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Changes made to 2018 Extended Essay Assessment
Transcript of Changes made to 2018 Extended Essay Assessment
All research questions must be posed as a research question.
Enables students to maintain their focus more easily throughout the essay and to make a judgment as to whether they have responded to the research question.
The use of footnotes, endnotes and appendices is clarified.
Greater clarification will be given over the use of footnotes, endnotes and appendices to ensure parity across subjects. Additionally, this is to mitigate against students attempting to circumvent the word limit.
Footnotes and endnotes are not an essential part of the extended essay and examiners will not read them, or use any information contained within in the assessment of the essay. Students must take care to ensure that all information with direct relevance to the analysis, discussion and evaluation of their essay is contained in the
Role of external mentors is clarified.
In circumstances where the school deems it appropriate, students may undertake their research at an institute or university, under the guidance of an external mentor. This must be with the agreement of the school, and the external mentor must be provided with a letter outlining the nature of the extended essay and clear instructions as to the level of guidance that is permitted.Schools are responsible for ensuring that these external mentors are aware of the limits of their role in providing this service. It is important to note that if this is the case the student must be allocated a supervisor within the school and undertake their reflection sessions with this person. Only a supervisor within the school is permitted to complete the reflection process for the extended essay with the student and provide both signature and comments on the Reflections on planning and progress form (RPPF).
The “best-fit” approach has been adopted for the assessment of extended essays.
The aim of the “best-fit approach” is to find the descriptor that conveys most accurately the level attained by the student's work. A best-fit approach means that compensation should be made when a piece of work matches different aspects of a markband at different levels. The mark awarded should be one that most fairly reflects the balance of achievement against the markband. It is not necessary for every indicator of a level descriptor to be met for that mark to be awarded.
Reference to external sources or supplementary information
is not permitted
and examiners will not access them.
The extended essay is an entity in itself and any argument made must be in the body of the essay. Supplementary information provided in the form of CDs or DVDs or links to external sources such as YouTube clips are not permitted and examiners will not refer to them.
The abstract will no longer be a requirement of the extended essay.
The abstract will no longer be a formal requirement in response to feedback from teachers and examiners. While the extended essay models an academic research paper, it does not mirror it. Writing an abstract is a skill that students can develop at a later stage in their respective studies. This decision also helps to mitigate the effects the introduction of criterion E might have on student workload.
Formatting of the extended essay is clarified.
Strong recommendations will be made in relation to fonts used, font size and line spacing for the extended essay. This is to promote the idea that the extended essay is an academic piece of work and as such should be formatted appropriately, including font choice.
The number of assessment criteria has been reduced.
After much consultation, review, evaluation and trialling the decision was made to reduce the criteria to five: four to be applied to the essay itself and one to the Reflections on planning and progress form.
The Reflections on planning and progress form has been introduced.
This has been introduced to allow examiners to gain an insight into students’ thinking throughout the process of undertaking their research and writing. It will allow for the application of criterion E, engagement. This will be completed by students after each of their mandatory reflection sessions. Supervisors must sign after each reflection is completed and at the end of the process once the viva voce has taken place and write their summative comment. The form is submitted along with the essay for external assessment.
Three mandatory reflection sessions must take place.
In order to support students through the process of undertaking independent research they must be allocated an appropriate supervisor. It is recommended that students be given between three and five hours of supervision time and this must include the three mandatory reflection sessions. Supervision sessions may vary in length of time and nature of discussion to meet the needs of individual students. This may include a 10-minute check-in to discuss a timeline or clarification of a comment made by the supervisor. It may also include a more lengthy discussion about particular issues related to access to resources, for example. The three mandatory reflection sessions must be allocated an appropriate length of time and it is recommended that this be at least 20 minutes per session.
The Researcher’s Reflection Space has been created.
The RRS is a personal learning environment that can be either a physical or virtual support tool. It is a space in which students are able to record reflections on what they are reading, writing and thinking. The use of a RRS will help students to prepare for their reflection sessions with their supervisors and inform the discussions that take place. In preparing for their reflection sessions students could use their RRS to:
record their reflections
respond to artefacts, such as photos, newspaper clippings, twitter feeds, blogs, and so on
respond to prompts and questions that may arise in the students’ subject areas, TOK classes or other aspects of the DP
create Mind Maps®