Video Modeling

A teaching strategy that uses a video recording to model a targeted behavior or skill.

Video Modeling Example

Video Modeling Example

Putting on deodorant

When to use:

  • To teach a wide variety of behaviors and skills.

How to use:

  • Identify and create a goal for the target behavior/skill to be taught.
  • Create a task analysis of the skill.
  • Collect baseline data to identify skills the student may already have. Begin teaching at the step the student cannot complete independently. This may or may not be the first step.
  • Gather equipment: You will need a recording device (such as a video camera, IPad, etc.) and a playback device (computer, DVD, IPad, etc.)
  • Plan for recording: Find a model for the video (when possible use peers), obtain consent/permission, a script can be helpful for the model, identify location(s) for recording, identify type of video modeling (learn more on this below in Variations.)
  • Record video that accurately reflects the target behavior/skill. It may be necessary to edit the video to remove inaccuracy, errors, prompts, or to add voice-over(s) if necessary.

How to teach:

  • Identify the environment for showing the video to the student.
    • Teaching/practice should be in the most natural setting/routines.
    • Determine when and how often the video will be shown.
  • Ensure materials used in video matches materials used in practice.
  • Show the video:
    • Staff may prompt during showing if needed to maintain student’s attention.
    • Show the video a predetermined amount of times prior to expecting the student to practice the target behavior/skill.
      • Reinforce practice of target behavior/skill.
  • Monitor the data trends and make adjustments as necessary. This could be changes such as: revising task analysis, re-recording video, adding voice-over, prompting levels, etc.
  • Have a plan for fading the video and prompting once the student’s data meets a predetermined criteria.


  • If the student is not making progress:
    • Does the student have the prerequisite skill of imitation?
    • Are changes needed to the video modeling procedure?
    • Is the video too complicated?
      • Is the student attending to the relevant parts of the video?
    • Is the student watching enough times per week?
    • Is the prompting level appropriate?
    • Is the reinforcer strong enough and given at the appropriate rate?


  • Video self-modeling: The student is the model in the video. Appropriate to use when the behavior/skill is already in the student’s repertoire but they may need to use it more often, or consistently.
  • Point-of-view video modeling: This type shows how the behavior/skill will look from the student’s perspective (think of the view if a camera was fixed to a helmet.) Appropriate to use when a student needs support identifying relevant stimuli and/or has difficulty with Theory of Mind.
  • Video prompting: Each step is recorded and video is paused/stopped at each step to allow the student to perform that step. Use the data collected to determine when to intentionally increase the number of steps before a pause/stop until the student can complete the entire sequence at once. Appropriate to use for a behavior/skill with many steps and/or for a student who progresses slowly.


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