Themes: Fordson

Maintained by Picture of Chris KenniburgChris 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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Beautiful Design, Organization Branding, & Marketing

Fordson extends the core Boost theme to provide 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 to help you quickly change the look of your site! 

Login to Learning

What does this motto mean, "Focused on going from Login to Learning"?  It means we are hyper focused on the user experience that extends from the point of login until the student is engaged with learning.  What does that actually mean from a plugin?  It means through our theme and related plugins we have looked at and spent time trying to develop a streamlined and intuitive way to go from the Moodle homepage to course content in a way that makes sense for our users.  We developed the Fordson theme to help with navigation and usability.  We developed the Easy Enrollment plugin to help enroll students into courses directly from the Moodle homepage.  As of the latest release of Fordson we now have a special course format that we've enhanced through our theme to provide a great user experience at the course level.  Install the Collapsible Topics Course Format and activate the new "Plugin Integration" in Fordson and you will see the difference between the normal course format and how we enhance it through the Fordson theme.  We are focused on going from login to learning and want to share that experience with the Moodle community.

New!  Plugin Integrations

Announcing Jitsi Server Integration

New Jitsi server integration button.New for 2020 is Jitsi Meet server integration which automatically puts a Jitsi Meet Launch button at the top of every course in your Moodle site. If 2020 has taught us anything, learning remotely requires a good web conferencing software. Each Moodle class gets a Jitsi Launch button right below the breadcrumbs. If you don't use Jitsi, just don't add a title to the Jitsi settings in Fordson. However, we provide the public URL that will work too if you don't have your own Jitsi server.  check out the main page of the Fordson Theme settings for the new Jitsi integration.

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 with all the links to manage a course and users.  There are also 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

Top Features

  1. Over 160 unique layout and style combinations for the ultimate in customization
  2. Fordson includes a variety of Site Preset Styles, Page Layouts, Sections Styles, and Course Listing Styles.  All of which can be changed instantly from a menu.
  3. All major navigation and functionality accessible from one spot on the page for users
  4. A re-imagined course management panel for teachers that makes sense of all the links in course administration.  It’s accessible from anywhere in the course at any time.
  5. New Block Display Panel moves blocks into a 3-column collapsible drawer giving a teacher more room for blocks and keeps them hidden until a student wants to see them.
  6. Turn Editing On button is “location aware” and accessible at all times on the course homepage.  When clicked the page will return to the exact location you where viewing when you pressed the button.  
  7. Feature the most effective course modules and activities first with Fordson’s innovative course activity customizations.  Take control of what modules are displayed, module ordering, and the ability to feature modules. Limit what modules a teacher can use and allow Managers to see and use all modules.
  8. Keep students informed with progress reports, grades, teacher contacts and more with the Fordson Student Dashboard panel.  This panel provides course information at a glance for students.
  9. When a course is set to show one topic per page the Fordson theme will show individual topic completion progress on the course homepage.  Students can quickly see what topics still have unfinished assignments.  
  10. Enroll students directly from the site homepage when using the Easy Enrollment Add-on.

Additional Information

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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  • Free Hugs downtown Chicago
    Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 12:39 AM
    Hello Chris! This theme is amazing and we're enjoying the new options at our disposal. Absolutely love that the nav drawer can default to a closed state.

    I have two questions about settings.

    The image of the graduate with cap silhouette is the background of the main page. I cannot seem to find how to override that with a different image or plain color. Where can I find that?

    Secondly, is there a way to allow guest access to see icon navigation? Presently it seems only logged in users can see it.

    Thank you for creating an amazing theme!

  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 7:51 AM
    1) Fordson Theme Settings -> Custom Image Settings -> Default Header Image
    2) Not without some work and it would get overridden each update.

  • Ricardo Caiado
    Mon, Jun 22, 2020, 8:08 AM
    Hi, Chris.

    This is my situation:

    Moodle 3.8.3+
    Fordon 3.8
    Collapsible Topics format 3.9
    Collapsible Topics format integration is ON

    The only way I can make the integration work is by first clicking on the "Expand all" link located in the upper right corner.

