edX blog: Optimal Video Length for Student Engagement
October 2013 (perspective of a postdoc)
Hi, I'm Philip Guo, an assistant professor of Computer Science at the University of Rochester. Since my research interests are in human-computer interaction and online education, I was really excited when Anant Agarwal (edX President) and Rob Rubin (VP of Engineering) invited me to spend the past summer at edX as a visiting research scientist.
Anant, Rob, and the rest of the edX leadership team have been wonderfully supportive of my research efforts. In addition, Anant and Rob have personally contributed to framing some of the questions that I investigated in my work. I plan to blog about my findings in the coming months.
In this first post, I'll share some preliminary results about video usage, obtained from initial analyses of a few edX math and science courses. Unsurprisingly, students engaged more with shorter videos. Traditional in-person lectures usually last an hour, but students have much shorter attention spans when watching educational videos online.