Posted by: myautisticmuslimchild | April 25, 2010

Video Modeling – Part Three

Before I continue the subject, I wanted to share some pointers with you all. My dear sister sent me an email from the state of MA. Since I didn’t get her permission to use her name I will just refer to her as my sister and friend. She had tried Video Modeling with her son, and she advised me about several very important things.

“I did try video modeling for my son, & it was partially successful. He did learn play routines, but never generalized it to the natural environment. Also, avoiding the possible pitfalls helps: of the play with just the hands of therapists being used [if it is for play routines]
2.avoiding strong accents/mannerism[which certain therapists/ individuals might have- my son got fixated on these.
3. keeping the environment as plain as possible so their focus is on what we want[my son was fascinated by the jewelry somebody was wearing, etc”


Thank you for these great pointers sister. May God bless you for sharing it with us – ameen.

Now we will review the final stages of creating Video modeling.  In this post, we will discus the making of the video, how to choose a model, presenting the videos, arranging the environment, selecting perspective, monitoring the progress and troubleshooting.

1).How to select a model?

Effective models have included parents, teachers, peers, residential staff, and unfamiliar trainers.

In some cases though, the child serves as their own model, this one called self modeling. Regardless of who the model is, it is critical to ensure that the actor demonstrates the required behaviors in a way that will be easy for the child to observe and imitate (Buggey,2005; Shrerer et al; 2001)

2). Selecting the perspective.

Instructional videos can be filmed from one of two perspectives: spectator or participant. Both have been successfully used in instructional videos for individuals with ASD. It is unclear whether one perspective might be better suited to some behaviors or some individuals.
3). Including spoken instructions.

Some activities or tasks do not always require much sound or speech (e.g.: setting the table).

Including voice over instruction allows the individual to see the target behavior, but will also be given a verbal prompt of what to do. Adding voice-overs can enhance the video and make it a more effective teaching tool.

If a child is text oriented, while editing the video one can write on the screen. Make it very short, simple, and to the point so that they may not be distracted from the video.

4). Arranging the Teaching Environment.

The instructional environment should be arranged to facilitate teaching and learning.

Designate a specific time for running each teaching session.

Designate a specific place for conducting teaching sessions.

The materials used in the video should be the same materials that the learner would be expected to use when performing the target behavior in the actual environment.

As in movies, it is generally better to film “on location” than in a studio. It is also usually better to create video content that reflects the child’s world in terms of times, locations, and materials.

Doing so many facilitate generalization and maintenance of learning because the videos will be more realistic.

5). Presenting Video Models.

To benefit from the instructional video, the child must watch the video and attend to its relevant content. Here are some suggestion we must consider.

  • a). Make sure the video monitor is near the child and that they have a clear view of it.
  • b). Remove distractions from the surrounding environment.
  • c). Gain the child’s attention, point to the monitor, and say “Watch this!”
  • d). Praise the child for remaining oriented to the video screen. (e.g., That’s good. Keep watching)
  • e). If the child looks away, remind them to keep watching, if necessary, gently orient them to the video.
  • f). While the video is running, use your finger to point out relevant content and verbally describe the relevant behavior (e.g., “look , the person is using a sponge to wash the plate”).


6).Monitoring the progress. The method of collection should be the same as in baseline.Collecting data will help determine whether the target behavior is improving. The type of data collected and the method of collection should be the same as in baseline.

This allows for a comparison between video-based instruction and with the baseline data. The comparison will tell you whether the video procedure is working.

7). Troubleshooting.

Progress is not always as rapid as we want it to be. Sometimes the target behavior may not increase at all. Sometimes the target behavior may increase a little but not to an acceptable level.

When success is not as desired, we (the video makers) must  rethink what we might have done wrong and start redoing the video and break it down into smaller steps.

8). Common types of problems:

Description of the problem: Lack of reinforcement. Performing the target behavior does not lead to a reinforcing consequence for the child.

The solution to this problem is: Make sure performing the target behaviors leads to reinforcing consequences. Identify preferred stimuli that could function as reinforcer and deliver those to the child for engaging in the target behavior.

Another type of problem is a poor video content. The target behaviors are not shown clearly. The script is too complicated, or the steps in the task analysis are too big.

The solution for this: rewrite the script or task analysis and then re-shoot the video. Make sure the target behaviors are modeled clearly and slowly.

Sometimes the child is lacking the prerequisite. This means that he/she may lack observational and imitative learning abilities.

Video Modeling requires learners who can learn by observation and imitation. If the child lacks these abilities, they may show little or no progress with video modeling. Those skills should be taught first to the child. It may also help to add instructor-directed training, including physical prompting and error correction, to the video procedure.

(Part 4 will cover fading VM, procedures of fading VM, some case studies, benefits, practical consideration, resources insha’Allah)

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