Themes ::: theme_pioneer
Maintained by Chris Kenniburg
Pioneer strikes a balance between features and beautiful design. The Pioneer theme is focused on enhancing learning by using intuitive navigation, a simple layout, and amazing styling. You have learning content, Pioneer makes it beautiful.
Latest release:
166 sites
76 fans
Current versions available: 2

Pioneer | features

Features for Site Admins

  • Custom Colors, Logo, Site header image, Course header images, and many more customizations
  • Featured Course Slideshow - Add up to 6 featured courses and Pioneer will take the course image, title, and summary to build a stunning responsive slideshow for you. This appears at the top of the page with a wonderful fade effect between courses.
  • Featured Course Slider - Add up to 12 courses and Pioneer will build a slider which displays 4 courses at a time up to 3 pages of sliding courses.  All you do is add the course ID number for each course and Pioneer takes over to give you a brilliant responsive slider complete with a link to a course category to view more courses.
  • My Courses Slider - Displays a list of user courses in a responsive slider.
  • Personalized Recommended Courses - Uses course tags(Must use Tag Block and tag the course) and profile tags (Profile Interests).  Matching courses are displayed for the user in a responsive slider. 
  • Site Alerts
  • Frontpage Tabs Display - Add up to 6 custom tabs packed with content which are displayed on the frontpage in a powerful hidden slider.  A prominently displayed button is used to show and hide the tabs. The hidden tabs help keep the page clean and neat.  
  • Social Icons - Add custom links with icons to popular social websites.
  • Block Alignment - toggle between left or right aligned blocks.  
  • Two Marketing Spot positions - top and bottom of the page with custom image backgrounds
  • Intuitive Navigation Options: My Courses, This Course, Tools custom menu, 8 custom Icons with tool-tips and links
  • Google Analytics and font support
  • Custom Footer - Provides several textboxes to populate the footer of the page with custom content.
  • Socialwall Course Format Integration - Styling and color selection for elements of the Socialwall course format (separate download and plugin)

Features for Teachers

  • Scroll Spy - A first for Moodle Themes!  The turn editing button is always visible on the page.  When a teacher clicks to turn editing on or off it will return the teacher to wherever they are in the page.  No more scrolling!
  • Customized full-width header Image for each course- On the course settings page a teacher can upload a JPG or PNG image into the “Course Summary Files” box.  This image is used by Pioneer as a header image and is stretched to fill the top part of the page.  Site admins can turn this feature on or off in theme settings.  If off, the image uploaded in theme settings is used by all courses.
  • Control My Courses Dropdown - Uses the Course Overview block to allow users to organize which courses are displayed in the My Courses dropdown.  
  • Two Column Layout - Designed to maximize usability
  • Turn Editing On button is always on screen
  • This Course Dropdown - Quickly organize and navigate course activities
  • My Courses Dropdown - Quickly navigate to your courses

Features for Students

  • Activity Completion Visual Display - Quickly see your course completion in a nice animated radial which shows you the total percent completed in the upper left of the screen. Site Admins must turn this feature on in theme settings and a course must have course completion turned on.
  • Total Course Grade Visual Display - Quickly see your total course grade in a nice animated radial which shows you the total grade percent in the upper left of the screen.  Site admins must turn this feature on in theme settings and the teacher must set the course to show student grades.
  • Course Gradebook Slider - Just like the Frontpage Tabs mentioned above the Course Gradebook Slider will show/hide a list of assignments and the logged in student’s grades.  The button to toggle this feature into view is located at the top of the page directly below the course title.  The site admin must turn this feature on, set the button text, and the individual course must be set to allow students to see grades.
  • My Courses Slider - Displays a list of user courses in a responsive slider.
  • Personalized Recommended Courses - Uses course tags(Must use Tag Block and tag the course) and profile tags (Profile Interests).  Matching courses are displayed for the user in a responsive slider. 

Special Thanks

Pioneer would not be possible in it's current form without help and code from the following:

  • Richard Oelmann for coding the Header Image functionality and Course Grades display.  Richard is also the mastermind behind the course grade radial display and course completion radial display.  He is also the developer of the Flexibase Theme.
  • Mary Evans designer of More Candy theme and support in the theme forum
  • Eguru Theme with Featured Courses functionality
  • Gareth Barnard for support and ideas in the Moodle theme forum
  • Troy Patterson and Anupam Chugh for design and implementation support

Pioneer | explore tutorials

If you've made it this far you should show some love and add Pioneer to your favorites!


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Chris Kenniburg (Lead maintainer)
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  • Chris Kenniburg
    Tue, Dec 6, 2016, 9:51 AM
    I also think for better compatibility with user tours and other M3.2 features that having a theme more closely tied to core Boost is ideal.

