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Moodle Boost child theme which is intended to meet the needs of university campuses and adds several features and improvements
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db Adding 'both' option for 'Switch to role…' menu fixes. Jan 23, 2019
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Moodle Boost child theme which is intended to meet the needs of university campuses and adds several features and improvements


This plugin requires Moodle 3.6+

Motivation for this theme

Moodle installations on university campuses have certain constraints which are not completely covered by the Boost theme in Moodle core. We implemented this Boost child theme to accommodate these needs as much as possible while keeping the functionality from Boost from Moodle core as much as possible as well.


Install the plugin like any other theme to folder /theme/boost_campus

See for details on installing Moodle plugins

Usage & Settings

After installing the theme, it does not do anything to Moodle yet.

To configure the theme and its behaviour, please visit: Site administration -> Appearance -> Themes -> Boost Campus.

There, you find multiple settings tabs:

1. Tab "General Settings"

In this tab there are the following settings:

Theme presets

Theme preset

This setting is already available in the Moodle core theme Boost. For more information how to use it, please have a look at the official Moodle documentation:

Additional theme preset files

This setting is already available in the Moodle core theme Boost. For more information how to use it, please have a look at the official Moodle documentation:

Background image

This setting is already available in the Moodle core theme Boost. For more information how to use it, please have a look at the official Moodle documentation: Please note: This will not override the setting "theme_boost_campus | loginbackgroundimage" which means that the pictures uploaded to the login page background will be displayed anyway.

Brand colors

Brand color

This setting is already available in the Moodle core theme Boost. For more information how to use it, please have a look at the official Moodle documentation:

Brand success color

This color is used for example in regards to form valiations.

Brand info color

This color is used for example for availabiity information of course activities or resources.

Brand warning color

This color is used for example for warning texts.

Brand danger color

This color is used for example in regards to form valiations.


This setting allows you to upload an image (.ico or .png format) that your browser will display as a favicon.

2. Tab "Advanced Settings"

In this tab there are the following settings:

Raw initial SCSS

This setting is already available in the Moodle core theme Boost. For more information how to use it, please have a look at the official Moodle documentation:


This setting is already available in the Moodle core theme Boost. For more information how to use it, please have a look at the official Moodle documentation:

Catch keyboard commands

The following settings are intended to serve the needs for advanced users, especially if your Moodle instance has a large footer. Advanced users are likely to use keyboard shortcuts to navigate through the sites. They may use this for reaching the end of the page in the intention to get fast to the most recent topic in the course (for adding content or grading latest activities). If the footer is not quite small, they would need to scroll up again. With these settings you can enable that the following shortcuts are caught and would only scroll to the bottom of the main course content.

End key

This setting will catch the "End" key (should work on all main browsers and operating systems), prevent the default scrolling to the bottom of the web page and changes the behavior to scroll only to the bottom of the main course content.

Cmd + Arrow down shortcut

This setting will catch the "Cmd + Arrow down" shortcut (MAC), prevent the default scrolling to the bottom of the web page and changes the behavior to scroll only to the bottom of the main course content.

Ctrl + Arrow down shortcut

This setting will catch the "Ctrl + Arrow down" shortcut (Windows), prevent the default scrolling to the bottom of the web page and changes the behavior to scroll only to the bottom of the main course content.

Position of "Add a block" widget

With this setting you can manage where the "Add a block" widget should be displayed. "At the bottom of the nav drawer" means the widget to add new blocks is displayed in the left sliding navigation panel like in theme Boost. "At the bottom of the default block region" means the widget to add new blocks will be displayed in the default block region.

3. Tab "Course Layout Settings"

Section 0: Title

This setting can change the behaviour Moodle displays the title for the first course section. Moodle does not display it as long as the default title for this section is set. As soon as a user changes the title, it will appear. With this setting (option is checked), you can achieve a consistent behaviour by always showing the title for section 0.

Course edit button

With this setting you can add an additional course edit on / off button to the course header for faster accessibility. This the same way as it was displayed before theme_boost.

Course related hints

Position of switch role information

With this setting you can choose the place where the information to which role a user has switched is being displayed. If set to 'Just in the user menu' (default value), the role information will be displayed right beneath the user's name in the user menu (like in theme Boost). If set to 'Just in the course settings', this information - together with a link to switch back - will be displayed beneath the course, as this functionality is course related. If set to 'Both in the user menu and in the course settings' it will be shown in both places.

