A Meta-Analysis of Video Modeling Interventions that Teach
Employment Related Skills to Individuals with Autism
Carol Sparber, M.Ed. Intervention Specialist
Kent State University
This meta-analysis examines single subject studies that used video modeling (VM)
interventions for teaching employment related skills to adolescents with Autism.
Three indices of non-overlapping data (PND, PEM, and IRD) were used to
examine each study for effectiveness of intervention and maintained skill
outcomes. With trends in special education moving toward inclusion, there is a
need to provide practitioners with practical and effective evidence based
Analysis of Video Modeling Interventions
Employment is low for individuals with autism and they face many challenges
in the work environment (Burke et al., 2010; Howlin, 2000; Wagner et al.,
Video modeling can be effectively used to develop and strengthen academic
performance, social, communication, and self-help skills and has strong
potential for job skill training in employment settings (Bellini & Akullian,
2007; Goh & Bambara, 2013; Van Laahoven et al., 2009).
Video modeling combines observational learning and the unique strengths of
individuals with ASD to respond to visual instruction resulting in strong
maintenance effects and good generalization across novel tasks and settings
(Bellini & Akullian, 2007; Buggey, 2005; Cihak, 2008)
Video modeling offers an efficient and effective intervention thus reducing time
needed for on the job training resulting in quicker rates of skill acquisition,
increased generalization and maintenance (Charlop-Christy, Le, & Freeman,
2000; Van Laahoven et al., 2012)
Effect sizes are necessary for single case studies in order to identify evidencebased interventions (Parker, Vannest, & Brown, 2009)
There is a need for improved rigor to support evidence-based interventions, with
an effect size for more objective and reliable measures (Kazdin, 2008)
Few studies have been conducted to assess vocational interventions for
adolescents and young adults with ASD so there is very little evidence available
for specific vocational treatment approaches as individuals transition to
adulthood (Taylor, 2012)
(max. pts. possible: 7)
Kellems & Morningstar Video modeling
Smith, Ayres, Mechling, Video modeling
& Smith (2013)
Allen, Wallace, Greene, Video modeling
Bowen, & Burke (2010)
Allen, Wallace, Renes, Video modeling
Bowen, & Burke (2010)
Goh & Bambara (2013) Video modeling
Overall effect size for video modeling
as the sole intervention.
Yakubova & TaberDoughty (2013)
Bowen, Howard, &
+ BSTraining &
Mechling, & Alexander + prompting on
Gog & Bambara (2013) Video modeling
+ feedback &
Shurr, & Wiles (2013)
* PND with floor effect not calculated into aggregate
w/ iPad + least
Overall effect size for Video Modeling +
An electronic search was conducted for studies from 2003 to 2013 using the
Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), Ebsco, and PsycINFO.
Search terms included: video modeling, video, ASD, autism,
employment tasks, vocational settings, and employment skills.
Single case research with a multiple baseline design that demonstrated
experimental control (Horner, et al., 2005)
Participants had a diagnosis of autism according to DSM-IV
Outcome measure targeted improved employment related skills
Independent variable was a form of video modeling or video modeling combined
with additional treatment
Strength of Intervention
Criterion Measures Defined: 6-7 pts. large effect, 4-5 pts. moderate
effect, 3 points or less, not effective
Percentage of Non-overlapping Data (PND) A calculation of non-overlap between baseline & successive intervention phases (Scruggs, Mastropieri, & Casto, 1987)
PND > 90% highly effective (3pts)
PND >70% effective (2pts)
PND 50% - 70% questionable effectiveness (1pt)
PND < 50% ineffective (0pts)
Percentage of Data Points Exceeding the Median (PEM) A calculation of
percentage of data points exceeding the median of baseline phase (Ma, 2006)
PEM .90 to 1.0, highly effective (2pts)
PEM .70 to .90 moderately effective (1pt)
PEM Less than .70 questionable or not effective (0pt)
Improvement Rate Difference (IRD) Calculation of improvement rate differences
between baseline and intervention phases (Parker, Vannest, & Brown, 2009)
IRD .70 to 1.0, large effect size (2pts)
IRD .50 to .70, moderate effect size (1pt)
IRD Less than .50, small or questionable effects, chance level improvement (0pts)
Results support the effectiveness of video modeling in teaching new job tasks.
Analysis of PND, PEM and IRD across all studies show the effect of video
modeling interventions are not equally strong
PND in some studies were affected by floor and/or ceiling effects in baseline
phase therefore PEM can provide a better interpretation of effect size
Video modeling interventions accompanied by additional treatments (i.e.,
prompting, practice, and/or feedback) generally resulted in a larger effect size
60% of the studies measured maintenance, of these, all reported high effect sizes
Overall metrics suggest integrating additional intervention treatments to improve
the effectiveness of video modeling
Graphs for each study were examined and hand calculated for Percentage of Nonoverlapping Data (PND), Percentage of Data Points Exceeding the Mean (PEM),
and the Improvement Rate Difference (IRD) resulting in 202 calculations across
51 interventions with 29 participants.
Basic data unit of analysis was the comparison between baseline and intervention
Effect size for each study were recorded and rated to determine individual as well
as overall effectiveness of video modeling interventions.
Interrater agreement 100%
Nonparametric data for each study was rated for effect size based on
predetermined criteria (Scruggs et al., 1987; Ma, 2006; Parker et al., 2011)
Practical Implications & Future Studies
Video modeling combined with other treatments are more likely to increase
acquisition and maintenance of employment skills
Video modeling provides practitioners with an efficient, effective, evidence
based intervention for improving job task outcomes for individuals with
Future single case studies should report non-overlapping calculations to inform
practitioners of the relative strength or effectiveness of the intervention method.
Future research should investigate the instructional benefits of hand held devices
(e.g., iPods and iPhones) for teaching employment skills to individuals with
Metro Beyond Barriers (MBB) was created to serve as an ambassador and employer advocate in creating a barrier-free, inclusive, employment environment for persons with disabilities. Since its inception in 2015, MBB has made great progress in these efforts.
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