Guidelines for the Internally Assessed Study 1998-2002

The nature of internal assessment and grading of internal assessment

The internally assessed work should be an in-depth study of any historical subject, and does not have to be syllabus related. It constitutes 25% of the total assessment.

 

The internally assessed study in history allows for flexibility and should encourage candidates to use their own initiative.

 

Some suggested types of study are:

The internally assessed study is compulsory for higher level IB history, and is an integral component of the history programme. The teacher's role is to discuss and give advice to each candidate about the area of study, title, sources, exact focus, format and structure, but the actual assignment must be the candidate's own work.

Written studies (research paper/essay format)

As well as the research/essay many of the above examples will be in written format. The maximum word limit for a written study is 3,000 words. Candidates who exceed this limit will be penalised. This maximum word limit does not include supplementary information such as contents page, references, bibliography and appendices.

 

Some candidates may prefer to submit a shorter written paper plus a short audiotaped oral component. In these instances the length of the written component must not exceed 2000 words and the duration of the tape must not exceed 15 minutes.

Alternative formats

Not all internal assessment will be in the form of an extended piece of writing, but every study must include some written component of about 500 words explaining the non-written element and the evidence upon which it is based. Alternative formats such as videos,computer presentations and oral exercises must not exceed 45 minutes.

Group work

If two or more candidates work together on a joint assignment, each one must submit his/her own individual written component of about 500 words explaining his/her method and participation, as well as the joint report or other form of assignment. If the joint study is in a non-written format, the candidate's individual participation should be included within the 500 word component. Each candidate who takes part in a group project will be assessed separately.

Time allocation

The weighting (25%) of the internal assessment should be reflected in the time given to internal assessment during the course itself. The internal assessment should be undertaken during the course, and not be treated as an afterthought. It is recommended that higher level candidates devote up to 30 hours of their IB history time to their internal assessment.

Applying the internal assessment criteria

The method of assessment used by the IBO is criterion-referenced, not norm-referenced. That is, candidates are judged by their performance in relation to identified assessment criteria and not in relation to the rest of the population being assessed.

 

The history study submitted for internal assessment is assessed against four assessment criteria which are related to the objectives established for the programme. The assessment criteria are as follows:

 

Criterion A   Historical explanation and understanding (11 marks)

Criterion B   Analysis and evaluation of sources and evidence (11 marks)

Criterion C   Technical requirement - length of study (1 mark)

Criterion D   Technical requirement - referencing and bibliography (2 marks)

 

For each assessment criterion, achievement level descriptors are defined. Teachers are required to judge each candidate's work against these criteria using the descriptors. Criteria A and B comprise four progressive levels. Some levels are subdivided into a and b; these represent alternative descriptors at the same level. Criteria C and D are technical criteria and are not progressive and candidate's work may gain up to 3 marks for meeting the technical requirements.

The use of descriptors

The descriptors concentrate on positive achievement, although if a candidate does not achieve a standard described by any of the descriptors, then 0 should be recorded. The aim is to find for each criterion, the descriptor which conveys most adequately the achievement level attained by the candidate. Having read the work to be assessed, read the descriptors for each criterion, starting with level 1, until you reach one which describes a level of achievement that the work being assessed has not reached. The work is therefore best described by the preceding achievement level descriptor and you should record this level.

 

If, however, a piece of work seems to fall between two descriptors, only partially fulfilling the requirements of the higher descriptor, then you should re-read both of the descriptors in question and choose the one which more appropriately describes the candidate's work. Only whole numbers should be recorded; partial marks, fractions and decimals are not acceptable.

 

Teachers/examiners should not consider the descriptors as marks or percentages, although the descriptor levels are ultimately added together to obtain a score out of 25. Nor should they assume that there are other arithmetic relationships, for example a level 4 performance is not necessarily twice as good as a level 2 performance and so on.

 

Similarly, teachers/examiners should not think in terms of a pass/fail boundary or make comparisons with the IBO 1-7 grade scale, but should concentrate on identifying the appropriate descriptor for each assessment criterion.

Candidates' scores

The highest descriptors do not imply faultless performance, but should be achievable. Teachers/examiners should not hesitate to use the extremes if they are appropriate descriptions of the work being assessed.

 

A candidate who attains a high level of achievement in relation to one criterion will not necessarily attain high levels of achievement in relation to the others. Conversely, a candidate who attains a low level of achievement in relation to one criterion will not necessarily attain only low levels of achievement in relation to other criteria.

 

Teachers/examiners should not assume that the overall assessment of the candidates will produce any particular distribution of scores.

Criteria A and B

Although the subject of the study and its format are flexible the same criteria and descriptors are applied to all studies. Teachers are required to use the descriptors and place the study at one of the five levels. Initially the study should be placed at the middle level of a mark band. The mark band is determined by the achievement level outlined in the descriptors. If the depth of supporting argument/knowledge is high teachers should place the mark at the top of the mark band; if the depth is lacking, the mark should be placed at the bottom of the mark band. High marks are awarded for depth of analysis and critical evaluation of sources and evidence. In cases where two descriptors are given at one level, for example 1a or 1b, either of these descriptors may be used.

Criterion C

Candidates' studies must be of an appropriate length. One mark will be awarded if the study does not exceed the following:

 

Type of study

Maximum limit

 

Written

3000 words

 

Written and oral debate    

2000 words/15 minutes audio recording

 

Video

45 minutes

 

Audio recording

45 minutes

 

Criterion D

All studies must have a bibliography and all sources must be referenced and candidates may gain up to two marks.

 

It is recommended that the assessment criteria and their descriptors be available to candidates at all times.

 

Criteria and Descriptors

The descriptors concentrate on positive achievement, although if a candidate does not achieve a standard described by any of the descriptors, then 0 should be recorded.

Criterion A    Historical explanation and understanding

Achievement
Level

 

Mark band

0

The candidate has not achieved a standard described by of the descriptors below.

0

1a

The candidate demonstrates a limited range of relevant knowledge.
OR

1 3

1b

The candidate writes narrative or descriptive material which lacks analysis.

 

2a

The candidate shows some understanding and/or a limited range of analytical skill.
OR

4 6

2b

The work is predominantly narrative/descriptive with limited evidence of analytical ability.

 

3

The work is mainly analytical, demonstrating understanding and reinforced by relevant knowledge.

7 9

4

The candidate demonstrates a consistently high level of understanding and critical analysis.

10 11



Criterion B    Analysis and evaluation of sources and evidence

Achievement
Level

 

Mark band

0

The candidate has not achieved a standard described by of the descriptors below.

0

1

The candidate uses source(s) uncritically or irrelevantly.

1 - 3

2a

The candidate attempts to use sources and/or evidence derived from them critically, but not in a sustained manner.
OR

4 - 6

2b

The candidate has a limited appreciation of the usefulness and/or reliability of sources.

 

3a

The sources and/or evidence are, in the main, used appropriately and effectively.
OR

7 - 9

3b

The candidate demonstrates the ability to evaluate the usefulness and reliability of sources, and/or evidence, but not to their full potential.

 

4

The evaluation of sources and/or evidence is consistent and thorough.

10 - 11

Technical Requirements

Criterion C       Limits

 

The study is within the following limit:

1

Format

Maximum limit

 

Written

3000 words

 

Written and oral debate

2000 words/15 minutes audio recording

 

Video

45 minutes

 

Audio recording

45 minutes

 

Criterion D       References and bibliography

Referencing is included where appropriate, and a bibliography is provided of all sources used in the preparation and completion of the internal assessment.

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