Improving course content using responsive Moodle themes

For many students today, their smartphone or tablet is their primary Internet device, rather than a PC or laptop. It’s natural to expect that when it comes to using a VLE, these devices will be their first choice – so it’s crucial to ensure your platform works well, however it’s accessed.

The key to this is how your Moodle theme is designed, more specifically, making sure it’s “responsive”. Responsive design is a term used to describe a website (or VLE) which will automatically change the way it looks according to the limitations of the device it is accessed from.

Elements on the page may be re-positioned, re-sized or hidden to ensure that the user is able to view the information they need without having to zoom in and out or scroll around a page too large for their device.

Now for the technical bit…

In Moodle, responsive themes are usually based on a framework called Bootstrap – which uses HTML, JavaScript and CSS to create responsive pages. Since Moodle 2.7, Bootstrap themes have been the default. To make everything work smoothly though, you’ll need to bear responsiveness in mind when creating your courses, so they work in the same way as the Moodle which contains them.

Here’s a few tips on how to ensure your course content is responsive:

  • You can use your responsive Moodle theme to add responsive design elements and Bootstrap components to your Moodle courses.
  • Essentially, you would do this by adding HTML snippets using the label resource which will render the desired component such as tabbed content.
  • You can also utilise the Bootstrap grid layout which allows you to create columns within your course content.
  • This means that your course content will render nicely across a wide range of devices and improve usability.

Click here to view the various Bootstrap components which you can utilise within your courses providing your Moodle theme is based on the Bootstrap 3 framework.

Click here to learn more about responsive web design.

If you’d like to find out more about responsive Moodle themes or would like to be shown how they work then please feel free to give us a call us on +44 (0) 1133 200 346 or email

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