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

Official Support threads on forums

Additional Information

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 mo ollek
    Tue, 4 Dec 2018, 2:24 AM
    Hello Chris, Is Fordson compatible with Moodle 3.6? Thanks
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Tue, 4 Dec 2018, 2:55 AM
    Mo, Not yet. Later this week for sure. Fordson for Moodle 3.6 is on github but I am doing some final testing before officially publishing it here.
  • Picture of mo ollek
    Tue, 4 Dec 2018, 2:59 AM
  • Picture of Oleg B.
    Wed, 5 Dec 2018, 4:41 AM
    Waiting for to on 3.6 worked. Thanks.
  • Picture of Mohamed Atia
    Mon, 31 Dec 2018, 3:29 PM
    Hi Chris,
    I have a few suggestions

    1. When we enable categories in the front page or courses it appears as a list, however, I guess it is better to have additional option to display as thumbnails currently it displayed like this screenshot!Amdk-vbboLpgiHl43nZ68UfMg-4c, so it might be something like!Amdk-vbboLpgiHrSkVnkk8urM4cX

    2. In course thumbnails, when the course has a teacher it is better to be displayed above summary and other information along with teacher avatar image the following screenshot shows the current display and my suggestion!Amdk-vbboLpgiHueaNfyhl3P0MzR.

    3. The self-enrollment page currently looks like this!Amdk-vbboLpgiH1KbVtxtsAOWAwu, I suggest to make a better look for this page by making the course thumb bigger, adding teacher avatar, a way to format course summary text font, adding more details such as start and end dates and rating of the course if exists. a quick example might look like this!Amdk-vbboLpgiH78oHsovvCcpd4O
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Wed, 2 Jan 2019, 8:38 PM
    These are great suggestions. #1 probably will not happen as there are many other factors involved and there isn't anything built in like with courses for file uploads. #2 I really like this idea and will look to see what can be done. #3 would require rewriting the renderer and we want to keep the functionality as close to core as possible unless we are extending a functionality that doesn't exist in core such as mycourses dropdown. It's very easy to have a theme get feature bloat and then it becomes a real chore to keep updated. So we are very picky about what features we want to include and maintain.
  • Picture of Mohamed Atia
    Thu, 3 Jan 2019, 3:19 PM
    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for sharing your feedback with me, I will keep sharing here if I have any new suggestions.

    Regarding point 1, I agree with you it looks like need to have a new function for uploading files to category first.

    Regarding point 3, I thought it is easy to add data of the teacher as this information already exist. and other changes might be CSS changes only. but is there a way to share our suggestions with Moodle team to include it in the new releases of Moodle, so that in the theme we updated the CSS only?
  • Picture of Joseph Mcdonald
    Wed, 9 Jan 2019, 7:11 AM
    hi just setting up this theme its very good, just wondering how to get the folder icons on the course topics which are on the Nav draw this would help alot thanks
  • Picture of Joseph Mcdonald
    Wed, 9 Jan 2019, 7:16 AM
    here is the image i mean and
  • Picture of Mohamed Atia
    Wed, 9 Jan 2019, 7:26 PM
    Hi Chris,
    When I use RTL Language like Arabic, the default font is not fancy, So I am asking with Fordson theme what is the best way to add my own font such as "Droid Arabic" for RTL language.
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Thu, 10 Jan 2019, 9:44 PM
    Joseph, The folder icons are set in Moodle core. It would be more involved than you think to make the change.
    Mohamed, You might want to look in the theme forum for an answer as there are others who have changed the font for various themes. It is not something provided by the Fordson theme but it is possible to do on your own.
  • Picture of Sara Cenni
    Fri, 11 Jan 2019, 6:22 PM
    Hi Chris,
    we are using the latest version of Fordson with Moodle 3.5.

    We noticed that, even if we checked “Frontpage My Courses Sort Order by Last Access” my courses in the home page aren’t ordered correctly.
    In fact, Moodle is still using the default “Sort my courses” order. sad
  • Picture of Roberto Becerra
    Wed, 16 Jan 2019, 5:39 PM
    Hi there, we may have found a sort of bug in the display of options when in edit mode, if we click on the little gear of the blocks for instance, the context menu hides behind other objects
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Wed, 16 Jan 2019, 9:31 PM
    Roberto, the best course of action is to post this in the forum with a screen shot. I'd need to know what version of Moodle and Fordson. I'd also need to know the presets that you are using for Fordson so I can try to recreate what you are seeing. The theme forum is where I monitor for any Fordson issues.
  • Picture of Jesús Acedo
    Wed, 16 Jan 2019, 10:08 PM
    Hi Chris good morning...

    I hope you are very well. I want to change the title text color, but I couldn't do... Can you give some of help?

    Thanks in advanced.

    Best regards.

    Jesús Acedo
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