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2 Factors That Will Affect the Length of Your Online Course

People say you need to spend ten thousand hours doing something to get good at it. While this might be true, the time frame does not always have to be that long. Some skills will indeed take years to master, but for others, a few days or months of practice can take a newbie and turn them into an experienced professional.

That said, when it comes to online courses, knowing how long you should create a course can be a little complicated. You want it to be short so that people will not get burnt out watching it, but you still want it to be long enough to be informative and educational.

To help you understand how long your online course should be, we have done some research so that you do not have to. If you are curious to know how long you should set your online course, here are some factors to consider.

1. The Rarity

One of the first factors that can affect how long your course should be is how rare the course material is. If you are teaching something common, chances are you will not have to make it too long because other online courses may already cover some of the topics.

On the other hand, if you are teaching something in an unfamiliar niche, you will be able to create more prolonged courses. This is also because there will not be as much material available for students outside your course, so you can get comprehensive with yours.

That said, if you feel like your course is rare and that you need at least 40 hours to cover the different topics under your subject, feel free to make it that way. However, always remember to focus on the needs of your students and what results they want.

2. The Complexity

The more complex the subject matter, the longer it will typically take to cover it thoroughly. Unfortunately, this is not a good reason to end up creating a hundred-hour course that will bore people to death. If this is the case with your subject, you can consider dividing it up into sections.

For example, if your course will need a minimum of 40 hours to cover, consider dividing it into two sections of 20 hours each. How you break it up will depend on you; what is important is that you break it up, especially for courses that run past thirty hours or more.

On the other hand, if you teach a straightforward course that students can complete in five hours, you do not have to break it up. Keep it as short and concise as possible, and do not stuff it full of unnecessary information.


In many cases, the ideal course length would be between 10 and 25 hours long. However, remember that this number can vary greatly, and in many cases, if you feel something is too long, do not be afraid to break it up. If you feel like something is too lengthy, chances are your students will feel the same way. At the end of the day, do what makes you think is the best for your students, but also remember the tips above.

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