Themes

Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming

 
Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Hello All,

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! 

We have some plans for 2018 and the Fordson theme.  We plan to make some improvements to navigation and simplify the areas a user must look at in order to complete a task.  Currently there are several areas of importance for a user and they are all spread out in various areas across the page.  

We are making navigation a little bit simpler in 2018.  

Here is a prototype I worked out and a hint at what we will be trying to do.  


Please leave a suggestion or comment as we are always looking for feedback and ideas.  

 
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Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Happy New Year and a Merry Christmas to you too Chris, 

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Documentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Hi Chris,

So will the smaller navbar be an option or just a necessary part of the theme?  To be honest, I am not crazy about it...you have created a second click to get to the course management tab - I really liked that it was a tab right on the page.  Now, if I am looking right, you have to expand the navdrawer first and then click to get to it...I do love that you are always looking to improve the theme though!!

Also, I use my navbar area to have necessary links to other sites - my whole navbar is pretty much full and I do not want to lose that...

Now, what I would love to see is the option to have some other block regions on the site home page.  Some themes use an Admin only area at the bottom of the page, this would be very useful...also I would like to be able to have a row of two of blocks right under or above the marketing spots...I know you like to keep the site home clean and simple but a lot of people are using moodle as a regular website as well and need some more flexibility here.  This would allow us to avoid having to use the right column on the home page and keep the content full width.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and thanks for all the work you have done on the Fordson theme!!  It truly is an amazing theme.

Emma

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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What I might do is put the custom link area in a new bar that appears in the upper right of the page.  It would move up with that page once you scroll.  This might be an ideal solution because there might be times when we want to use custom links and such.  

Thank you for the feedback.  I will post updates on our progress.  We don't want to lose a feature that others rely on.  

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Hey Emma,

The navbar might be an option or it might just be how the theme operates.  

I spent some time this morning and I think I have an even better outcome for how we display custom menus and links in the top navbar.  Custom menus will appear in the upper right and locked to the very top of the page.  When you scroll the links will scroll with the page.  

see the pic attached.

As for the blocks.  I am really torn on these.  I don't think we have a solution just yet for how we want to use them.  Part of moving our course management into a modal popup was that we might want to utilize a collapsing tab for some kind of "block dashboard" in courses.  In that scenario all blocks would be in this new dashboard and there would be multiple columns and features for admin only blocks etc.  I'd really like to mimic the funtionality of the Poster plugin to organize and add blocks to this dashboard.  Maybe it involves and new course format.  I don't know just yet.  


 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Documentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

I do love the poster plugin! It is very powerful to be able to have a block wider than a single column.  I have been using it for some of my site pages.

So I am still a little confused on what you are achieving with splitting out the menus from the navbar which can be fixed at the top of the page anyway...Is it just to highlight them?  I do like the new style better than the previous option.

I still like the tab better for the course management but that is just me - we really are not using the nav drawer at all on our site (in fact, I have thought about disabling it altogether!) I love the way it is now because it the minimum number of clicks to get somewhere.  Putting in the nav drawer is creating another step...

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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It's interesting how others use Moodle.  I really appreciate your feedback.  

Well, our goal is that we are trying to come up with a more organized navigation.  We think there are too many places on the screen where someone has to look.  Words, buttons, links, they are everywhere.  Some of that we realize we put there such as the course management buttons, icon navigation buttons, text boxes, etc.  We really want to clean things up. 

The idea to move things to the nav drawer is that there is one place for navigation inside a course.  We don't use blocks and discourage use of most of them.  The other benefit for course management button is always in view and not just at the top of the page.  

We are not in a hurry to make any drastic changes.  Some of these changes such as the navbar can even be returned to the top of the page with a quick change of CSS allowing for changes to be put in stylesheets. 

We hope to get some more feedback and ideas.  This might not be the final solution, but our goal is to refine and better organize the navigation.  

 
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Picture of Hartmut Scherer
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Hi Chris,

I highly appreciate your efforts to make Fordson even better and to think about features that can improve usability. I also like the idea of having one place for course navigation. For us, this is the course management tab, which contained everything our students and teachers needed. Most students and teachers did not use the navdrawer at all. We neither use the topics in the navdrawer to navigate the main course nor do we use enrollment codes.

