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How Long Should Training and Learning Videos Be?

Table of Content

So, you’ve finally decided to make an e-learning video.

Your extensive research informs you that your audience will have a short attention span. This presents you with a considerable challenge:

How do you achieve all your learning objectives while grasping the interest of your potential customers?

Sure, research has shown that the optimal online video length should be two minutes.
While this is excellent news for the advertiser, it is worrying to the HR executive responsible for creating an onboarding course for new hires, or the motivated master’s student looking to graduate summa cum laude.

You also know that your video should aim at reaching learners in their natural and comfortable setting. This means making information readily available and accessible through digital platforms like the app store and mobile devices.

Nevertheless, the certitude of videos is that no length is ever perfect for one type of video.

A useful training video, for instance, should be extended if it is to answer all the questions that arise from learning new things.

The trick is to make your video as short as you can while maintaining its learning objective.
Don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you with that general tip.

Here are some guidelines that you can use to ensure you get optimal engagement, high retention rates, and minimal drop off rates.

arab lady computer

Finding the Ideal run time

First, it is essential to note that online videos are relatively different from e-learning videos. You cannot compare the optimal length for a video on social media with one used for training and development in offices or classrooms. Learning and training videos ought to be more comprehensive.

Secondly, when creating any video, remember that the quality of information matters as much as the length. That being said, the ideal length for a learning video should be below 6 minutes.

Trust MIT to conduct a study by analyzing 6.9 million videos. From the analysis, videos lasting less than 6 minutes were determined to be more engaging for students.

Therefore, if what you are creating is an introduction to a new concept or product, answer every possible question within a 6-minute video. This length is also optimal for onboarding videos. After all, you want your audience to get 100 percent of the value you offer.

But, sometimes, no matter how much you try, 6 minutes isn’t enough time to feed your audience with the most vital information you have to offer.

study online at home

Surpassing the ideal runtime

If you’re forced to go beyond that 6-minute threshold, try to find the sweet-spot between maintaining an actively engaged and steadily engaged audience.

In another study conducted by the University of Wisconsin, students were found to prefer videos that are under 15 minutes. Once a video surpasses the 15-minute mark, students began zoning out.


Therefore, if you cannot feed your learning objectives into a 6 minutes video length, ensure it does not pass the 15-minute mark. The best way to do this is to ensure that you do not include any unnecessary video content.


Even so, discipline and focus might not be sufficient.

In case of emergency…

You might need more time to deliver instructions on how to create an entire online course. Or, maybe your company is introducing new software, and for the training material to be understood, it requires going beyond the 15-minute mark.

So what do you do?

You have no choice.

Forget about the semantics. A learning video should first and foremost promise effective information delivery. Make your video as long as it should be.

The good news exists for you too. Technology and software like Cincopa Online Video Course can provide you with features that can make your long training video more engaging. More of that in a second.

First, let’s see what the experts have to say.

The fundamental media principle is to keep videos short and straightforward. Even movies maintain the 2-hour length standard.

And social media? This is where it gets interesting just as much as it is shocking.  Ad Age determined that most advertisers lose 33 percent of their audience at the 30-second mark of their videos.

Since our collective attention span has fallen to the 8-second mark, this number is bound to decrease. To that effect, experts recommend that a video will get more viewership and engagement if it maintains at the 2-minute mark.

Experts recommend the bite-sized approach. What does this mean for teachers, lecturers, and corporate trainers?

Cincopa Online Video Course

Cincopa Online Video Course is perfect for creating various-sized videos for your training program. It’s particularly effective in presenting bite-sized  videos.

cincopa online video course
Viewers can navigate easily between videos while keeping tabs on their progress.

When creating your bite-sized videos, you can include search terms within the context of the video. When an employee or a student is watching your video, they can leverage the In-video Search feature tool to jump directly to a specific topic within the video.

Your students can always go back to and watch the remaining videos without repeating the parts they have already viewed. Additionally, you can keep track of the areas your employees tend to gravitate to more and find ways to encourage them to watch other essential videos.


Originally published on June 22nd, 2020
The Blog

How Long Should Training and Learning Videos Be?

by Elton time to read: 3 min