Dec 04

How Long is TOO Long?

One of the biggest pitfalls in creating an online course is in trying to reconstruct your face-to-face classroom on the web, complete with 50 minute lectures and handouts. What’s wrong with that? First we must keep in mind that the web is a very different learning environment from our traditional classrooms, and online courses should take advantage of this to create learning environments that are more effective and more engaging. Second, the research is in, 6 to 7 minutes of instructional video — that’s the sweet spot,  states Tremblay’s article on the E-Learning Acupuncture blog. He quotes Philip Guo’s new research on the Optimal Video Length for Student Engagement. Both articles are interesting reading.

http://www.oneproductions.com/web/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Avg-length-of-Online-Videos-1.jpgThis graphic (click thumbnail to view the oneproduction.com infographic) compiles video information to underscore Guo’s research. On the web, educational videos should be short and to the point. Here are some tips from Wistia on keeping people engaged in your educational material:

  1. Keep it short
  2. Put the message at the beginning
  3. Be clear, direct and relevant
  4. Be human and personal

It would be interesting to hear from you. Does your experience with Adobe Presenter, Jing, Camtasia, YouTube or other educational “video” content you’ve created match these research findings? Are you finding significant learner drop-off when your recorded information is longer than 6 or 7 minutes?