Note:Fordson was built to solve UX experiences more than any theme or styling issues. We thought our solutions were clever and helped make using Moodle 3.X easier for students and teachers. However, with Moodle 4.0 we are no longer solving the same problems. Moodle 4 is a game changer and as such, we are building a Moodle 4 compatible theme called LearnR. It will have many similar features and grow over time. LearnR is focused on the learner and making Moodle as complex or as simple as you would like.
Check out the LearnR theme over here: https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_learnr
Beautiful Design, Organization Branding, & Marketing
Fordson extends the core Boost theme to provide styling options, customized color choosers, enhanced user interactions, improved navigation, and branding opportunities within the theme. Depending on your needs, Fordson delivers a variety of style presets to help you quickly change the look of your site!
Login to Learning
What does this motto mean, "Focused on going from Login to Learning"? It means we are hyper focused on the user experience that extends from the point of login until the student is engaged with learning. What does that actually mean from a plugin? It means through our theme and related plugins we have looked at and spent time trying to develop a streamlined and intuitive way to go from the Moodle homepage to course content in a way that makes sense for our users. We developed the Fordson theme to help with navigation and usability. We developed the Easy Enrollment plugin to help enroll students into courses directly from the Moodle homepage. As of the latest release of Fordson we now have a special course format that we've enhanced through our theme to provide a great user experience at the course level. Install the Collapsible Topics Course Format and activate the new "Plugin Integration" in Fordson and you will see the difference between the normal course format and how we enhance it through the Fordson theme. We are focused on going from login to learning and want to share that experience with the Moodle community.
New! Plugin Integrations
Announcing Jitsi Server Integration
New for 2020 is Jitsi Meet server integration which automatically puts a Jitsi Meet Launch button at the top of every course in your Moodle site. If 2020 has taught us anything, learning remotely requires a good web conferencing software. Each Moodle class gets a Jitsi Launch button right below the breadcrumbs. If you don't use Jitsi, just don't add a title to the Jitsi settings in Fordson. However, we provide the public URL that will work too if you don't have your own Jitsi server. check out the main page of the Fordson Theme settings for the new Jitsi integration.
Focused on What Matters
We are focused on the process of getting a student to go from login to learning as efficiently as possible. Once in a course, we utilize a variety of techniques to help students engage with the content and organize the page in a way that helps promote learning. We accomplish this by listening to our teachers and students for ways to improve that experience. When we extend Moodle functionality, we try to stay as close to core Boost as possible. Fordson delivers impressive features such as an innovative Course Management dashboard for teachers with all the links to manage a course and users. There are also little features like a course editing button that is always visible and “location aware” to speed up building a course. The learning content is most important and Fordson utilizes space, color, images, icons, and other elements to help guide students through a course. Fordson also provides many different looks so that you can customize the presentation of learning materials to your students. Spend more time engaged in learning and less time clicking buttons. Fordson enhances the user experience for both students and teachers by combining clean and efficient design with innovative user features not found in other themes. From login to learning we are focused on making Moodle better for students and teachers.
Thoughtful and Purposeful Development
Development of the Fordson theme is often guided by community, teacher, and student feedback. We listen to suggestions that match our desire to provide the best experience from login to learning. The Fordson theme shines when you are looking for the the following:
A theme that organizes Moodle’s navigation and enhances it to improve the user experience.
A theme that is focused on going from login to learning and getting out of the way of your teachers and students.
Improved navigation that helps make sense of course management for teachers and students get into courses faster
Designed and refined with community and teacher input based on their needs
- Over 160 unique layout and style combinations for the ultimate in customization
- Fordson includes a variety of Site Preset Styles, Page Layouts, Sections Styles, and Course Listing Styles. All of which can be changed instantly from a menu.
- All major navigation and functionality accessible from one spot on the page for users
- A re-imagined course management panel for teachers that makes sense of all the links in course administration. It’s accessible from anywhere in the course at any time.
- New Block Display Panel moves blocks into a 3-column collapsible drawer giving a teacher more room for blocks and keeps them hidden until a student wants to see them.
- Turn Editing On button is “location aware” and accessible at all times on the course homepage. When clicked the page will return to the exact location you where viewing when you pressed the button.
- Feature the most effective course modules and activities first with Fordson’s innovative course activity customizations. Take control of what modules are displayed, module ordering, and the ability to feature modules. Limit what modules a teacher can use and allow Managers to see and use all modules.
- Keep students informed with progress reports, grades, teacher contacts and more with the Fordson Student Dashboard panel. This panel provides course information at a glance for students.
- When a course is set to show one topic per page the Fordson theme will show individual topic completion progress on the course homepage. Students can quickly see what topics still have unfinished assignments.
- Enroll students directly from the site homepage when using the Easy Enrollment Add-on.
View Setup Step-Sheet that the developer uses when setting up a new Moodle install
Fordson Theme Website and tons of useful articles on blended learning
Great Moodle.org discussion on the top tech tools for building a learning platform. See Moodle and the Fordson theme in action at the center of a robust and fully featured learning platform.
YouTube Channel with all kinds of videos documenting theme development and features
Install the Easy Enrollment add-on and Fordson will display a new enrollment form on the homepage. This new form will allow a student to enter a 6 digit code and instantly be enrolled into the corresponding course or group within the course. This allows a student to go from the homepage to a course in seconds! It will even generate and read QR Codes for enrolling elementary kids by simple waving a paper in front of the computer.
Elements and certain functionality of Fordson would not be possible without the following users and plugins:
- Richard Oelmann -Header Images & Social Icons, student course overview functionality - https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_waxed
- Mary Evans - Morecandy (Sideway Header) Preset SCSS
- Jose Miguel Dager Montoya - Tiled Course Display on frontpage and course categories
- Alexander Bias - Navdrawer Remove Defaults - https://github.com/moodleuulm/moodle-local_boostnavigation
- Carlos Escobedo - Navdrawer Add Menu Items - https://github.com/cescobedo/moodle-local_navigation
- Gareth J Barnard - Theme Essential feature display courses by last access - https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_essential
- Robynstar - Added functionality to only show students a teacher's contact if they are in the same group in a course. https://github.com/dbnschools/moodle-theme_fordson/issues/40#