The new Internal Assessment forms

The old forms 4/IA and 4/PSOW are still needed when submitting your IAs to the moderator. An additional form, 4/ICCS, is a candidate cover sheet. The 4/ICCS will include a 50-word reflection by the candidate on their Group 4 project.

These forms (for teachers) are not writeable/saveable, so I would use them only for familiarization, and hope that the IBO comes up with a writeable/saveable version soon.




General

Internal Assessments (the labs / practical work) count as 20% of a candidate's overall IB grade.
External Assessments (the papers) count for 80% of a candidate's overall IB grade.

The externally-moderated Internal Assessment task will be one scientific investigation taking about 10 hours and the write-up should be about 6 to 12 pages long. Investigations exceeding this length will be penalized in the communications criterion as lacking in conciseness.

The task produced should be complex and commensurate with the level of the course. It should require a purposeful research question and the scientific rationale for it.

Some of the possible tasks include:
• a hands-on laboratory investigation
• using a spreadsheet for analysis and modeling
• extracting data from a database and analyzing it graphically
• producing a hybrid of spreadsheet/database work with a traditional hands-on investigation
• using a simulation, provided it is interactive and open-ended

Some tasks may consist of relevant and appropriate qualitative work combined with quantitative work.

The tasks will have the same assessment criteria for SL and HL. The five assessment criteria are personal engagement, exploration, analysis, evaluation, and communication.


Checklists

In the category of "better than nothing" here are some checklists I am trying out this year with my students. What I do is I give students practice Exploration / Communication labs and practice Analysis / Evaluation / Communication labs, all unrelated, just so they can get used to some sort of accepted format for their real IA. These checklists are in this document:


This PowerPoint illustrates the different parts of the IAs.



These documents explain the use of Excel to present data.


For newer versions of Excel try this Word document.




300 suggested EE and IA physics investigations


Thanks to Dr. Richard Walding of Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, this pamphlet is available with lots of ideas for Extended Essays and Internal Assessment investigations. There are probably some investigations that might not be appropriate for your neck of the woods because of local ordinances.


PhET interactive simulations

The University of Colorado, Boulder, has created an awesome physics site which contains open-ended interactive simulations suitable for the new Internal Assessment scheme. You can design your own investigation, and gather data from virtual equipment. The animations are very instructive, too. This link will take you there: PhET Simulations



Video analysis

Video capture software is available, both free of charge and for nominal cost, which allows for digitally gathering data from video clips of motion experiments. For an outline of the process, the site Video Analysis is fairly exhaustive. This site contains links to different video capture software sources, instructional tutorials, and video clips of various physics experiments. I am not certain whether video capture investigations are legitimate for an Internal Assessment, but I would imagine that if you designed and videoed your own fairly complex experiment it might be. For example, you could drop identical hollow plastic balls, different only in their mass (fill 'em with varying amounts of sand) and analyze video to determine the drag force, or predicted terminal speed, or some such physical quantity. Just finding something like the freefall acceleration of a falling object, though fascinating and precise, would not be "commensurate" with the level of the IB physics course in terms of IAs.



Internal assessment component

Duration: 10 hours
Weighting: 20%
• Individual investigation
• This investigation covers assessment objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4.
• This is the externally-moderated portion of the practical work.


Internal assessment criteria

The new assessment model uses five criteria to assess the final report of the individual investigation with the following raw marks and weightings assigned:
Personal engagement
2
Exploration
6
Analysis
6
Evaluation
6
Communication
4
TOTAL
24
Levels of performance are described using multiple indicators per level. In many cases the indicators occur together in a specific level, but not always. Also, not all indicators are always present. This means that a candidate can demonstrate performances that fit into different levels. To accommodate this, the IB assessment models use markbands and advise examiners and teachers to use a best-fit approach in deciding the appropriate mark for a particular criterion.

Teachers should read the guidance on using markbands shown below in the section called “Using assessment criteria for internal assessment” before starting to mark. It is also essential to be fully acquainted with the marking of the exemplars in the teacher support material. The precise meaning of the command terms used in the criteria can be found in the glossary of the subject guides.


The above Word files present the following internal assessment criteria in a clearer format than that below.


The above PowerPoint document attempts to illustrate a possible scheme for reasonable investigations. The level of this particular investigation is probably not commensurate with the expectations of the IBO as far as sophistication and duration are concerned, but merely shows how an exploration should be designed, how data should be gathered and presented, and how conclusions and evaluations should be set out.


Personal engagement – 2 marksThis criterion assesses the extent to which the student engages with the exploration and makes it their own. Personal engagement may be recognized in different attributes and skills. These could include addressing personal interests or showing evidence of independent thinking, creativity or initiative in the designing, implementation or presentation of the investigation.
Mark
Descriptor
0
The student’s report does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.
1
The evidence of personal engagement with the exploration is limited with little independent thinking, initiative or creativity.
The justification given for choosing the research question and/or the topic under investigation does not demonstrate personal significance, interest or curiosity.
There is little evidence of personal input and initiative in the designing, implementation or presentation of the investigation.
2
The evidence of personal engagement with the exploration is clear with significant independent thinking, initiative or creativity.
The justification given for choosing the research question and/or the topic under investigation demonstrates personal significance, interest or curiosity.
There is evidence of personal input and initiative in the designing, implementation or presentation of the investigation.

