When we talk about good Web layout, and student usability of courses, one of the main factors is the readability of the textual content that they are expected to learn and/or interact with. Any number of factors can hinder this usability – which include, but are certainly not limited to, images that, rather than enhancing the learning, become distractions with movement or irrelevance to the topic at hand; difficult to read fonts. Likewise, serif-style fonts (i.e. Times New Roman) are generally more difficult to read on a computer screen than their sans-serif (Arial, Tahoma, Calibri) cousins, as well as too much text filling up the field of vision.
One basic, but effective way of breaking up pages of text into those proverbial “small, digestible chunks” is by using the Horizontal Rule. The horizontal rule is basically a piece of HTML code that adds a horizontal line across the entire page, with a bit of space before and after it – which can be added to any item in Blackboard (Bb) containing the HTML mode of the visual editor. The line nicely serves the purpose of breaking up paragraphs, or adding a good spacer after page titles or important information.