Preparing Videos for iP2

If you would like to have a new task added to iP2, you will have to select your task, prepare a task analysis and script, film and edit the videos, and send them to us at Ohio State. This page contains tips and instructions for completing each of these steps.

Selecting the Task

Probably the most important step in this process is deciding what to teach. The sky is really the limit here. As long as you have an objective and measurable behavior you would like to teach, there is a possibility that using video prompting could be effective. The following paragraphs will briefly detail what researchers know about the success of video prompting for teaching specific skills.

There are a number of skills that researchers have successful taught using video prompting. iP2 contains a wide variety of daily living and vocational skills that we have taught students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to complete. At this time, there is sufficient evidence to support the use of video prompting to teach daily living skills as well as some basic vocational skills. If there is a skill in these categories that you would like to teach that we don’t have video for, this would be a great choice!

There are several skills that have not been taught using video prompting, such as academic skills or social skills. There is evidence that video modeling, in which the entire task is shown to the student, has been successful in teaching social skills to individuals with autism, but video prompting has not been used to teach these skills. To date, neither video modeling nor video prompting have been used to teach academic skills. However, if you would like to try teaching skills in this category, we would be happy to host your video. We would appreciate knowing whether your instruction in these skill areas was effective so we can further add to the body of knowledge on video prompting.

Writing the Task Analysis

Once you have chosen the skill you would like to teach, you will need to develop a task analysis, in which you break the skill into its component parts. The task analysis will provide you will a guideline for developing your videos as well as the data sheet you will use to collect data on your instruction.

There are several things to consider before you develop your task analysis. First, carefully consider your student’s skill set. For example, can they follow multi-step directions (e.g., 2–3)? Or, do they need explicit direction for each step of a task? If the former, and you were going to write a task analysis for making microwave popcorn, you might have one step be “Put the popcorn in the microwave.” In this step, the student would be expected to open the microwave door, put the popcorn bag in correctly oriented, and close the microwave door. If the latter, you might have three steps: (a) Open the microwave door, (b) Put the popcorn in the microwave, and (c) close the microwave door.

Second, once you have a draft task analysis, you MUST test it. This is best done by having someone (preferably not the student) who didn’t help you write the task analysis try to perform the skill. Watch carefully as they try to follow your steps. If you have missed a step, simply edit your task analysis. If there is a nuance that they miss, make a note so that you can be sure to perform that nuance in the video.

Once your task analysis is written, you can write your script for you videos.

Writing the Script

Before you begin filming, you will want to write out a script of the verbal directions you will provide with each step of your task analysis. You should have one direction for each step, and the directions should be clear and concise. For example, a direction for putting the popcorn in the microwave might be, “Put the popcorn bag in the microwave with the flaps up.” Any nuances for a step (such as having the bag flaps of the popcorn bag facing up) should be included in both the verbal instruction and in the video. The purpose of these instructions is to highlight the salient features of the video.

Filming the Clips

Now, you are ready to film! Unless you are using a high definition phone camera, we recommend using digital video camera to film your clips. We generally use a combination of point of view clips and subjective clips. If we are filming a task step that requires a fine motor movement (e.g., setting the time on a microwave), we will zoom in on the hands of the actor so we have a clear video of the hands opening the bag. If the step involved a gross motor movement, we will film the full body of the actor performing the skill. The goal is to ensure that the salient features of the step are captured in the video.

When we started making videos, we spoke the directions using the camera microphone while filming the task. Recently, we have starting recording the directions while editing the videos. If you don’t have a lot of extraneous noise in your environment, it will be fine to record your verbal instructions while filming. If there is excessive noise in your environment, you will have to dub your verbal instructions in while editing. Either way, leave 1 or 2 seconds at the start of each video clip to say (or dub) the verbal instruction before the actor begins performing the task.

We have found that it is helpful to conduct several rehearsal runs before we try to film anything. By doing that, we can figure out where the person filming should stand, how the actor should be oriented, if there are extraneous materials in the environment, etc. Even with those run-throughs, we do have to film some steps several times. Be patient and keep going until you get the video that you need.

Editing and Saving the Clips

Not all editing software is created equal, so we will not try to provide you specific instructions for editing your videos.

When editing, one suggestion we have is that if you have a step that is quite long but includes either a wait period (e.g., waiting for the microwave to finish popping the popcorn) or a repeated task (e.g., vacuuming a section of carpet), you should cut the middle of the video out so that the student doesn’t have to watch the entire duration of the task. We suggest inserting a fade out/fade in transition. We use the cross blur transition.

When saving your video files, be sure that each step of the task is saved as its own file. When you export your videos out of your video editing software program, be sure to export it for a mobile device. We use iMovie. When we are ready to export a video clip, we “Share” the video to iTunes and select the “Mobile” format. If you are using other video editing software, please ensure that when you export the videos, you select the smallest resolution. (i.e., 480 x 272).

Please save your video files in either the .mov or .m4v formats. Also, please use the following naming convention for your video clips.

  • File names should be all lowercase
  • Use dashes ( – ) instead of spaces and underscores ( _ )
  • Prepend a two digit sequence number to the beginning of your filenames (e.g., the file name for your first video clip would start 01, the file name for your second video would start with 02, and so on.)

Collecting Still Images

For each task, you will need not only the video clips for each step, you will also need a photograph representing the overall task as well as each step. These photographs should depict what the completed step should look like (e.g., for the Put the popcorn in the microwave task, the photograph should show an open microwave door with the popcorn correctly oriented in the microwave). The cover photograph, should be a representation of what the final task should look like (e.g., a popped bowl of popcorn).

Please save your video files in either the .jpg or .jpeg formats ensuring that the resolution of the image in no larger than the video file. File sizes should be no larger than 150 KB. Also, please use the following naming convention for your video clips:

  • File names should be all lowercase
  • Use dashes ( – ) instead of spaces and underscores ( _ )
  • Prepend a two digit sequence number to the beginning of your filenames (e.g., the file name for your first image file would start 01, the file name for your second image file would start with 02, and so on.)

What to Include on Your DVD

Each task should be in its own folder, labelled with the name of the task. Within the folder, you should have one folder that contains all of the video clips. In another folder, you should have all of your still image files. In a third folder, you should have any documentation (e.g., task analysis, data sheet, etc.). The following is a sample folder structure:

  • popcorn
    • images
    • clips
    • documents

Sending Materials to The Ohio State University

Once all of the above materials have been prepared, please burn a DVD that includes all video clips, stills, and task analyses, and send it to:

Helen Cannella-Malone
A348 PAES Building
305 W 17th Avenue
Columbus OH 43210

Please include with your package a letter outlining what you’ve included on yoru DVD as well as your contact information. Once we have received all of your materials, we will work to load your videos to our server and update the app. As soon as we have finished work on our end, we will send you an email to let you know they are available for you .