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Moodle Themes: Why It's Good to Use a Theme

Published Wed Jan 02 2019


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Design is a crucial element of a learner's experience. A great design will help a learner stay engaged with the content and easily navigate an e-learning site to take advantage of all the features it has to offer. If you use Moodle to deliver your content, installing a theme is the easiest way to provide a consistent experience across your e-learning site.

What Is a Moodle Theme and Why Should You Use One?

A Moodle theme is made up of two things: a CSS file and some images for your graphics. CSS, or Cascading Style Sheet, is a programming language used to define the layout and appearance of HTML pages.

Instead of creating a CSS document from scratch, Moodle gives you the option to review existing CSS and graphics combinations to find a theme you can install on your e-learning website. It is possible to make some modifications to an existing CSS document or to replace the images included in a theme to customize the result.

There are several benefits to using Moodle themes:

  • Achieve a consistent look and experience across your e-learning site.

  • Easily change the appearance of your site by uploading new images or replacing the CSS document.

  • Create a responsive and mobile-friendly layout while delivering a consistent look and feel across several platforms.

  • Reduce loading time by eliminating the need to define layout and appearance in your HTML content.

  • Apply your branding strategy by adjusting color schemes or applying new graphics to an existing theme.

  • Access a wide range of designs optimized for easy navigation, positive learner experience, and engagement, without dedicating time and resources to designing an e-learning website from scratch.

You can get started by visiting the Theme settings page of your Moodle dashboard. Explore available themes, select one that is adapted to your needs, and make modifications if needed before applying it to your Moodle site.

What Makes a Great Moodle Theme?

You should apply instructional design principles and best practices to select the most effective Moodle theme for your digital training program. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a theme:

1. Navigation

Identify common user journeys on your digital learning platform, such as how they discover new course content or tracking their progress. Determine how easy it is to achieve these goals once a theme is installed. Does the design help users find important navigational elements or does it get in the way? Learners will be more likely to engage with learning content on a regular basis, play an active part in tracking their progress, and even seek additional learning modules if navigation is seamless and helps them discover all the features of your online training program.

2. Colors and Design

The Moodle theme you choose should be functional. Look for minimalist color patterns and prioritize the use of contrast and blank space to draw attention to learning content or important navigation elements. A minimalist design will create a more immersive experience for learners and help engage the visual learning process.

3. Course Objectives

Course objectives should stand out when learners explore new learning content or engage with a new course. The theme you apply to your Moodle site should make course objectives easy to find. Course objectives help learners engage with training modules in a more productive manner because they have a clear goal in mind.

4. Mobile-Friendly

Using Moodle-responsive themes allows you to deliver learning content that adapts to different devices and screen sizes. Delivering mobile-friendly content means users are more likely to engage with your training program wherever and whenever they have a few minutes of free time. This approach can result in repeated engagement, encourage learners to seek more content, and help with motivation since sessions can remain short.

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