Show hint in hidden courses

With this setting a hint will appear in the course header as long as the visibility of the course is hidden. This helps to identify the visibility state of a course at a glance without the need for looking at the course settings.

Show hint guest for access

With this setting a hint will appear in the course header when a user is accessing it with the guest access feature. If the course provides an active self enrolment, a link to that page is also presented to the user.

Course settings

In course settings menu

With this setting you can change the displaying of the context menus. In Boost, there is a popup context menu right next to the cog icon. By enabling this setting the settings will occur directly beneath the course header. The settings are arranged in tabs, so it is easier for the user to get to the desired setting instead of scanning a long list of menu items. With this setting we also hide the settings icon on the participants page as the entries on this page are duplicated with the in-course course menu and therefore not necessary.

Please note that this change does not affect users who have switched off javascript in their browsers - they will still get the behaviour from Moodle core with a popup course context menu.

Move "Switch role to..." to the course settings

With this setting you can move the "Switch role to..." link as a new tab from the user menu to the in-course course menu. The role switching is a feature which is used in course context and thus it is better to place it in the course settings menu than in the user menu. Please note that this setting won't have any effect if you do not activate the "In course settings menu" above.

4. Tab "Footer Layout Settings"

Footer blocks

You can chose if you want to enable the possibility to place blocks into the footer. If enabled, you can choose between one, two or three block columns. These columns are only displayed on large screens. On small screens the columns will be automatically reduced to one column for better readability and layout.

Default footer links

Moodle provides some default links in the footer: Link to the Moodle docs, login information, a link to the webpage start and a link to reset the user tour for the current page. With these three settings you can decide if you want to hide specific links because you think that your users won't need them in your instance. If checked, the link will not be displayed in the footer. If not checked (default), it will be shown.

Hiding the footer

Hiding the footer on the login page

By enabling this setting you can hide the footer on the login page. Please note, that this will only hide the footer section, not the footnote section.

5. Tab "Additional Layout Settings"

Image area

Image area items

With this widget you can upload your images that will be displayed in the additional image area region. The images will be sorted and displayed alphabetically by the filename. To remove this region, simply delete all uploaded images.

Image area item links

With this optional setting you can add links to your uploaded images. Each line consists of the file identifier (the file name) the a link URL, separated by pipe characters. Each link declaration needs to be written in a new line. For example: moodle.jpg| You can declare links for a abitrary amount of your uploaded images. The links will be added only to those images that match their filename with the identifier declared in this setting.

Image area items maximal height

With this setting you can change the height in pixels for your uploaded images. All images will have the same maximum height and their width will be resized proportionally. The default value is set to 100 pixels.


Whatever you add to this textarea will be displayed beneath the footer on every page that renders the theme standard footer (for layouts "columns2", "login" and "maintenance"). Content in this area could be for example the copyright, the terms of use and the name of your organisation.

Nav drawer menu

Default homepage on top

By checking this setting the default homepage link (Dashboard or Site home) will always be located at the top of the nav drawer. By default, this is already the case on every Moodle page except for course pages. There, the current course and its contents are placed on top. This might break user's expectations for the placement of the default homepage link.

Nav drawer width on small screens

By checking this setting you can enlarge the opened nav drawer menu to the full page width on small screens. This may be wanted because on small screens only very few of the main content area in the background is visible. And a full width menu might serve the users' expectations how menus are displayed on small screens.

6. Tab "Design Settings"

Login Page

Login page background images

In this setting you can add up to 25 files as a background image for the login page. One of these images will be picked randomly and delivered when the user visits the login page.

Please note: These images will not be rendered on small screens. We prevent the loading of the images for several reasons:

  • The login field takes most of the space on small screens, so the background image is hidden behind it and therefore it is not really needed there.
  • Smalls screens indicate that the user is visiting the page with a mobile device. Not loading the background image in this cases will also save data traffic for the user.
Login form

With this setting you can optimize the login form to fit to a greater variety background images (if checked). This means that the login form will be moved to the left of the login page, will get smaller in width and will get a background that let the background image shine through. The login form will be placed on the left because many images have their main content rather in the center and so we keep this content visible. Note: You can also activate this setting if no background images are uploaded, of course.