Exploration – 6 marks
This criterion assesses the extent to which the student establishes the scientific context for the work, states a clear and focused research question and uses concepts and techniques appropriate to the Diploma Programme level. Where appropriate, this criterion also assesses awareness of safety, environmental, and ethical considerations.
Mark
Descriptor
0
The student’s report does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.
1-2
The topic of the investigation is identified and a research question of some relevance is stated but it is not focused.
The background information provided for the investigation is superficial or of limited relevance and does not aid the understanding of the context of the investigation.
The methodology of the investigation is only appropriate to address the research question to a very limited extent since it takes into consideration few of the significant factors that may influence the relevance, reliability and sufficiency of the collected data.
The report shows evidence of limited awareness of the significant safety, ethical or environmental issues that are relevant to the methodology of the investigation*.
3-4
The topic of the investigation is identified and a relevant but not fully focused research question is described.
The background information provided for the investigation is mainly appropriate and relevant and aids the understanding of the context of the investigation.
The methodology of the investigation is mainly appropriate to address the research question but has limitations since it takes into consideration only some of the significant factors that may influence the relevance, reliability and sufficiency of the collected data.
The report shows evidence of some awareness of the significant safety, ethical or environmental issues that are relevant to the methodology of the investigation*.
5-6
The topic of the investigation is identified and a relevant and fully focused research question is clearly described.
The background information provided for the investigation is entirely appropriate and relevant and enhances the understanding of the context of the investigation.
The methodology of the investigation is highly appropriate to address the research question because it takes into consideration all, or nearly all, of the significant factors that may influence the relevance, reliability and sufficiency of the collected data.
The report shows evidence of full awareness of the significant safety, ethical or environmental issues that are relevant to the methodology of the investigation.*
  • This indicator should only be applied when appropriate to the investigation. See exemplars in teacher support material.

Analysis – 6 marks
This criterion assesses the extent to which the student’s report provides evidence that the student has selected, recorded, processed and interpreted the data in ways that are relevant to the research question and can support a conclusion.
Mark
Descriptor
0
The student’s report does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.
1-2
The report includes insufficient relevant raw data to support a valid conclusion to the research question.
Some basic data processing is carried out but is either too inaccurate or too insufficient to lead to a valid conclusion.
The report shows evidence of little consideration of the impact of measurement uncertainty on the analysis.
The processed data is incorrectly or insufficiently interpreted so that the conclusion is invalid or very incomplete.
3-4
The report includes relevant but incomplete quantitative and qualitative raw data that could support a simple or partially valid conclusion to the research question.
Appropriate and sufficient data processing is carried out that could lead to a broadly valid conclusion but there are significant inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the processing.
The report shows evidence of some consideration of the impact of measurement uncertainty on the analysis.
The processed data is interpreted so that a broadly valid but incomplete or limited conclusion to the re-search question can be deduced.
5-6
The report includes sufficient relevant quantitative and qualitative raw data that could support a detailed and valid conclusion to the research question.
Appropriate and sufficient data processing is carried out with the accuracy required to enable a conclusion to the research question to be drawn that is fully consistent with the experimental data.
The report shows evidence of full and appropriate consideration of the impact of measurement uncertainty on the analysis.
The processed data is correctly interpreted so that a completely valid and detailed conclusion to the research question can be deduced.

Evaluation – 6 marks
This criterion assesses the extent to which the student’s report provides evidence of evaluation of the investigation and the results with regard to the research question and the accepted scientific context.
Mark
Descriptor
0
The student’s report does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.
1-2
A conclusion is outlined which is not relevant to the research question or is not supported by the data presented.
The conclusion makes superficial comparison to the accepted scientific context.
Strengths and weaknesses of the investigation, such as limitations of the data and sources of error, are outlined but are restricted to an account of the practical or procedural issues faced.
The student has outlined very few realistic and relevant suggestions for the improvement and extension of the investigation.
3-4
A conclusion is described which is relevant to the research question and is supported by the data presented.
A conclusion is described makes some relevant comparison to the accepted scientific context.
Strengths and weaknesses of the investigation, such as limitations of the data and sources of error, are described and provide evidenceof some awareness of the methodological issues* involved in establishing the conclusion.
The student has described some realistic and relevant suggestions for the improvement and extension of the investigation.
5-6
A conclusion is described and justified which is relevant to the research question and is supported by the data presented.
A conclusion is correctly described and justified through relevant comparison to the accepted scientific context.
Strengths and weaknesses of the investigation, such as limitations of the data and sources of error, are discussed and provide evidenceof a clear understanding of the methodological issues* involved in establishing the conclusion.
The student has discussed realistic and relevant suggestions for the improvement and extension of the investigation.
*See exemplars in teacher support material for clarification.

Communication – 4 marks
This criterion assesses whether the investigation is presented and reported in a way that supports effective communication of the focus, process and outcomes.
Mark
Descriptor
0
The student’s report does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.
1-2
The presentation of the investigation is unclear, making it difficult to understand the focus, process and outcomes.
The report is not well-structured and is unclear: the necessary information on focus, process and outcomes is missing or is presented in an incoherent or disorganized way.
The understanding of the focus, process and outcomes of the investigation is obscured by the presence of inappropriate or irrelevant information.
There are many errors in the use of subject-specific terminology and conventions*.
3-4
The presentation of the investigation is clear. Any errors do not hamper the understanding of the focus, process and outcomes.
The report is well-structured and is clear: the necessary information on focus, process and outcomes is present and is presented in a coherent way.
The report is relevant and concise, thereby facilitating a ready understanding of the focus, process and outcomes of the investigation.
The use of subject-specific terminology and conventions is appropriate and correct. Any errors do not hamper understanding.
*For example, incorrect / missing labeling of graphs, tables, images; use of units, decimal places. For issues of referencing and citations refer to the “Academic honesty” section.