The fellowship within the Moodle community of theme designers, developers, and (most often the case) designers who are also developers, is a friendly and competitive group that works hard and fast to bring new discoveries and technologies into the interface users around the world interact with on a daily basis.
Below, we get up to speed with four of the most representative themes available for Moodle.
One of “Boost”s latest children, “Moove” is designed to promote action and intuitive navigation for Moodle activities. Compared to Boost, Moove has a few tweaks to the “NavBar” (the left-side collapsible navigation bar), most notably a list of icons remaining on the page when the menu is collapsed, for easy access after the user is familiar with the options.
Another collapsible menu, this time on the right side, is an interesting solution to the “Blocks situation” when sites try to offer a unified front in desktop, browser, and mobile. Since Moodle 3.2, the development team is pushing for less prominence in Blocks, which are disabled on mobile. The right-side menu in Moove offers a place for Blocks on desktop that does not interfere with the unified design but is still easy to access.
It also features unique course layout options. It is compatible with Moodle 3.3’s Course Overview.
“Adaptable” 220.127.116.11, 1.4, 1.5
With a highly customizable two-column layout, the “Adaptable” theme is perfect for teachers and designer looking to make constant tweaks. “Adaptable” makes this easy through their unique Layout Builders, a drag-and-drop interface for most page elements, including footers. “Adaptable” has also made efforts to ensure frictionless compatibility with popular course format type plugins Social Wall and Grid.
If you are looking to upgrade to “Adaptable”, make sure you use the version compatible with your Moodle release: 18.104.22.168 for Moodle 3.0, 3.1, or 3.2 (and choose this over “Adaptable” 1.3.3), and 1.4 or 1.5 for Moodle 3.3.
“Essential” 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52
This iconic and prolific theme is a design benchmark and the one to beat for many theme developers. Since its creation, “Essential” has pioneered practices and features, some of which are now a must-have by any new theme that aspires to be competitive in the Moodleverse. Responsive design, social media icons, and compatibility with Right-To-Left (RTL) languages are only some examples of Essential’s top features.
“Campus” 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168
A sibling of the Essential theme, “Campus” offers fast and powerful customization choices without having to access the code. One of its most unique features is its optimization with MNET authentication, which allows connection and sharing of users and resources between other Moodle or Mahara sites or MNET hubs securely. It also comes with “full-screen view” for as little distractions as possible. Other than that, Campus is recognized by, in words of their creators, its “elegance” in the way it incorporates external features, including icons and fonts.
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