Learning management systems are usually not the most attractive websites on the internet—but it doesn't have to be like that. In this video, educator Chris Mattia walks you through the core concepts of themes in Moodle.
- [Instructor] Let's jump right in and get the 600 pound gorilla out in the open. Learning management systems are not likely candidates for a best of the web award in terms of the look and feel of the site fresh off the install process and Moodle is no exception. Every content management system on the web needs to be calibrated to the specific needs of the primary users for the site. If you're using Moodle as your campus learning management system in education or to manage your employees training for your business, Moodle needs to be customized in terms of both functionality and the look and feel to meet your organization's specific needs.
Themes also generally include a settings page that allows the administrator to quickly control common configuration settings for branding such as adding custom colors or your institution's logo. On the Theme Selector page, you can assign a default theme for your site and separate themes for older legacy browsers, small screen mobile devices and larger screen tablets. The process for setting a theme is always the same.
Click the button for Change Theme then choose from the available themes then choose one of the available themes that's been installed on your system. I'll select the More theme by clicking the Use Theme button. When your page refreshes, the theme is applied. Themes allow Moodle administrators of all levels of experience to customize the look of their site for their users. This generally follows a three tiered approach to customization. At level one customizations, you have the basic controls for the settings and the theme branding such as adding your logo and setting your custom colors.
This generally only takes a few minutes of time to get set up since it's all managed through the Moodle Administration pages. Basic branding lets your students and teachers know that they're at your institution site. This level of customization is most common during a pilot or testing phase of a Moodle implementation. It's quick to get up and running and we'll look at these types of customizations in the next chapter. The next level of customization will be to select a free theme from moodle.org. You can find the themes by clicking on the Downloads tab then under the Extend Moodle section, click on the link for themes.
You could also purchase a custom theme designed for your institution from one of the many Moodle theme designers from around the world. This approach has the advantage of taking your site beyond the basic look and feel of Moodle while still requiring little to no overhead to truly get a custom look. After selecting and installing an available theme, the level one branding process takes place to tweak the theme to your specific needs of your institution. Many custom themes offer considerably more control over the theme settings but the process is essentially the same.
Finally, if you want to provide the best experience for your users and your team is comfortable with web design and development or you're willing to learn a few new tools and techniques then creating your own custom theme provides you with the ultimate control over improving the user experience for your students, teachers, employees or clients.
- Installing Moodle
- Setting preferences for working with themes
- Customizing theme settings
- Installing themes
- Creating custom theme CSS rules
- Customizing theme layouts