Using Video Modeling to increase positive peer interactions for Children with social skills difficulties.

Using Video Modeling to increase positive peer interactions for Children with social skills difficulties.


Using Video Modeling to increase positive peer interactions for Children with social skills difficulties.

Problem Behavior or Issue

Early childhood education presents students with an opportunity to gain necessary skills, which will enable them to develop as socially competent individuals. However, there are some children that fail to acquire these skills as quickly or effectively compared to their peers. This results to a notable percentage of pre-school children lacking relevant skills that would enable them to be socially successful. These children are usually at the risk of rejection, neglect and bullying compared to their peers. In case the problem behavior is significant and externalizing, the children are at the risk of delinquency in adolescence.

Development of social competence usually requires children to acquire a range of affective, behavioral and cognitive behaviors. Most children learn the skills during their interaction with parents, peers, caregivers and siblings. However, there are children that do not seem to readily acquire these skills. This is due to a convoluted combination of environmental and individual factors that include lack of patience, knowledge, feedback, learning opportunities, practice or reinforcement. Some children may need systematic intervention in order to acquire the required social skills. Different intervention procedures have been analyzed for this purpose. Among the promising evidence-based approach when it comes to development of social skills is video modeling.


Benefits and Research Findings

Video Modeling has several benefits and that is why it has been used in various instances for students with disabilities. Among the benefits is that it allows for learning with less anxiety and stress. Anxiety and stress tend to create a negative situation that makes learning difficult. The face-to-face interaction between students and teachers is likely to cause these problems. There are times when it appears like the child is being unnecessarily burdened by the desire to overcome anxiety and stress before trying to focus on the things being taught (Delano, 2007). Video modeling helps in changing such experiences. Removing the interaction removes pressure from the child hence allowing for concentration. Another benefit is that video modeling allows teaching to become fun and flexible. It becomes livelier when the child can watch, imitate, learn and have fun at the same time.

Maione & Mirenda (2006) assert that video modeling has the ability to bring about increased development in social language. Procedures of video modeling have been used successfully to educate children with autism on various adaptive behaviors that include play, self-care, academic, purchasing, requesting and social skills. The strategy is relatively unobtrusive and is easily incorporated in many treatment paradigms. It can also show effectiveness in a wider range of environments, even homes.  Delano (2007) on the other hand, asserts that different researchers have made use of video modeling as a strategy for helping children with autism to improve communication, functional and social living skills. Video modeling interventions are vital tools for practitioners that work with children suffering from autism. This is because they made the environment more desirable and to the liking of the children involved. It is an effective strategy for children with autism because it does not require the teacher’s social interaction, presents information in visual formats and it reduces language and attentional demands. According to Green et al. (2013), Video Modeling bears a strong scientific evidence base that pertains to teaching children with developmental disabilities. Parents and teachers usually rate the intervention as being acceptable.

The video modeling concept has been successful in teaching different skill sets to children suffering from varying disabilities (Maione & Mirenda, 2006). Although it has been a successful strategy, various researches have shown that it is more successful with autistic children. The basis of the strategy is that it focuses on the child’s strengths in visual processing and his/her interest in videos (Green et al., 2013).  The ability of video modeling to be used in different environments also comes as an additional benefit. In addition, video modeling can be used in conjunction with other strategies to help children acquire varied skills easily.



These are the steps that can be followed while implementing Video Modeling in a classroom.

  1. Choosing the target behavior

Here, a teacher identifies the behavior problem that a student is experiencing.  A clear description is provided to ensure that there is accuracy in data collection throughout the intervention in order to monitor its effectiveness.

  1. Gathering appropriate equipment

Teachers ought to have access to basic pieces of equipment in order to implement video modeling. This includes something that can make a video and something that can be used to show this video. Various devices can be used in creating the video including but not limited to traditional video cameras, digital cameras, iPads and cell phones among others.

  1. Collecting baseline data

Before an intervention commences, there must be observation and collection of data on the target behavior. This is for identifying the skills that the student already has. The videos that are going to be used will be dependent on the baseline data. It is advisable to collect at least 3 baseline data points.

  1. Planning the video recording

This involves writing a script based the tasks analysis of the given behavior. Creating a script for the skill being analyzed is very important. The script tells the learners what they ought to say or do during the recording. Task analysis becomes helpful while breaking down complex skills into sequences of several behaviors.

  1. Recording the video

The child is prompted as needed, and a video of the successful completion of the targeted behavior is recorded. The video should be edited as needed in order to showcase a seamless model of the targeted behavior.

  1. Determining the environment for watching the video

In this case, the video is intended to be watched in the classroom. The teacher has to determine when the video will be watched, and the number of times. It is good to ensure that the equipment that will be used for watching is available.

  1. Showing the video

The video should be shown on a regular basis, as the teacher prompts the student to keep attention

  1. Collecting data to monitor progress

Data collection using task analysis on the specified behavior should continue in order to assess whether there are improvements. If there is no progress being noticed, the teacher should think of ways for adjusting the implementation.

  1. Fading the video

When the student begins to show repeated successes in the target behavior, the use of the video should be faded. If it was being used every day, it can now be used once or twice in a week. If the positive progress continues, the video can be faded altogether to enhance independence.



Delano, M. E. (2007). Video Modeling Interventions for Individuals with Autism. Remedial and Special Education, 28(1), 33-42.

Green, V. A., Drysdale, H., Boelema, T., Smart, E., Meer, L. V., Achmadi, D., . . . Lancioni, G. (2013). Use of Video Modeling to Increase Positive Peer Interactions of Four Preschool Children with Social Skills Difficulties. Education and Treatment of Children, 36(2), 59-85.

Maione, L., & Mirenda, P. (2006). Effects of Video Modeling and Video Feedback on Peer-Directed Social Language Skills of a Child With Autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 8(2), 106-118.


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