Themes: Fordson

Maintained by Picture of Chris KenniburgChris Kenniburg
The Fordson theme is focused on students going from login to learning, with features that help teachers build better courses and students engage with content. Your school is unique and Fordson provides impressive customizations for a professional and modern learning platform. Try out Fordson and show some love by clicking "favourite" ( ♥ ) !
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Current versions available: 7

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

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

Top Features

  1. Over 160 unique layout and style combinations for the ultimate in customization
  2. 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.
  3. All major navigation and functionality accessible from one spot on the page for users
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.  
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.  
  10. Enroll students directly from the site homepage when using the Easy Enrollment Add-on.

Additional Information

Easy Enrollment Add-On

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.

Special Thanks

Elements and certain functionality of Fordson would not be possible without the following users and plugins:


This plugin is part of set Fordson theme.


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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Chris Kenniburg (Lead maintainer)
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  • Picture of Miro Iliaš
    Sat, Aug 17, 2019, 5:10 PM
    Hi, I installed this theme on Moodle 3.7 and git the error: Fatal error: Class 'theme_boost\output\core\course_renderer' not found in /var/www/lms-ext/theme/fordson/classes/output/core/course_renderer.php on line 50 Any help, please ?
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Sat, Aug 17, 2019, 8:02 PM
    Miro, sounds like you need to upgrade to the 3.7 version of Fordson. That error sounds like you are using a version that is outdated.
  • Picture of Khoirul Umam
    Sun, Sep 1, 2019, 8:00 AM
    I installed fordson on Moodle 3.7. The Category Display Icons option not working properly. When i checked in my site home, the icon not changed. Any help, please?
  • Picture of Daniel Avon
    Sun, Sep 29, 2019, 11:26 PM
    We have switched from Essential to Fordson. The Pre-formatted paragraph style does not work with Fordson (moodle 3.6). We tested it with many course formats and the result is the same. Thanks
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Mon, Sep 30, 2019, 8:05 PM
    I think maybe you are expecting the text to be styled a certain way. This is a terrible place to post a question about asking for help. Try the forums where you can actually post a screen shot to help explain what is going on and what the desired outcome is.
  • Picture of Daniel Avon
    Tue, Oct 1, 2019, 6:42 AM
    I apology for that. I have just posted my question on the other forum.
  • Picture of Zabelle Motte
    Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 10:51 PM

    We have been organizing users tests to choose our new Moodle Theme and Fordson is our big winner theme !
    While performing these tests, we had some improvement suggestions on above menu buttons affordance.
    I wrote a forum post with our scss improvements here :


  • Picture of Jesse Cardenas
    Fri, Nov 8, 2019, 3:41 AM
  • Picture of Luiggi Sansonetti
    Mon, Nov 25, 2019, 6:59 PM
    Hi Chris,
    Maybe a bug Admin Tab with Fordson 3.1v1 and Moodle3.8+
    All details here :
  • Picture of Supriyo Khan
    Fri, Dec 6, 2019, 11:24 PM
    Very helpful article.
  • Picture of Ibrahim dansoko
    Mon, Jan 6, 2020, 9:27 PM
    I encounter a problem in adding an external tool activity "LTI" from the Fordson theme on moodle 3.8 . By carrying out the same approach with the classic theme, I manage to implement this LTI protocol without any problem. Clearly, the problem is related to either the Ford theme or version 3.8 of the Ford theme !! Would anyone have a quick fix to this smile problem

    thank you in advance
  • Picture of Ibrahim dansoko
    Wed, Jan 8, 2020, 7:22 PM
    Hello community,

    I meet a concern in the addition of an external tool activity "LTI" from the fordson theme on moodle 3.8. By carrying out the same approach with the classic theme, I manage to implement this LTI protocol without any problem. Clearly, the problem is related to either the Ford theme or version 3.8 of the Ford theme !! Would anyone have a quick fix to this smile problem

    thank you in advance
  • Picture of Roberta Vigo
    Thu, Jan 16, 2020, 7:38 PM
    we would like to test this theme on our LMS: could you please let us know if it allows the creation of a child theme?
    Many thanks in advance,
    Roberta Vigo
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Thu, Jan 16, 2020, 8:43 PM
    Roberta, It is a child theme of Boost. I am sure it can be done but since we develop it for ourselves we don't need a child theme. But you would need to find a tutorial on making child themes of a child theme. Might want to ask in the theme forums.
  • Picture of Roberta Vigo
    Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 1:02 AM
    Thank you very much Chris.
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