Mar 14, 2013

Do your students look at what you post?

Some of us like to pack as much information as we can into our online, hybrid and supplemental courses-but is anyone looking at it? I know I often fall into this category, but I do try to use a number of the tips suggested in this article titled 8 Considerations for Online Text

Here's a summary of the tips:
  1. Use white space.
    • Use bulleted or numbered lists or 
    • Use block quotes or 
    • Add extra blank paragraphs around key points you want to emphasize 

  2. Limit text on a single page. Try to avoid "scrolling to death" your students.This is one tip that I need to work on. Break up your text into multiple sub-pages, instead of jamming as much text as you can on one long web page. According to the article authors Scott Fredrickson and Patricia Hoehner:

    "It is our firm belief that one should never create an on-screen document in which the reader has to scroll down or across a screen."

    Tips 3-8 are continued...click on the "Read more" link below

  3. Left-justify your body text.
    • You can center or right-justify your headings and sub-headings
    • But always left-justify your body text
  4. Use the right type and size font.
    • Use a sans serif font for body text, such as: Arial or Verdana
    • For headings and labels, use a a serif font, such as: Times Roman
    • A font size of 12px (px=pixels) is just right for online reading
    • Note: Students can override the text font and text size on their web browsers
  5. Use mixed case characters.
    • Only use upper case letters for short headings or sub-headings. 
    • Tip: Instead, use the built-in headings provided with Sakai.
  6. Limit your use of bold and italics. Some of us get a little too excited about using bold and italic highlighting, which can be distracting. Tip: Only hypertext links should be underlined, otherwise, people will assume your underlined text is a link.
  7. Use colors that contrast.  Do use a dark text color on a light background.
  8. Place your important text on the left part of your screen. Be consistent with your placement of important announcements and links. Tip: Use the Site Info-Update Information tool to update the top of your Home page.
Need more tips about effective design and tools available? Check out the following links:

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