Teacher Tap

Text Elements

There are pros and cons of building text elements into your courses:

Apply the following suggestions to the text elements of your course content:

Chunk Content

Present small amounts of information at a time. Think about logical ways to present these chunks. People can generally handle 5-7 pieces of information at a time.

Examples from Shaping Outcomes

Headings and Subheadings

As you begin building pages, look for natural breaks in content. Use headings and subheadings within the text to separate these areas.

Charts, Tables, Matrix, Lists

Rather than paragraphs of information, look for ways to incorporate bullets or numeric lists. Another efficient way to present text information is in the form of charts, tables, and matrix. This approach works well with categories of information.

Examples from Shaping Outcomes


Although students may be able to read at the high school or college level, consider writing at a lower reading level. Complicated sentence structure, unfamiliar vocabulary, and dense text can be tiring and frustrating for students.


Keep in mind that the end user controls how some fonts appear on the screen depending on their web browser.

Online Readings

Consider the use of web links for course materials. However keep in mind that you don't control the quality of remote materials.

Explore some examples of online resources

Word Processing

Keep in mind that not everyone uses the same word processor or the same version.


If you have documents such as forms, brochures, or other materials that contain lots of formatting, consider saving them as a PDF file. Users can then open these files with Adobe Reader. Many software packages allow using the open to “save as a PDF” file.

Web Pages or PDF

While some instructors prefer to develop materials as web pages, others prefer PDF. Both allow web links. Explore some examples of PDF.

Learn more about Texts from High Tech Learning.

Explore content area links at Content-Rich Websites from Teacher Tap.

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