Actual length of a course


Articulate lets you know how long a lesson is; this of course, does not take into account any pausing for note-taking or or reviewing certain parts of the lesson again.  Personally, this is what I do - pause and write...I have made a rough estimation that for I should 5 minutes for every 15 minutes of a lesson to allow for this.  What do you think about this?  Do you have a different kind of estimation?  I certainly would apreciate your opinion.

Thank you, Sam

6 Replies
Sam Lincoln

It's difficult to know how long people need to assimilate information or to anticipate how they will do this. The purpose of your point, I think, is to give the learner an idea - before they start - of how much time is needed to complete the session. This shows consideration and assists credibility and rapport. I personally think that the best method is to allow them to see how long the session would take without interruption (not always easy when branched scenarios are involved). This indicates the minimum time and gives you an opportunity to let them know that they can control the session and learn at their own pace and should allow for note taking etc.

Sam Kamin

Hi Sam - thank you for your response.  Actually, the purpose of my question was based upon the fact that our developers are creating a very intense virtual instructor-led training week, which includes specific time allotments for the viewing of recorded lessons.  What the developers have done so far is that if Articulate says the lesson takes 30 minutes, they have alloted a very specific 30-minute time on the agenda (for example, Day 3, 10:30-11:00) - this is when the student is supposed to view the lesson.  I told them I think that we need to give them more time - not just the actual length of the lesson.  There are live sessions before and after recorded sessions, so the amount of time given for the lesson, in this model, is not  the "minimum", but rather the "maximum".  Do you get me?

Steve Flowers

Hi Sam -

I think the best way to validate the time required would be using some user testing. Invariably, folks will fall across a scale of time invested to reach the same goal (best case, worst case, probable case) and calculate a target time that is somewhere between the probable and worst cases. You might be able to calculate by similarly patterned groups (if the presentations / exercises can be categorized similarly using baseline factors).


Sam Lincoln

Thanks for the clarification Sam - on re-reading my initial response I appear to be condescending but that wasn't intended. The constraint is difficult to cope with and I can now see why you want some method of calculating the maximum time. If user testing (as Steve suggests) is not an option then I wonder whether the provision of a downloadable summary/fill in the blanks/PPT slide notes to assist the learner is an option. At least that will ensure they can keep the key information and review it once the other instructor-led sessions have concluded.

Steve Flowers

I'd agree with that Sam. Just calculating based on (time to read)+(time to hear)+(time to click) won't provide an accurate measure if the design is good. This formula doesn't consider time for reflection, processing, and deliberation. These could vary widely. A user test can definitely help to narrow the estimation in this case.

If the design is terrible or irrelevant to the learner, the most probable investment in time will likely be the amount of time it takes to rapid-click the next button to reach the end and get credit