IA Conclusion and Evaluation

C & E, the final criteria… (except for manipulation skills and personal skills – assessed in G4 only)

Again I would like to stress that the summary is taken from subject reports, moderated comments etc and I strongly suggest that you venture to the OCC website and read them for yourself.

The conclusion and Evaluation can suffer from what some perceive to be double marking. Its inevitable that poorly focussed questions will most likely lead to an ineffective and superficial conclusion through the collection of trivial data. Obviously the conclusion must be read in light of the research question. (It is perhaps worth asking students to re-write the research question at the beginning of the conclusion so that it is fully addressed).

In addition students should be highlighting the uncertainty of their conclusion. Vocabulary that talks in certain and absolute terms should be discouraged as they tentatively discuss how their data either supports or refutes their hypothesis. The data can be analysed and the uncertainty of the data highlighted. Is there a high value for the standard deviation? does the correlation coefficient suggest that the data values reflect consistency in their collection.

In light of literature values (that are correctly cited – see Extended Essay guidelines)  does the derived conclusion have foundation outside the experiment conducted?

In other words, the evaluation of the the results is based upon a critical analysis of the data collected and processed.

Evaluation is a good discriminator of high achieving students and teachers often forget this when marking scripts.

When evaluating the methodology of the experiment encourage the students to focus on the following, going so far as to use the vocabulary:

  • Systematic errors
  • Random variation and normal variation
  • Human error ( could be random or systematic)
  • The act of measuring
  • Degrees of precision and uncertainty in data

Do and don’t

Do not use simulations for assessment

Do ensure that the open-ended theme has enough scope for a variety of research questions

do ensure that the investigations have the potential to generate sufficient data for substantial processing (enzyme functioning that looks only at acid / basic and neutral would not work0

Group work is not appropriate for assessment

My final post on Internal assessment will provide guidance for completing the 4/PSOW.

Have a great winter vacation, whatever your faith.

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