Therefore, I prefer to continue with the course management tab. I admit that I have no idea what to do with the topics of the navdrawer.

With kind regards,

Hartmut

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Is it just that users do not find the nav drawer useful?  I'm wondering what is the reason your users do not use it?  Easier to just scroll down the page?  

Again, not to alarm anyone.  We are just exploring possibilities and looking for new ways to improve user experience.  

 
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Picture of Hartmut Scherer
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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We have semesters with 15 weeks, i.e., online classes have 15 topics per semester, but face-to-face classes have 30 class sessions because they meet twice a week. It's not possible to see all 15 topics in the navdrawer without scrolling. If you use a topic # with a title of 5-6 words, the topic will stretch over two lines in the navdrawer. Currently, sections cannot be minimized in the navdrawer nor is it possible to trim topics.

navdrawer - visible topics without scrolling























You asked: "Is it just that users do not find the nav drawer useful?" During orientation, all students at PIU are encouraged to go to the course management tab. Teachers are advised to use the collapsed topics course format with current topic at the top. Students and teachers find everything they need in the course management tab and in the first section of the main class page. There is no need for the navdrawer nor for scrolling the main class page. If they need to go to a different course they will use the navbar with the custom menu at the top, not the navdrawer.

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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I know for us, the only thing I like about the nav drawer is the fact that you can hide it.  I never liked the navigation menu before and as such do not like the nav drawer.  I design all sites that I work with to the point that they really don't every need to open but it is there just in case they get lost or for those that like those kind of menus.  The course page should be easy enough to navigate without have to get into that menu.  Like Hartmut, the reason I love the Course Management tab is because it is easily accessible from the course page without the need to click on the edit icon or the nav drawer.  It is just there!

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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This is great feedback that will help guide future improvements.  Thank you so much.


What if we were able to put the nav drawer links for a course into a drop down menu next to my courses or someplace else always visible.  

Or, just throwing out ideas... Put the course management back on the top of the page and then put an additional tab that would slide down and display a list of topics as they do in the nav drawer.  

These two ideas would eliminate the nav drawer.  Again, please offer up some suggestions.  We are just looking at different options and want to see what might be best.  With no nav drawer the page becomes less crowded for sure.  All major elements and links would be right at the top of the page.  

Is the nav drawer even needed?  We use the My Courses feature on our homepage which is sorted by last access.  A user can simply go back to the homepage and jump to another course. 

I hope we get some more feedback.  I think simpler and one way to get around is best.  It might make sense to drop the nav drawer if scrolling isn't an issue.  

Thanks all and Happy New Year! 

 
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Picture of Hartmut Scherer
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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I thought about your ideas. I like the idea of the course management tab back on the top of the page and a course navigation tab next to it. Both should slide in the same direction. 

course tabs










I adjusted a screenshot of my test site with the snap theme to show how course navigation could look like for a course with 16 topics.

course navigation with 16 topics







What should be done with "Add a block" which is still in the nav drawer? My suggestion is to move "Add a block" out of the nav drawer to the right column of the main class page but I have no clue how difficult that will be.

If you use icons instead of course navigation or course management, they could be added to the fixed navigation menu at the top of the page with the added advantage that they will be available all the time.

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Hartmut,

Check out the video I just posted.  We put all the contents into a drop down menu.

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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I like Hartmut's idea for those that need it.  Please make it an option though as I would not want it.  I feel that the course should be easy to navigate just from the course main page without the need for a navigation menu...but that is just me!!

 
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Picture of Naomi Quirke
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
 

Adding my 2 cents here: I agree with you Emma, re trying to remove unnecessary navigation.

Currently I hide the nav drawer and push the navigation block right to the footer, because we have 17 topics in our courses - one for each week of our semester - and it becomes a scroll of death in the navigation menu!  

For topic navigation, we the section links block https://docs.moodle.org/34/en/Section_links_block because it doesn't take much space.   The current week is highlighted.  We have single topic per page.

Ideally I would like the current week to be the landing page for a course, and to be able to hide the general topic.

