Explore our video screencasts below for tips and instructions on how to use the Matrix assessment tool. Learn more about how the Matrix assessment tool is organized.

Explore these video screencasts, which offer tips for how to review and interpret a Matrix assessment.

Start a group now!

Organizations such as schools, school districts, clinical practices and parent groups may now create Groups to manage their Communication Matrix assessments and Custom Reports and to purchase the webinar Using the Communication Matrix.

Group Manager: To create a group, you must identify a Group Manager. The Manager may add individual users and may view all data, but may not edit it. The Manager will normally be someone who supervises the users. The Manager may change the email address and password associated with individual assessments (for instance, in cases where a child who has already been assessed by one group member has been assigned to a new therapist). The Manager may pay for credits for Custom Reports and for using the webinar.

Individual Users who belong to the same group may only see their own data.

Explore these video screencasts, which offer tips for on groups and group management.

Learn how to register, login.

Register or Login

To register, click the Register button at the top of the page. You may enter any information you wish to share with the Community. This personal information will not be linked to any Matrix assessments or Custom Reports that you complete. The only required information is an email address and password.

Login with your email address and password at the top of the page.

Once you have created an account and logged in, you will be taken to your dashboard. Here you will see all of your information--from your assessments to your Community posts-- in one convenient place.

Explore these video screencasts, which offer tips for how to create and complete a Matrix assessment.

The Basics

Learn how to begin the process of creating an assessment. Learn how to complete the assessment, save an assessment, edit it, and email the results to a colleague or parent.

Start an Assessment

Click “Add New Individual” to start an assessment on a new individual. Click “Start New Matrix” to start an assessment on an individual that has been assessed before. You are given a choice of starting a completely new Matrix from scratch or simply updating the last completed Matrix.

Save Assessment

Click “Save Now” at any time during the assessment. You may Save a Matrix at any time, whether you have completed it, or whether you plan to return and resume it later. You may also Cancel at any time. If you have completed all appropriate questions, the Matrix will be considered complete and you will be able to view the results. If you have not completed all the questions, you will not be able to see results. You may resume an incomplete Matrix at any time.

Delete Individual or Matrix

Click on Delete under the Personal ID to permanently delete all data on this individual. Click on Delete next to a specific Matrix that you want to delete permanently.

Resume a Partially Completed Matrix

Click on “Finish” to resume a Matrix that you did not complete earlier.

Edit Matrix Data

Click on Edit to the right of the Matrix # that you want to change. A completed Matrix may be edited for up to 30 days after its completion.

View Profile

Click “Profile” to view or print the one-page profile of results and gain access to unique online viewing options.

Email Results

Use the “Email Results” link to email the Profile and Communication Skills List to someone else with whom you have permission to share information. The recipient will receive an email from info@communicationmatrix.org with a link to the results.

Learn how to complete the initial questions that describe the characteristics of the individual you are assessing. No identifying information is requested. Learn how to answer the screening questions that help you begin the assessment at the logical starting point for the individual you are assessing.

Demographics & Screening Questions

The data you will enter includes demographic information (for a new child) and information about the child’s communication behaviors. You are required to answer all questions to continue.

First, you will enter a personal identifier to help you keep track of your assessments. Please do not use full names here, since we do not want any identifiable information to appear in our database.

Next, please choose how you would like to refer to the individual to be assessed throughout the Matrix.

You will answer 1 to 3 questions about the individual’s current general communication skills to determine whether to start at Section A (Level I), Section B (Level II) or Section C (Level III). From here you will answer specific questions about how the individual you are assessing communicates and why.

If you start at Section B, (Level II) all questions at Level I will be marked as surpassed. If you start at Section C (Level III), all questions at Levels I and II will be marked as surpassed.

Learn how to answer the Matrix questions to describe the communication abilities of the individual you are assessing. Learn how to navigate from one section to another

Answer the Questions

Once you have been directed to Section A, B, or C, you will answer from 3 to 24 questions --depending on where you started-- about what specific message the individual communicates. To help you answer, each question has a sample photo and video clip. These samples present only one of many ways that someone might communicate each message.

Entering specific behaviors

When you indicate that the individual CAN communicate a specific message (by checking “Yes” under the question), you will indicate exactly what behaviors he or she uses to express that message.

