CAUSE AND EFFECT DIAGRAMS
The cause and effect diagram, or “Ishikawa diagram” named after its creator, it is also known as “fishbone chart”, due to its shape similar to a fish skeleton. It is composed of a box (head), a main line (spine) and 4 or more lines that point towards the main line, forming an angle of aproximately 70º (main fishbones). These have in turn two or three leaning lines (fishbones), and so on and so forth, depending on the degree of complexity of the information.
This tool from the group of the Graphic Organizers allows to organize a series of events or milestones on a certain topic, in a way that one can clearly vizualize the chronological relationship between them.
In order to create a timeline about a specific topic, one should identify the events and the dates (starting and ending dates) in which these occurred; organize the events in a chronological order; select the most important events in order to establish the appropriate time intervals; group the similar events; determine the visualization scale to be used, and organize the events in the diagram.
A big progress in the way of organizing the information, at the beginning of the last century, was the use of the bracket map. In reality, until no long ago they were the only used diagrams. These graphic organizers could be found in the following ways: as bracket diagrams, as hierarchical charts or as a matrix (summarizing chart). Through brackets is possible to represent the relationship between the concepts in a hierarchicall and horizontal way.
A flowchart, is a graphic organizer that allows to represent with some detai the sequence of a process. In other words, is a chart, in which the concepts show a cause-effect relationship or they are displayed as the action is being developed. These charts are very common in electronics, computer studies and mathematics.
The portfolio is a teching, learning and assesments method in which the students provide different types of material through which one can evaluate their abilities within certain discipline or study field. This material gives information about the process followed by the student, allowing him and others to see his efforts and successes in relation to the goals and evaluation criteria previously established.
The portfolio as a learning and teaching method, is based on the theory that sees evaluation as the way students think about their learning. The portfolio responds to two essential aspects of the learning-teaching process, it implies a whole methodology and learning strategy in the interaction between the teacher and the student; and in the other side, it is an evaluation method that allows one to put together and coordinate a combination of elements that work as a proof and provide an assesment close to the reality, which would be hard to get with other, more traditional evaluation methods which provide a more fragmented overview.