Themes: Fordson

Maintained by Picture of Chris Kenniburg 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" ( ♥ ) !
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Moodle 3.5 and Fordson New Features

Introduction to the new layout choosers and the brand new preset: Spectrum-Achromatic!  See how you can Boost the Boost layout with the new Spectrum preset.

This is the new look of the Fordson theme.

  • New layout and style choosers allow you to mix and match elements of the page to create over 100 unique style/page combinations.  Choose a Page Layout, Section Style, Course Listing Style, Blocks Location, and a Style Preset. 
  • 5 Page Layouts which change how course images are displayed and other page elements
  • 8 Section Styles which customize how topics/weeks are displayed
  • 9 Course Listing Layouts (4 tiled and 4 full-width horizontal plus default Boost)
  • 4 Marketing tile styles to choose from
  • 4 Style Presets: Spectrum-Achromatic, Modern Moodle, e-Learner, and Pulse.
  • Blocks can be shown 2 ways: Boost default sidebar or new Fordson 3 column.  The Fordson 3 column layout is designed as a block panel which can be shown or hidden with the click of a button in the upper right of the course title area.

Beautiful Design, Organization Branding, & Marketing

Fordson extends the core Boost theme to provide a dizzying array of 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 from bland to grand! 

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. 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

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.

Block collapse panel

New Way to Show Blocks with a 3 column panel

Fordson allows you to choose between the default Boost sidebar or our new innovative block panel which is displayed with the click of a button or out of the way when students are learning.

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 Oleg B.
    Tue, 25 Sep 2018, 11:17 PM
    Hi. good theme. In the mobile (smartphone) version, I don't have notification buttons and message menus. How am I supposed to do?
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Wed, 26 Sep 2018, 8:19 PM
    Oleg, they are hidden to save space.
  • Picture of Oleg B.
    Wed, 26 Sep 2018, 10:10 PM
    Thank you for the answer and the great work you are doing. Our students really need it, because they work on smartphones. Can't that be done. Thanks.
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Wed, 26 Sep 2018, 10:32 PM
    Oleg, Add this to the bottom Raw SCSS box on the Fordson Colours page:
    div#nav-message-popover-container {display: block;}
    div#nav-notification-popover-container {display: block;}

    It will make the icons reappear and will fix this for you even when you upgrade to newer versions of Fordson.
  • Picture of Oleg B.
    Thu, 27 Sep 2018, 5:47 AM
    Thank you waiting for new versions. Successes'.
  • Picture of Polaris Lee
    Fri, 5 Oct 2018, 10:38 AM
    I want to link to the entire front page slide image.
    What can I do for it?
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Fri, 5 Oct 2018, 7:39 PM
    Polaris, This is not the place to ask for help. For better support please use the forums so that we can have a proper back and forth. A simple answer is you could manually add links in the slideshow.mustache file in the templates folder.
  • Picture of Ugur ONDUC
    Wed, 10 Oct 2018, 7:03 AM
    Thanks for theme.
  • Picture of Jorge Deivy Hernández
    Wed, 17 Oct 2018, 5:37 AM
    Hi Chris!

    Many thank for your plugin Fordson! It's amazing!

    I want say you I hava a problem when play any video on VideoJS player. It's just the aspect ratio of video in to de VideoJS player. When change the aspect ratio of VideoJS player, for example, to 1280p by 720p, the video shows smaller than VideoJS player.

    This just happens using the theme Fordson, but not when using the theme Boost of Moodle.

    You have any idea about of solution?

    Many thanks!
  • Picture of Annick F
    Wed, 17 Oct 2018, 5:09 PM
    we seem to have an issue on our site when using the Fordson theme with the Turnitin plugin. There is a problem with the display where the columns are all out off line ( if that makes sense).
    When changing the Clean theme, things are back to normal. Any idea on how to resolve this?
    Many Thanks
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Wed, 17 Oct 2018, 9:34 PM
    Annick, It will be very difficult to troubleshoot this issue since I do not have Turnitin plugin. Also, this is not the proper place for help. Please use the github issue page or use the Theme Discussion Forum on I monitor that more than this page.
  • Picture of Trevor Cunningham
    Fri, 19 Oct 2018, 6:00 AM
    Did you overlook pushing the most recent update 13 changes to github? I see the notification for a plugin update within Moodle, and I see the difference in the zip file available here, but the changes don't appear to be available in the github repo at the moment.
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Sat, 20 Oct 2018, 3:11 AM
    Trevor, Yep. Done today.
  • Picture of Sandra Zerbes
    Tue, 23 Oct 2018, 1:22 AM
    Hello, I try to update our learning platform by using Moodle 3.5 and the design theme Fordson. During the implementation I came across a problem. The design theme offers a triple flexible inclusion of blocks on dashboard or in the block panel. Nevertheless I can't move blocks to the first column. All blocks are bound from the first column to the second. Does anyone know the problem and solved it?
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Tue, 23 Oct 2018, 7:57 AM
    Change the blocks setting back to Boost Default in the Fordson theme admin page.
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