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Naomi,

The nice part about this is you can use the navdrawer, my courses, this course, or any combination of these navigation options.  It is all setup on the Fordson Menu Settings tab with checkboxes for turning them on and off.

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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We're taking another look at a better way to handle this.  I think we are going to revert back and try again.  

We are looking into how to put course topics/weeks into a drop down. 

The end game with the new approach might be to consolidate all navigation into the top nav bar for going from course to course and then within the course going to topic to topic.  This might eliminate the need for the nav drawer.  

Once in a course the student and teacher dashboards would appear where they currently do.  Although, we are debating possibly putting an icon and link in the top nav bar so that these are always visible and can easily be accessed.  They would appear in a modal popup from anywhere within the course. 

I think the convenience of not having to go to the top of the course to enroll a new student or access course management links would be ideal.    

It all hinges on putting the topic titles into a drop down.  

It's 2018 and we are back to work.  Hope all are healthy and ready to get back to learning!

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Thank you so much Chris to listening to our concerns.  I am huge fan of this theme! 

I do agree that it would be nice to access the management tabs from anywhere on the page so in the navbar might be great or I am not opposed to your floating menu idea if it just goes to the course management tab and does not replace the navbar in anyway.  It would probably need to have the ability to be dragged to different areas on the page so it does not block content.

 
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Picture of Derek Chaplin
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
 

One thing I'd like to see is a Category browser similar to that used in the OLD Enlight theme from LMSACE.com; see the screenshot. 

Basically it shows a Category browser in a nav block and a grid of associated courses in the right content area with left-right scrolling capability to show more courses.

It allows you to browse a lot of courses without having to dive into and out of each category screen.

Thanks again for this great theme.

Derek

Happy New Year!


 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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We took everyone's suggestions to heart and have come up with some VERY cool stuff today!

Check this out:

  • No more nav drawer.  
  • This Course Dropdown displays a list of all topics in a course.  
  • Icons for Teacher Course Management/student dashboard.
  • Turn editing on Always visible.
  • Top Navbar is where all/most navigation occurs
  • Add a Block is now back to the column where blocks appear.

Watch the video:



Suggestions?  We'd love to hear what you think about this as a possible direction for the Fordson theme.

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Now this is pretty exciting!!  Questions - what happens with additional navbar links?  Will the navbar grow in height if needed for two rows of icons? For those that use the Calendar a lot, will the calendar link show up in the This Course menu?   Will you add an additional menu to the navbar to replace the additional links section in the nav drawer?  How do the icons work with accessibility?  Are they tagged appropriately?

Thanks for all the work Chris!!

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Hello Emma,

We do not want to duplicate items that are either in the student or teacher dashboards.  With that said, which links are you concerned about? 

I just added Calendar and Badges to the "This Course" drop down.  So those links are taken care of already as of today.  

I am thinking that Competencies will be added to the student and teacher dashboard popups.  

I am still considering what to do with the custom menu items.  I hit a snag.  The My Courses and This Course menus piggyback off the custom menu renderer.  This means my Fordson menus are generated at the same time that any custom links you might have made are created and they are all displayed at once.  I need to split these items so that I can put custom links in their own area.  I'll be working on this tomorrow.  

If I can split the menus up then I can take care to put your custom links in a place that maximizes the screen real estate that they can occupy.  

Currently in Moodle there are three areas a user must look for navigation and functionality: Nav Drawer (if they click the menu button), top navbar, and the gear when in a course.  This is two places too many.  

Tomorrow I plan on addressing the competencies link, splitting the custom menu from my Fordson Menus, and taking a stab at possibly putting blocks in where the nav drawer was previously while putting an icon that will open and close it in the middle of the screen.  An icon with an arrow and maybe half circle in the middle-left of the screen.  We are not crazy about putting the blocks in where the navdrawer was previously, but a lot of the coding work is already done.  

We are determined to put the major navigation elements in one place and that looks like it will be the top nav bar across the entire top of the page.   

Big picture: we are going to simplify navigation from within the Fordson theme and with this new approach it will train users to look in one place to make things happen. Even turn editing on will be in the top nav drawer and wherever you are in the course it will return you to that same spot once editing is turned on.  We got that working at the end of the day.

