Get Ready for Moodle 3.5 and Fordson!
Fordson version 3.5 changes the way you customize your site. Pick a Style Preset, select your Page Layout, choose a Section Style and lastly, choose a Course Listing layout. Currently, these add up to over 160 different combinations! The other huge improvement is the introduction of a Block Drawer which includes 3 columns that teachers can place blocks. The drawer is toggled by a button at the top of a course that uses blocks. Get blocks out of the way on course homepages and allow activities (such as books, lessons, and quizzes) to include blocks within a course activity page without any interaction by the student. It just works.
Checkout initial instructions for Fordson version 3.5 along with some screenshots. Many of the existing features from Moodle 3.4 and Fordson are carried over to Moodle 3.5. Unfortunately, Fordson for Moodle 3.5 is not backwards compatible.
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
View Setup Step-Sheet that the developer uses when setting up a new Moodle install
Fordson Theme Website and tons of useful articles on blended learning
Great Moodle.org discussion on the top tech tools for building a learning platform. See Moodle and the Fordson theme in action at the center of a robust and fully featured learning platform.
YouTube Channel with all kinds of videos documenting theme development and features
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nine unique styles and plenty of customization
9 preset styles plus the ability to upload your own. Color choosers galore! Custom content areas, icons, padding and spacing adjustments, custom images, branded footer area, social icon links, slideshow, marketing tiles, and much more!
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.
Elements and certain functionality of Fordson would not be possible without the following users and plugins:
- Richard Oelmann -Header Images & Social Icons, student course overview functionality - https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_waxed
- Mary Evans - Morecandy (Sideway Header) Preset SCSS
- Jose Miguel Dager Montoya - Tiled Course Display on frontpage and course categories
- Alexander Bias - Navdrawer Remove Defaults - https://github.com/moodleuulm/moodle-local_boostnavigation
- Carlos Escobedo - Navdrawer Add Menu Items - https://github.com/cescobedo/moodle-local_navigation
- Gareth J Barnard - Theme Essential feature display courses by last access - https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_essential