Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Video Modeling and iMovie (Part 2)

In my last post, I reviewed (briefly) a meta-analysis (Bellini & Akullian, 2007) supporting video modeling (VM) and video self-modeling (VSM, the difference being that the student or students are included in the video produced to promote the use of the target behavior). In the study, the authors recommended the therapeutic technique of storyboarding targeted interactions before videoing students, which is also supported in literature describing interventions for social and executive functioning (Ward & Jacobsen, 2014).

The authors also highlighted the technical skill that was needed to produce and edit personalized videos. In 2007.

In 2015 (and for a few years back), it is not at all as hard to produce and edit video clips, because we have iMovie for iOS. Now, I originally taught myself iMovie about 14 years ago on the Mac, and it was quite a chore. After shooting video or compiling photos somewhere else, often a comparatively small but still clunky DV camera, you had to import the video (in real time) and use a complicated interface to edit it. iMovie for iOS (Free if you have purchased an iDevice after Oct 2013, otherwise $4.99) still has a bit of a learning curve--but the fact that you can shoot and edit by touch all on the same device goes a long way toward making these techniques accessible to our profession. Note that you can do much of the below on an iPod or iPhone as well, though the small screen will make it a bit trickier.

I had a great time with a group at Nova Southeastern doing an interactive demo session on iMovie recently--I'd like to make this a habit! As a group, we discussed the study mentioned above and decided on a task that I could be "prompted through," as an organizer recorded me and another gave me some cues when I "forgot" a step. We decided on something simple--pushing in a chair after leaving a table!

When you open iMovie, you begin by adding a new project, as in many other apps with the + symbol.  iMovie has this great interface where you can create a Movie Trailer, but in this case we select "Movie."

Once you have created a project, you can add video previously shot from your camera roll, or tap the camera to record directly into the timeline (the area used to build and edit the project). In this case we just added the recorded single clip of my being prompted to stand up and push in the chair!

Once the clip is added to the project, you'll want to navigate to any segment you want to edit, such that the play head (white line) is over the beginning or end of the segment. In this segment, the person to the side was giving me a verbal prompt we wanted to edit out. Be sure to tap the clip so it is highlighted in yellow, then tap Split. This creates two separate clips so you can simply edit the end of one or the beginning of the next, like so:

The beauty of editing in iMovie is that you can "trim" footage by moving the trim handle (yellow bar) to the left or right, which cuts or re-adds footage as you like. If you make a mistake, simply adjust--no need to start over. In this case, we moved the handle to the right until the video clip no longer contained the verbal prompt.

Proceed in this way to edit out any footage, including prompts or errors, so that students can see the situation going "as planned." iMovie allows you to do a lot more than this, and nice guides are here and here.

Like many iPad apps, your project saves automatically and you can return to edit it. Tapping on your project in the Projects area gives you many options for sharing: saving the edited video to the camera roll or publishing to YouTube, sending to Dropbox, etc.

I could spend a lot more time on iMovie, but hope this gives you a start!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Research Tuesday- Video Modeling and iMovie (Part 1)

At my recent presentation at Nova Southeastern University, we reviewed research around video modeling and how this speaks to use of the app iMovie (free for devices after Oct, 2013/$4.99). For this reason, I am happy to discuss this material today as part of Research Tuesday.