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Documentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

This sounds great - now, you know how you made that amazing feature in the Add Activity box where you can put your favorites at the top of the list...how cool would it be if we have something similar in the course management modal???  big grin  Like a Most Used or Favorites section....

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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That would be cool.  I know it is a big wish to control the teacher and student dashboards. When I tackle that feature I want to do it right and maybe fix some of that code.

I'm also going to add bootstrap tool tips to the buttons at the top of the page for our new navigation menus.

We are very focused on making Moodle's navigation better and easier for our users.  I feel like we are very close to what we envisioned with these changes.  It took a year but we are getting so close!

I cannot wait to get more done tomorrow!

If anyone wants to pilot on a demo site an early release let me know.  I'd love to get more feedback once the code is cleaner and ready to share. It's a big departure from previous releases and layouts.  

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Happy to help test, Chris.

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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We have some great news and more progress this morning on this major change for the Fordson theme and navigation within Moodle.

  • Course Edit button is always visible and will always return you to where you are in the course page when turning on and off.  This uses scroll spy.
  • Calendar and Badges is now a part of the This Course dropdown. 
  • Tool tips for buttons at top.
  • Nav Drawer is now on the right side of the page and contains course blocks!  

Watch the video to learn more about how we are going to change the way you navigate Moodle with Fordson.  

It is much simpler.



 
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Picture of Hartmut Scherer
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Hi Chris,

I am very excited to see how you developed the Fordson theme. Putting all the essential buttons to the nav-bar is great. As a teacher, I like the new edit function, i.e., returning to the same spot on the main course page. Will this also work in the course format collapsed topics when the current topic at the top is selected?

The custom menu could be another button at the top and open like "This Course" so that users can see categories and one level of subcategories. Suggested button: button (found HERE).

If you move "Add a block" with the navigation drawer to the right, the Fordson theme becomes a two-column theme that I like even more. Blocks on the front page should be handled differently than normal course pages. Currently, the nav-drawer is only available until the next page update in Fordson. Thus, the blocks in the nav-drawer would only be visible for a short time. Some teachers may use blocks to report the three highest quiz results or other reports. Those who gamify their online classes use some blocks to motivate their users. They may have a need for blocks that are always visible. Could this feature be added as another option in "Edit course settings" so that teachers decide on a course level how they want to handle blocks? 

With kind regards,

Hartmut

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Hartmut,

I like your ideas!  The edit function is something we hear over and over from our teachers.  Another big usability issue: How to get to the main course page quickly from within the course modules.  We just took care of this by making the course title a link that does just that.  It takes the user back to the course homepage.  You finish reading a book or page, simply click the course title to go back to the course homepage.  So simple, yet so powerful.  

We added blocks back to the main course page just as they were originally.  They will now always be visible.  We completely removed the navdrawer.  We do not like hidden things that might be important to learning or accessing learning links or materials.  So we decided to do away with it. However, not needing the nav drawer now means it opens that type of functionality up for features we might want to implement in the future.  Maybe having quick access to a class roster for the teacher?  Maybe something else not critical to learning or navigation within moodle.

With this new layout and navigation we are putting a user's focus on two areas: Top of the page for navigation and the rest of the page for content and learning.   In our line of thinking, this goes a long way towards simplifying the use of Moodle.  We have been using this on a small site for staff PD and it looks and feels VERY nice.  It's a change because your first instinct is to look for the old way of doing things.  

We are still a ways off in releasing this new version.  We want to make sure we have a solid foundation to move forward with.  This will only be for Moodle 3.4 and moving forward.

We might be adding a collapsible menu similar to how the teacher and student dashboards behaved and that may contain custom menu and other elements that are non-essential.  We are taking our time to make sure we get this right.  

Chris


 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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I love the idea of the course title being a link!!  Very cool.

I still think the favorites section in the course management tab would be the best way to deal with quick links to the roster for example...and give us that customization ability that I have been looking for...keep all the course links in one place...

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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If you want links added to the course management panel I can try and add links for popular 3rd party plugins.  I'm thinking I'd be able to discover if they are present and then display a link.  We already do this with the Easy Enrollment Plugin as that is part of the Fordson Set.

