IB Geography Internal Assessment


The internal assessment is a very important aspect of the IB Geography course. For SL students it accounts for 25% of the final mark and for the HL students it accounts or 20% of the final mark. The length of the internal assessment is 2,500 words for both HL and SL students. The recommended time allocation for the internal assessment is 20 hours. The internal assessment gives student an opportunities to demonstrate their skill level and subject knowledge. Primary research has to be carried out as part of the internal assessment. In recent years primary data collection has taken place in Antigua in Guatemala. The data collection is based on the leisure, sport and tourism optional topic. (http://occ.ibo.org/)

Guidance and authenticity


The SL and HL written reports submitted for internal assessment must be the student’s own work. However, it is not the intention that students should decide upon a title or topic and be left to work on the internally assessed component without any further support from the teacher. The teacher should play an important role during both the planning stage and the period when the student is working on the internally assessed work.

Teachers and students must discuss the internally assessed work. Students should be encouraged to initiate discussions with the teacher to obtain advice and information, and students must not be penalized for seeking guidance. However, if a student could not have completed the work without substantial support from the teacher, this should be recorded on the appropriate form from the Handbook of procedures for the Diploma Programme.

It is the responsibility of teachers to ensure that all students understand the basic meaning and significance of concepts that relate to academic honesty, especially authenticity and intellectual property. Teachers must ensure that all student work for assessment is prepared according to the requirements and must explain clearly to students that the internally assessed work must be entirely their own.

As part of the learning process, teachers can give advice to students on a first draft of the internally assessed work. This advice should be in terms of the way the work could be improved, but this first draft must not be heavily annotated or edited by the teacher. The next version handed to the teacher after the first draft must be the final one. All work submitted to the IB for moderation or assessment must be authenticated by a teacher, and must not include any known instances of suspected or confirmed malpractice.

The same piece of work cannot be submitted to meet the requirements of both the internal assessment and the extended essay. (http://occ.ibo.org/)

Assessment Criteria


There are seven internal assessment criteria for fieldwork.
Criterion A
Fieldwork question and geographic context
3 marks
Criterion B
Method(s) of investigation
3 marks
Criterion C
Quality and treatment of information collected
5 marks
Criterion D
Written analysis
10 marks
Criterion E
Conclusion
2 marks
Criterion F
Evaluation
3 marks
Criterion G
Formal requirements
4 marks

Total
30 marks

Assessment criteria and what to include in your internal assessment


Read the assessment criteria below; this is the IB assessment criteria, and what your internal assessment will be graded against. Then read the bullet points underneath the assessment criteria to help understand what you should include and to ensure that you have met all the criteria and that you have the best opportunity of maximising your mark.

Front Page (this will be assessed under the formal requirements section)

  • Your research question
  • Your name
  • Your candidate number
  • Your school code and school name
  • The word count (remember that your word count should be under 2500 words)
  • You may also want to include a relevant photograph or image (this is not compulsory). Remember if it is not your image then it needs to be referenced.

Contents and Acknowledgement Page (this will be assessed under the formal requirements section)

  • In the acknowledgement page you might want to thank some of the following: Your peers who may have collected data with you, your teachers for giving you guidance and support, your parents for giving you guidance and support and possibly paying for your schooling and Geography trip and maybe anyone who has given you an interview or provided you with secondary data. This is not compulsory but can make your work look more professional.
  • In your contents page you simply list what is on each page (make sure that the numbers in your contents page match the real numbers in your internal assessment).
  • You may also want to include a contents page listing your tables, maps and graphs (this not compulsory)

Section A: Fieldwork question and geographic context - 300 words


This criterion assesses the focus and geographic context of the fieldwork and whether the fieldwork question is related to the material in the syllabus.
Marks
Level descriptor
0
The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1
The fieldwork question is inappropriate, or the geographic context or locational map or relationship to the syllabus is missing.
2
The fieldwork question is adequate with an acceptable attempt made to place it in its geographic context and relate it to the syllabus. A locational map is presented.
3
The fieldwork question is well focused with a detailed, accurate explanation of the geographic context and is related to the syllabus. A good locational map is presented.
  • You should write your research question again and refer to it in your text
  • You should include a location map (one or two maximum) - make sure that the map(s) have titles, are numbered and are referenced.
  • If you are using hypothesis add them in your introduction. Hypotheses give your research added focus, I would recommend a maximum of three.
  • Make some reference to geographic theory e.g. if you are doing a rivers study you might want to look at the Bradshaw Model or Schumm Model.
  • Using the geographic theory make some predictions (linked to your hypotheses) of what you expect to find.
  • Make sure that your research question is linked to the specification - you could mention the link in your introduction
  • If you have space (enough word count) you may want to mention why you thin your research is important/relevant. For example if you are looking at the impacts of tourism you mat want to say that it is important to ensure that tourism is sustainable and that tourist locations don't exceed their carrying capacities.