In researching this topic, I was happy to find a recent meta-analysis (Bellini & Akullian, 2007) that looked at a range of published studies on video modeling (VM). Here are some details of that study:
  • The authors emphasize the importance of evidence-based practices in treating autism and the sense of urgency around helping these clients and students to make progress. Single-subject research is defined as EBP when it involved defined practices (methodology and context) that are "implemented with fidelity," resulting in "the practice...functionally related to change in dependent measures," and that the results around the practice be replicated in at least 5 peer-reviewed journals. The study also emphasizes the importance of social validity, meaning that the practice have "social importance and acceptability" from the point of view of the client.
  • The study describes video modeling as grounded in Bandura's social learning theory and defines it as "demonstration of desired behaviors through video representation of the behavior." The intervention around VM typically involves watching the video demonstration and then assisting the student in imitating the behavior in context. In video self-modeling (VSM), the student observes himself in video successfully performing a behavior, related to Bandura's concept of the motivation factors around "self-efficacy."
  • The meta-analysis examined 29 studies involving VM and VSM applying selection factors (publication in peer-reviewed journal, participants with ASD, focus on VM and VSM for functional behavioral outcomes alone or in combination with other interventions, other factors) and identified 23 studies meeting their criteria. Examining these 23 studies found moderate intervention, maintenance and generalization effects for the methodologies (less generalization found with VSM). Statistical analysis involved application of PND (percent of non-overlapping data), a statistic often used for analysis of single subject designs, for the purpose of establishing these effect sizes. Use of video modeling was also noted as promoting learning factors such as attention and motivation.
  • The researchers go on to give specifics about each study, as well as categorized studies according to focus on social or functional (life) skills. For example, in one study, students were supported with prompts to use the skill of requesting items during play, and these prompts were edited out for the video used for repeated viewing by the children. Editing out "hidden supports" is a subcategory of VSM known as video feedforward, according to the article. In this study the 4 participants were found to have a substantial increase in spontaneous requests for toys and items after the intervention. Many other examples are given in the meta-analysis.
A few points in the authors' discussion particularly interested me. As it was written in 2007, the article emphasized the technical expertise required to edit the video footage, particularly in techniques such as feedforward. With the availability of mobile apps for video editing, this is not so much a factor anymore. Additionally, the authors suggested therapists use a storyboard or script, then record the child or children engaging in the desired behavior. I find this a great suggestion as it places video modeling in the context of a larger therapeutic and language process, particularly for higher functioning students who can participate in the storyboarding and planning phase of the activities.

For some practical ways to apply video modeling with pre-made videos in your work, see my recent post for Mindwing Concepts, where I particularly focused on strategies of using situational analysis and story grammar during and after viewing activities.

In next week's post, I'll be looking to back up what I said above about the relative ease of recording videos and editing out prompts (feedforward), in a discussion of iMovie.

Bellini, S, & Akullian, J. (2007). A meta-analysis of video modeling and video self-modeling interventions. Exceptional Children, 73 (3),  pp. 264-287

I will be presenting in the Washington, DC area in September for the Center for Communication and Learning, LLC- hope to see some of you there! Click here for details.

Note: author is a paid consultant for Mindwing Concepts, Inc, for the provision of blog content as relates to the link above. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Toons.Tv- a resource for visual contextual teaching

Toons.TV (on the web, accessible through Safari on iPad, free) is an engaging source of short animated videos useful for building narrative and social cognition skills. The website houses several seasons of the "Angry Birds Toons" series as well as spinoffs such as "Piggy Tales"--it also has selections from one of my favorites, "Shaun the Sheep." All of these series are wordless, and their language-neutral nature gives much opportunities to elicit storytelling from our students, as well as focusing on critical skills such as inference and identifying nonverbal cues, while in the context of topics of interest such as Angry Birds.

I have never floundered to find a quick "lesson" in an Angry Birds or Shawn the Sheep video; in addition to being a context for developing narrative skills such as setting description or retelling, a few I liked from Angry Birds specifically included (along with social cognition or specific Social Thinking® concepts):

Piggies from the Deep- use of humor, the 5-Point Silly Scale
Gate Crasher- flexible thinking, "thinking with the eyes" and "making a smart guess"
Gardening with Terence- talking about physical presence and what it means, making impressions
Do as I Say- "own plan vs. the group plan," humor, emotional vocabulary such as impressed, respectful
Just So- "important vs. unimportant," "Inner Coaching"
Hide and Seek- 5-Point Scales of Problems and the Social Thinking around hide and seek (perspective taking, cause and effect)
Treasure Hunt- "smart guess vs. wacky guess"

Videos such as the above can easily be followed with contextual play activities practicing the concepts or within the theme- for example, after the Treasure Hunt video we conducted an actual treasure hunt using verbal clues placed in different locations, which additionally allowed us to work on keeping our body in the group and other collaboration skills.

A resource I have found very useful in expanding my thinking about using video is SLP (and Ph.D) Anna Vagin's Movie Time Social Learning- she also has a book about using online videos called YouCue Feelings. Also see Tara Roehl's Pinterest boards around motivating contexts such as Angry Birds. I hope you find these resources helpful, too! If you discover other alignments between the videos on Toons.Tv and language or social concepts, please let us know in the comments.

I will be presenting in the Washington, DC area in September for the Center for Communication and Learning, LLC- hope to see some of you there! Click here for details.