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Reviewing Clinical Skills

Guest Blog Series: The Clinical Connection #4

Using Video Self-Modeling as a Clinical Technique with Specific Learners

Post #4—October 2015

In previous blog posts, the use of video self-modeling (VSM) with beginning clinicians and then the use of video modeling with clients/students/learners were discussed in great detail. For the focus of this reflection, the specific use of VSM with learners across a wide range of areas will be described and made more functional.

Video self-modeling is best defined as using mediated video capture and playback to allow a person to see him/herself in action for the purpose of acquisition and refinement of specific targeted skills or behaviors. This is a more specific type of video modeling that uses the client/patient/student as the person performing the action. Video self-modeling can produce powerful results. Within VSM the client/student/learner becomes the model and is captured on video that is then used to playback so that they can witness themselves in action. Three main factors that support the notion of VSM as a powerful teaching tool include:

  1. Modeling in general is a way in which humans learn many skills. Seeing a skill or behavior in action is just one way we can learn. As mentioned in a previous post, humans are highly visual in nature, thus watching something done (like a dance, sign language, a puzzle, etc.) can be one way in which we learn. Whether the person demonstrating the target is an unfamiliar “model” or the person him/herself, modeling can be very powerful.
  2. Human self-efficacy (Bandura, 1994) can support refinement of skills. Self-efficacy is simply seeing ourselves as being successful, competent, or able to complete the targeted skill or perform a behavior. When a person sees him/herself in action, demonstrating something with accuracy, he/she is fueled in a positive way that tends to encourage more and continued success in that area.
  3. We can make some adjustments and have some level of correction as we learn from our mistakes. It’s cliché to say, but some of the most powerful learning can come through having seen ourselves “mess up” or perform in error. We must use great caution with this principle, especially with our fragile learners. More on this element as VSM is discussed in further below.

With all of this being said, it is clear that use of VSM holds great utility in helping a wide range of learners acquire and refine skills. As with production of video models discussed in the previous blog post, we should use VSM with careful planning and implementation. Some tips to consider include:

  • Most use of VSM should be done with playback of and attention to the POSITIVE or ACCURATE display of client/learner skills or behaviors. The focus should be on “tapping them on the shoulder” so they can see themselves in action being successful. This is to increase self-efficacy and preserve self-image. Negative examples should be skipped past or edited out of footage.
  • Differentiate between “incidental” video capture of structured or authentic contexts versus “intentional” use of VSM. If the camera is running in the background and all activity is captured, those “ah-ha” moments or terrific positive examples are likely not to be missed. While you may end up discarding much of what is captured, you can go back to just the important pieces to review with the learner to strengthen targeted skills or reinforce behaviors.
  • Plan for the more intentional and structured practice, especially at the beginning stages of the learning of a skill. Some skills will need to be broken down into smaller steps so that the learner can be successful from the start. Plan for those discrete lessons at the start and capture strategically, playing back the footage for the learner to review to see their own accomplishments along the way.
  • In small doses, and with appropriate learners, consider the use of the negative model. When working with a person on the very fine-tuning of a skill, after so much success has been shown and reinforced, infusing a bit of attention to what’s left to be learned could be warranted. Be sure to show positive examples at least three times as often as the negative and keep constructive feedback associated with errors so that they are shown for the sake of learning rather than “shaming” or embarrassing the learner. Remember the need to keep self-efficacy high.

The use of VSM holds great potential and reward. The following list of citations are offered to show just a small subsection of speech and language specific application of VSM:

Bellini, S., and Akullian, J. (2007). A meta-analysis of video modeling and video self-modeling interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder. Exceptional Children, 73(3), 264-287.

Bray, M., and Kehle, T. (1996). Self-modeling as an intervention for stuttering. Behavior Therapy, 2, 129-150.

Cream, A., O’Brian, S., Jones, M., Block, S., Harrison, E., Lincoln, M., Packman, A., Menzies, R., & Onslow, M. (2010). Randomized controlled trial of video self-modeling following speech restructuring treatment for stuttering. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53, 887-897.

Hargis, J., & Sebastian, M.M. (2011). Using Flip camcorders for active classroom metacognitive reflection. Active Learning in Higher Education, 12(1) 35-44.

Ingham, J. (1982). The effects of self-evaluation training on maintenance and generalization during stuttering treatment, Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 47, 271-280.

McGraw-Hunter, M., Faw, G, and Davis, P. (2006). The use of video self-modeling and feedback to teach cooking skills to individuals with traumatic brain injury: A pilot study. Brain Injury, 20(10), 1061-1068.

Ortiz, J., Burlingame, C., Onuegbulem, C., Yoshikawa, K., & Rojas, E.D. (2012). The use of video self-modeling with English language learners: implications for success. Psychology in the Schools, 49(1), 23-29.

Prater, M.A., Carter, N., Hitchcock, C., & Dorwick, P. (2011). Video self-modeling to improve academic performance: a literature review. Psychology in the Schools, 49(1), 71-81.

Schmidt, J., Fleming, J., Ownsworth, T., and Lannin, N. (December 2012; Epub). Video feedback on functional task performance improves self-awareness after traumatic brain injury. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair (Epub ahead of print).

Yingling Wert, B., and Neisworth, J. (2003). Effects of video self-modeling on spontaneous requesting in children with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 5(1), 30-34.