This post is designed to help you make sure that you’re following the basic IA requirements before submitting your final draft.
The following guidelines come from the e-coursework handbook from the IB. This information is relevant as of March, 2018. Please always refer to official IB documentation and ask your DP Co-ordinator for the latest updates.
The following extract comes from the uploading e-coursework handbook.
“The following formatting is required for written eCoursework. This ensures the work can be easily read on-screen by examiners as well as ensuring there is consistency between the diploma subjects.
- Use of fonts such as Arial, minimum font size 11
- Single (or greater) line spacing
- Numbered pages
- Portrait orientation (rather than landscape)—except where it is necessary or appropriate. The use of landscape orientation may be to accommodate a specific item such as a graph or illustration).”
Source: B3.10.3 Formatting guidance (e-coursework handbook).
Make sure the following is on the title page:
- Title of the experiment (Give your experiment a title, don’t use the original study’s title but maybe use it for inspiration)
- Student’s candidate code and group members’ codes
- Word count
- Date of submission
Do not put any identifying marks on your paper as your work should remain anonymous. The following is quoted from the IB’s e-coursework handbook.
“Schools are encouraged to keep coursework submissions anonymous.
- Schools may use the candidate’s personal code (abc123) as a means of identifying candidates’ work on coursework and forms submitted to the IB. However this information is not a requirement.
- Candidates are asked to avoid using their name, session number or the name or number of their school in their work, whether on the title page, headers, footers or anywhere else on the document.
- Candidate names or session numbers can be used in the document filenames only.
- Candidates will not be expected to remove identifying marks from their work if the work is already complete, but we would ask schools to ensure candidates submit anonymous work to the IB in future.”
Source: B3.10.5 Formatting guidance (e-coursework handbook).
Word Count Reminder
The following examples of supplementary information are not included in the final word count:
- Abstract and title page (old syllabus, not needed for new)
- Section headings
- Parenthetical citations
- Footnotes (Note: footnotes are not recommended for the IA)
For Teachers: To annotate or not?
The IB actually encourages you to annotate student work to “indicate how marks have been allocated. These comments can be written on the work, or accompanying forms (where applicable) or entered into the teacher comments box on the internal assessment mark entry and sample selection screen.”
“If you’re adding comments using word, please take note of these instructions:
- Ensure comments are set to show all of the time—any functionality which hides a comment until the user chooses to view them may not be visible to the examiner
- Ensure any highlighting does not obscure document content from view. Once the document is converted to be viewed in RM Assessor it is not possible to change/remove any highlighting.
When adding comments in PDF documents:
- If using Adobe Reader avoid the use of sticky notes as these will not be visible to the examiner. If using Adobe Pro, sticky notes can be used as long as the comments are configured to display these after each page (Tools>Comment>Create Comment Summary>Document and comments with sequence number on separate page)
- The use of text boxes is a more reliable way of adding comments. The comments added using a text box are always visible to the examiner. When adding these text boxes, view the PDF document using a zoom of 100% and make sure that they do not overlap any text before uploading the document.”
Teacher Tip: If you have heaps of students (or not enough time) you don’t need to heavily annotate all student work because not all IAs will be asked for moderation. You can wait until the sample for moderation has been generated and then annotate only those papers. If you have smaller classes, it might be easier to moderate as you to save yourself marking the papers twice.
Travis Dixon is an IB Psychology teacher, author, workshop leader, examiner and IA moderator.