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Peer Review

Helping Autistic Youth Transition to Adulthood



Overall Rating:

3.75 stars
Content Quality: 3.75 stars
Effectiveness: 3.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Mar 17, 2013 by Psychology
Overview: "A Conversation with Temple Grandin” is a 6 minute video clip that is hosted by Mindgate Media. Dr. Grandin, herself autistic, shares advice on how parents can best prepare their autistic children for adulthood. As a brief illustration of a successful person with autism (and also as an introduction to Dr. Grandin's expertise), the video is appropriate for college students, both graduate and undergraduate. Note: Mindgate Media is an online curated repository for videos that can be used as teaching tools. The video is free; additional teaching materials can be obtained by creating a free account with Mindgate Media.
Learning Goals: • The learner will develop some familiarity with the challenges facing children with autism; specifically pertaining to issues in early childhood education and transitioning to adulthood. • The learner will gain familiarity with Dr. Temple Grandin, an expert in the area of autism.
Target Student Population: The target student population consists of college students at all levels (graduate and undergraduate), especially those who are psychology or special education majors or minors.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Prerequisite knowledge is not strictly required; however, basic knowledge of autism would support a more complete understanding of the presented information.
Type of Material: Presentation (5:57 video clip). A written transcript of the video is provided.
Recommended Uses: The site provides materials that can be used both in and out of class; including a set of identified learning objectives, discussion questions, and a transcript. Specifically, the video clip could be used in a classroom setting as a brief introduction to the topic of autism and the special needs of autistic youth, or to demonstrate that autistic individuals such as Dr. Grandin can succeed in higher education and have productive careers. Courses in which the video would be appropriate include introductory psychology, child development, special education, and clinical psychology.
Technical Requirements: • The learning object is a YouTube video that requires an Internet connection and a compatible browser. • Tested using Windows 7, Mozilla Firefox (v10.0.2), Internet Explorer (v8.0.7), and Google Chrome (v25.0.1). Compatible with Safari on iPad3 and iPhone4. • The video operates best with a desktop browser. • A transcript of the video is provided.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: • The information is relevant and current. • The content briefly touches on educational issues relevant to teaching students with autism. • The material provides a starting point for students to improve their understanding of facilitating transitions for children with autism. • The learning material includes thoughtful questions to aid the viewer in developing a better understanding of the content. • Information is presented in a clear question and answer format.
Concerns: • The material is relatively inflexible and does not incorporate a lot of supporting materials. Students will need to continue their studies and research beyond the video to properly understand the challenges and needs of educating children with autism. • The video is not of sufficient length to completely address the associated discussion questions. The information on the page leads one to believe that by creating a Mindgate Media account, additional resources will be available. However, that is not the case (at least with this video). The main benefit of creating an account seems to be the ability to borrow or share lesson ideas with other instructors or to make a comment about the video.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: • Anyone familiar with Dr. Grandin's work will be interested in viewing this brief interview segment. Students who have not been exposed to autistic individuals, especially adults with autism, will gain that exposure through this video (although it is a brief one). Dr. Grandin expresses some important points regarding how best to prepare autistic children for adulthood (e.g., one-on-one interaction with competent teachers, helping them develop job skills, etc.). • The material includes a set of learning objectives and discussion questions to facilitate integration into a lesson plan. • The material ties discussed topics into the real life experiences of the presenter. • The video conveys a great deal of information in a short amount of time. (The video is about six minutes in length.) • It would be easy to include this video as part of a lesson on education of children with autism.
Concerns: • The video clip is too brief to provide substantial information about autism in all of its forms or about Dr. Grandin's own unique background. • The learning objectives listed are not really learning objectives but rather summarize statements about video contents. Few additional resources are listed (only two and the link for one of them does not work properly). • The learning material does not identify prerequisite knowledge; not all individuals will fully understand the concepts and relevance of issues discussed by Dr. Grandin.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: • The video is easy to use (Youtube-based controls). • The discussion questions and learning objectives help guide the viewer. • The presentation is very clean and does not distract the viewer from the instructional material. • The transcript provided is helpful in making the video more accessible to the hearing impaired. • The video clip itself is of adequate quality--the picture is clear, the volume is sufficient, etc.
Concerns: • The content is not interactive. • The viewer must create or log-in to an account to access the additional learning materials (discussion questions and learning objectives). • The media source is YouTube and it may be just as easy to view the clip directly from YouTube; little is added by making it part of Mindgate Media's collection. • The transcript provided of the interview would be easier to find/read/share if it were a link to a separate webpage rather than a box that scrolls the transcription.