MoodleBites for Theme Designers

Updated for 2014 - covers Moodle 2.2 to Moodle 2.6 !

(This course will cover Themes for Moodle 2.7 from January 2015)

MoodleBites for Theme Designers

Important note 1: You must have a local Moodle testing site to undertake this course (or have Administrator access to your Moodle site). The first week of this course does include help on how to install a local testing site on your own PC or laptop (Windows, Mac OSX, and Ubuntu linux).

Important note 2: You must be able to work with Firefox. Other browsers such as Internet Explorer and Safari do not have the range of add-in extensions (plugin tools) that we will be using in this course.

The MoodleBites for Theme Designers is 8 weeks in duration and is perfect for teachers and course creators who know the basics of Moodle, enjoy graphic design and web design, and wish to adapt and develop customised Moodle 2.0 Themes. Each week contains approximately 2-3 hours work, although this varies greatly depending on your experience with Moodle and Themes, and how much extension work you wish to complete smile

Designed for existing Moodle users and web designers using Moodle 2.x.
This course includes HTML, CSS, and PHP coding examples and tasks.
This course is NOT suitable for new Moodle users.
If you are new to Moodle, or in your first year of using it, please refer to the MoodleBites for Teachers course here, or the MoodleBites for Course Designers (advanced) course here.

  • Lead facilitator for MoodleBites for Theme Designers is Teresa Gibbison (Senior e-learning consultant and Theme developer with HRDNZ (Moodle Partner), and co-facilitated by at least one other MCCC and experienced international Moodler


The fee for MoodleBites for Theme Designers is NZ$399+GST per person.
If you book two people at the same time we discount BOTH to a special rate of NZ$349+GST (save $100!)
Places are limited
- so book early!

You can register for this course using the "Register Now" link on the Front Page.

The MoodleBites for Theme Designers course runs just 3 times each year starting on the following dates;

  • 1st February
  • 1st June
  • 1st October

Each course includes:

  • HD (high-definition) multimedia flash tutorials
  • Activiely supported discussion Forums
  • Practical coding examples
  • FAQ's and glossaries
  • Individual practice exercises
  • Optional group activities
  • Tips and tricks
  • Selected relevant links
  • Recommended free and open source software
  • Quizzes and self-test questions
  • Selected articles relating to CSS web design
  • Recommended further readin
  • Automated "Certification of Completion" from HRDNZ (Moodle Partner)
  • Automated Open Badge on completion
    MoodleBites for Theme Designers badge

MoodleBites for Theme Designers is unique for a number of reasons:

  1. It has a focus on creating accessible professional Moodle Themes.
  2. The course development team is international and MoodleBites for Theme Designers has been written to be accessible for speakers of English as a second or other language.
  3. Designed to run well even over slow internet connections and on older computers.

Course content outline

  • Week 1, Customising standard Moodle Themes
    You must have a local Moodle (test) site and be able to use Firefox for this course. Moodle 2.0 introduced a new Theme engine, and a collection of new Themes. Some of these Themes can be customised quite quickly and produce an appropriate and workable Theme with a minimum of fuss, and requires few technical skills. This first course looks at how to get the best out of standard Moodle Themes.
  • Week 2, Introduction to CSS and how Themes work
    Moodle Themes are created using cascading style sheets (CSS). To effectively customise Themes it is invaluable to understand how these work, and how to change them. This course introduces the basics of working with CSS.
  • Week 3, Creating your first Theme
    This course looks at how to develop a new Theme using CSS, and builds on the work in the previous course.
  • Week 4, Fonts, sizes, colours and backgrounds
    This course considers some of the main elements of Themes including fonts, font sizes, colours and backgrounds. The content works through the mechanics of controlling these elements within a Theme, and also the design and accessibility dynamics such as readability, cross-browser compatibility, and web design best-practice.
  • Week 5, Layouts
    All Moodle Themes are required to define the layouts they wish to be responsible for as well as create, and many layout files are required by those layouts. This week will explore the different layout possibilities and approaches.
  • Week 6, Styling and customising the dock
    The Dock is a new feature in Moodle 2.0 Themes, and it's styling is considered a separate element. This course investigates how to style the dock to fit with your wider Theme.
  • Week 7, Images and 'Pix'
    Every Moodle Theme uses icons that can be individually or wholly changed to suit the overall Theme design. This course gives you the knowledge to be able to fine-tune your Theme by replacing and editing the icon scheme used within a Theme, adding a favicon, etc.

  • Week 8, Further tools, techniques, and the settings page
    By this final week you will have a working understanding of Theme design in Moodle 2.0 so this course will introduce some more advanced ideas (such as adding a Theme settings page), point you to further resources to help you continue your learning, and consider the impact of using non-standard modules.

* This outline is subject to change as Moodle changes and we update the content.

Last modified: Friday, 4 July 2014, 10:24 AM