Create Backpack Skills

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In Backpack, skills are the buckets that students place artifacts or pieces of their work. Students select, either on their own or with the help of a teacher, work they’ve done, add it to Backpack and tag it with one or more of these skills. Because skills span multiple academic years, they show us change over time as the student progresses through the academic years.

Caution: Because Drive creates folders to mirror skills, modifying skills changes the folders in Drive and narrows the view of change over time. It is best to have long-running skills to provide long-running measurement.

To create a new skill:

  1. Login to Backpack.
  2. Click the Settings card.
  3. On the Skills card, click Modify skills.
  4. Click AddSkill.png at the bottom right corner of the page. A new skill card is created. 
  5. Complete the following fields on the card for your new skill.
    Field Description

    Enter a Name for the skill. This is the name students and teachers see as a skill card.


    The color selected here is the skill card color students and teachers will see.

    1. Click in the Color field to open the color picker.
    2. Click on a color to select it or type the Hex color code in the Hex field at the bottom of the picker.
    3. Click off the picker to close it.
    Icon URL

    The icon entered here will appear on the skill card in the student view. Icons must be publicly visible files.

    • Enter the URL for the icon. Once entered, a preview shows to the right of the Icon URL.
    Academic Year

    The academic year determines which year(s) the skill is available.

    • In the Academic Year list, check the checkbox for each year the skill will be included. If none are selected, the skill is not available for use.

    You can create and select future academic years if necessary.

    Skill Identifier

    The skill identifier describes the skill but is not visible in the student's view.

    • Enter a skill identifier.
    Edit Descriptions

    Descriptions are explanations of a skill. Descriptions are role-based, meaning you can have different descriptions for admins, teachers, and students.

    1. Click Edit Descriptions.
    2. Select a role from the Role list.
    3. Enter the description in the box provided.
    4. Click Save.
    5. Repeat for each role/description.
  6. Click Save at the bottom of the Skill card. 

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