So your boss wants to know how many pages of content can fit into the one hour long elearning course that all employees must participate in; or, your team leader asks how long the powerpoint you are going to convert will take the end users to complete in their learning path. In another scenario, your client asks you what will be the end learning result when you convert a 50 slide powerpoint into online learning. If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you, you could be wondering how to determine a definitive answer to the mystery that is calculating elearning course time?
This is a common and often debated question amongst Subject Matter Experts and Course Creator’s alike.
Many factors come into consideration when calculating learning time. It is difficult to determine learner time based on slide count or even course content text pages, because of many factors.
Some of these factors are as follows:
- Type of content , some content leans to descriptive paragraphs and images that support. Some is best portrayed with complex, labeled diagrams or multiple layers and animations. A slide with some text and images will take much less time than a slide with complicated layers, video or animation. A level 3 interactive game based course will take much longer than the 1-2 minutes a learner might spend on text slide or a click and reveal.
- Learner variation: learners come in all different shapes and sizes! Just as in traditional classroom settings, learners don’t come in a one size fits all package. Everyone learns at different rates. One learner could whizz through a slide in 45 seconds while another could slowly read through the content and digest it in 4 minutes. When estimating learner time, we need to account for this diversity.
- Technological proficiency: similarly, some learners will be more technologically in tune than others. They will click click the next button, and sail through the interactions in no time. Other users may take 15-30 seconds working out which buttons to press in order to reveal content, or to turn the page.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ calculation to determine seat time for an elearning course. After our own inhouse debate, and then scouring the web, we found various thoughts on how many words and slides constitute an hour of learning.
Many elearning developers believe that approximately 50 slides or content screens equal 1 hour of e-Learning, and a 10,000 word script is also equal to 1 hour of e-Learning. This is of course subjective and dependent on the factors listed above. However, if you need a broad guide, use this as a starting point.
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