What would be popular plugins?  You mentioned a roster plugin.  It would be cool to integrate them.  I don't know what kind of time I will have after Monday when the students and teachers come back.  This week it was just techs in our office so we were able to start on tuesday and by today we have a nearly completed Fordson theme update.  

If anyone wants to grab the latest copy as of today you can checkout this post and download a copy from my google drive. The link is in the discussion post:  https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=363618


 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Actually you had mentioned a link to a roster.  I am not thinking about plugins so much (though I bet people would like that) - I am just really want to put all the most popular links in one place or to be able to disable some links and only have them available in the regular course settings page.  

On one of my sites, I really only need a few links readily available as all our courses are template based and my managers really only need quick access to enrollment and edit settings and then some reports.  It would be great if we could separate these most popular links into one area and as an admin decide which links go there.

Will be testing latest update you emailed me today, BTW.

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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The problem with adding custom links is the dynamic stuff like ?courseid=4 where it changes based on the course you are in.  If someone could help solve that then maybe custom links could be implemented into the course management panel.

For stuff like that you can hire it out for a few hours of coding. 

I appreciate the feedback in emails.  We will have a much better theme for 2018!

I see a customizable course management panel as something that would be very cool.  I'd need some help on that one or time during the summer to do it.  

If anyone has some ideas I'd love to hear about it.  

Chris

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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How about a settings page where we just select which links we see there...you are manually loading the links so it should be fairly easy to make those contingent on a setting....says the person who does not really write code!

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
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The issue I haven't worked out is what happens when you remove all the menu items for a column topic for instance"badges".  I haven't sat down with it long enough to figure it all out.  


 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Since we realize this will be a drastic change in navigation menus, we decided to add back in the Nav Drawer as an option.  

However, the nav drawer will be removed by default so you must check off a checkbox to re-enable the nav drawer.  

This will allow you to choose between the nav drawer or our brand new "jump-to-section" dropdown menu for in-course navigation.    

We also changed up the icon to be more in-line with google's 3dots-3rows icons


 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Here is a video overview of the latest version of Fordson which now includes the ability to turn on the navigation drawer if desired.  You may also turn on/off My Courses and This Course dropdown menus by simple checkboxes.  


I'm still seeking input and ideas to be included in the next release.  

This is a major change in how Fordson operates.  We are unsure if we push the new Jump-to drop down menus or stick with the nav drawer and we'd like community input.


 
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Picture of Bob Gilmore
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
 

Hi Chris, thanks for all your hard work on this theme. Each release I'm implementing less and less of our own custom CSS as you seem to be on the same path we are.

I'm all for choice and so if it's not a pain to keep updated, having both the drawer and menus is a good idea. In the most recent video, the only thing I'm not sure about is the placement and icon of the draw itself. It felt more logical to me to have the draw icon on the very left and I think the three bar icon is more appropriate for a list style menu. The 9 grid icon feels more appropriate for a grid style menu.

One other small issue you may have already fixed. Having a banner with white text in appearance > Logos > Logo to go on a dark header background is impossible to see on the login page. Any chance of adding a custom colour for the login page? Image below. (left is the logo on the home page, right is on the login screen)


 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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Great feedback Bob.  What your seeing here is the back and forth we do internally as we explore new ideas and features for the theme. 

In the most current development we have made the nav drawer the default option and returned the three line icon.  But the icon is next to the others for consistency and grouping for users.  I'm torn on what is the best/easiest way to navigate.  Some love the drawer some love the drop-down.

As for the placement in the top bar, we didn't want a link that takes you out of the course in-between necessary links for the course.  In our thinking going back to the Moodle home page is first.  Then course links.  Then user links.  It makes sense to group them like this for us.  

Adding color choosers to the custom login is a great idea.  I'll put one on that page for the login panel.  

We should be wrapping up the next release shortly and will be updating the documentation.  I plan on doing a quick start setup guide on recommended settings for best results using Fordson. 

We are going to turn out attention to developing a micro PD course format.  We are gathering ideas but want it to be dead simple for the student to go from start to finish by clicking next as they work through the modules.  Once they start a course they never see a course homepage as they are just completing modules and don't have to find they next module.  The back and forth from the course to modules is what we want to try and minimize or eliminate.  


