Themes have often been a topic of posts at Moodlenews: making Moodle look great is a key driver of being able to get teachers to take a 2nd look at it or to engage students (you can’t judge a book by its cover, but first impressions do matter!).
Over the years, Moodle has included many different themes its the core distribution, including Wood Grain and Steel. For Moodle 2.0 several were included in the core as part of a contest for quality themes. Most recently, the push for responsive resulted in Moodle only having two core themes: More and Clean. Today, the discussion has shifted to what a theme will look like in Moodle 3.2 and how it will help developers create new and exciting layouts and displays for Moodle classrooms and dashboards. Theme standards for Moodle 3.2 are crucial in the “rebooting” of Moodle, according to Lewis Carr at his iMoot talk that we covered.
If you’re using 3.1, however, there are loads of themes available. Some throwbacks, some new, some crowd favorites. Take a look at six below recently updated for Moodle 3.1.
Afterburner: this was one of the themes introduced in core Moodle 2.0. The theme is three-column and fluid-width but not responsive. https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_afterburner
Anomaly: another theme included in Moodle 2.0. It is three-column and fluid-width with rounded corners. This also is not responsive. https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_anomaly
Shoehorn: created by theme guru, Gareth Barnard, this theme is designed to be clean and professional. It is responsive and supports social media icons easily. There are loads of videos to help theme designers customize it as needed. https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_shoehorn
Elegance: this theme maintained by Bas Brands is responsive, sports two columns and a great looking splash page for login. It has loads of custom settings to create a brand match for your institution. https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_elegance
Snap: this responsive theme is the brainchild of Stuart Lamour (formerly of Sussex eLearning Team) in his role at Moodlerooms. It is a rethinking of what a course should look like. There’s loads of cues for students regarding completion and progress, a lot of white space, and a large image which makes a Moodle course look more like a crisp website than a classroom. While created by Moodlerooms for its clients, the theme is contributed and available for download from Moodle.org. https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_snap
Campus: this collaboration of David Bogner and Gareth Barnard strives provides maximum flexibility in customizing your Moodle site. This includes responsive header and logo, custom background, custom fonts, full-screen mode, sub-themes, frontpage slideshows and other marketing features and too much more the list. https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_campus
We hope you make a sound choice, as we hope the outcomes of the ongoing Moodle 3.2 Design debate surprise us in positive ways. Let’s end with some words from iconic industrial designer Dieter Rams: “Principle of good design number 10: good design is as little design as possible“.
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What would you include in our Moodle coverage? Let us know in the comments!