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    How long is too long for virtual lesson videos?

    September 29, 2020

    We live in a video-centric world now, and that is particularly true where education is concerned. With the fall semester in full swing, schools from primary to collegiate levels are navigating transitions to online video learning.  

    Some universities have already found that they can help students and teachers alike to engage remotely by implementing distance-learning measures strategically through virtual lessons likeEdgecombe Community College and Western University of Health Sciences  

    This comes down largely to finding ways to make video-based learning an engaging and effective process.

    So, how is that done? Lean heavily on short video lessons by flipping the virtual classroom.

    The best way to keep a video engaging is to keep it short. EdX explored the optimal video length for student engagement, and showed that attention wanes after the six-minute mark. To that point, students remain almost entirely engaged. But past six minutes, they stop watching as attentively (or in some cases, completely).  

    Vanderbilt University conducted a similar survey by studying participation in several MOOCs (massive open online courses) and how much videos students watched. The results were the same – students watched the entire video when it was less than six minutes.

    [Image from the Mediasite webinar “5 Ways to Enhance Teaching in a Video-centric COVID Classroom” – Watch here; a sneak peek is below.]

    This is something you’re likely to see clearly in your own remote learning experiences. The simple fact is that video learning is different than in-person learning. In person, students are largely compelled to pay attention to lessons being given in front of them. But there are a lot more distractions for a student at home. A shorter virtual lesson will get its point across before those distractions take over. Of course, sometimes an instructor has a longer lesson to share as well, and that’s okay — but ideally, it should be strategically chopped up into smaller segments (micro learning).

    Easily create virtual lesson videos with Mediasite Mosaic
    The new video capture app Mediasite Mosaic makes it easy for you to both record short videos and, via the app’s rapid stop-and-start feature, break a lesson down into digestible chunks. You can use your personal devices and their built-in or external microphones and cameras to capture short videos. Plus, add additional media, links, quizzing and other engagement features to enhance and personalize the lesson even more.

    For more information on how to develop great virtual lectures, download the e-book 5 Things to Do with Your Next Video Lecture – and 1 Thing to Avoid.


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