My Five Favorite Moodle Themes – 2015 Edition

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my favorite moodle themes 2015

Some of our most popular posts here at Moodlenews are those that focus on attractive themes for Moodle. A theme for any site will give users their first impression. Will it be fun or serious? Is is boring or exciting? Is it dynamic? Does it meet and work for me where I am (on a mobile device, on a tablet, on a desktop)? Does it have personality?

Over time, Moodle has added features that make any theme contextual to the user who is logged in: message notifications, profile pictures displayed automatically, even ways to customize contrast, color schemes, and more. All themes for recent Moodle releases, including and especially the Moodle Core themes More and Clean have had the bar raised considerably.

Back in 2010, I started a tradition of collecting what I thought were the best themes available. In 2014, I refreshed my list. I’m not a developer so I can’t speak to the underlying quality of the code or how well they are supported. But I do know what I like. This list is simply that. Themes that have caught my attention and give me a sense that the developer really cared about how the theme looks and feels to the end user and that they wanted to provide users with a unique experience. Here they are in reverse rank order:

5. Squared by David Bogner https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_squared [our post]

This theme is just interesting. While not responsive, it does rethink how a user might engage with menus. As you’ll see from the gif below there are some unique features that aren’t available on any other Moodle site/theme. It’s worth checking out.

squared-theme550x412

4. Snap by Moodlerooms https://github.com/moodlerooms/moodle-theme_snap [our posts]

Snap is kind of a mix between a course format and a theme. It totally rethinks the screen real estate of a course and how assignments and resources are displayed. Fonts and images are big and bold and pop among roomy white space. As you can see below, the theme is designed to work no matter what device is used. Stuart Lamour, formerly of Sussex eLearning Team, was one of the lead developers on theme.

front-page-on-devices-animated

3. Pioneer by Chris Kenniburg, Made in Michigan at Dearborn Public Schools https://moodle.org/plugins/theme_pioneer [our post]

From the same place as the Socialwall format for Moodle, this theme offers a laundry list of features to market courses, track users, customize almost any aspect of color and logos. Not to mention that it’s responsive.

According to the description, “Pioneer is a beautiful, responsive theme loaded with great features from custom tabs and a course gradebook slider to the ability for teachers to upload their own header image in course summary files! Each of the main elements in the theme can be customized from the theme settings page.”

2. Moodle/Mahara Moot FR https://moodlemoot2015.univ-tours.fr/ [our post]

This Moot theme was just one of the coolest I have ever seen. Totally awesome cartoon graphics (featuring Moodler himself) that even change (there are a few header images). For a limited-use theme (Moodlemoot France is but once a year) it is one of the coolest around. Pay it a visit.

1. World Wildlife theme https://learn.unitedforwildlife.org/ [our post]

Simply an amazing experience that floored me from login and registration through the courses as it tracked my progress and displayed Moodle activities and resources in a way that I really had a hard time telling if I was still on a Moodle site. There’s even a white paper presentation from the #mootIEUK15 about the creation of the theme.

That’s my list for 2015. Did I miss a theme that should be listed above? If so share it in the comments. There’s nothing we like better than checking out new themes.

Enjoy!