Report: Latest Word on Optimal Length for Education Videos

While video usage is growing in the classroom, it's far from pervasive. Less than a quarter of schools and colleges report that more than half of their educators regularly incorporate video in their classes. In K-12, the most common use case is video shown in the classroom (88 percent), followed by use in student assignments (66 percent) and supplementary course material (60 percent). The biggest growth has happened in library media collections, which grew in use from 36 percent in 2014 to 54 percent in 2015.

While almost all educators make use of video from free online sources in teaching and learning, they're also "frequently" or "sometimes" enhancing that with the use of teacher- and student-generated content (93 percent and 88 percent, respectively). Licensed content is a source for 92 percent of video.

Those results come out of the latest edition of "The State of Video in Education," produced by Kaltura, a company that sells video tools and services. The 2015 survey questioned 1,200 respondents in April in both higher education and K-12. Roles were predominantly educator (27 percent), instructional design and technology (26 percent), administration and staff (23 percent), IT and system administration (22 percent), and media team and video production (14 percent). (Respondents could designate more than one role.)

A particular area of interest in education is the optimal length of time for videos. Among all respondents the majority (71 percent) said they consider 10 minutes and less the best length, which may reflect, the report's authors suggested, students' preference for YouTube-length content. However, 28 percent of educators specifically suggested that the preferred length is between 10 and 30 minutes, reflecting "the popularity of the 18-minute TED video format."

Other findings in the report include these:

  • Nearly four out of five education organizations reported using one or more return-on-investment (ROI) measures to gauge use of video. The most common measure is a reliance on usage statistics, cited by 47 percent of respondents, followed by use of surveys and feedback (45 percent) and measurement of outcomes (27 percent). Last year's survey found that less than half of all organizations measured ROI.
  • Ninety-one percent of organizations said they believed that video had a positive impact on student satisfaction; 82 percent said they thought the use of video led to better student achievement; 79 percent reported an increase in teacher satisfaction; and 66 percent noted that video made employee onboarding smoother.
  • Webcasting has found both internal and external use in K-12. Forty percent of K-12 respondents said webcasting was used in training; 30 percent said it was used for teaching; and 22 percent reported that it's also used for broadcasting of live events. A full 29 percent said their districts or schools weren't using webcasts at all.
  • Maximizing the use of easy tools for video capture was expressed specifically as the biggest need by 83 percent of educators in the survey; integration with the learning management system was cited by 72 percent; and training and support for existing tools was referenced by 60 percent.

"The data in this survey firmly suggests that video technology is a major force in education. In the future, students will expect video to be a part of their learning experience and will generate more video content," the report concluded. "In 10 years' time, video will become a standard part of education, will evolve beyond delivery of content and enable innovative types of teaching and learning. It will gradually take the place of textbooks, and will become an increasingly important skill in itself, participating in a shift in the role of the educators."

The full version of the report is available on the Kaltura Web site with registration.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.