Themes: Fordson

Maintained by Picture of Chris Kenniburg Chris 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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Moodle 3.5 and Fordson New Features

  • New layout and style choosers allow you to mix and match elements of the page to create over 100 unique style/page combinations.  Choose a Page Layout, Section Style, Course Listing Style, Blocks Location, and a Style Preset. 
  • 5 Page Layouts
  • 8 Section Styles
  • 9 Course Listing Layouts (4 tiled and 4 full-width horizontal plus default Boost)
  • 2 Options for Blocks
  • 3 Style Presets
  • Blocks can be shown 2 ways: Boost default sidebar or new Fordson 3 column.  The Fordson 3 column layout is designed as a block panel which can be shown or hidden with the click of a button in the upper right of the course title area.
  • NEW!  Fordson is tightly integrated with the "iLearn Secure Browser Chromebook App" (Soon to be released as open source) which allows Google for Education organizations to quickly deploy to every chromebook an App that helps prevent student cheating during assessments.  This new App communicates with a Quiz Restriction plugin in Moodle and prevents students from taking a quiz unless they are using the Chromebook App. 
    Learn More:  ilearn Secure Browser Flyer   |   Ilearn Secure Browser Overview and Demo Video

Beautiful Design, Organization Branding, & Marketing

Fordson extends the core Boost theme to provide (currently) 9 unique style presets, customized color choosers, enhanced user interactions, improved navigation, and branding opportunities within the theme.  Style presets allow you to change the layout and look of your site by simply choosing a new preset. Depending on your needs, Fordson delivers a variety of style presets from bland to grand! Once you choose the right preset you can continue to customize your site with color choosers, logos, social media links, and other organization branding features.  We realize in addition to learning there also needs to be a method to communicate and market, so we also provide areas within the layout that accomplish this in a way that minimizes distractions.

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 and 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. 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

Support Materials

Course Management Panel

A re-imagined course management panel

Everything a teacher needs to manage their online classroom is only a click away from anywhere within their course.

Student course dashboard

Keep students informed with progress reports and a course dashboard

Unique to Fordson is a student dashboard which displays important course information such as grades, completion progress, and teacher contact details. Let students see individual topic completion status so they know which course topics they still have work to do. 

Activity chooser customization

Feature the most effective activity modules first

Make sure teachers see and use the modules your organization feels are most important. Customize the activity and resource modules with the ability to feature modules, hide modules and even control the ordering of the modules.

Top Navbar 

One place to look for all major navigation and functionality - Top Navigation Bar

Fordson took many of the navigational elements found throughout the default layout and moved everything into the very top navigation bar so that a user has one place to look for buttons and tools within a course. 

Enroll students directly from the homepage

No more getting lost trying to search and find a course. Our Easy Enrollment plugin is deeply integrated with the Fordson theme and makes enrollment a super simple process. The enrollment plugin assigns a 6 digit code to every course and group in your entire site. Pass out the codes to students and they can instantly enroll directly from the site homepage.  Don’t worry. If you do not want to use this enrollment plugin you do not need to do so. Fordson only displays the enrollment form if it detects that the plugin is activated on your site.

Block collapse panel

New Way to Show Blocks with a 3 column panel

Fordson allows you to choose between the default Boost sidebar or our new innovative block panel which is displayed with the click of a button or out of the way when students are learning.

Custom Course Category Display

We made it possible to switch how courses in your site are displayed when viewing the course categories.  Pick from 4 different layouts to further customize the look and feel of your Moodle site using Fordson.   

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 Bas Harkink
    Fri, 22 Jun 2018, 11:33 PM

    For the custom menu items in the topbar and the usermenu link:

    .navbar-light .navbar-nav .nav-link, .userbutton {
    color: ADD HEX COLOR HERE;
  • Picture of Bas Harkink
    Fri, 22 Jun 2018, 11:39 PM
    p.s. You can look into the Safe Exam Browser ( for controling the students options during a quiz attempt. Having 100% control over the students information sources during a quiz without a controlled environment like a physical classroom is is questionable in any case (in my opinion). What is to say a student is not using a phone, second computer or even a person as a information source?
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 12:50 AM
    Our solution literally was deployed and ready to go in less than 15 minutes on over 11,000 chromebook laptops. Updates to the Chromebook app are less than 5 minutes to deploy in over 32 buildings we educate kids in. We realize we cannot eliminate all cheating but our solution eliminates many of the worries a teacher has in using a laptop to take assessments. In K-12 education the overwhelming majority of our student computers are chromebooks due to cost and ease of use/maintenance.

