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:
11603 sites
351 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, May 31, 2019, 12:27 AM
    After installing this theme on our site (running Moodle 3.7), and setting a user's profile to use this theme, that user receives the following error message immediately afterwards:

    Coding error detected, it must be fixed by a programmer: page layout file [dirroot]/theme/fordson/layout/ does not contain the main content placeholder, please include "<?php echo $OUTPUT->main_content() ?>" in theme layout file.
    Debug info:
    Error code: codingerror
    Stack trace:
    line 1312 of \lib\outputrenderers.php: coding_exception thrown
    line 198 of \user\profile.php: call to core_renderer->header()

    Would anybody have any insight on how to resolve this issue?
  • Fri, May 31, 2019, 7:37 PM
    Thomas, do you have your theme in a different folder than the standard directory? Also, support type issues should be posted in the theme forum:
  • Fri, May 31, 2019, 10:46 PM
    Chris, thanks for the reply. I installed Fordson in the Moodle\theme folder, were the Boost and Classic themes where located. I'll repost this over on the Theme forum.
  • Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 9:29 PM
    Before I install can you tell me if the plugin will work on all devices, all browsers, and is responsive?
  • Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 10:46 PM
    It is based on Boost and inherits all the good things about Boost. It should work just fine on all devices and browsers. It is responsive.
  • Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 7:36 PM
    Hello good morning,
    It is possible to clone the theme fordson with another name?
    I want personalize one categoria with another logo, color, etc.

  • Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 7:27 PM
    Marini, Anything is possible with the right amount of time, effort, and/or money. But the bigger question is do you have the skills or time to learn how to do it? I would start asking questions in the theme forum. You might be able to do some stuff with just a simple CSS hack based on category but that will only get you so far. Cloning a theme can be tricky. Best of luck and try out the forums.
  • Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 7:36 PM
    Thank you Chris!
    I have the necessary knowledge to modify a theme and change its name, with other theme I have done it without difficulty, but with this I can not.
    Maybe you had some basic guidelines.
  • Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 8:45 PM
    Post this question in the theme forum. It is a bit more complex because the themes are more complex. This plugin page is not ideal for asking support questions. You need to be able to Find & Replace everywhere you find theme_fordson and then there are a few other errors that pop up and then once you straighten those out you can clone the theme. It took me all of 15 minutes to complete and I will share it but to help others this needs to be in the forums so others can find this answer.
  • Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 10:06 PM
    Marini, I posted a video and instructions on the Theme Forum on how to clone Fordson.
  • Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 3:45 PM
    Hello Chris,
    first, thanks for designing this beautiful theme!
    I have difficulties finding the licensing under which Fordson may be used.
    Could you give a hint/link where I can find it? Thank you very much!
  • Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 8:00 PM
    It's the same licensing as Moodle.
  • Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 8:39 PM
    Great Theme! Please help can not seem to embed a Twitter feed into the Footer unless a Twitter Feed is already present in the topic section of a course page.
  • Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 8:53 PM
    Sue, I don't think the footer text is setup to be processed with filters. In fact, it might strip out any embedding. It's just meant as a branding area or copyright stuff.
  • Wed, Jul 31, 2019, 8:05 AM
    Hi Chris...wonderful theme....Bravo!!!
    With the Boost Preset and all Layout Settings in their default, the header on my homepage is a big empty space.....which changes when a User goes to any other page. Is it possible to insert a banner or something in that area for the homepage? Also, the empty "Summary of Site" is under that empty header.....and below are the list of courses. Thus once logging in, this is the first impression for a student...a lot of empty space before the Available Courses. What do you suggest to correct this?
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