I'm looking for any references that exist for what a good video length for an online math class should be.

I am aware of these three papers but these are basically only for MOOCs - I'm looking for something in a mathematics class that's required - Ideally measuring long term learning but at this point anything is welcomed.

EDIT: I'm looking at the university [undergrad particularly] level. Yes I agree that static videos usually aren't best for learning (but say for algorithm demonstration; I find a video to be vastly more effective and efficient than a long prose describing the algorithm as both a learner and as an educator).

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know about research on videos, but there is plenty of research on people's attention spans. You would definitely want to go shorter than that. $\endgroup$
    – Sue VanHattum
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 16:28
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    $\begingroup$ There seems to be an implicit assumption here that noninteractive videos are an appropriate way to provide instruction (as opposed to written material and interactive video). I certainly wouldn't agree with that assumption, except maybe for exceptional topics where, e.g., you're showing an animation of the behavior of a PDE using fancy graphics. Could you also edit to say what age or educational level this is for? I don't think the answer is the same for kindergarten as for grad school. $\endgroup$
    – user507
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 17:02
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    $\begingroup$ Unless a video has really nice animations like this narrated with licked-out voiceover, I'd prefer a written course to to a video. Talking heads are boring. $\endgroup$
    – Rusty Core
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 17:33
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe the TED's 18-Minute Rule works for math classes. $\endgroup$
    – Pedro
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 12:35
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this is for mathematics specifically, nor is it about video length, but it's about interactivity in videos. ijello.org/Volume13/IJELLv13p215-228Geri3902.pdf $\endgroup$
    – user13544
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 7:29

1 Answer 1


This data from Wistia supports several of the comments:


This chart is not specialized to mathematics. Likely the attention-span constraints are pretty much universal, independent of content (but not independent of interactivity).
  • $\begingroup$ With text-based material, I think "dropout rate" would be higher with math because math can be incredibly dense. So I would guess it's the same with video. I don't have any data to support that, although I do know that with my youtube videos that I make on math, the drop out rate is fairly high(but that could just be my fault). $\endgroup$
    – iYOA
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 5:15

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