Font files

With this dialogue you can upload own font files. The upload is resricted to the font files of type .eot, .woff, .woff2, .ttf and .svg.

Important: To be able to use the uploaded fonts within this theme, you have to add related code to your "Raw SCSS" area in the tab "Advanced Settings"! First you have to add all font-faces correctly and then you can set the font as font-family to any tag. Set it for the body tag to use it all over the instance. With the following expamle you can see how the SCSS code should look like. Of course you have to adapt it for your individual font and the number and type of uploaded files.

/* your-font-regular - latin */
@font-face {
        font-family: "Your Font";
        font-style: normal;
        font-weight: 400;
        /* IE9 Compat Modes */
        src: url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-regular.eot");
        src: local("Your Font"), local("YourFont-Regular"),
               /* IE6-IE8 */
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-regular.eot?#iefix") format("embedded-opentype"),
                /* Super Modern Browsers */
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-regular.woff2") format("woff2"),
                /* Modern Browsers */
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-regular.woff") format("woff"),
                /* Safari, Android, iOS */
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-regular.ttf") format("truetype"),
                /* Legacy iOS */
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-regular.svg#YourFont") format("svg");
/* your-font-italic - latin */
@font-face {
        font-family: "Your Font";
        font-style: italic;
        font-weight: 400;
        src: url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-italic.eot");
        src: local("Your Font Italic"), local("YourFont-Italic"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-italic.eot?#iefix") format("embedded-opentype"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-italic.woff2") format("woff2"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-italic.woff") format("woff"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-italic.ttf") format("truetype"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-italic.svg#YourFont") format("svg");
/* your-font-700 - latin */
@font-face {
        font-family: "Your Font";
        font-style: normal;
        font-weight: 700;
        src: url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700.eot");
        src: local("Your Font Bold"), local("YourFont-Bold"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700.eot?#iefix") format("embedded-opentype"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700.woff2") format("woff2"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700.woff") format("woff"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700.ttf") format("truetype"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700.svg#YourFont") format("svg");
/* your-font-700italic - latin */
@font-face {
        font-family: "Your Font";
        font-style: italic;
        font-weight: 700;
        src: url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700italic.eot");
        src: local("Your Font Bold Italic"), local("YourFont-BoldItalic"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700-italic.eot?#iefix") format("embedded-opentype"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700-italic.woff2") format("woff2"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700-italic.woff") format("woff"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700-italic.ttf") format("truetype"),
                url("/pluginfile.php/1/theme_boost_campus/fontfiles/0/your-font-latin-700-italic.svg#YourFont") format("svg");

body {
        font-family: "Your Font";

Please note: The code itself and the URLs have to fit exactly to your uploaded files, unless the fonts cannot be loaded! As the font files will be delivered with an expires header to the client but currently without a timestamp in the URL, emptying the Moodle cache unfortunately will not force a reload of the font files on the client side.


Block icon

With this setting you can add a default Font Awesome icon in front of the block title. If checked, we additionally provide individual icon replacements for many Moodle core blocks and also some widely used blocks. You also can change the icons easily for each block individually in your raw SCSS via the change of the Font Awesome content. For all available icons please visit and use the Unicode value of the icon to replace the default one. The code to change the icon looks like this example change for the block "People": .block_people .card-block .card-title::before { content: '\f0c0' ; }.


Dark navbar

By enabling this setting you can invert the default light navbar to a dark one with white links.

Help texts

Show help texts in a modal dialogue

The default solution to display help texts in popover leads to different issues. For example popovers are not scrollable and they can reach over the viewport. For this reason, with this setting you can decide that the help texts should be displayed in a dedicated text box (modal dialogue) that appears in the middle of the page with enough space to hold even long helping texts.


Change breakpoint

In theme Boost, the right block column will break down even on devices with a width up to 1200 pixels (widescreen resolution of the iPad is 1024 pixels, for example). This is because the breakpoint is set to media-breakpoint-down(lg).

If you think there is enough space to show the content plus the blocks column side by side on a screen width of 992 pixels and up, then enable this setting. It will change the breakpoint to media-breakpoint-down(md). This will break the blocks column only on screens with widths of less than 992 pixels.

