If you are presently in Grade 11 you will at some point this year be working through a practice Internal assessment. So to help I thought I would give you some pointers.

Firstly the assignment has to be between 6 and 12 pages. Any longer and it will negatively impact your communication grade which clearly makes reference to a “relevant and concise” report. If you find you have a large amount of raw data (that has little real value to the research question posed – you are wishing to include the processed data only which pertains to the aim of your experiment), consider uploading the raw data to a website. Logger Pro generates a great deal of raw data, and much of it can be processed without the need to include all of it in the main body of your assignment. e.g. if you are creating curves to determine gradients in enzyme work. Here you could take the gradient values and tabulate in your  assignment, and post the graphs etc into a website. You can make a direct reference to the website within your paper so that your teacher / moderator, can if they wish, review.

One of the new changes to the Internal Assessment is the possibility of working with secondary data (that which you never generated) from either a database or a simulation. You should ask the following questions, though you do not necessarily have to have a “yes” for each one, as this will allow for an interesting critique in your evaluation. Obviously you should be answering yes for most.

Consider the following points (Teacher Support Material, https://ibpublishing.ibo.org)

Accuracy, units, availability

  • Do the variables reflect those that would be encountered in a real life situation?
  • Do the variables generate data that conforms to standard, recognizable units?
  • Are the visualizations misleading in anyway
  • Is the simulation freely available to a moderator or examiner

Ability to experiment

Variable representation

  • does the simulation allow for a suitable range of values for each of the variables in teh investigation
  • Are there enough variables with enough detail to draw meaningful conclusions?

Data collection

  • Does the simulation provide enough data points?
  • Does the simulation allow for multiple runs?
  • Is there variation in the results with each repeat run?

Data processing

  • Can the data be processed independently by students

an example of a simulation http://www.kscience.co.uk/animations/anim_2.htm

and for fun go to http://www.kscience.co.uk/animations/anim_1.htm for some fun animations


And what to expect at the end:

Once you have completed your full first draft your teacher is allowed to make general comments that touch upon the strengths and weaknesses of what you have written (so you need to be resilient to accept that not all the comments made will be positive ). The teacher is not allowed to fill your draft with corrections. So I would suggest that you keep in regular communication with your teacher throughout the whole process.Some students “disappear” with their IA and then suddenly drop it on their teacher and ask for feedback. There are important academic honesty issues here (if the teacher has not seen you work it through, how do they know you wrote it? etc), but more relevant to you however, is the wasted opportunity to have your teacher effectively guide you through the process.