The Boost theme is a core Moodle theme introduced several years ago as the successor to the Classic core theme. Boost sports much more modern navigation, layout, and usability based on established best-practices and accessibility characteristic of modern web sites. This guide was created to help with the transition from the Classic theme which has been around so long that the major improvements and advances brought by the Boost theme may not seem immediately intuitive.

Basic page layout and regions

Below is a screenshot of a typical course home page. This shows the main regions that make up the Boost theme layout and orientation.

  1. Quick navigation slide-out drawer toggle button - this button toggles the visibility of the quick navigation drawer. This button is always found in the top branding bar across the entire site.
  2. Quick navigation drawer - this quick nav is available site-wide across all pages. It is contextually aware navigation - meaning that it displays primary/common navigation based on the current area of the site.
  3. Course/Area title region - contains the course/page title and breadcrumb navigation
  4. Main page content  - this is the main content region where primary content is displayed, for example: in a course, this it the course timeline containing all the activities, links, labels, etc.
  5. Sidebar  - the one and only sidebar region in the Boost theme is on the right side of the screen (or bottom if on mobile view). All sidebar blocks will show here. 

Region details

Main page content and "Back to top" button

The main page content region is certainly the most obvious region, and perhaps not worth mentioning except for a really useful feature that is also a crucial accessibility feature. That feature is the Back to top button (indicated by a button with a dark up arrow) which appears as you begin scrolling down a page with a lot of content on it. It provides a quick way to jump directly back to the top of the page as opposed to scrolling all the way back up.

Quick navigation drawer

The slide-out quick navigation drawer, always appearing on the left side of the page (or revealing from the top on mobile view when you tap the toggle button (1) is a contextually-aware menu that displays common/primary menu items depending where you are on the site. On the desktop view, the quick nav drawer can be hidden/shown by clicking the toggle button (1) so it can get out of the way when you want extra room/white-space to reduce visual distractions, especially on content-heavy pages.

The screenshot of the quick nav drawer is taken within the context of a course page, as this is the most common page-type and remains consistent within any part of a Moodle course.

  1. Quick navigation slide-out drawer toggle button - toggles the visibility of the quick navigation drawer.
  2. Common/Important course links - a distinct grouping of menu items dedicated to most common/important course links that will always be displayed at the top of the quick nav in the course context. The links that show are sometimes dependent on your role in the course and are (top to bottom): course home page, participants, badges, competencies, grades.
  3. Common/Important site/user links - a distinct grouping of menu items dedicated to most common/important site-wide/user quick links. This section is streamlined to provide quick access to most common site/user links and recent current courses. The links include: Home (site home page - which will be the dashboard), Dashboard (user dashboard - main landing page and comprehensive primary site/course navigation and aggregated overall view of all courses, upcoming activities, etc.), and My courses (quick reference of active, current courses ONLY).

    IMPORTANT NOTE: In the Classic theme, the left sidebar navigation was treated as comprehensive primary navigation and would display all courses you were enrolled in regardless of being active, current, or otherwise. This is poor navigation practice across the web, and often resulted in unnecessary confusion, especially when the number of courses an individual may be enrolled in is more than 10 to 15 courses. The My courses items in the Boost theme's quick nav drawer is truly a modern "quick navigation" that will only display current and active courses you are enrolled in. It is not intended to be comprehensive as this is the purpose Dashboard and User profile pages.

Course/Area/Page title region and settings (gear) menu

This region contains the course/area/page title as well as breadcrumb navigation to help you keep your bearings as you dive deeper into a course/activity. If you are enrolled in a course with an instructor-level role, you will also see a gear icon (indicating the main course settings menu) and the familiar Turn editing on button. 

NOTE: The gear icon is a consistent cue found throughout the site within the Boost theme. The gear icon always indicates a contextual settings menu. For example, on the course home page, the gear icon will reveal the course-level settings menu. Similarly, within a given course activity, the same gear icon will reveal the activity-level settings menu.

The screenshot below shows what the course-level settings menu looks like (again this is from the course home page context). If you are used to the Classic theme, you may notice that the settings menu is not comprehensive and has a More link, which will take you to a comprehensive, yet clean list of course setting options.

Below is the main course administration page, accessible by clicking the More link from the course-level settings menu.

Questions and additional information

How to use the new dashboard in Course Site

How to edit your course using new gear icon

If you have questions or need more information, please feel free to contact the Instructional Technology team by submitted a ticket at

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