Changing Moodle themes

Posted on February 20th, 2011 by

During our recent Moodle Users Group session, we discussed changing the appearance of Moodle from the default theme to one of Moodle’s other themes. Changing the theme will alter the color scheme and fonts. Compare the Gustavus default theme…

…to the “formal white” theme.

In addition, themes also affect the styling of the page, and these small styling changes can make big usability differences. For example, in the default theme, a hidden resource is indicated by a closed eye to the right of the resource name. This indicator is difficult to notice when you are qucikly scanning your course resources.

When using the “formal white” theme, a hidden resource has the closed eye, but the resource name is also grayed out, making it easier to quickly see what resources are hidden.

There are two ways to change themes in Moodle. If you want to only change the theme for one of your courses, and you want to force your students to see the class page with same theme that you use, then go to the Administration block, choose “Settings” and then change the theme from the “Force theme” drop-down list.

If you want all of your Moodle course sites to use the same theme (as well as the Moodle home page) but don’t want to dictate what theme your students use, then from the Administration block of a course page, choose “Profile” and then “Edit Profile.” Change the theme from the drop-down list under “Preferred theme.”

If you notice other helpful styling differences between themes, let us know in the comments.


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