Adding Notes

At the bottom of each question screen is a text box in which you may enter notes. Any notes you add will be accessible from the Profile and the Communication Skills List once the assessment is completed.

Correcting information

You may go back at any time to a previous Question and change your answers.

You must decide whether an individual uses each communicative behavior at a “mastered” or an “emerging” level. Learn how to make this decision.

Emerging, Mastered, or Not Used?

For each behavior that the individual uses to communicate, you must decide whether it is “emerging” or “mastered.” The default score is “not used”.

Emerging behaviors are used inconsistently or only when prompted or encouraged. They are used only in one or two contexts or with only one person. For example, greeting others is considered emerging if the individual only greets her father, and only after he greets her first.

Mastered behaviors are used independently most of the time, when the opportunity arises. They are used in a number of different contexts, and with different people. For example, greeting others is considered mastered if the individual greets family, friends, and unfamiliar people without being prompted to.

Learn how to interpret the Profile.The Profile provides at-a-glance a broad view of an individual’s communicative development and suggests logical next steps.

The Profile Overview

Profile: Standard View

The Standard View of the Profile provides a 1-page printable overview of results.

The matrix has 80 cells, each representing a particular message at a particular level of communication. When you first complete a Matrix you are automatically guided to this view.

You also may get to this view from your Home.

When you hover over the name of a level, you will see a description of the level.

Each cell is shown as mastered, emerging, not used, or surpassed. Here’s the key:

The designation is based on the HIGHEST score for any behavior in that cell: in other words, if ANY behavior is scored as mastered for a particular cell, then the entire cell will appear as mastered, even if you also checked other behaviors as emerging or not used for that cell. If you indicated that Section A or B has been surpassed, that section is grayed out. The Standard View provides a quick overview of the communicative messages that the individual uses.

In this view, you may also click on each cell to see exactly how each behavior was scored for that message. You will also see any notes that you made as you answered the questions.

Note that you may add and save NEW notes when you are in the Standard View.

Email Results

Use the “Email Results” link to email the Profile and Communication Skills List to someone else with whom you have permission to share information. The recipient will receive an email from info@communicationmatrix.org with a link to the results.

Learn how to use the Progress feature to track the individual’s development over time. Step forward one assessment at a time to see exactly what successes have been achieved.

Show Progress

From the Standard Profile view you can choose “Show Progression” to review the development of an individual for whom you have completed two or more assessments.

Choose Play to view an animated sequence of the matrices completed for that individual.

Choose Next to step forward through the matrices one at a time, or choose Previous to step backwards through them.

You may view accomplishments at each Level of the Matrix in detail, using the Detail view. This view shows the degree to which the individual has mastered each message at each Level.

View Detail

Mastery View

The Mastery View shows you the degree to which the individual has mastered each of the seven Levels of communication.

To access this view from the Standard Profile, click on the name of the Level that you want to view.

Each bar represents a message at the chosen level, represented by one of the 80 cells on the profile. The height of each bar reveals the degree of mastery of all possible behaviors that might be used to express each message at that level. This score is calculated by allowing 2 points for each mastered behavior and 1 point for each emerging behavior. The total score for each cell is divided by the maximum possible score for that cell to obtain a percent.

Use the Next and Previous arrows to step through the levels.

The icon in the upper left corner shows you which of the seven levels you are currently viewing.

View a Different Profile

When in the Standard or Mastery Profile view, choose My Matrices to view all the individuals you have assessed. From here you may choose to view the profile of a different individual.

You may also choose a Matrix administered on a different date if you have completed more than one Matrix on an individual.

The Communication Skills List shows the specific behaviors that the individual uses to communicate. Here you see exactly how the individual expresses each message.

Skills List

The Communication Skills List shows the specific behaviors that the individual uses to communicate. Here you see exactly how the individual expresses each message. The printable Communication Skills List shows exactly what behaviors the individual uses to express each message.

You may find it either from your Homepage or by clicking on Skills List at the top left of a Profile.

If more than one Matrix has been completed on an individual, you will see a tab for each Skills List

The Communication Matrix results may help parents and educators to decide upon general communication goals that are appropriate, given the individual’s current skills. Learn the basics of using the Matrix assessment results to develop goals and plan instruction

Using Results to Plan Instruction

The Communication Matrix results may help parents and educators to decide upon general communication goals, given the individual’s current skills.

