5 Minutes Is the Best Length for Videos

5 minutes is the recommended length for a video-recording of a lecture or presentation for these reasons:

Pedagogical Reasons for 5-Minute Videos

  • A lot of research shows that students lose focus after about 5 minutes of passive watching. They end up going back and re-watching parts where they lost focus or break their viewing down into shorter sessions. Ultimately, your students are going to break the long recordings into shorter segments. You can help them out by putting those breaks in places at good points for reflection, discussion or other activities. 

  • By breaking your content into smaller segments, you have more opportunity to more directly support the other materials (quizzes, readings, discussions) related to those segments. 

  • It makes is easier for students find specific topics for later review; they don't have to hunt through a long video to try to find that part they are looking for

Practical Reasons for 5-Minute Videos

  • Video files will be small, which makes them easier to store and upload to Canvas, Panopto, or other places online.

  • The "do over" is easier if you experience a technical problem or mistake.