Themes: Fordson

Maintained by Picture of Chris Kenniburg Chris Kenniburg
Fordson 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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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

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.

style presets

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.

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 Chris Kenniburg
    Wed, 21 Mar 2018, 8:17 PM
    The javascript is inserted here: Beyond that I am not sure how to help. You will want to look at all the layout files as it will be on the other pages as well.
  • Picture of Chris Chapman
    Thu, 12 Apr 2018, 10:05 PM
    Hi Chris, been trying to mimic the the course screenshot you have in your documentation with the turn editing on button, floating course title, breadcrumb over the header image and also wanted to move the hamburger back to the far left.... but cant see how to do this, any pointers? guessing this is a prev version and its been upgraded... but I really liked it!
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Thu, 12 Apr 2018, 10:13 PM
    Chris, It might be that I am using a different Preset than the default. Have you tried Fordson's various presets? There are like 7 unique styles and each one might change the layout slightly. Change them in the drop-down on the Fordson Settings page. With that said, it could be that the video you are watching is from a very early version of Fordson. We've refined and changed the design along the way as our teachers gave us feedback. Without seeing the photo I am just grasping at straws.
  • Picture of Kiran Derle
    Thu, 26 Apr 2018, 10:55 AM
    The contents column such as page, quiz does not use full screen of mobile. The width of the content thus becomes short, which lacks in look and feel. Hope the team resolve the issue on priority.
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Thu, 26 Apr 2018, 8:46 PM
    Hello Kiran,
    I will need to know the Fordson version and Moodle version you are using. Help and support is best handled in the Theme forum as we may ask additional questions
  • Picture of Kiran Derle
    Wed, 2 May 2018, 2:36 PM
    Great Theme!,
    Few issues:
    1. Section heading is not editable in edit quiz. In other themes including boost its editable.
    2. Quiz timer is shown at bottom of quiz navigation. That should be on the top.
    3. Sign up button should be given on the front page login box. (Next to login button).
  • Picture of Kiran Derle
    Wed, 2 May 2018, 2:38 PM
    I was using Moodle 3.4 with fordson v1.7. Just migrated due to quiz issues, which is my core part.
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Wed, 2 May 2018, 7:53 PM
    Please utilize the theme forum for any future issues as this is not the place for tech support. I monitor the forum for Fordson questions. 1) Please provide more details such as a screen shot or other information on section heading editing. I'm not seeing an issue. 2) Quiz timer moves to the bottom on smaller screen sizes. All blocks move to the bottom on smaller screen sizes. 3) A screenshot would be ideal for this as well. Not quite sure what you mean by sign up button. You have to login before you can sign up. Again, the forums is where these issues can be flushed out and resolved. Not here.
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Fri, 4 May 2018, 5:22 AM
    I can't wait to share the Moodle 3.5 version of Fordson. Development is coming along.
  • Picture of Annick F
    Thu, 17 May 2018, 8:54 PM
    A great theme. I downloaded the 3.5 version and only get 3 presets (E-learner' Modern Moodle and Pulse). I am looking for the Fordson preset which was on the 3.4 version.
    Many thanks
  • Picture of Annick F
    Thu, 17 May 2018, 9:16 PM
    When editing the 'Custom menu items' in the theme settings (version 3.5) the full menu is displayed vertically at the bottom of pages / courses... is there a way to avoid this - many thanks
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Thu, 17 May 2018, 10:08 PM
    Annick, Moodle 3.5 changed the game with the Bootstrap update. All of the previous Presets caused issues and so we decided to use this disruption in order to take Fordson in a new direction that offers more opportunity for customization. Many of the styling elements of the Fordson preset are still available, but now you can mix and match between the page layout, section stylings, and course listing display.

    It is not a direct upgrade.

    As for the custom menu items, this is the default behavior of Moodle. There is no easy way to avoid it. This is how Boost handles the custom menu items.
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Thu, 17 May 2018, 11:22 PM
    I stand corrected. I did find an issue with the custom menu displaying at the bottom of the page all the time and not just when on mobile. This has been fixed and will be updated later today. You can grab a copy of the most recent work on github. This contains the fix already.
  • Picture of Annick F
    Mon, 21 May 2018, 4:13 PM
    Thanks Chris.
    Another thing... we are using the collapsed topic format for most of our courses ( with 2 columns) - Using the Forsdon theme (3.4) I cannot display 2 or more columns, It seems to always display just one. ( I can have several columns using other themes...) . Thanks
  • Picture of Annick F
    Mon, 21 May 2018, 4:20 PM
    Oops, looks like it was my mistake, I had to turn responsive mode on ! - Thanks
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