Here is an excerpt from a recent write up from the Campus Technology website written by Professor of Instructional Technology Scott Fredrickson and Associate Professor of Educational Administration Patricia Hoehner, both of the University of Nebraska at Kearney:
Certain fundamental design principles must be considered and included in an online course to create an effective class with readable, on-screen content. Used wisely, they can be effective tools to help students comprehend the material, which is the primary purpose of any good teaching. Below are techniques and strategies for addressing eight areas of concern when creating text for online resources.
Reading text on a computer monitor is not the same as reading text in a book or on paper. Although many faculty are now delivering instruction using course management systems (CMS), Web pages, or other Web delivery methods, most faculty are not using strategies and techniques that effectively assist their students read on-screen text and comprehend it. Typefaces, information placement, using colors, margins, and font size all determine how much content students will read, perceive, and internalize.
As we are preparing our students for success in higher education and the workplace, reading computer based text becomes an integral life skill. The i-Pathways project encompasses reading complex text and applies all of these best practices that have been listed in the research based article.