Fishbone Diagram

Published on: Author: Greg Alchin

What is it?

The Fishbone is a graphic organiser that allows the individual to capture a major outcome/goal, minor outcome/goal and the steps to achieve these.

What aspects of learning are being supported?

  1. Bloom’s Taxonomy: remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, creating
  2. QT – Intellectual Quality: Deep Knowledge, Deep Understanding, Higher-Order Thinking, Metalanguage, Substantive Communication
  3. QT – Quality Learning Environment: Explicit Quality Criteria, Engagement, High Expectations, Social Support, Students Self-Regulation, Student Direction

Which apps could I use?

  1. DEC managed collaborative tools (via Portal): Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, Adobe Connect.
  2. Related collaborative tools: EvernoteiCloudBaiBoardNote AnytimeWeb2AccessCool Tools for Schools, and Exploratree.
  3. Analogue collaborative tools: Paper, pens and Postit notes.

How do I use it?

  1. The Diagram resembles a fishbone in its construction – it has a box (the ‘fish head’) that contains the statement of the problem at one end. From this box originates the ‘fish spine’ or the main branch of the diagram. Sticking out of the spine are the bones where major causes are organized. Minor causes are placed along these bones. Experienced users of the diagram often add more branches. Once identified, the teacher/student can determine a process to enable further investigation of these causes.Steps to use the Fishbone include:
    1.  Provide the basic framework of the Fishbone Diagram
    2.  Define the problem that needs to be addressed and write it in clear and simple terms in the fish head of the diagram
    3.  Collaboratively define the categories of the major branches and write these at the tips of the major bones. These headings could be developed through a brainstorming session or from using an Affinity Diagram, which focuses on the problem in the fish’s head
    4. Tease out the Major Causes by further brainstorming adding these ideas and suggestions to the smaller bones on the diagram
    5.  Interpret the Fishbone Diagram once it’s finished

    There are many ways to interpret the Fishbone Diagram.

    The fastest and simplest way to do this is to have the group prioritise or choose the top five causes on the diagram and rank them in order of importance

    The selected causes are then encircled on the diagram, with their ranks written beside them

   Fishbone Diagram

Fishbone model

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