How Long Your Online Course Should Be

Choosing how long to make your online courses can feel like a fine balance making your students feel exhausted or making them feel bored or overwhelmed by putting out too much information. You need to make sure to create your online course, be it the time length or the design, or the lesson plan, in accordance with the needs of the learners.

Let’s look into the ideal length of an online class that is just right for your teaching modules and the learners for your online courses. Let’s get through a few questions that’ll help you determine the right length –

1. Who will be my students?

Answering this question is going to provide all kinds of clues, not just for how long your online courses should be overall, but also how long individual videos and lessons should be. Think about who your course is meant to serve. What might their daily lives look like? How much time do they have and how is their extra time scheduled throughout their day? If your target learners are parents who work from home, it’s likely they have less time throughout their day. If your target students tend to have more availability in the morning, they may have an easier time focusing on longer chunks of the course content, whereas students with more available free time in the afternoon when the focus is waning may benefit from shorter videos and lessons.


2. What end result are you trying to achieve?

A successful course is built around producing an end result for the student. In this sense, the length doesn’t matter nearly as much as ensuring that you provide the right amount of information to help your students bridge the gap from where they are now and where they want to be. The principle here to note is that length follows purpose, not the other way round. You want to purposely include the modules and lessons so that your learners are able to bridge the gap.


3. How long should individual videos be? 

While considering the length of your online courses you may wonder how long your individual lessons and videos should be. It seems that 6 – 12 minutes is the ideal time when sufficient information can be passed on. While it is good to know what works for most online courses, it’s okay to deviate from the norms when the content calls for it. It is okay to push the videos to more than 6 – 12 if the lesson plan requires it to.


4. Could you break a longer video into shorter ones? 

If you’ve got segments of lessons you worry are too lengthy, consider breaking them into shorter parts. Like mentioned earlier, 6 – 12 is the ideal time, unless a specific concept requires a longer video, your learners will benefit from having the information broken up into smaller, more understanding. Plus it can make it easier for your learners to fit your course into pockets of their schedule in case they are not able to grasp that for longer segments of time.

5. Is your course interactive?

It’s a smart decision to involve your audience as active players. However, interactivity necessitates additional time. Will your class include triggers, quizzes, surveys, Q&A, feedback forms, games, and other bells? Or do you need to set aside more time for that? Think about it. You need to make sure you make your online as interactive as possible as it’ll help you to keep your learners interested and also lead them to share about your class among their peers. You’ll have to question if you are putting out fun elements in your sessions or not? To remove the monotonous flow, you need to include more options to have more interaction in your online course classes.

Hope reading this blog you can figure out how long your online courses should be. Stay tuned to read more such blogs.

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