Themes: Fordson

Maintained by Picture of Chris Kenniburg Chris Kenniburg
Fordson | A child theme of Boost provides a specialized enhanced homepage, multiple style presets, innovative user dashboards in courses, and other features that are focused on providing a better user experience. Try out Fordson and show some love by clicking "favourite" ( ♥ ) !
1712 sites
89 fans

About Fordson

Fordson attempts to streamline the process of going from the homepage to enrolling in a course so that learners can engage with the content quickly and efficiently.  Fordson provides many functional enhancements to the homepage and navigation of Moodle in theme administration area.  Customization, unique style presets, and a variety of useful tools built into Fordson makes it ideal for K-12 education, colleges, and businesses.

Instructions and Overview of Settings

Check out the latest documentation and information on Fordson settings and presets:
View Fordson Documentation

Introducing our newest preset: Dearborn Public Schools

Our newest namesake preset is something we were working on for our own site and is now part of the Fordson 1.6.0 theme.  Sleek, stylish, and built to appeal to K-12 and beyond.  This preset goes full-width with content, only uses custom course images on the main course page, and has unique styling touches throughout.  Be sure to checkout the Fordson Documentation for the best theme settings for each of the presets.

Version 1.6.4 New Feature:  Frontpage My Courses sort by Last Access

You can now sort frontpage My Courses by the last access for a more personalized experience.  The most recently accessed courses will be displayed first in the list. Watch the video below.

Course Management dashboard.  Expand and collapse the menu

Course Management Panel

This panel appears for teachers so that they can manage the course.  This is a replacement for the links commonly found in Course Administration block.  We took those links and grouped them so that they are logically displayed and a teacher can see everything at a glance.

Student Dashboard

Student Dashboard

Students can quickly access important course information in the "This Course" dashboard.  It contains a course description, teacher contacts, grades, course completion status, and activity links. 

Custom Login Page for Fordson

Custom Login Page

Create a custom login page to market your site and provide information to students.  In order to activate the custom login page you must force users to login.  To customize the page you can find all the settings and information on the Fordson Administration page under Appearance > Themes > Fordson > Custom Login Page.  Add text, upload photos, choose icons and more can all be customized right from the theme admin pages.   

Custom Homepage

Fordson supports a slideshow, custom Icon Navigation buttons, Marketing tiles, custom text boxes, alerts, and more. Install the optional "Easy Enrollment" plugin and you can enroll students to any course directly from the homepage using a 6 digit code(Auto-generated) or a QR Code (Auto-generated).     The auto generated enrollment codes are displayed on the course page for teachers.  There is a button at the top of the page. 

Topic progress bar

Course Topic Progress Report

Utilize course completion in a course and set the display options to "Show one topic per page" and Fordson will show a progress bar based on the topic completion status.    

Customize Activities and Resources

Want to showcase most used or top activities?  Fordson makes it easy!  Not only can you create a special list of activities you can also control the ordering and even hide activities from teachers. Managers and Site Admins can see all activities.     

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.   

K-12 Preset

7 Style Presets 

Style presets allow you to instantly change the look and feel of your Moodle site.  We have a preset for corporate users, K-12, University, e-Learning, and our default universal preset.  Be sure to checkout our documentation which recommends theme settings for each preset. Fordson Documentation

Clean, Simple, Efficient

  • Customizable navigation: Nav Drawer, My Courses, Homepage Icon Bar, Add Activities & Resources panel, Teacher and Student Course Dashboards can all be customized in Fordson
  • Customized Homepage that has creative features when needed but can be used to create a minimal, focused, and distraction free homepage
  • Out of the box a clean, refined, and stylish appearance with minimal configuration
  • Built for all screen sizes
  • Seven Preset Styles that instantly change the look and feel of the site.  Continue to enhance the look of your site by changing colors, adding logos and images, slideshows, and custom textboxes
  • Easy Enrollment plugin integration takes students from the homepage to learning with course enrollment codes.  

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.

Theme Notes and Information

  1. View the latest documentation explaining the best settings for each preset:  Fordson Documentation and Information
  2. In order to use the enhanced homepage you must make the SIte Home the default homepage for all users. It will not display if your homepage is set to Dashboard. Appearance > Navigation > Default Site Homepage.
  3. If upgrading from version 1.3.1 to 1.4.0 you will want to adjust the Header Image Height setting for Fordson.  This should be set to a minimum of 400px as a starting point for you to adjust the custom site and course background images.  The layout changes in 1.4.0 require a larger height to look nice since the image is put behind the content.
  4. VERSION 1.6.1 PRESETS - In this release we changed our default preset to be Dearborn Public Schools. We renamed the previously named default presets to:
    1. default.scss  =  K-12.scss
    2. default_x   =  K-12 Vertical Block TItle
    3. default fullscreen header image  =  K-12 Fullscreen Header Image

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.


