Themes in Moodle are plugins that help you to create a different look and feel for your Moodle courses. These themes act as custom “skins" which help you to make your courses stand out from the rest. With your personalized themes, you will enjoy functionality and elevated performance along with a very unique design for your own “brand" of courses.
This tutorial offers you a step-by-step guide to building your own customized themes on top of the existing Moodle plugins.
This comprehensive video tutorial will introduce you to the process of selecting the Moodle themes that best suit your requirements and then further customizing them to your design needs. You will learn to identify the elements that will make your Moodle course better, followed by ways to achieve superior functionality.
You will learn how themes can help you build an exclusive look for your courses and create a positive user experience for your viewers. You will go through a quick tour of pre-installed themes in Moodle, and then learn how to customize the appearance of elements of any theme that you select. If you are working with a Moodle administrator, you'll learn how to download and install new themes, and to modify their appearance quickly and easily using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). A quick drive through this course and you will be on the road to developing a strong brand identity for all your Moodle courses and programs.
About the Author
Susan Smith Nash, who has been involved in the design, development, and administration of e-Learning programs and courses since earning her Ph.D. in the late 1990s, has developed and administered online courses on many platforms, using many different learning management systems. She is responsible for developing degree and certificate programs delivered in online and hybrid formats and has worked on implementing e-Learning in universities, corporations, and associations.
The author of the award-winning e-Learning blog E-Learning Queen and several books on e-Learning, Susan Smith Nash has focused on developing courses that optimize user experience and enhance performance, outcomes, and course persistence/completion.
Her portfolio of publications includes peer-reviewed articles and books, including the following:
Make sure that users are aware of the latest version and where to go for help.
Update knowledge on icons in Moodle that have changed significantly since Version 1.9 (which is still in use).
Create a course, determine its structure, and then select the correct elements for the course in order to achieve learning objectives.
Cut down on boring, cookie-cutter courses, and develop brand image using themes.
Avoid bland or unengaging design for your course and help differentiate them from others, improve the functionality and enhance learner success, and create business opportunities via themes.
Change a theme quickly and easily.
Find themes that work with prompt-based and calendar-based discussion and collaborative activities.
Find a theme that looks updated and not like a Moodle theme
Find themes that work with tablets and smartphones.
Avoid confusion with calendar events.
Avoid getting confused between discussion threads and lost posts.
Avoid placing materials in confusing, hard-to-access, hard-to-remember locations.
Avoid the confusing, cookie-cutter Quiz appearance.
Avoid restrictive, boring assignments; allow the learner to add more items.
Make it easy to find URLs to resources and to organize.
Avoid look-alike icons that do not differentiate content/resources and give each content item its own unique icon.
Avoid unengaging, hard-to-navigate forest of links.
Avoid embedded videos that are too large or small. Include captions.
Eliminate confusion about map locations by incorporating a graphic that automatically updates and provides images.
Modify the core, forms, header, footer, and course, by modifying the CSS definition.
Avoid having to modify the HTML code for every occurrence of a color.
Save time by using a WYSIWYG editor that makes creating/editing CSS intuitive.
Make choices that will not backfire or cause unexpected problems.
Download contributed themes/avoid problems.
Avoid templates that limit you and do not offer the flexibility you need.
Avoid themes that do not easily link instructional material with knowledge-assessing quiz.
Avoid themes that do not flow with all devices or that do not allow one to easily take quizzes on their mobile devices.
Select a base theme that expands easily to incorporate the embedded HTML code and social media.
Use themes that are responsive and allow easy incorporation of social media, along with certificates/badges.
Cut down on lag time and create an automated process that has a customized appearance.
Avoid generic appearance. Create and reinforce the unique brand strategy and achieve product differentiation.
Eliminate bland certificates. Incorporate watermarks, seals, and graphics to create a unique product.
Avoid losing clients to the lowest bidder; encourage them to stay loyal to you and your courses.
Avoid user boredom and burnout; maintain motivation to continue to learn and earn.
Create a badge that learners will want to display on their websites and blogs and insert in their e-mail signature blocks.
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