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The Workshops – Part 2 of the Intensive Interaction Project

In Part 1 of this series of blogs we gave you an introduction and background to the Intensive Interaction research project we have been involved in (to further your understanding on Intensive Interaction, please visit this link). This blog will discuss the three practical workshops in more detail and show some different resources that were created and used. The teaching approach Josh was aiming to provide would hopefully encourage the group to discuss ideas and share their experiences throughout the learning process. The main focus of the workshops would be to create a powerful template that would be easy to use, but with enough information to create a data rich resource for each analysed Intensive Interaction session. The discussion points would ultimately revolve around the content of this template and we knew that the team would eventually see that there has to be a trade off between what you want to gather and what you can actually record in the initial viewing of an activity.


Day 1

After initial introductions which gave Josh the chance to meet the team and learn more about the project, an overview of the video analysis process using Codimg was shown to the group to remind them of the workflows they would be able to achieve (those involved already had access to Codimg and had been supported via telephone or Skype by Josh so they could get familiar with the software). Andrew Walker had already created a draft template with Category buttons that would identify a large variety of behaviours a child could exhibit during an Intensive Interaction session. Josh used the content of this template from Andrew as an end goal in the next activity, Template Creation. The group was led through how to create buttons, change their appearance, behaviour and all the finer details of template functionality available in Codimg. The template created had 25 different Category buttons and one Descriptor which would be the name of the child being observed. The Categories were grouped into five broader areas which can be seen with the different button colours and column placement:

After the template creation session, we wanted to show the group some different workflows they could use for capturing video. Due to the nature of Intensive Interaction sessions, it was important to provide some filming solutions which wouldn’t be intrusive or become a focal point of the child’s attention. Jon had a really strong suction pad and camera mount created to work with our IP Cameras and AP Capture, so we showed how that software could be used to seamlessly track movement in a session whilst the camera was fixed high up on a wall. This would give a great overview of the session, but it is vital to record a child’s face during a session to see the important responses and interactions which are measured there. So we gave the team a GoPro camera and chest mount that would be worn during a session to record these important behaviours. These would both be applied practically in a session the next day.

After using the above template for analysing video, Josh got the team to discuss the results they could now view in the timeline. As the template had 25 different Categories, this would mean there could be 25 different rows of clips which when pressed, would just show you that one behaviour. So we had a good amount of data on how often a child exhibited a behaviour, but were the video clips created useful for seeing an overall “picture” of the session? Was it easy to see the information relating to the 5 different broader areas we had defined earlier?

Josh now reminded the group about the benefits of Descriptor buttons which can give further information to a video clip. Using the matrix tool in Codimg, you can see how often a Descriptor action occurred during a Category, so you can now break your whole session down into “Main Actions” and “Secondary Information”. After further discussions, the template was modified again and the team could see the benefit of having this combination of Categories and Descriptors for when it came to reviewing actions and gathering data. There were now 5 main actions as Categories and our secondary information being measured through Descriptors which you can see in the template picture below.

Throughout the day, Leah McLaughlin (CARIAD) had been recording snippets of activity on her camera. You can see parts of Day 1 in this video.


Day 2

After a brief reminder on overall workflows, the group set about applying the new template to some sample footage. Andrew, Rachel, Leah and Dawn were all asked to review the first two minutes of a session then compare their results and experiences afterwards. This is the point in time when people get to see the differences between Theory (template contents) and Practice (using the template)! In theory, you have prepared a template which will measure and define important behaviours that you are looking for during an Intensive Interaction session, but in practice, you have prepared a template looking for a huge amount of data which is not easily applied when coding footage. The group were now exposed to the dangers of “drowning in data”.

Trying to code every action that can occur is a practice that will require a lot of work, as the group realised after looking at just 2 minutes of footage. So some key questions were raised:

Do you have the time to code all these actions? Do you need to code all these actions? Do you all agree with what that action actually is?

Although we knew that the team would get to this point after trying to properly use the template, we thought it was a vital lesson to “learn the hard way”. Template Creation is by the far the most important learning lesson as your template ultimately determines how you analyse, what you analyse and what you have to review and gather data from. So it was time to go back to the drawing board. We got everyone to reassess what we were actually looking to record.

Is there a key theme which can be assessed during an Intensive Interaction session? Are there key behaviours which affect this theme? What sub behaviours are important to code and review? Can there be definitions for these behaviours to make analysis more reliable?

After discussions around these questions, Josh taught the group on some components of powerful performance analysis workflows used in sport settings, which would then influence the creation of a final working template. Hopefully in this list you will also see how the common processes used in performance analysis are global and not dependant on setting.