Screenshot #0
Screenshot #1
Screenshot #2
Screenshot #3
Screenshot #4
Screenshot #5
Screenshot #6
Screenshot #7
Screenshot #8
Screenshot #9


Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Chris Kenniburg (Lead maintainer)
Please login to view contributors details and/or to contact them

Comments RSS

Show comments
  • Picture of David Heuring
    Sat, 10 Feb 2018, 12:17 PM
    I downloaded and installed Fordson v1.7 on Moodle 3.4 but when I enabled it I got text only. No images, no css...just text. I went to the Fordson settings and selected a preset, purged all cache, but got the same result as before. Any idea why this is happening? Could it be related to SSL? Thanks for any feedback.
  • Picture of David Heuring
    Sat, 10 Feb 2018, 2:09 PM
    Follow up: I just checked the Boost theme and note that I get the same thing - no images or css. Text only. So this may not be a Fordson issue per se, although I understand Fordson is a child theme of Boost so it must be inheriting whatever is preventing Boost from displaying correctly. I checked other themes and they are working fine.
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Tue, 13 Feb 2018, 1:31 AM
    David, It could be related to how Boost processes all the SCSS files. Your server might be timing out or running out of PHP memory. There are discussion threads on this in the forums I believe.
  • Picture of David Heuring
    Tue, 13 Feb 2018, 9:07 AM
    Chris, thank you for the advice. It was related to the server. Increasing PHP memory solved it. Much appreciated.
  • Picture of Eric Breton
    Wed, 21 Feb 2018, 11:07 PM

    we are experiencing errors using the latest Fordson theme. We would like to know if we are alone in this situation ?

    The errors happens each time we change a setting in Fordson, and we save it. We then get this kind of error message :

    Exception : syntax error, unexpected ''
    line 2051 of /data9012/moodle34test-data/localcache/mustache/1519132157/fordson/__Mustache_a670da756bcf8a6066bf921ff9609fac.php: ParseError thrown

    What is strange is each time, is that the "unexpected character" is never the same !

    Also, another important point, despite the error message, the modification in Fordson is saved !

    Do you have any advice on the troubleshooting of this ?
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Thu, 22 Feb 2018, 12:41 AM
    I've not gotten any error messages like this in our setup. My initial thought is that maybe you entered a strange character into one of the input fields. Did you try opening up the file to see line 2051? Is this a write/permission issue with cache?
  • Picture of Eric Breton
    Thu, 22 Feb 2018, 3:51 AM
    Hi Chris, first of all, I woule like to thank you for taking the time to answer me, this is greatly appreciated. I inspected the php file, and the line 2501 is the very end of the file. So, it's like if the parsing of all the command lines generates this error, like if an IF or some kind of a loop did not close properly.

    If it helps, I would like to mention that our version of Mustache is 2.3.0.

    Thank you,
  • Picture of Polaris Lee
    Thu, 22 Feb 2018, 8:26 AM
    I do not think this is a fordson theme issue. I will delete the above information.
  • Picture of David Heuring
    Sat, 24 Feb 2018, 10:56 AM
    Hi Chris,

    I thought my problem reported above was fixed by increasing php memory and execution on the server, but evidently not so. What I didn't realize at the time is that I had turned on "Theme designer mode" in the theme settings, so everything seemed to be working fine (but slowly) while I was configuring Fordson. But then when I turned if off, the same thing happened where none of the images or css shows, just a string of text. So, is this related to the way my cache works with this theme? I purged it on Moodle and my browser, but that didn't make any difference. It must have something to do with the way Boost serves the css, because the same thing happens when I try to use the Boost theme. Any suggestions would be much appreciated since I obviously can't run the site in designer mode. LAMP stack with Ubuntu 16.04; Moodle 3.4.; Fordson 1.7

  • Picture of David Heuring
    Sat, 24 Feb 2018, 11:17 AM
    Me again. I just searched the forums, per your previous suggestion, and found that this issue is related to the Boost theme so please disregard my plea for help. I will re-post the issue on the Boost discussion thread. Sorry for posting before doing a search!
  • Picture of Marvin The Martian
    Wed, 14 Mar 2018, 11:50 PM
    Any way to remove the breadcrumb feature?
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Thu, 15 Mar 2018, 12:23 AM
    Just us CSS to hide the breadcrumbs.
    .breadcrumb-nav {display: none;}
  • Picture of Marvin The Martian
    Thu, 15 Mar 2018, 2:24 AM
    Awesome Chris! Thanks!
  • Picture of Patrick Liersch
    Thu, 15 Mar 2018, 5:29 PM
    Nice Theme.
    But why is that not possible to use this Theme on a themedir Directory - that is only usable on a moodle/theme Directory.
    I hope this will be fixed in near future...
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Thu, 15 Mar 2018, 7:46 PM
    Patrick, I am not following you. The theme works perfectly well when installed properly.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Please login to post comments