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If 1 page of a technical course is worth 1 point, how many points is 1 hour of a technical video course worth, creation effort-wise?

Background and context:

I work in academia in a technical field (computer science) and we have various internal evaluations in which we get points for materials that we've written that can help students (books, courses, lab guides, anything). The points are usually given based on the number of pages, regardless of material, difficulty, font size, page size etc. Not the best, but it is what it is. Let's assume this is intended to reward the effort of creating these materials.

These scoring regulations don't mention video content, such as video tutorials, video courses etc. This is content made specifically for video format, not just a recorded lecture or an audio book style reading of a written course. We can assume that no or very little editing is required.

What would you consider to be a reasonably fair conversion between number of pages and video length?

Average page counts submissions can vary a lot, since many different things can get scored. Let's assume it's not relevant.

My approach

I have found this research which lists a table of average reading speeds for technical and non-technical content. It says an average student could read 11 technical pages an hour. So a quick conversion would yield 1 hour = 11 pages = 11 points.

This doesn't take into account a few things, and I feel like 1 hour of video takes more effort than writing 11 pages:

  1. First of all, this addresses reading effort, not creation effort, but I'll go with it for lack of a better idea.

  2. I don't think we should use the technical reading speed, because I'm reading and presenting it as a teacher, and I'm assuming that the students will pause and rewind if they don't catch something. So I'm going faster than a student reading a technical book would, but not so fast that it's impossible to follow on a normal speed. Also, I put in effort to adequately compress the content for this (detailed diagrams, animations, code, analogies etc.). So let's use above average student and non-technical material: 1 hour = 38 pages = 38 points.

  3. I also need to create some written material that I'm going to be presenting and explaining in the video. Would it be fair to add the power point slides, or the pages of code that I'm going over? For an hour, this can be anything from 2-3 pages to 10+, depending on the content. Let's say +10% of the above count? So 1 hour = 38 + (10% of 38) pages = 41 pages.

  4. But now I feel like writing 41 pages takes a lot more effort than recording 1 hour of video, so I feel like I overestimated somewhere.

  5. A "gut feeling" estimate would be 1 hour = somewhere around 20 pages, give or take, but how could I do this more objectively?

How would you do this conversion?

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  • I have voted to close this because we can't make the judgement for you. The people that award the points will make it. Sep 22, 2021 at 16:58
  • @S.Mitchell all questions require a certain degree of making a judgement for someone, and this is no different. I'm asking for an idea, not to assume the responsibility of making the said judgement. Maybe I am tasked with awarding the points and I'm looking for suggestions.
    – IVlad
    Sep 22, 2021 at 17:54
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    How much written material (how many pages) would you prepare for an hour long lecture? Figure out that number, then multiply it by some fudge factor. The video preparation will include writing the script and making any diagrams or other things needed. That's equivalent to preparing for a lecture. Multiply it by a number larger than 1. Making the video takes time above preparing the written material for a lecture.
    – JRE
    Sep 24, 2021 at 15:48
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    How about using hours spent to produce the material as a point system, or even better, decide beforehand how many hours can be spent producing what material (with room for negotiations). I know IT academia is far removed from IT business, but that's how IT is done outside of academia... ;)
    – Erk
    Sep 29, 2021 at 19:52
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    Short of getting the awarding body to review their standards and come up with categories to reward the forms of output you mention which are pretty standard nowadays and should be included, one way to go would be to submit transcripts of your video talks and include diagrams or illustrations from the video content so they do conform to the existing standards. Only you can determine whether this is worth your time and effort. Oct 1, 2021 at 9:23

1 Answer 1

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The fallacy in the above is that you want to measure content-making effort but use a content-consuming metric.

If your content-making measured in number of pages regardless of the rest, just time how much video time it takes for you to present 10 pages, and let that be your conversion.

You may want to use pages written by your colleagues, and average over several such tests to reduce bias due to material, difficulty, font size, page size.

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