Distance learning (DL) in VIG and VERP. Miriam Landor

Distance learning (DL) in VIG and VERP (Text taken from poster presentation to Association of Video Interaction Guidance UK (AVIGUK) 7th International Conference in Glasgow ‘Video Interaction Guidance- Closing the Gap’ May 2017)

Miriam Landor


Increasingly, Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) and Video Enhanced Reflective Practice (VERP) trainees and supervisors are availing themselves of cloud video platforms such as Skype or Zoom to meet together virtually, and of cloud storage such as Dropbox or Google Docs to share video clips, in order to facilitate ‘distance learning’ (DL).

The following survey responses came from a convenience sample of 9 (3 trainees in Stages 2, 3 and 4; 3 full supervisors and 3 national supervisors). They engaged in distance learning methods for:

  • training (Introductions to Stages 2, 3 and 4);
  • transition / accreditation meetings at Stages 1-3;
  • shadowing experienced supervisors delivering the above training and transition / accreditation meetings;
  • supervision at Stages 1 – 4.

Reasons given for distance learning were: being in a different area or country; avoiding time-consuming city travel; and supporting an anxious new trainee.

Quality of relationship with DL

There were more positive comments about the quality of the DL relationship than negative; some examples follow:

+   Can even be closer as trainee can have uninterrupted time in relaxed setting, often in own space;

+   Supervisor can extend safe challenge as trainee feels relaxed;

+   Greater depth achieved in reflective discussion during supervision as trainee has to prepare more fully in advance;

+   Not negatively affected by distance learning;

–     Takes more time to warm up and get to know each other;

  • Not so good in group setting;
  • Can be difficult understanding different accents
  • Some trainees find technology challenging making difficult conversations easier when face to face.

Pros and cons of the DL technology

Some of the technological features were named as pros by some and cons by others, so DL technology can be facilitating when it works well and a barrier when it does not:

+   Overcomes constraints of distance and travel time;

+   Less obtrusive during observation e.g. can note-take;

+   Clear sound and vision;

+   Can ‘share screen’ to show video clips;

+   Access is free;

+ Can share group training session with supervisor and trainees each in a different country, saving supervisor time and allowing trainees to share fees;

  • Can’t see other’s desktop (video clip) and their face at the same time (may be bandwidth / connection problem or organisation’s firewall);
  • No / poor sound when sharing screen (video clip) on Skype; better quality on Zoom, but payment required after short initial free period if using a group call;
  • Takes time – to learn how to use the technology, to share video in advance and to prepare transcriptions;
  • Tools to video record a Skype meeting (e.g. for intervision) are expensive or incomplete;
  • When joining a physical group virtually, can be hard to take a turn or to hear people further away from camera; need to appoint a facilitator for each virtual participant and use table microphones.

‘What I appreciated about this DL opportunity’

Most respondents made similar points. They are grouped and summarised here:

  • Great learning experience, enjoyed the challenge;
  • Overcame barrier of distance, eased financial constraints; couldn’t have done it without DL;
  • Opportunity to work with others from different cultures and settings and with greater expertise;
  • Observations less intrusive;
  • Made me more proactive in networking, more competent with technology, more organised.

‘Could be (even) better if….’

  • Face to face meetings built in at key points / from time to time;
  • Better video conferencing package:
    • Group facilitation enabling more natural conversation;
    • Better screen sharing;
    • Better sound;
    • Easier access to video recording DL meetings.

Next steps for distance learning in VIG and VERP? – some comments

  • “I would like to do more VIG training and supervision through distance learning…”
  • “I’d love to explore VERP options for distance learning…”
  • “We need AVIGuk to work on adapting the training for alternative methods of delivery.” 

A final quotation as summary:

“I was just amazed that technology could make a 3 way training session with each participant in a different country possible! It was a great opportunity.”


With thanks to all the participants for their full and thoughtful answers.

If you have any queries please contact Miriam.landor@gmail.com

Reading recommendations

Kennedy, H., Landor, M. and Todd, L. (2011) Video Interaction Guidance: a relationship-based intervention to promote attunement, empathy and wellbeing. London: JKP

Kennedy, H., Landor, M. and Todd, L. (2015) Video Enhanced Reflective Practice: Professional Development through Attuned Interactions. London: JKP

http://www.iadl.org.uk/FreeeBooks.htm (free downloads from International Association for Distance Learning



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