Learning with Less Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety create a negative situation, which makes learning difficult. In a traditional teaching situation the need for person-to-person interaction can be a cause of stress and anxiety. A child is unnecessarily burdened by the need to overcome this stress and anxiety before they can focus on what is being taught. Learning either suffers, or does not happen.


Video modeling changes all that. An important benefit of video modeling is that it removes the necessity of person-to-person interaction from the learning process. Removing this interaction takes pressure off the child and allows the child to concentrate on the video. Attending to video only, a learner concentrates and is less distracted.

Video modeling is a strategy involving the use of videos to provide modeling of targeted skills (Bellini & Akullian, 2007). Both videos that include the participants (video self-modeling, VSM) and videos of others have been found effective in teaching new skills (Sherer et al., 2001).

Video modeling including “other” models may be easier to produce because these videos generally require less editing than VSM; typically developing students may more readily cooperate, understand directions, already demonstrate mastery of target skills, and require fewer prompts.

Point-of-view modeling, or placing the video camera at an angle that illustrates the target skill from the point of view of the target student (e.g., camera is placed at the shoulder of the model to show the skill from eye level) also has been demonstrated to be effective (Bellini & Akullian, 2007).

LRVideomodel2Excerpt from:

Video Modeling A Visually Based Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jennifer B. Ganz

Theresa L. Earles-Vollrath

Types of Video Models:

  • Adult Models: Adults model the targeted behaviors. Adults can be familiar to the participant including a parent, teacher, or be unknown.
  • Peer models: Peer models are typically the same age and gender of the participant. Peer models can include individuals familiar to the participant, such as a sibling or classmate, or unknown individuals.
  • Video Self-modeling (VSM) refers to “the observation of images of oneself engaged in adaptive behavior (Hitchcock, Dowrick, & Prater, 2003, p. 37).”
  • Point-of-view video models: Point-of-view refers to the visual image that would be seen if the participant was engaged in the behavior including, images of hands demonstrating a specific skill.
  • Mixed models: Mixed model approaches may combine any of the above model types. For example, adult video models may be combined with video self-modeling to provide feedback to the child on their imitation of a specific skill.

Supporting research can be found at http://www.txautism.net/. TARGET: Texas Autism Resource Guide for Effective Teaching includes extensive research on this and many other strategies.

Video modeling has proven to be an effective tool to teach skills for children with autism spectrum disorders. The research also shows that some of the most effective videos are when the subjects are of similar age.

I am personally embarking on an effort to create a new video series that can be circulated amongst parents and teachers in order to help children with autism and other special needs, called “The Orion Files.” The Orion Files is a set of videos that help young children with autism learn how to develop certain skills.

The topics will range from going to the doctor, to shopping at the grocery store, to cleaning up and going to bed. The series will consist of 12 different video clips to help teach children how to develop these skills, and interact in different situations.

I have started a campaign in order to raise the required funds to make this great educational tool a reality. If you would like to support these efforts, click on the link below. Please also share with any family or friends you know who might benefit from these educational videos!


By Lisa Rogers

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

  1. Please send me updates. I love your idea of video modelling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *