You’ve just pressed play on a video lecture for a new MOOC; how long before your attention starts to wander? As it turns out, only about six minutes!

By analyzing the viewing habits of more than 100,000 MOOC learners on the edX platform, researchers now know what aspects of video production affect student engagement. The most important factor is video length: shorter videos are much more engaging.

Based on their findings, the researchers have recommendations for MOOC video producers and professors that will help them create the most engaging content in future videos. For example, videos should be kept shorter than six minutes, so spend time in pre-production breaking the content into small chunks.

You can read the entire paper here, or read Philip Guo’s blog post that summarizes the paper and lists their most important findings and recommendations.