How Long is Too Long?

Say “Videos have to be 5 minutes or less”, then repeat that to your friends and coworkers. They will no doubt agree, or suggest that really it has to be 3 minutes or less, or even, in marketing circles, 1 minute or less. I agree, too. Unless it’s an educational thing, then you can wiggle a bit. In fact, wiggle a lot, on the couch or in a comfortable chair even, if that what it takes to settle in and enjoy video over 5 minutes long.

grey haired brent spinerCaveat: I am old by some definitions, born in 1969. Still, my attention span isn’t that great sometimes, either. That said, I think we all, generation gaps be damned, should slow down and enjoy the video, even the 20+ minute ones. If it’s for the sake of learning, then it will help to spend the time neccessary to watch, absorb, reflect upon, act upon, do some practice with the content and then perhaps even watch it again. Do you hear the hours ticking by? then you must be old like me too and have clock with actual hands!

This Stats for Educators course has videos that average (and I can compute that now) video tutorial length of 12 minutes. Long, right? I do admit that I watch them on 1.5 – 2 times speed sometimes, but at least half the time they are running normally because, well, do I look like Data? We used to call it chunking in instructional design, which means making things shorter and to the point because…. why were we doing this? Oh yeah, we’re really busy and need to get this class done asap, only I can’t remember what the class was because I rushed through it so quickly.

Slow it down or we all might miss the point entirely.



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July 14, 2014 · 8:49 pm

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