In general, an individual should be allowed to perform at his or her current level of mastery, while being steadily encouraged to progress to the next logical level of communication.

First, ask yourself: What is the learner’s primary level of communication? This might be:

  • the Level that he uses most often to communicate,
  • the Level at which she’s able to express the greatest variety of different messages, or
  • the Level at which his communication shows the greatest mastery.

Then ask yourself: What higher levels of communication does the learner use to communicate?

  • You may decide to work on increasing competence at any of the levels that the learner uses now, beginning with the primary level.
  • Less often, you may decide to address a completely new level of communication.
  • We recommend that you target no more than two Levels at the same time.
  • Note that every learner will not move through every one of the 7 Levels, depending upon their cognitive, sensory and motor skills.

Now look at the Matrix Profile and ask yourself: Which of the 24 messages does the learner communicate now, and where are the gaps are in what she can communicate about?

  • Consider targeting new messages that the learner really wants or needs to express. But don’t forget to encourage her to master messages that are still at the emerging stage.

Finally, ask yourself: What specific behaviors do you want to focus on?

Look at the Communication Skills List to see which behaviors the learner uses to communicate.

  • You may continue working on current behaviors.
  • You may also decide to target a different communicative behavior that provides a more sophisticated or more reliable means of expression.
  • Always take into account the child's motor, fine motor and vocal abilities, as well as any sensory limitations that may make it difficult or impossible for the child to produce certain behaviors.
  • Also consider any cognitive limitations that might prevent a child from understanding certain types of symbols.
  • Finally, consider whether the behavior may be used across all environments in the child’s life.
custom report cover

Only people familiar with the learner can decide what the best course of action is for him or her. But the Matrix Custom Report offers the opportunity to summarize current performance in great detail and to select specific recommendations for intervention to target each message covered by the Matrix.

The Community Forum, Collections and Shared Science can be invaluable resources for moving from the Matrix assessment to intervention.

You can use the Matrix filter to search for specific levels or intents that you would like to target and see related posts which may include video examples, lesson plans, intervention strategies, and questions.

You may find a Collection that provides guidance for intervention.

Check out the Shared Science section to see if there is information about people with the same disorder that your learner experiences.

Group Management allows administrators and team leaders to organize all assessments and reports of a group of users in one easy-to-manage location.

Creating a Group

Group Management was created to help organizations such as school districts, outpatient clinics, parent groups, and group homes, manage their use of the Matrix website by enabling:

-Centralized tracking of assessments and custom reports

-Group purchase of credits for custom reports and webinar use.

-Re-assignment of individual assessments and custom reports when clients/students move from one teacher/therapist to another.

Once you have logged in, click Create Group. From there you only need to provide a name for your group.

Add Member

Adding members to your group is easy. There are two ways to add members. First, click “Add New Assessor” If they already have an account, look up your colleagues by their email addresses to add them to your group. If they do not have an account then you will be prompted to create one for them by providing a temporary password that goes along with their email address.

Members Must Agree to Join a Group Before they show up in your Managed Group.

If you are having difficulty viewing members that you have added, it may be because they have not yet agreed to join the group. When you add a member to your group, let them know that you added them to your group and tell them that they will get an email message from our site.

When the individual logs in for the first time. Encourage the user to “accept” to join the group.

Group Managers may purchase webinar credits and Custom Report credits in bulk for their group members. Credits are available to the entire group.

Bulk Purchasing of Custom Report & Webinar Credits

Add Credits

You may purchase group-wide credits for creating Custom Reports and using the training Webinar. From your dashboard, click the Buy Credits link.

-Just above the Add Credits link you will see the number of Webinar and Custom Report credits you have remaining for your group.

Assign Webinar

Once you have purchased webinar credits, you can assign those credits to specific members of your group. Click “Assign Webinar” next to the user’s name in your Group Member list. An email will be sent to the member inviting the member to view the webinar.

You can confirm they watched the webinar from your group homepage.

Managers can easily see who has completed assessments, reports and webinars and which of the students or clients served by group members have been assessed. Learn how to re-assign a student/client to another member.