Great idea for the login color chooser.  I will take a look and try to include this in the next release.

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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OOh, micropd course format..?  I have lots of ideas for this as we are using a site exclusively for this.  Resources section at the top for training flyer/powerpoint etc. This would need to always be available I think. Then maybe a customizable section with simple icons that point to each required activity (in our case it goes attendance -> event evaluation -> certificate) and a great navigation method to let participants easily move through - perhaps once activity one is completed, it then hides it and only shows the next activity?  I know that we have time restrictions on ours so they cannot check attendance except for during the training and then they cannot complete the evaluation till the latter part of the training...not sure how that would play in - I guess how they are now with restrictions shown underneath.

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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We are just brainstorming ideas at this point and our programmer is taking a look to get up to speed on course formats.  He did an amazing job on the Easy Enrollment plugin.  I love how that plugin works.  It's just like Google classroom.

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
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I think the main idea for us is that once a user starts they never go back to a course homepage.  Each activity/module is loaded one right after the other in sequence.  If they leave and come back it takes them to the last completed module.  

On the course home they would see a progress bar and a button to start/continue the training. We also might include a listing of modules so people know what is inside the training.  Each topic could potentially be a new training and once they start it sequences the modules.  

In essence, if you use our Fordson theme it would visually be like topic format with one section per page.  There would be a description, progress bar, module count, and then a button which would allow you to begin/continue working through the training.  Once in a section the first module is displayed.  Once completed a "next" button takes the student to the next activity until they work all the way through.  At no point would the student be able to see the section page which lists all the modules.  Once they enter the section they are only able to work on the modules in sequence.

The reason we are interested in taking a look at this is because we often do training where it is a simple 1,2,3 step process.  A user would be required complete a sequence of tasks within Moodle and the back and forth in-between modules and the course homepage is what we are trying to eliminate.  

This is our initial thinking on this.  

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Documentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Yes, we do that too but also use the space to share relevant resources so those would need to be accessible.  Perhaps we could put all those in Section 0 and the other sections could cycle through below?  So you would always see section 0 and then the relevant activity to be worked on?  That would be awesome!

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Yes.  I believe topic 0 would always be visible as a place to provide instructions and resources.  I'm not even sure we can develop this so we are just talking about it right now.  

 
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Picture of Bob Gilmore
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
 

What I didn't say in my feedback is that, while I support choice, I would definitely use the drop down menus. My nav drawer is very, very long and just splitting into two (this course / my courses) solves my most egregious problems.

A question: how are you making use of the various presets? If you add a new MicroPD preset, how will you make use of the, for e.g. K-12 theme? We're creating clones of the theme itself, each with a different preset.

Looking forward to seeing the new release. We're hoping to move to 3.4 in the next week or so, so I'll definitely be looking at the latest fordson release.

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Bob,

The problem with the jump-to menus is going to be mobile.  There is not enough room at the top so I will need to see if there is an easy way to make them mobile friendly.  We haven't gotten that far yet as it was a task to get some of the other stuff working for this release. 

We only use the Dearborn Public School preset.  However, the MicroPD one we use on another install.  I put those in there because it gives the theme the ability to meet the needs of others.  MicroPD came about because of this site: https://mypd.dearbornschools.org/

For this new release we are also creating a Fordson preset for the Fordson theme as a default.  Don't know why I didn't do this sooner.  

Anyways, we are working on trying to get the drop downs to play nice on mobile.  Once that is done we might push out the new release.  The best part for me is the location aware turn editing on button.

 
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Picture of Donna Stajkowski
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
 

I am looking for the highlight a section and cannot find it for this course (it is in other courses with the Fordson theme). What am I missing?

no highlight optionwith highlight option


BTW - I really like this theme and are having my teachers move to it. I like the new course management placement and being able to get to it no matter where you have scrolled in the course!

 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Documentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

That is because that course is using Weeks format so the current week would be highlighted automatically...

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Emma is correct.  

Glad you like the theme.  Your teachers will love the "location aware" editing button as well.  It returns the teacher to where they were on the page when they turn editing on/off.  

Please keep in mind any of the versions posted here are considered testing and should not be used on production sites.  

