OSCQR – Standard #23

OSCQR – Standard #23

A sans-serif font with a standard size of at least 12 pt is used.

Review These Explanations

Researchers rely on eye gaze tracking as an analysis tool to determine readability. In eye gaze tracking, a camera is focused on the reader’s eyes, tracks where they are looking, and maps the points to how the reader moves through the page. Eye gaze tracking has shown that font size and type face (serif vs. sans-serif) do factor into readability results (Beymer et al, 2008).

Although learners can adjust their screen resolution and font sizes within their browsers, following this guideline will help to ensure readability.


Beymer, D., Russell, D., and Orton, P. 2008. An eye tracking study of how font size and type influence online reading. In Proceedings of the 22nd British HCI Group Annual Conference on People and Computers: Culture, Creativity, Interaction.

Refresh Your Course with These Ideas

General Suggestions

  • Use the default font in the LMS, and take advantage of the set heading styles that you can choose from.
  • For any print materials you create, be sure that the text is readable. Print out anything you expect your learners to print to check readability.
  • If you use a display font anywhere, be sure that it is readable and accessible on all devices.
  • Check the readability of your course on any mobile devices that you have access to.

Explore Related Resources

Bernard, M., Lida, B., Riley, S., Hackler, T., Janzen, K. Comparison of Popular Online Fonts: Which Size and Type is Best? Usability News, 4.1, (2002)
Paterson, D.G., Tinker, M.A. Studies of Typographical Factors Influencing Speed of Reading: II. Size of Type. Journal of Applied Psychology, 13:2 (1929), 120-130.

Share What You Know

OSCQR has been developed by a community of online practitioners interested in quality course design. There are numerous opportunities for community members to offer suggestions, donate resources, and help with future development.

Discuss this standard in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

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