Video Modeling in the iMsocial Program
There are many advantages derived from the use of video modeling, including:
- Increased efficiency of skills instruction and acquisition,
- Reduced need for prompting and prompt reduction strategies,
- Faster uptake of skills, and,
- Improved maintenance and generalisation of learned skills.
The iMsocialTM program utilises two Video Modeling (VM) methods: feed-forward and positive self-review.
Is the creation of videos displaying skills that participants have not yet developed. Creating Feed-Forward videos typically requires the editing and collation of different components of skills that participants possess, but have not yet displayed appropriately. Participants can join in a role play with another person, demonstrating the targeted behaviour. A role play can show a person or a peer acting out the desired skill even when they are not yet proficient in that skill.
Typically, feed-forward is used to teach a skill that is above the current skill level of the learner. For example, you can teach participants how to say hello to someone they do not know using the feed-forward video modeling method.
Positive self-review VM:
Is used to improve the frequency and/or quality of an existing behaviour. The aim is to reinforce a positive skill. Participants are filmed performing the same skill or behaviour multiple times. The footage is edited to show only the best instances of the desired behaviour. Any undesirable behaviour (i.e. swearing or hitting out) is edited out of the footage so that only the best examples of the targeted behaviour are retained. For example, you can teach participants how to take turns using the positive self-review method.
For both feed-forward and positive self-review video modeling to be succesful a video model needs to be watched 5 to 10 times.
The Focus on Positive Behaviours in iMsocialTM Video Models
The iMsocialTM program teaches positive skills utilising VM that is strength-based, rather than deficit focussed. In this way, each VM focuses on what participants are capable of achieving rather than reiterating what skills they lack. Using negatives or mistakes to teach new skills can result in problems with confidence, frustration and an increase in problem behaviours. This is particularly the case for participants with developmental delays, who may not have the confidence or capacity to differentiate between positive and negative when presented to them on screen.
The focus on positive behaviour in video models is also important because some people with autism have the ability to mimic behaviour. This means that if participants are presented with a video model that contains negative behaviours, it is unlikely that they would self- critique the behaviour but instead model what has been seen. Therefore, the negative behaviour is more likely to be reinforced.
Why is Video Modeling Effective for Children with ASD?
People with autism may have a tendency to focus on one point or focus of interest, and ignore other aspects. People with autism can focus on the learning material on the DVD and ignore whatever else is going on around them. Furthermore, the highly visual learning processes of people with autism results in the effectiveness of VM because VM is ‘observational’, thus the person observes the video and learns the skill.