory.

You can find the official page “Introducing the ‘Fordson’ Theme for Moodle” at

eThink LogoThis Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: eThink Education, a Certified Moodle Partner that provides a fully-managed Moodle experience including implementation, integration, cloud-hosting, and management services. To learn more about eThink, click here.


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