Track Assessors and their Students/Clients

To Re-assign Assessments

-The Group Manager has the authority to re-assign an individual who has already been assessed to another group member. This feature may be helpful to accommodate medical leaves, classroom changes, retirement of a member, or other transitions.

-Click on the Re-Assign button

-Use the pull-down menu to select the member to whom the Child will be reassigned.

-Then, click Submit

View Assessments and Reports

-After you click on View Assessments next to one of your members on the Group Management page, you will see a list of their completed assessments.

-Find the child whose data you want to view, and click Profile or Report to view.

Members Must Agree to Join a Group Before they show up in your Managed Group

If you are having difficulty viewing members that you have added, it may be because they have not yet agreed to join a group. When you add a member to your group, let them know that you added them to your group and they will get an email message from our site.

When the individual logs in for the first time. Encourage the user to “accept” to join the group.

As a group member, you have easy access to custom report and webinar credits. If you have to leave the group, your manager may assign your clients/students to another member.

Being a Member of a Group

When you are added to a Group, you will see a prompt the next time you log in to www.communicationmatrix.org asking whether you want to join that group.

-As a group member, you may use the group’s credits to complete Custom Reports simply by clicking “Create Custom Report”

-You can also use credits for the training Webinar if you are assigned by your group manager. If you wish to receive ASHA CEUs, you must pay $5 extra.

-When you join a group, your assessments and reports may be viewed by the group manager, but not by other group members.

-When additional credits are needed, contact your Group Manager.

We offer high-quality individualized Custom Reports to aid in goal creation and implementation.

What is the Custom Report?

Custom Reports are individualized reports based on the results of your Communication Matrix assessment that can aid in developing IEP or IFSP goals, improving classroom and home based instruction, as well as creating a easy to read detailed report on the communication skills of the individual you are assessing.

You get to choose the elements you want to include in the report. They're not automatically generated.

We charge $6 per report, with discounts for larger volumes.

Purchasing Custom Report Credits

After you login, you'll find the individual for whom you want to create a report.

Then click on Create Report.

If you are a member of a group your manager would probably have paid for a credits and here you would get a screen asking you if you want to use one at the group credits.

If you are using it as an individual, you need to click to purchase a credit and of course you would fill out your credit card information and submit it and then you would have a credit to use.

Completing the Custom Report

After you've purchased a report credit, you go to the custom report interface. At the top here are some basic instructions. There are 7 steps to completing the Custom Report. Once you have started a Custom Report, you have 30 days to edit or complete it.

To include any element, simply click on the box to the left of that element. You probably won’t include every element in your reports, since that would make a very long report.

If you wish to include the client’s name, it will be inserted into the text of the recommendations that you select in Step 7.

Including this level of personalization will make your report much more individualized and appealing--especially to family members.

Any pre-populated data will be based on your latest Communication Matrix assessment. The assessment immediately prior will be referred to as your Previous Assessment.

Once you're done with the 7 Steps, click Finish. Now you can preview your report. If you're happy with it, you can download a PDF version.

If you're not happy, you can edit it by going back to your homepage and clicking the edit button to work on it some more. It may be edited for 30 days after you begin it.

The final report will stay in your Home on the Communication website indefinitely.

Completing Step 7: Recommendations

At step 7 where we can choose specific recommendations for instructional purposes based on the level of communication that you're targeting.

Most clients operate at two or more of the 7 levels of communication. We recommend first looking at the level at which the client is primarily functioning for recommendations. Then look at higher levels that you consider appropriate to target.

We suggest that you target no more than two levels of communication for instruction (and one level is fine). We also suggest that you target no more than four states, functions, or intents (that is messages) across all levels targeted.

For our example we will target level 3. We can include a general description of the level, perhaps one or two general goals for the level, and then more specific recommendations based on specific intents that are included at this level. For instance if we want to target Request a New Action we click that box. Then we might click two of these specific suggestions for targeting Request a New Action.

We can add our own personal suggestions and describe the specific behaviors we want to target.

And we may indicate how we're going to monitor progress by explaining the type of data to record, how to measure it, how often to take it, who's gonna take the data, and what are the criteria for success.

You may target as many levels as you choose. You have the same range of options at each level.

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The Communication Matrix is a service of Design to Learn at Oregon Health & Science University
© 2017 Charity Rowland, Ph.D.

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