This entry will be a little dry, as it really is just a list of key tips to help your students be more successful in their Independent Projects (IP) and Research Investigations.

The assessment task will be broken down into key areas that are commented on by the examiners. Please take note of the key points and advice to apply in your own work.

 Independent Project

Notes about students’ performance against each assessment task, with tips:

Criterion A – Preparation

  • Have evidence of perseverance and initiative. You can do this with examples of failures and how you addressed them and show what steps you took to find information or resolve problems.
  • Have visuals and written accounts/reflections throughout the work,.

Criterion B – Process

  • As a director, designer or performer you must research and indicate your understanding of the specific skills-base of that role, and provide evidence of how these skills were developed.

Criterion C – Reflection

  • Reflections should not be narrative but need to reflect progress and learning, and this needs to be sustained throughout and evidenced through visuals and written descriptions.
  • Students need to identify how the project links to the course

Criterion D – Presentation

  • Exceeding the word count will not get more than a 4.
  • All visuals must be properly sourced (this includes photos taken by a parent, friend etc), if not this is academic malpractice.
  • A range of sources illustrate range and depth of the research

Criterion E (HL only) – Application of Research in Practice

  • Integrate research and apply it authentically throughout the project. This illustrates theoretical underpinning, and will be recognised as strong work.  This is fundamental to an understanding of the process and development of the IPP.

Recommendations for the teaching of future candidates

  • Have a consistent and regular use of the journal for reflection and recording process
  • Explore a creative use of the journals for visuals, mind maps, photos, other forms of note-taking etc
  • Train students to be in the habit of recording work and reflecting on progress, problems, research referred to and initiatives taken

Research Investigation

General notes:

  • Students generally researched a clear aspect of the practice AND an appropriate part of the play that was relevant to the aspect
  • Students had a clear focused question (unfamiliar practice + aspect of the practice + play from the practice).
  • The most successful students chose practices that had specific conventions

Notes about students’ performance against each assessment task, with tips:

Criterion A – Research Skills

  • Interview a practitioner from the practice if possible
  • Use books, solid academic journals and websites – ideally a huge variety of each
  • Consistently attribute your sources, and every bit of information. Not just info at the end of a paragraph
  • Do NOT use youtube sources as a reliable source unless backed up by other resources

Criterion B – Task Relevance

  • Research extensively into the practice and then LINK this to the chosen play from the practice
  • Choose an aspect of the practice that can be applied to a section of the play from the practice. Make sure there is a clear link.
  • Refer consistently to the play.
  • Do NOT add any creative ideas, this is a factual research paper

Criterion C – Presentation

  • Remember that the word count does NOT include quotes
  • Make sure visuals are clear, not fuzzy and in colour if colour is referred to.
  • Always refer to the images you include, don’t put them in there to look pretty – they will be seen as irrelevant

Criterion D – Critique of Sources (HL only)

  • Write about each source referring to its relevance in your research, reliability, credibility and general use to others
  • Write the critique as you go so that it is not an enormous separate task at the end!

Recommendations for the teaching of future candidates

  • Practice conducting research with your students
  • Teach students how to attribute attributions and cite sources and images
  • Research the play first THEN find a play from the practice THEN find out what ASPECT is illustrated in the play that can be written about
  • Practice formulating a Research Question
  • Teach students about structure – the introduction, creating an argument, including quotes and writing a conclusion.
  • Remember that the word count is minus quotes and the critique is a separate document
  • Guide students to only include visuals if they are relevant
  • Encourage students to really limit the focus – one aspect and one or two sections of the play – depth is better than breadth.