Volume 5, 2017: Issue 1

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Challenging the six-minute myth of online video lectures: Can interactivity expand the attention span of learners?


Nitza Geri, The Open University of Israel, Israel

Amir Winer, The Open University of Israel, Israel

Beni Zaks, The Open University of Israel, Israel


Keeping learners engaged in viewing online video lectures is a challenge, which is considered harder as the length of the video is longer. Although it is a known obstacle, in practice, many videos are lengthy and do not contain interactive elements. This study takes an attention economy perspective, and examines if interactivity may enable effective use of longer online video lectures. Google Analytics data was used to measure average online video lecture viewing completion percentage for two ‘long’ and ‘short’ video lecture groups, before and after the addition of interactive components. Preliminary results show that addition of interactivity significantly improved completion percentage as well as average viewing time for both ‘long’ and ‘short’ video lecture groups by more than 20%. Furthermore, the average viewing time of the ‘long’ group grew to over 10 minutes. The contributions of this study are twofold: it demonstrates the potential of learning analytics to identify ways to improve learning processes, and it provides empirical support for the potential of adding interactive elements to the videos to expand the attention span of learners.


Online video lectures, interactive video, learner attention span, human computer interaction (HCI), distance learning, learning analytics, attention economy




Research paper


The Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management (OJAKM), ISSN: 2325-4688


International Institute for Applied Knowledge Management (IIAKM)


5 May 2017