Is faster better? a study of video playback speed

David Lang, Kathy Mirzaei, Guanliang Chen, Andreas Paepcke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We explore the relationship between video playback speed and student learning outcomes. Using an experimental design, we present the results of a pre-registered study that assigns users to watch videos at either 1.0x or 1.25x speed. We find that students who consume sped content are more likely to get better grades in a course, attempt more content, and obtain more certificates. We also find that when videos are sped up, students spend less time consuming videos and are marginally more likely to complete more video content. These findings suggest that future study of playback speed as a tool for optimizing video content for MOOCs is warranted. Applications for reinforcement learning and adaptive content are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLAK20 Conference Proceedings
EditorsMaren Scheffel, Vitomir Kovanović, Niels Pinkwart, Katrien Verbert
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450377126
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventInternational Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge 2020 - Frankfurt, Germany
Duration: 23 Mar 202027 Mar 2020
Conference number: 10th (Website) (Website)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge 2020
Abbreviated titleLAK 2020
Internet address


  • Clickstreams
  • MOOCs
  • Playback speed
  • Randomized controlled trials
  • Video analytics

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