The Student Skills Matrix

The Student Skills Matrix

When working toward an agile classroom, teachers may need some tools to create an environment suitable to their personal style as well as their current goals for their students.

Recently, we learned about an approach for creating Cross-Strength Teams with roots in the OpenAgile community which could help a teacher or their students to

create teams of students with complementary knowledge for learning.

A sample of a completed board ….


In a leadership team, a skills matrix like the one above can allow them to recognize each other’s skill sets to embrace cross-functional work.  

The same approach can be applied to a learning environment by making visible the knowledge of the students on the Cross-Strength Matrix. Some benefits to this are:

  • Differentiate to each student’s strengths.
  • The students know who they can go to in order to get help with a subject.
  • Allows students to contribute their knowledge and abilities to the rest of the class.
  • Generate a feeling of achievement as students add new knowledge.
  • Creates a feeling of empowerment when students fill in all 4 quadrants (I can teach this) for a knowledge item.
  • Fosters deeper learning

A discussion about this tool applied to a leadership context (in this case, a team of High-School Principals running a school system) can be seen here ….  

Learning About Skills.jpg

The leadership team at Blueprint Education
grouping their ideas about the needed skills for their team.

A simplified explanation of how this can be used for a classroom…

  • Create the board space on a wall. (sample of a paper version can be found HERE)
  • The Names of the students on the left (rows)
  • Determine the learning topics on the top of the matrix (columns)
  • Assign appropriate levels to the quadrants of each circle
  • Fill in the chart (either you or the students)
  • Understand and evaluate based on the result

The chart works best if the information is visible to all the students.

If necessary (but not preferred), the chart should look like the one seen in the picture above or you can download this printable version:

Skills Matrix.PNG

The method used to do each of these steps will depend on the Level of Empowerment you choose in your classroom. More information about the empowerment levels can be found HERE

By example, some teachers may be able to set the Columns (skills) in a way where the students come up with their own headings, whereas some teachers may populate from their preferred skills and traits lists, such as 21st Century skills, IB Learner Profile, academic skills, or personal strengths (Strengths 2.0).


Skills Matrix – Original idea from the OpenAgile Institute –

About the Author:

Mike Caspar, Passionate About Agile
twitter: @mikecaspar


  1. Unknown on 11/19/2016 at 11:43 pm

    Amazing post

  2. aliyaa on 11/19/2016 at 11:43 pm

    That is brilliant approach and i also think that we have to give freedom to our child if we want to see knowledge skills abilities in him. He can only explore by doing things independently.

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