June came around so quickly this year. Once upon a time, in March, I promised my first research participant, Daniel, that when we’re done with the research in June, I’ll take him to a nice chinese buffet restaurant for dinner. It’s June now and we’re only somewhat close to 1/3 done. The nice chinese buffet dinner has been postponed to August, possibly even later…
I have almost completed videotaping Daniel for the his second job task. This time around it was much easier. During the videotaping sessions for the first task, it was totally new to him so it was very difficult to get to him to do some things more than once and he got upset when we had him say some sentences more than once. Plus, I was rather tensed up about the whole videotaping business since it was also my first time doing the videotaping and trying to get everything to look as good as possible.
Videotaping the second task took a few more sessions because Daniel was dropped off late and we only had 30 minutes instead of an hour. So far, we have gone through three 30 minutes videotaping sessions and I think that should be enough. I just need one more clip of the store manger thanking Daniel for doing a good job and that has been scheduled for this Wednesday.
I’ve started my research work with my second participant, Rob. Work-wise, Rob is higher functioning so his 3 chosen job tasks are slightly more complex than Daniel’s. The first job task for Rob is cleaning the fitting room. Cleaning the fitting room as in removing all clothing and hangers from the fitting rooms, hanging them up again, matching the size of the item and the correct size hanger, and bring them out to the store and place them in their respective rack according to size.
Sounds simple enough until I tried videotaping him doing that task. Since I was trying to keep him slightly clueless regarding the correct sequence and steps to completing this task, I had to videotape the task out of sequence. We only had a short window of opportunity to do the videotaping, between 9:30 to 10am, and we had to stop the videotaping once the store opens. Those 2 mornings were definitely the craziest research days thus far. So many things to do, so little time, and so many things to keep track. I had to go back to the store another 3 days to do more videotaping of establishing shots that I needed which did not require Rob to be in them.
Because I didn’t foresee the craziness, I wasn’t well prepared and ended up with lots of continuity problems with the videos. Continuity problems? One videotaping session Rob was wearing white pants and the next session, he came in black pants. So in the final edited videos, he’s in white pants while walking out of the fitting room and in the next instant, he’s in black pants while looking for the correct rack. There’s a few more similar errors in the videos.
The cleaning the fitting room task is more dynamic and we had to move all over the store and the fitting room. Because of that, I had to do without the tripod and just held the flip video camera in my hand which resulted in some not so great clips. According to a friend, those shots looked like they were from a haunted movie! I have to agree with her and tried not to use the “haunted movie” clips.
After over 20 hours of video editing, I finally have the 2 videos ready for Rob. Unfortunately for me, Rob picked up on some of the steps during the videotaping session and he’s been demonstrating those steps during the second baseline. Since I’m evaluating the effectiveness of the videos to teach him the skill, if he picks up the skill during the videotaping session, without having the need to watch the videos, then my video intervention has just been proven useless/needless. Anyway, hopefully he does not pick up on all the steps and that he will only perform at 100% after watching the videos.
It has been a crazy applied research experience. With Daniel, apparently the task might be too difficult (or the videos were ineffective 😛 ) since he has not been able to independently complete the task after 2 months of watching the videos. But with Rob, he’s picked up some of parts of the skill even without needing to watch the videos. I guess I have just proven that the videos may not be worth all the trouble and it’s probably easier to just teach the tasks. On the bright side, both Daniel and Ron are excited to get a copy of their videos to show their family and friends. Unfortunately for them, they only get the DVDs at the end of the study.