I have a general question hope this is the right forum to post it.. please let me know if I need to post to a different forum.
I am working on a moodle feasibility study for our school. One question keeps coming up from teachers from different department. They would like to have their own department has unique look.. Do I need to make a copy of different moodle instance to make each department look different?
I think it is not needed. You can assign different theme to each course, so each department can use it's own theme.
Thanks Andrea. But what I am thinking to propose if not by courses. We will have different department using Moodle. Each department has their own organization and would like to have their own activities setup. Could it be accomplished in one moodle installation?
Each course can define it's down layout of blocks, sections, even language and theme if needed - so each area could be made to appear distinct. I don't think you can specify a theme for a category though (unless there's a hack for it) so they'd have to accept your sitewide theme for the category pages.
Perhaps rather than allow each department to decided exactly what should be installed and what shouldn't etc, you could give them a set of stock modules, blocks, activities etc to build their course from and tell them to ignore those that they don't want - to the student and non-editing teacher the end result will be the same anyway.
Although you can set a theme for each course, it might be advisable to give each department a limited set of changes that can be made, for example color scheme, fonts etc. Although you could use completley seperate themes for each area, it's better for students and staff to work with a consistent interface. Secondly, if your the one person having to make all of these changes, giving each department free reign will make your life a nightmare!
The layout of each course can be very easily changed (well, within Moodle's limits!) using the editing tools in each course - blocks can be moved around, hidden / displayed as needed and the main section can be setup to meet each different course / departments needs.
The organistation etc could be represented as easily with categories and sub-cats as it could be with seperate installations. The advantage being that your hompage then becomes a portal where all of these different areas meet.
Why not get a test installation running on your desktop PC (the Windows XAMPP package is very easy to setup for a test installation) and try out different possibilities - when your happy you know what can be done and what cannot, demonstrate it to your departments and see if it's what they had in mind.