Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Prerequisite Skills That Support Learning through Video Modeling

Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Prerequisite Skills That Support Learning through Video Modeling

Article excerpt


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between tasks that require delayed discriminations such as delayed imitation and delayed matching to sample on acquisition of skills using video modeling. Twenty-nine participants with an ASD diagnosis were assessed on a battery of tasks including both immediate and delayed imitation and matching to sample tasks. All of the tasks were positively correlated with learning via video modeling. The most significant correlations were between delayed imitation of actions with objects and video modeling performance, as well as delayed matching accuracy and video modeling performance. Participants who performed well on subtest items that required performance after a delay showed mastery on the video modeling subtests. These findings suggest a simple method for educators to predict whether video modeling will be an effective teaching procedure for a specific child.

Key words: autism, imitation, matching to sample, video modeling


Video modeling (VM) has been shown to be effective for teaching a variety of skills to children with autism, including daily living skills (Rehfeldt, Dahman, Young, Cherry, & Davis, 2003; Shipley-Benamou, Lutzker, & Taubman, 2002;), communication (Charlop-Christy, Le, & Freeman, 2000; Charlop & Milstein, 1989; Sherer et al., 2001; Tetreault & Lerman, 2010), perspective taking (LeBlanc et al., 2003) and vocational skills (Allen, Wallace, Renes, Bowen, & Burke, 2010). VM has also been used to teach both solitary and cooperative pretend play skills (MacDonald, Clark, Garrigan, & Vangala, 2005, MacDonald, Sacramone, Mansfield, Wiltz, & Ahearn, 2009; Dupere, MacDonald, & Ahearn, 2013). Video modeling typically involves presenting a video recording of models engaged in a specific series of scripted actions and/or vocalizations. After multiple viewings the child is then directed to engage in the scripted behaviors. A number of procedural variations of VM have been documented in the literature (LeBlanc, 2010), such as characteristics of the model (e.g., self, peer, or adult) (McCoy & Hermansen, 2007) and point of view of the model (Tetreault & Lerman, 2010). Some researchers have found that prompting and reinforcement are not necessary for learning through VM (Charlop-Christy et al., 2000; D'Ateno, Mangiapanello, & Taylor, 2003; MacDonald et al., 2005). However, others have found that prompting can improve rates of learning (Murzynski & Bourret, 2007).

Although VM is an effective and efficient instructional technique for many children with autism, there are some children who have difficulties learning with VM. Several published studies have reported some failures to learn using VM (Nikopoulos & Keenan, 2004; Sherer et al., 2001) however, reasons for these failures to learn were not evaluated. Weiss and Harris (2001) suggested that several prerequisite skills should be present for learning through VM, including one-step imitation, attending, and an interest in videos. Tereshko, MacDonald, and Ahearn (2010) developed a pre-assessment battery of tests to measure levels of performance on a variety of skills that could influence learning using VM. One skill assessed by Tereshko et al. was delayed matching to sample (DMTS). A DMTS procedure begins with the presentation of a sample stimulus, followed by the presentation of comparison stimuli after a brief delay. Tereshko et al. found that poor responding on DMTS tasks was associated with failure to learn using VM.

DMTS tasks have been used to study memory in animals and humans (e.g., Constantine & Sidman, 1975; Cumming & Berryman, 1965; Sargisson & White, 2001; Williams, Dube, Johnson, & Saunders, 1998). Cumming and Berryman (1965) reported that matching accuracy decreased as the delay interval between the offset of the sample and onset of the comparison stimuli increased. …

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