Comparison Matrix

Description: Linked by characteristics or attributes.

Uses: Describe and compare attributes and characteristics of items (things, people, places, events, ideas, etc.), brainstorming.

Critical Questions:

  • What items do you want to compare? What characteristics do you want to compare?
  • How are the items similar and different based on the characteristics?

Graphic Organizers

Suggestions: Place a 'X' in the box to indicate if an item possesses that characteristic. Make sure the student is clear and agrees on the definition of the specific characteristic.

How are they alike? How are they different?

comparison matrix

As an effective analytic tool, a comparison matrix serves to determine the basic characteristics of an object. Using the aggregation method, a comparison matrix outlines the most typical features of an item without drawing a conclusion directly, but by simplifying the process of analysis.

Used as tools for educational purposes, comparison matrices are effective visual aids, featuring a simple and exact structure. With the help of this high-end invention, students can make in-depth comparisons, confronting multiple objects and their aspects all at once. Consequently, the use of this visual teaching method contributes to the development of analytical skills among students.

While making a comparison matrix, the teacher should consider the following points. Firstly, itís important to make sure that all compared items are known to the students; otherwise it will be difficult to outline the items' characteristics. If students haven't worked with comparison matrices before, the structure of the matrix should be as unsophisticated as possible. Remember, you can always add more characteristics for multifaceted comparison. If students' knowledge of the topic isn't deep yet, place only several objects to compare, but include various aspects. Such an approach allows students to gain extended information, even it is about a few items. Once students have gotten well acquainted with the items and attained basic knowledge about them, you can introduce another comparison matrix with more items. Also, if you assign the completion of a comparison matrix as a home task, ensure that it can be easily printed.