    If I don't, the "View Activities and Resources" link won't work. Any idea?

    All the best,

  • Picture of Franky Vallori
    Mon, Jun 22, 2020, 4:01 PM

    I have different versions of Moodle: from 3.5 to 3.9.

    In the Moodle 3.5 version, the activity navigation is internal to the "learningcontent" DIV.

    From version Moodle 3.7 it is external to the "learningcontent" DIV, and its class is "activity-navigation".

    Which theme file do I need to modify to have internal learning activity within the "learningcontent" DIV?
    How can I maintain the usual dimension of the "learningcontent" DIV with the "activity-navigation" class?

    In Moodle 3.9 I put "Fordson v3.9 release 1.1".

    DIV has been modified:

    Where can I remove the "container-fluid" class in the code?

  • Picture of Ben Butler
    Mon, Jun 29, 2020, 9:50 AM
    Hi Chris,
    Great theme - it works perfectly for me. I just have a question about updates and custom files. When I update, custom files that I have uploaded to the Moodle directory get overwritten. The locations I store these custom files in are:

    Is there somewhere else I should be storing these files so they don't get overwritten each update? I'm not sure it's a good idea to store them outside the moodle directory, because they are only being used within Moodle, although it would be technically possible for me to do this. Do you think it's a good idea to store these custom files outside of the Moodle directory to ensure they don't get written over during updates? I'm just trying to streamline my update process for future updates, because my most recent one was quite a lot of work.

  • Picture of Juan E. Spencer Risopatrón
    Mon, Jun 29, 2020, 10:45 PM
    Chris, thanks for the awsome theme.
    I want that my front page looks like the sixth image of the screenshots.
    That is, that the body is narrower than the image.
    What CSS file do I have to modify to get that look ?
    Thanks in advance.
    My Moodle site is :
  • Picture of Abraham Herrera Reyes
    Thu, Jul 2, 2020, 12:49 PM
    Hi Chris, first of all thanks for this amazing theme I've found very usefull features on it.
    Not sure if you're aware of a little bug while adding a new activity/resource when reading the description, the back and add buttons are only visible at half.
  • Picture of Roberto Ricca
    Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 6:47 PM
    Ciao Chris, sto usando da poco il tuo tema. E' veramente bello e ben fatto. Ti volevo chiedere coma mai da parte dello studente non è possibile vedere la scheda di valutazione. Ho settato "consenti" nelle autorizzazioni. Mi puoi aiutare. Grazie di tutto. Roberto
  • Picture of Juan E. Spencer Risopatrón
    Sun, Jul 5, 2020, 11:13 PM
    Does someone knows a support page, for the Fordson Theme, because clearly NOBODY IS WATCHING THIS ONE.
    I updated Moodle to version 3.9 and some of the features of Fordson stopped working.
    I have´nt been able to find a support page.
    Every page I´ve reached is marketing, but nobody listening to support problems.
  • Ricardo Caiado
    Sun, Jul 5, 2020, 11:24 PM
  • Picture of Mohammadjavad Pourkazemi
    Sun, Jul 26, 2020, 1:38 AM
    I want to add to the theme slides and leave more than three can you help me ??
  • Picture of Chris Kenniburg
    Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 8:06 PM
    Juan, We've been in shutdown and quarantine. I work for K-12 schools in Michigan and we were pretty hard hit with Covid. It is a monumental task helping over 1200 teachers move to online in 2 weeks time. Now we are planning for this coming school year in which we don't know if kids will be in school or learning online. Sorry, there is only so much time in a day. My kids need to see me too.
  • Picture of majid taghipour
    Thu, Jul 30, 2020, 3:51 AM i can add any font to this theme?
  • Picture of Hossein K
    Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 8:12 AM
    Hi. Thank you for your good effort !
    How can we set image for category in front page, like Essential theme ?
  • Picture of F S
    Tue, Aug 4, 2020, 9:04 AM
    Thanks a lot for this beautifull and very functional theme
    I wonder wether there is a way to have a parents/mentor dashboard/plugin incorporated in this theme?
    Can somebody please give me a hint for realizing this in our moodle instance?
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