Further improvements to Boost core theme

Apart from the features which can be configured in the theme's settings, we have added some more improvements which are simply there without any settings:

Flat navigation (nav-drawer) menu

We improved the code of the new flatnavigation nay-drawer menu items to be uniformly. Furthermore, we made slight improvements to the design by deleting borders to those nodes that are children of a parent node. So logical groups should be better recognisable.

Course settings icon

The course settings icon will now be displayed on all sites that renders the course header. This improves the accessibility to those settings as there is not a onmipresent block anymore.

Back to top button

We added a back to top button that appears in the right bottom corner when the user scrolls down the page. With a click on it the page scrolls back to top smoothly and the button will disappear again.


  • Added Font Awesome icons to mailto and broken links. Furthermore, colored broken link in red for fast recognizability.
  • Added a Video JS skin that fits to the brand color and moves the player button back to the center.

Course Design:

  • Used the brand color as border color.
  • Improved highlighting of a highlighted section.
  • Improved recognisability of hidden activities by gray scaling the icon.
  • Improved paddings and margins for better alignment and better delineation of sections.
  • Designed description and intro boxes.
  • Designed blockquotes.
  • Improved design of maintenance warning to be more visible.

Categories overview page

Improved font sizes and weights on category overview page for better readability.

User profile page

  • Replaced the the user settings icon with a button to edit the profile. The menu items shown in this setting are not related to the user profile in the closer sense, they are related to the user's system preferences. So we decided to replace this with the only profile related function. Furthermore, the user preferences can be accessed any time over the user's menu in the fixed to top navigation bar.


  • Reduced paddings on small screens (max. 768px) to be able to show a little bit more content and less whitespace.
  • Removed unnecessary double border and padding around blocks in main column on Dashboard.

How this theme works

This Boost child theme is implemented with minimal code duplication in mind. It inherits / requires as much code as possible from theme_boost and only implements the extended or modified functionalities.

Plugin repositories

This plugin is published and regularly updated in the Moodle plugins repository:

The latest development version can be found on Github:

Bug and problem reports / Support requests

This plugin is carefully developed and thoroughly tested, but bugs and problems can always appear.

Please report bugs and problems on Github:

We will do our best to solve your problems, but please note that due to limited resources we can't always provide per-case support.

Feature proposals

Due to limited resources, the functionality of this plugin is primarily implemented for our own local needs and published as-is to the community. We are aware that members of the community will have other needs and would love to see them solved by this plugin.

Please issue feature proposals on Github:

Please create pull requests on Github:

We are always interested to read about your feature proposals or even get a pull request from you, but please accept that we can handle your issues only as feature proposals and not as feature requests.

Moodle release support

Due to limited resources, this plugin is only maintained for the most recent major release of Moodle. However, previous versions of this plugin which work in legacy major releases of Moodle are still available as-is without any further updates in the Moodle Plugins repository.

There may be several weeks after a new major release of Moodle has been published until we can do a compatibility check and fix problems if necessary. If you encounter problems with a new major release of Moodle - or can confirm that this plugin still works with a new major relase - please let us know on Github.

If you are running a legacy version of Moodle, but want or need to run the latest version of this plugin, you can get the latest version of the plugin, remove the line starting with $plugin->requires from version.php and use this latest plugin version then on your legacy Moodle. However, please note that you will run this setup completely at your own risk. We can't support this approach in any way and there is a undeniable risk for erratic behavior.

Translating this plugin

This Moodle plugin is shipped with an english language pack only. All translations into other languages must be managed through AMOS ( by what they will become part of Moodle's official language pack.

As the plugin creator, we manage the translation into german for our own local needs on AMOS. Please contribute your translation into all other languages in AMOS where they will be reviewed by the official language pack maintainers for Moodle.

Right-to-left support

This plugin has not been tested with Moodle's support for right-to-left (RTL) languages. If you want to use this plugin with a RTL language and it doesn't work as-is, you are free to send us a pull request on Github with modifications.

PHP7 Support

Since Moodle 3.4 core, PHP7 is mandatory. We are developing and testing this plugin for PHP7 only.


Ulm University kiz - Media Department Team Web & Teaching Support Kathrin Osswald

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