Academic Honesty: Acknowledge Everything!

I’m a visual arts examiner, so recently I have had the pleasure of looking at and assessing a wide range of uploaded visual arts work. It is one of the best parts of the job, and I really enjoy seeing the fantastic work submitted by creative and productive students from all over the world! "Reworking" Images As an examiner I regularly encounter "reworked" images that have either been directly copied from images found on the internet or are an adjusted/modified version of the ...

6/VACAF, EE/RPPF and EE/CS

(Don't you love acronyms?) I lead DP visual arts workshops, both online and face-to-face, and just before Christmas finished my last visual arts workshop of 2017. It was a category 1 and these are invariable full, packed and busy—so much to cover, so little time to do it in! As ever it was a lively and enjoyable workshop, but a couple of things sometimes seem to get pushed to the back of the line and possibly overlooked—visual arts coursework authentication, reflection on the extended ...

The new EE – How are you getting on?

By Wednesday, August 2, 2017 , 0

The new extended essay (EE) guide has been out for a while now – how are you doing with it? Has it changed much in the way you set up and run your EE programme? From the chemistry side of things, I hope you have not seen many (if any changes). Students still need to carry out research and whilst not compulsory, will hopefully carry out some lab based research. That has all stayed the same. The research question (RQ) is also ...

In space, no one can hear you scream.

Silence seems to have become a key cue in the science fiction film, from Scott and Cameron's iterations of the Alien franchise (Alien UK/US 1979 and Aliens US 1986), through Nolan's Interstellar (US 2014), and Cuaron's Gravity (US 2014) to the recent outing Arrival (US 2016 dir: Denis Villeneuve). Silence is a of course a feature of a vacuum, but is this why it is also a feature of some science fiction film? There are obvious connotations one could read into ...

The New Extended Essay

Were you aware that a new EE guide was out? It has been live for around three months and is for first examinations May 2018, so that will be students whom you start to teach this coming August / September. Now that things have got quieter with IB teaching (IB2 students are finished) I thought it was worth writing about it so that it can inform your planning. The first thing is that the guide is entirely electronic. I am sure that ...

Extended Essays are a nightmare

Having just completed the marking of 59 Physics extended essays for the IB, I am compelled to write this post about the appalling quality of them.  Of the 59, only a handful scored over 20/36 – which is pretty poor.  The main reasons are: 1. Theoretical and Inappropriate Some extended essays are theoretical. Whilst these are allowed (and I have seen a few good ones over the years), in general they do not score well. The work is often inappropriate and although ...

Extended essay start-up

At every school I've worked at, the English and business/economics departments have accounted for at least one third of all extended essay (EE) titles. It makes sense; these two disciplines lend themselves easily to the study of a very broad cross-section of society - not that I personally could say anything insightful about Moby Dick or Eric Blair. OK Leo, you may write in the subject of your choice.  This is always something of a problem for the business/economics departments, for two ...

Thinking about Metaphor for a Category 3 Extended Essay

It's a 'literary device,' right?  A comparison without using 'as' or 'like?'  That's what you've learned about metaphor as you have moved up from middle school reading and it's very likely you can spot them, count them and talk about them when the occasion (an essay? a commentary?) demands. But actually there are whole books written about metaphor as an important element of all human thought, used not just in literature but in many academic disciplines, in many facets of daily ...

Extended Essay research – reading between the lines

OSC's resident IB expert Keith Allen imparts his wisdom on writing a successful Extended Essay. As an experienced IB Biology teacher, Keith knows what it takes to succeed in the IB Diploma Programme. The IB has – very proudly – reported on three research projects on the benefits of the Extended Essay for university study. Those of us who have been involved with the IBDP for decades are not surprised – but we are reassured – to receive confirmation that the ...

‘The summer of the Extended Essay’ – easy tips to get you ahead

The Extended Essay might seem like a chore or something you will put to the back of your mind over summer. But, it will very easily pile on top of you, one thing you really do not want. One of OSC’s experienced IB teachers and Extended Essay examiner, Tim Williams, has given his view on how to ‘deal with the curse of the Extended Essay’ and how to get ahead this summer. Over to Tim... Long warm days...hammocks...the beach…warm nights…and…the damn Extended Essay… Right. ...