Themes ::: theme_fordson
Maintained by 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" ( ♥ ) !
Latest release:
11575 sites
347 fans
Current versions available: 10

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 Jitsi server integration button.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

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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Chris Kenniburg (Lead maintainer)
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Comments RSS


  • Fri, Feb 12, 2021, 10:34 PM
    I would try uninstalling and reinstalling. This is all related to the SCSS variables that operate the styling. Some were taken out in Moodle 3.10 and we used them in Fordson. I think I have removed them in the latest version.
  • Sat, Feb 13, 2021, 10:28 AM
    Hi Chris,
    We recently updated to Moodle 3.10.1 and the latest Fordson version. The "My courses" menu no longer lists courses alphabetically and appear rather scrambled. There doesn't seem to be a pattern. I've cleared site, theme and browser cache but it doesn't make a difference. We have the Nav bar turned off as "My courses" has worked well for our users. Is there a way to get the list of courses to sequence alphabetically again. Thanks for any ideas about what to do.

  • Sat, Feb 13, 2021, 8:59 PM
    David, uncheck the option to sort courses by last access. That was turned on by default. Last Access is a better way to sort the courses since the ones they visit most filter up to the top of the list as they access them.
  • Sun, Feb 14, 2021, 11:48 AM
    Thank you, Chris. Much appreciated. Whilelastest access makes sense for the default, we have managers with 40-50 courses who prefer alphabetical. Can't believe I didn't see the setting. Thank you also for maintaining this awesome theme. You're the best!
  • Mon, Feb 15, 2021, 12:40 AM
    I am fairly new to updating a theme. Is there documentation that will help with updating the Fordson theme while maintaining all of the color stylings and CSS? Any help would be much appreciated.
  • Tue, Feb 16, 2021, 8:05 AM
    Peter, it should all carry over but always a good thing to try on a dev site first.
  • Wed, Feb 17, 2021, 11:15 PM
    Is it possible to hide the Jitsi button for some courses only? we happen to have 2 jitsi servers, and would like to use one for some courses and another for other ones. thanks!
  • Fri, Feb 19, 2021, 10:55 PM
    Hi Chris,
    thanks for your follow up and reply,
    my problems with new theme release still exists (same as all above mentioned reports), i want to know if you have any plan for new release of this moodle version (moodle:3.10.1+)?
  • Tue, Feb 23, 2021, 10:40 AM
    Hi Chris,

    I just want to check if anyone has noticed the edit button is missing when managers use the Loginas... link to go to student profiles in their courses. It showed in 3.5.1 but since upgrading to 3.10.1 and the latest Fordson theme, our managers don't see the edit button. As LMS administrator, I can see it (and edit profiles) but they don't anymore. I've checked the permissions for the manage role and both the Loginas... and edit profile permissions are set to "Allow". I posted this issue on the main Moodle board and someone else responded that theirs wasn't showing either, but after switching to the Classic them, it appeared. Anyone else notice a missing edit button after Loginas...? Thanks much one and all for any feedback on this feature and especially Chris for all his hard work to keep this awesome theme working. It's the best!
  • Fri, Mar 5, 2021, 6:13 PM

    Is it possible to have topics inside a course, displayed as cards? Like the course card? The idea is to open a course card, and have more cards inside, like if they were topics, and so on, until reach the actual activity.
  • Tue, Mar 23, 2021, 9:27 AM
    Hi Chris,
    Thank you so much for a great theme. I like it very much.
    It is a bit difficult for the students, in quiz active, is there any way that the information of the question (number of questions, status, flag question, edit question, ...) is on the left side or above the question? and still keep the border style, because it is very beautiful
    I am using Moodle 3.10, Fordson v3.10 release 2.1, theme preset: Perception.
    Thank you very much
  • Tue, Apr 6, 2021, 11:25 PM
    Hello !

    We actually love the Moodle Fordson theme but we encounter a small difficulity with the configuration of that theme.
    The "addblockposition" configuration parameter seems to be linked to the value of "blockdisplay".
    But we use the theme with "blockdisplay" to "2" and "addblockposition" to "BLOCK_ADDBLOCK_POSITION_DEFAULT".
    And this may not be raised without tweaking the default config.php file.
    Here you can see the line we had to comment if that file to succeed our configuration :
    // Toggle display of blocks
    //if ($THEME->settings->blockdisplay == 1) {
    //if (page_location_incourse_themeconfig()) {
    // $THEME->addblockposition = BLOCK_ADDBLOCK_POSITION_FLATNAV;
    //if ($THEME->settings->blockdisplay == 2) {
    // $THEME->addblockposition = BLOCK_ADDBLOCK_POSITION_FLATNAV;

    It would be great to make these parameters autonomous in the theme ...


  • Thu, May 6, 2021, 6:49 PM
    We observed a strange bug affecting the fordson theme on 3.10-all releases : when the setting "Section Style Chooser" is set on "Highlighted section title", all images in the Moodle disappear. Choosing another style solves the problem. The observation was consistent on Moodle installation on two separated networks, since 3.10.0 until now.
  • Thu, May 13, 2021, 1:44 AM
    Thank you, Christophe Coussement! I couldn't figure this out.

    We're experiencing the same issue. I've filed an Issue on their GitHub site; feel free to weigh in there:

  • Thu, May 13, 2021, 2:12 AM
    Christophe - as commented by the plugin maintainers on GitHub, try changing line 54 of fordson/scss/sectionlayout/sectionstyle6.scss, replacing '$gray' with '$gray-100'. It seems that typo was causing the image issue.
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