  • Overall Session “Performance”, the key theme. The group identified that “Togetherness” was a key theme to be measured during a session, so the template would now aim to give an overall impression (performance score) of this.
  • Key Performance Indicators, the key behaviours. The group identified 4 key behaviours which could determine the “Togetherness” of a session. These would become the 4 main Categories so you could visually see what a child spent most of the session doing (length of these clips in the timelines).
  • Chain of Notation, adding the sub behaviours. By making the 4 Category buttons exclusive to each other, a child could only be performing one of these key behaviours at a time. So the group would only have to press a Category button when this key behaviour changed. After this, the sub behaviours could be identified by pressing a Descriptor. On initial coding, the Chain of Notation would be kept short by just using the Categories and adding some Descriptors if the user was experienced with using the template. On a secondary review of the timeline, additional Descriptor information could be added to the clips if they weren’t coded on initial viewing (watch how to do that here). An “Other” button was also added as a Category so an interesting behaviour or observation could be coded which wasn’t part of the template.
  • Operational Definitions, giving each button definitions. A large variety of behaviours can occur during a session, so it was important that the group could reliably determine what these were regardless of who was using the template. So we set the group some homework to write a list of definitions for all the Categories and Descriptors they were going to use!


The result of these discussions and planning was an easy-to-use template which would provide the group with a large amount of video and data to give an overall impression of a session’s “Togetherness”:


The group got the chance to test this template using video footage which was recorded that day. Whilst Josh was delivering the session described above, Jon set up the IP Camera and gave the GoPro camera to a teacher having an Intensive Interaction session with one of the children at Exeter House School. Using the ability to synchronise and view two separate video angles on your timeline in Codimg, the group saw the advantage of both of these views when it came to reviewing actions. The close up view from the GoPro gave a huge amount of information on how the child was responding, and the IP Camera gave an overview on the different movements (a huge amount during this session!) around the room and importantly a “backup” view for when the teacher wasn’t able to catch up with the child (so no usable footage was coming from the GoPro at that point). This picture gives a sample of that side-by-side review and the benefit of having a second camera to not miss anything:

To see some video from Leah’s camera of Day 2, please click here.


Day 3

Workshop Days 1 and 2 were given back to back, but there was a 2 week break before the 3rd Day so that the group could put their learning into practice. Josh was on hand to provide online/telephone support when required and the Team Performance Exchange (TPE) site which was set up for the group became a vital tool for keeping track of progress, recording thoughts and observations and sharing files. As mentioned, the group had been set some “homework” to complete a list of Operational Definitions. TPE was used to upload a file with these definitions, and the group could then use the comment system to have a discussion around these. To further increase awareness and understanding of these definitions, the group were shown how they could export a clip from Codimg and upload it to TPE for others to review and comment around, a great workflow for confirming understanding. You can see that process in this tutorial video created for the group.

At the start of Day 3, we had a discussion to reflect on the lessons learned so far and how everyone was getting on with using the template. We revisited some functionalities to confirm understanding and also looked at how some of the higher end features available in Codimg could benefit the group. The feature which would have a huge impact was the search tool. This allowed the group to choose a selection of their coded timelines from their Codimg Database and then use the automatically populated list to instantly find specific Categories, Descriptors or combinations of these. After choosing the search criteria, the relevant clips from these multiple timelines would show in a list so they could then view the clips, add them into a presentation or export them as a video file. The ability to instantly gather evidence would have a huge impact for the teachers, as up until now, they have only been able to provide a checklist or written report. Supplementing written feedback with this video evidence would also be really helpful for showing parents their child’s improvement and behaviour in these sessions.

To further supplement the video evidence being gathered, Josh took the time to create a dashboard output for the group whilst they were analysing some video. As shown in the workflow videos we have created for Rugby and Football dashboard outputs, the timeline data of Categories and Descriptors opens up a huge door for visualisation. With the Excel file Josh created, the group would just have to export their Matrix structure into Excel, then copy and paste that data into a “Data Dump” tab. After doing this, the dashboard output would be automatically updated to give an overall view of a session:


With all the resources now in hand and the template finalised, we now set about using the Nacsport Tag&Go iPad app. This would allow the group to analyse a session on the app and then link this with a video in Codimg to use the further functionalities there. After learning how to export the template from Codimg straight onto the iPad, the group were able to easily tap into what they were seeing during a session. Andrew had also been creating a template on Tag&Go to analyse Engagement in any learning environment and told us how easy it was to tap buttons during a session and link up with a video afterwards for instant feedback. This video shows how the data gathered on Tag&Go can be linked to a video on Codimg. Here is how the Intensive Interaction template looks on Tag&Go:


Hopefully you have enjoyed the content in this blog and it has given you an overview of the type of training we can deliver. Importantly, we hope you will see that the processes used in video analysis are universal and not sport-specific. The benefits of powerful workflows can be used in a wide variety of settings. Stay tuned for the next blog in the series where we will be having a Q&A with Andrew Walker from the project.


Part 1

Part 3

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