Video Modeling, Video Self Modeling and Feedforward

            Video modeling (VM) and video self modeling (VSM) are two methods for using video to support the development of target skills or behaviors. Video modeling aims to teach by fostering imitation. In video modeling, an individual watches a video of a peer performing a targeted skill or behavior.  In video self modeling, the individual watches him or herself successfully performing a target skill or behavior. Studies have shown that both VM and VSM have positive outcomes on target skills and behaviors (Cihak & Shrader, 2009). Researchers have noted that individuals tend to be more engaged by videos of themselves and to learn self-efficacy in the process of making their own videos (Marcus & Wilder, 2009).

            The concept of self modeling is based in Albert Bandura’s ideas about self-efficacy as a factor in behavioral change and the related notion that self modeling provides the essential elements of self-efficacy. Of key importance is that in self modeling situations, an individual sees oneself performing a skill or task and strengthens his belief in his capability as a result. This creates affective changes, increasing one’s motivation to engage and successfully undertake a task,

Characteristics of a VSM video with feedforward (Anderson & Dowrick, 2000)

These are some important characteristics of a feedforward video:

  1. Show only successful and independent performance of a skill beyond one’s current ability
  2. Show only positive images (e.g. with specific praise). Avoid correcting errors to build confidence
  3. Focus on one attainable skill; if the skill is complex, consider making a series of videos that demonstrate the sequence, step-by-step
  4. Keep the video short. The most successful feedforward videos are about 2-3 minutes long.

eventually eliminating the need for the scaffold.

            Video self modeling projects can incorporate “feedforward”, or images of future mastery (Dowrick, Kim-Rupnow, & Power, 2006). In contrast to feedback, which focuses on past or present performance, feedforward is a depiction of future performance.)  A VSM project that incorporates feedforward depicts a skill or behavior not yet mastered, one that an individual might be trying to achieve more consistently or regularly. When filming the video, the individual can be provided with support or a scaffold to reach mastery. While editing the video, the scaffold is edited out in order for the individual to be depicted performing the skill independently in the VSM video. For example, in the scenario at the start of this article, the tutor provided a scaffold, by modeling fluent reading. During the echo reading process, the student demonstrated fluent and error free reading, with the assistance of this scaffold. While editing the video, the tutor cut out the portions in which she can be heard reading, leaving only the video in which the student is reading the passage independently and fluently. This VSM video incorporated feedforward; the edited video was a depiction of the student as a fluent reader, providing images of future mastery of the target skill.

            The feedforward technique illustrates “successes not yet achieved” (Dowrick, Tallman, & Connor, 2005, 131). The theory of feedforward proposes that “component behaviors (in the repertoire) are reconfigured to produce a new skill or level of performance” (Dowrick, 2011, p.2). Feedforward techniques can be used to create VSM videos in which individuals can watch models of themselves learning new skills, developing their self-image of being capable of doing skills that they are not currently capable of doing independently. By starring in one’s own video, the individual has a compelling and authentic model of future success – the ‘self’ (Graetz, Mastropieri, & Scruggs, 2006).

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