    Boost is very clean and very nice with a focus on content and better navigation which has always been our focus in tweaking and building themes for our teachers.

    You wouldn't realize how much time building, testing, and sharing a free plugin can consume.

    Our District will be moving to m3.2 this summer. There will be a theme ready that has many of the same features as Pioneer but based on Boost and the new navigation and templating.
  • Jean-Bertrand DOSSOU
    Sat, Jan 14, 2017, 1:36 AM
    How to download the theme?
  • Chris Kenniburg
    Sat, Jan 14, 2017, 11:10 PM
    Jean, click on versions at the top. Make sure you pick the version compatible with your Moodle version.
  • John Benavides
    Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 9:46 PM
    Hi Chris,

    I am forcing the Pioneer theme on a cours,e but I noticed the navigation on this course has been affected. The pages take a long time to load (3 times longer than other pages on the site). The course has not content and I am using the default header image. Any idea what could be the problem ( I am using the adaptable theme as the main theme on Moodle 3.1).

    Thanks in advance.
  • John Benavides
    Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 11:23 PM
    Sorry Chris, the problem was that theme designer mode was activated, everything is working fine now.
  • Edmund Evangelista
    Wed, Apr 12, 2017, 5:15 PM
    I tried to remove GUEST access on the Navigation Block but failed to do so. When I remove it under "Permissions in Block: Navigation", I get this message "Do you really want to remove "{$a->role}" from the list of allowed roles for capability "View block" in context "Block: Navigation"?" and the Guest role remains in the list after confirming to remove it. Is there any bug on this?
  • Chris Kenniburg
    Thu, Apr 13, 2017, 2:54 AM
    Hello Edmund, Not quite sure what you did but the Pioneer theme will not change permission of your block. This might be better answered in the Moodle forums because it is not specific to this theme.
  • Edmund Evangelista
    Thu, Apr 13, 2017, 7:40 PM
    Thanks Chris for the clarification, I was thinking in a way the theme might have affected it. Anyway, when a teacher logs in on a course, what's the benefit for him/her on the link "View Course Grades"? I understand that this is very beneficial as a student because they can immediately see their grades even without going to the gradebook page. However, on the teacher side - all I can see is a blank scores for the different gradebook items and course total, unless he/she attempted a quiz/assignment hence a score might appear here. If that's the only purpose for the teacher, is there a way to hide this for teachers similar to the options for hiding it also to students.

    Another thing, I have read somewhere but can't recall the site address - is there a way to import the configurations/CSS settings I made on this theme and import it to another server using the same Pioneer theme? I tried to copy the whole folder and saved it to another server but my personal configurations made did not appear on the second server.

    Let me know your thoughts. By the way, thank you for this theme I am super lovin' it.
  • Chris Kenniburg
    Fri, Apr 14, 2017, 2:47 AM
    Edmund, All current attention is on our new theme Fordson. So it is unlikely that we will make any functional changes to Pioneer such as the grades button. In hindsight, I probably should have designed it to hide for the teacher and only show for students.

    If you made CSS and style changes using the theme admin settings then you will need to manually transfer those over. They are stored in the database and not in a file.

    Really glad you enjoy it. When you are ready to jump up to Moodle 3.2 you should check out Fordson. The latest release (1.4.0) is super super nice!! A completely new look that is very intuitive for the student.
  • Edmund Evangelista
    Sun, Apr 16, 2017, 1:22 PM
    Thanks Chris for the clarification. I will consider looking into this new theme of yours.
  • Edmund Evangelista
    Sun, Apr 16, 2017, 7:21 PM
    Chris this is just a thought, which specific page should be edited so that I will hide the button if the current user is a faculty? Let me know, I wanted to modify the code and hopefully able to hide it if the user is a faculty. Thanks.
  • Chris Kenniburg
    Mon, Apr 17, 2017, 7:13 AM
    Edmund, it would be a bit more difficult because it will need to check the permission or role of the user before displaying.
  • Edmund Evangelista
    Thu, Feb 15, 2018, 5:55 PM
    Hi Chris, I installed arabic language on my v3.1 Moodle having this Pioneer Theme. However, the words in the custom login ("Log in", "username", "password") are still written in English. Where can I change the text for this? I cannot seem to locate also the PHP file for this. THanks.
  • Chris Kenniburg
    Tue, Feb 20, 2018, 9:34 PM
    These are most likely in the Pioneer Language file and have not been translated. Does Pioneer have an Arabic translation?
  • Edmund Evangelista
    Wed, Feb 21, 2018, 3:04 PM
    I was able to modify it already through hard code and changed it to Arabic. Thanks.
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