Video Modeling

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

When to use: 

  • To teach a wide variety of behaviors and skills. 

How to use: 

  1. Identify and create a goal for the target behavior/skill to be taught. 
  2. Create a task analysis of the skill. 
  3. Collect baseline data to identify skills the student may already have. 
  4. Begin teaching at the step the student cannot complete independently. This may or may not be the first step. 
  5. Gather equipment: You will need a recording device (such as a video camera, IPad, etc.) and a playback device (computer, DVD, IPad, etc.) 
  6. 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.) 
  7. 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: 

  1. Identify the environment for showing the video to the student. 
  2. Teaching/practice should be in the most natural setting/routines. 
  3. Determine when and how often the video will be shown. 
  4. Ensure materials used in video matches materials used in practice. 

Show the video: 

  1. Staff may prompt during showing if needed to maintain student’s attention. 
  2. Show the video a predetermined amount of times prior to expecting the student to practice the target behavior/skill. 
  3. Reinforce practice of target behavior/skill. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.