Video Modeling: How do I use it?

Three Types of Videos

  1. Video Peer-Modeling: Video of a peer completing the routine. Students attend best to video models that share similar characteristics to themselves (Bellini & Akullian, 2007).
  2. Video Self-Modeling: Video of the student completing the routine. Videos depicting the targeted student must only show successful attempts of the targeted skill. Strategic taping and editing must be used to show the child successfully completing the routine (Bellini & Akullian, 2007).
  3. Video Perspective-Modeling: Video of a routine filmed from the perspective of the student.

Check out an example of video perspective-modeling here.

Phases of Intervention

Phase 1

Introduce the edited video of the desired skill to your student by first simply playing it in the student’s presence—no expectations or demands at first.

Phase 2

Watch the video with the student. You can either listen to the embedded audio or mute the videos and speak your own simplified narration as the routine plays. It can be helpful to pair steps of the video with visual icons to provide greater visually cued instruction. After viewing the video model, practice the skill through discrete practice sessions or role-playing (this is the production process of observational learning). Offer prompts, cues, immediate models, and redirection as needed for the student to be successful.

Phase 3

Consistently watch the appropriate video before completing a targeted routine to ensure sufficient exposure to the model. Each time the student completes the routine fade prompts and cues to scaffold to independence. As the student becomes more successful with the routine periodically review the video models as professionally determined.

A Note About Motivation

Encourage the student attend to the videos using verbal redirection cues but remember attention is not a prerequisite skill for learning and research has indicated modeling and frequent exposure are sufficient to support learning without hand-over-hand assistance and use of external reinforcers or punishments (D’Ateno, Mangiapanello, & Taylor, 2003).

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Video Modeling: What is it?

What is it?

Video-modeling is an evidence-based intervention strategy that integrates visually cued instruction and the processes of observational learning.

Visually cued instruction is simply using visual cues (pictographic or written) to support understanding. Many of our students with language impairments demonstrate relative strengths processing information visually. Ganz et. al (2008) found that the use of visually cued instruction increased imitation skills and decreased reliance on physical and verbal prompts in children with Autism and other developmental delays.

Observational Learning

Observational learning is the process of learning through watching others, retaining the information, and then later replicating the behaviors that we observed. There are four processes involved in observational learning: attention, retention, production, and motivation.

Video modeling (VM) supports the processes of observational learning in the following ways:

  • Attention: VM improves the attention of students by selectively focusing their attention on relevant stimuli and effectively removing extraneous visual/auditory stimuli and the pressures of social interaction.
  • Retention: VM improves memory and recall by offering repeated viewings and therefore frequent, consistent repetition of the targeted skill.
  • Production: VM intervention procedure requires practice of the targeted skill after each viewing offering active learning opportunities through production of the skill.
  • Motivation: ”Several researchers posit that VM interventions by virtue of the visual medium are inherently motivating and naturally reinforcing” (Corbett & Abdullah, 2005). A study by D’Ateno, Mangiapanello, & Taylor (2003) demonstrated the effects of VM absent of physical prompting, error correction, and extrinsic reinforcement from adults—essentially exposure to the video models and increased opportunity to access the materials/situations presented in the videos was enough to cause improvements in the targeted skill.

Video Modeling is a well-validated, evidence-based behavioral intervention that facilitates observational learning using modeling and visually cued instruction. It has proven to be an effective intervention strategy for teaching Autistic children novel communication skills, social skills, play routines, self- regulation strategies, academic skills, and community life skills.

Benefits of Video Modeling (VM)

  • VM leads to faster acquisition and greater maintenance of skills compared to in-person modeling and discrete trial training.
  • VM results in greater generalization across settings, stimuli, and communication partners.
  • VM is associated with increased spontaneous, unscripted verbal behavior.
  • VM offers predictability which reduces anxiety and supports emotional-regulation necessary for learning.
  • VM supports the development of self-visualization, which is an important executive functioning skill necessary for self-regulation and increased autonomy.

Video Modeling Example

You can download the Video Modeling for Toy Routines: Tools Boom Card Deck for free here to try this intervention out for yourself!

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Bellini, S., & Akullian, J. (2007). A Meta-Analysis of Video Modeling and Video Self- Modeling Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Exceptional Children, 73(3), 264–287.

Corbett, Blythe & Abdullah, Maryam. (2005). Video Modeling: Why does it work for children with autism?. Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Intervention. 2. 10.1037/h0100294.

D’Ateno, P., Mangiapanello, K., & Taylor, B. A. (2003). Using video modeling to teach complex play sequences to a preschooler with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 5(1), 5-11.

Delano, M. E. (2007). Video modeling interventions for individuals with autism. Remedial and Special Education, 28(1), 33-42.

Ganz, J. & Bourgeois, Bethany & Flores, Margaret & Campos, B.. (2008). Implementing Visually Cued Imitation TrainingWith Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Delays. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. 10. 10.1177/109830070731

Hine, J. F., & Wolery, M. (2006). Using point-of-view video modeling to teach play to preschoolers with autism. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 26(2), 83-93.

Lequia, Jenna & Wilkerson, Kimber & Kim, Sunyoung & Lyons, Gregory. (2014). Improving Transition Behaviors in Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. 17. 10.1177/1098300714548799.