the median engagement time for videos less than six minutes long was close to 100%–that is, students tended to watch the whole video (although there are significant outliers; see the paper for more complete information). As videos lengthened, however, student engagement dropped off, such that the median engagement time with 9-12 minute videos was ~50% and the median engagement time with 12-40 minute videos was ~20%. In fact, the maximum median engagement time for a video of any length was six minutes.
Long story short:
- Keep your instructional videos in the 5-10 minute range.
- Stick to one key point per video. If you have a longer lecture topic that you now want to deliver online via video, split the video into short segments. It's much easier to retain attention and maximize retention. It's also much more convenient for your audience.
- Shorter videos are easier to repurpose as reusable learning objects, because they focus on a single key point.
- With that in mind, avoid using text or saying things that will date your video too quickly. Instead of saying "last year," say "in 2019." Little things like that will keep your video relevant much longer, increasing the return on investment for the time it takes to create them!
- Wherever possible, embed your video directly into your web page or course content page. Avoid redirecting your audience to an external site (because then you have the problem of redirecting them back to your content when they are finished watching the video!).
Baker, A. (2018, December 4). Optimal YouTube Video Length. [Web log post]. Content Creator. https://contentcareer.com/blog/optimal-youtube-video-length/
Bhattacharya, P. (2020). Why Your Ideal Online Course Video Must Be 6-12 Minutes Long. [Web log post]. HubSkills.com. https://hubskills.com/online-course-video-to-be-6-12-minutes/#gs.elum6y
Brame, C.J. (2015). Effective educational videos. [Web page]. Center for Teaching. http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/effective-educational-videos/
Burch, B. (2020). Video Length in Online Courses: What the Research Says. [Web log post]. Quality Matters. https://www.qualitymatters.org/qa-resources/resource-center/articles-resources/research-video-length
Guo, P. (2013, November 13). Optimal Video Length for Student Engagement. [Web log post]. EdX. https://blog.edx.org/optimal-video-length-student-engagement/
Power, R. (2020, March 6). Using Video to Provide Assignment Feedback. [Web log post]. Power Learning Solutions. https://www.powerlearningsolutions.com/blog/using-video-to-provide-assignment-feedback
Power, R. (2020, April 17). Creating a YouTube Channel for Educators. [YouTube video]. https://youtu.be/Uy_5gOV80LY
Power, R. (2019, January 14). Using YouTube to Share Video in an Online Course. [Web log post]. Power Learning Solutions. https://www.powerlearningsolutions.com/blog/using-youtube-to-share-video-in-an-online-course
Power, R. (2019, January 22). Adding a Human Touch to Online Learning, Right From the Start! [Web log post]. Power Learning Solutions. https://www.powerlearningsolutions.com/blog/adding-a-human-touch-to-online-learning-right-from-the-start