Faculty often ask: is there a “sweet spot” for instructional video length? They want to cover the content, ensure the students are learning, and use their time wisely. It is no secret that instructional videos are received best when parsed into shorter intervals with opportunities for interaction or engagement, but just what length is best received? The article How Long Should Your Next Video Be? summarizes a study by business video host, Wistia, involving 564,710 videos with more than 1.3 billion plays. The results verified that video engagement initially declines between minutes one and three, levels out between minutes six through 12, then continues a steady loss of viewer engagement after the 12-minute mark.

Chart showing 50% engagement with videos 6-12 minutes long.

However, length is not the only indicator of video reception. Environmental factors, such as lighting, background, sound, and visual aesthetics impact the reception of the video. TechSmith, creators of Snagit, Camtasia, and Knowmia, have made it their business model to know what works when it comes to quality media. According to their research article Video Length: How Long Should Instructional Videos Be? (New Data) they have found that even more important than video length is the reason for engagement.

Bar graph from TechSmith regarding video interest reasons.

So, would you like to know how your videos compare?

Instructors that use Kaltura to share their videos in their Canvas courses can access in depth analytics. You can see details about a single media item, or summarized for all Kaltura media added to a particular Canvas course or MediaSpace channel. Details can include:

  • Plays: Number of times users click play to watch a video
  • Unique viewers: Number of authenticated viewers; all anonymous viewers count as a single viewer, labeled "Unknown"
  • Minutes viewed: Total duration of video watched by viewers
  • Avg. drop off rate: An average measured by viewers reaching playback milestones
  • 25% to 100% play-throughs: The number of plays that reached 25%-100% of the video. NOTE: Many viewers will watch all video content but do not count as 100% completion due to "dead air" at the end of the video.
  • Avg. Completion Rate: The percentage of completed plays. The number of 100% play-throughs divided by the total number of plays.

For step-by-step instructions on finding these analytics, view this Kaltura Guide on User Analytics.

If you would like to “up your game” when it comes to video engagement, let us help you. Contact our Instructional Technology, Media, or Instructional Design Team for a consult.