    We'll have to check this out to see if we might be able to extend our solution to windows or macs by basing it off this project.
  • Picture of Dennie Walker
    Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 8:45 PM
    Thanks again for responding.
    I do utilize the safe exam browser but there are major challenges on our end, especially as it relates to running third party applications like Word, Excel and Access within the browser.
    plus the site name and link are still visible within the SEB.
  • Picture of Dennie Walker
    Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 8:47 PM
    Please consider a windows version of the Chromebook app or even a plugin we can use within Google Chrome.
  • Picture of Bas Harkink
    Mon, 25 Jun 2018, 8:26 PM
    Your situation is exactly what I meant as a 'controlled environment', so in your case i am sure it is be a great solution! (and kids will cheat in any situation, there is no way to eliminate it 100% :P). What we see is that the expectancy is that a solution as the safe exam browser will work in a situation where students can take assessments from the home or workplace.
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Mon, 25 Jun 2018, 10:12 PM
    Technically it could be used anywhere, but only on a district managed chromebook. You couldn't use a phone or other laptop other than a chromebook. Our solution is geared for Google Education customers where you can instantly deploy the app to every device in 5 minutes! There are plenty of Google K-12 Education customers. More than likely these K-12 schools use GClassroom because it is free and hosted, but that isn't a good assessment tool as they rely on a hacked Google Form which is OK to use at best.
  • Picture of Kassie Phillips
    Wed, 27 Jun 2018, 9:26 AM
    @Chris. Thanks that worked! smile

    On another note I am trying to get the "First Time Here" login instructions working but not sure what not sure what I'm doing wrong... Is there a different way to make it happen in the Fordson Theme?

    I've tried both; Site administration > Plugins > Authentication > Manage authentication
    It has been made available and switched on (self registration - email based registration) in manage authentication.

    And also via the Language Customization by editing the 'loginsteps' string but neither is working, can someone assist please?
  • Picture of Dennie Walker
    Wed, 27 Jun 2018, 12:03 PM
    Can someone please lend some assistance in regards to the breadcrumb settings?
    Upgraded to the latest version of Fordson theme now i can't seem to see the links in the breadcrumb trail because everything just has this big white background. When I place the mouse over it I actually see the text in the background.
    I tried this $breadcrumb-text-color: #000; in the raw scss box still no change.
    Can we simply have the plain old breadcrumb trail that was there before? Our students really make use of it to navigate through their courses.
    Thanks for any assistance I can receive.
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Wed, 27 Jun 2018, 6:44 PM
    Did you change the background of the breadcrumbs to be white? If so, remove that from the color choosers. Also, please update to release 3 update 3. If you have any custom scss/css please post that as well. I'm leaving for vacation in 3 hours. Won't be back until July 9th. Also, on this file on your server you can scroll to the bottom and delete everything at the bottom related to Breadcrumbs.
  • Picture of Dennie Walker
    Wed, 27 Jun 2018, 7:15 PM
    Thanks for the prompt response.
    I eventually got the breadcrumb text to change, however the arrows are automatically inheriting the color of the content background on the site. So if my content background is white then the arrows don't show up because they inherit the same color.
    Also the hover colors work just fine but the active colors don't so if i change this $breadcrumb-bg only works when i hover the mouse over the breadcrumb.
    Thanks again
  • Picture of Dennie Walker
    Wed, 27 Jun 2018, 7:24 PM
    Thanks again
    I followed your instructions and removed all breadcrumbs styles from the SCSS file and everything is back the way it was thanks.
    I do however think there are a few adjustments to be made in the CSS for the breadcrumb in Fordson Theme.
    Thanks again and have an enjoyable vacation
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Wed, 27 Jun 2018, 8:05 PM
    Dennie, I'll take a look in 2 weeks when I return. Best to post in the theme forums because this is not a very good place for tech support. I monitor and answer questions and issues in the forums and we can post pics and more detailed fixes.
  • Picture of abhinaya srinivas
    Wed, 11 Jul 2018, 1:18 PM
    @Chris, can you please help me for role based login based on custom menu in fordson theme.......
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Thu, 12 Jul 2018, 1:56 AM
    @srinivas We could add this to a list of things to try out. Our main focus right now is polishing some issues with the current theme, releasing our secure browser chromebook App, and looking at possibly a new course format if time allows.
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