I'm working on a new version to be pushed out via the plugin directory.  

 
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Picture of Mei Ling
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
 

May i know how to change each of the course banner as below? 

thank you.


 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Upload an image into the course summary file upload area.

 
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Wazza
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Chris, great work! And thanks!


I might have the best Noob question ever... but where do you change the font in Fordson? I'm doint it now using CSS, but is there no option for it in the theme itself?


 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

It doesn't have a font option.  I can add this to the "Nice to Have" list for work over the summer.  This would be a good feature for the Moodle 3.5 releases.

Chris

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Based on a request I was able to add in three new block areas on the frontpage only.  The three areas appear just below the icon navigation bar.  You will be able to turn this on or off in the Content Area settings page of the Fordson theme with a simple checkbox.  It is activated by default.



 
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Picture of Emma Richardson
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Documentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Excellent!!!  Thanks Chris!

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

The latest release is on Github now.  I added a branch for Moodle 3.3 which is where it will stay.  Current work and features are on Moodle 3.4 (3.5 soon). 

https://github.com/dbnschools/moodle-theme_fordson

 
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Picture of Hartmut Scherer
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello Chris,

Thank you for adding new features to Fordson. Three days ago I was able to add Moodle 3.4 to my local installation of Moodle 3.3. The top navigation bar with the new navigation is short, intuitive and all in one place. I also like the option to disable the navigation drawer. I enjoy this theme and I appreciate it very much that you strive to maintain and refine it.

Hartmut
 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Thanks Hartmut!  It's not like I'm getting paid for this so compliments and appreciation go a long way.

I'm very close to wrapping up this new release.  It's taken longer than I thought.  I added three block columns on the frontpage for more versatility that some people need.  I'm also developing a brand new default style preset that is VERY nice.  

I've been thinking of trying something new for blocks on course pages.  Since we moved course management to a modal window, I might try putting blocks in a collapsible slider like the previous course management.  You'd click a button and three columns of blocks would slide down!  That would be pretty cool and allow teachers to do more with blocks instead of just one column on the side.  

I hope to start that tomorrow.  I hope I can make it work.

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Thank you all for this discussion and providing ideas to make Fordson a better theme.  I just published the latest version for Moodle 3.4 here:  

https://moodle.org/plugins/pluginversions.php?plugin=theme_fordson

Download and give Fordson v1.7 a spin!  Your teachers will love the editing button always visible and  location aware when clicked!  

 
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Wazza
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful Moodlers
Oh yeah! And right before the weekend, you are my hero!
 
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Wazza
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Chris,

It looks great again, I'm trying to implement it on our site so still working on the looks. Found one small little detail so far: the navigation button, after clicking, has the tooltip/popup staying there:




Also... would it be possible to have the site name change in just a 'home' button and fit it with the rest of the buttons? I can now do this with CSS so no worries...

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

We already have a fix for the tooltip staying visible.  It's on github.  

On most sites the title is also the home button.  We intend to keep it that way.

 
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Wazza
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Dude, the theme is awesome. We will start implementing it in June

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Great to hear.  The great work and foundation of Boost plus help from all kinds of people here in the Moodle community have helped make it all possible.

With the 1.7 release I finally feel like we are reaching a place that I envisioned for the theme.

 
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Picture of Bob Gilmore
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
 

Hi Chris,

We've move our site completely over to fordson as of a few weeks ago and it seems to be working well. One issue we've stumbled across in a few cases which isn't really a fordson issue, it's more of an overall Moodle issue is that some students don't recognize the section headings on a collapsed course page as links.

I've resolved the case on my own content manually by putting a link at the bottom of the section description:

It's not ideal as the link changes if we reorder the course.

Is there a possibility you could add an option to Fordson to inject a link like this automagically?

Cheers and thanks again for all your hard work.

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Let me take a look and see what can be done.

 
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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: Fordson Theme 2018 | New stuff Coming
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Bob,

I think I have the solution you need.  This is a pretty nice usability improvement as most do not know to click the title of the section to view the modules and activities.  

Check out the photo below.  This will be part of the next release.  It's just a button that will open up the individual page for the topic.  


 
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