The Importance of Format

Dane Garvin provides superior, proven formats for delivery of clinically relevant web educational content. We focus on the technology of user engagement, i.e. how to design online educational activities to better engage and educate attendees.

Our Technology

Ten years ago, Dane Garvin created a user-controlled, random access, slide-audio-text media player (SATmp) for the web. To date we have created over 100 medical journal web activities using this format. In that time we have learned the following regarding the use of the slide-audio-text (SATmp) format:

1st Time Viewers
First time viewers will spend an average of 24 minutes on an activity, i.e. six (6) times more than video.

Returning Viewers
Fifty percent (50%) of 1st time viewers will return a 2nd time and spend an additional 20 minutes on an activity. This means that one-half of all attendees spend ten (10) times longer on slide-audio-text (SATmp) activities than they do on video-based activities.

  • This difference is consistent with multiple activities across multiple websites.
  • We believe the difference is due solely to use of the slide-audio-text format.
  • The result is enhanced user participation, resulting from better communication and delivery of the educational message.

Video Shortcomings

Video Use Today: Video is the most frequently used format in webed activities. Even though we (at DGL) are video professionals, we prefer that video be restricted to faculty introductions, interactive panel discussions, and visual demonstrations of technology or medical procedures.

We DO NOT recommend the use of video for didactic presentations, because for this application video has an inherent limitation. It is well-proven statistic that the average user will spend 4 minutes or less watching a video-based web activity. At Dane Garvin we describe this dismal statistic in this manner:

You can have:

  • the best topic
  • the best faculty
  • the best accreditation(s)
  • the best medical society or journal affiliation
  • the best website placement
  • the best promotion
  • the best & most responsive target audience

You can have all this, and when your audience arrives to attend your web activity, if you show them a video you will have their attention for 4 minutes or less.



The data is convincing There is a quantifiable difference between educational activity constructs:

  1. A slide/audio/text (SATmp) presentation format significantly outperforms video as it relates to user engagement.
  2. Individual user “Session Time” and return rates are significantly increased.

So, what does this mean? In the absence of access to clinician and patient data, Dane Garvin still theorizes the following:

  • We cannot prove that a clinician who spends more time in an educational activity is “better educated“, but we believe it to be true.
  • We cannot prove that a better educated clinician will practice “better medicine“, but we believe it to be true.
  • We cannot prove that patients of clinicians who practice better medicine will have “better outcomes”, but we believe it to be true.
  • For the reasons stated above, we are advocates for the utilization of the educational format that will engage users to the greatest degree possible, and it is slide-audio-text (SATmp).