Section B: Method(s) of investigation - 300 words


This criterion assesses the description, justification and appropriateness of the method(s) used to investigate the fieldwork question.
Marks
Level descriptor
0
The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1
There is only a brief description of the method(s) used for information collection, and the method(s) are generally inappropriate for the investigation of the fieldwork question.
2
There is an adequate description but limited justification of the method(s) used for information collection. The method(s) used are generally appropriate for the investigation of the fieldwork question.
3
There is a clear description and justification of the method(s) used for information collection. The method(s) used are well suited to the investigation of the fieldwork question.
  • All the data collection methods you have used must be relevant to your research question and hypotheses. It is no use collecting wind samples when you are looking at the impacts of tourism. Your data must also be in sufficient detail to answer your research question and hypotheses.
  • You need to collect some primary data for your internal assessment. If you have space you might want to talk about the importance of primary data e.g. it is up-to-date and has a known source and method of collection.
  • Any methods used to collect data should be clearly explained. For example if you did a pedestrian count, you should show a copy of the form (imbedded in the text or in the appendix if it is to large) and then describe where you did the count and for how long you did the count for and how you recorded the information. If you are doing a survey and using bi-polar scoring explain how this works, or if your questionnaire only has closed questions you could explain the benefits of these. If you are collecting physical information like valley gradient or river velocity it might be relevant to add an annotated photograph of you collecting the data.
  • You should also justify and explain why you used certain techniques e.g. why is a tally chart good when doing a count, or why you used a manual anemometer in stead of a digital anemometer (cost probably!).
  • If you are using secondary data, you should mention the source and the benefits of using secondary data (you may also refer to the problems in the evaluation).
  • If you are using a sampling technique (random or systematic are the most likely) then you should explain how they work and the benefits of sampling.
  • In this section you should also refer to the dates and times of data collection, the group sizes and if the data was shared.
  • You should also include maps showing the locations of the data collection sites - again these may be imbedded or included in an appendix if they are large.

Section C: Quality and treatment of information collected - 1350 words (including section D)


This criterion assesses the quality of information collected and its suitability for analysis in criterion D, and whether appropriate techniques have been used for both the treatment and display of information.
Marks
Level descriptor
0
The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1
Limited or inappropriate information has been collected and very little attempt has been made to treat or display the information collected.
2
Some relevant information has been collected and some attempt has been made to treat or display the information collected.
3
The information collected is generally relevant to the fieldwork question and allows for some analysis. Limited techniques have been used for both the treatment and display of information collected.
4
The information collected is generally relevant to the fieldwork question and is sufficient in quantity and quality to allow for analysis. Appropriate techniques have been used for both the treatment and display of information collected.
5
The information collected is directly relevant to the fieldwork question and is sufficient in quantity and quality to allow for in‑depth analysis. The most appropriate techniques have been used effectively for both the treatment and display of information collected.
  • Once you have collected all your data (questionnaires, counts, surveys, etc.) make sure that you record all the data safely and accurately. It is a good idea to make a spreadsheet for your results (save several copies).
  • Only include maps, graphs, tables, photos, etc. that help you prove or disprove your hypotheses
  • Make sure that all you maps, graphs, tables, photos, etc. are clearly labelled with titles and are numbered
  • Make sure that all maps, graphs, tables, photos etc. are referred to in your text. If they are not referred to then they are pointless and won't get you any marks.
  • You should manipulate or make one map yourself. This might be a simple choropleth map or overlay map or map with with flow lines, proportional graphs or proportional images images. For example if you are looking at the quality of the environment, you may add proportional sized rubbish bins to each surveyed location depending on the quality of the environment. Remember it is very important to add things like a title, a north arrow and a key to your maps.
  • Use a variety of relevant graphs. Scatter graphs are good for showing correlations between two independent and variable data sets. Pie charts are good for showing things where the data adds up to 100%, line graphs are good for showing continuous data e.g. tourist numbers and bar graphs are good for showing related data e.g. types of transport. You may also want to try more imaginative techniques like kite diagrams.
  • Photos can be used as long as they are relevant and help prove prove or disprove your hypotheses. For example if you have one survey location with a particularly bad environment score, you might want to take a photo of the area to illustrate why. Remember you must label and refer to the photo or it won't get you any marks.
  • Tables can also be a good way of summarising large amounts of data.
  • You should also try and manipulate your data in some way. Looking at modes, medians and means is a simple way to manipulate data, but using statistical tests like Spearman's, Chi squared and Mann-Whitney U show more advanced skills.
  • If you have extensive calculations or tables of information they maybe placed in an appendix. However, you must remember to imbed the most relevant material in the body of your internal assessment.

Section D: Written analysis - 1350 words (including section C)


This criterion assesses the quality of the analysis of the results, referring to the fieldwork question, geographic context, information collected and illustrative material.
Marks
Level descriptor
0
The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1–2
The report reveals very limited knowledge and understanding. The approach is descriptive with little or no attempt at analysis.
3–4
The report reveals some knowledge and understanding. There is an attempt at analysis, which may be incomplete or superficial, making little or no reference to the fieldwork question, geographic context, information collected and illustrative material.
5–6
The report reveals an adequate level of knowledge and understanding. There is an adequate level of analysis, which generally refers to the fieldwork question, geographic context, information collected and illustrative material.
7–8
The report reveals a good level of knowledge and understanding. There is a well-reasoned, detailed analysis of the results with references to the fieldwork question, geographic context, information collected and illustrative material. There is an attempt to explain any anomalies in results.
9–10
The report reveals a very good level of knowledge and understanding. There is a clear and well‑reasoned, detailed analysis of the results with strong references to the fieldwork question, geographic context, information collected and illustrative material. The attempt to explain any anomalies in results is good.
  • Make sure that you analyse all your maps, graphs, tables, photos, etc. When you analyse you should be looking for trends, correlations and anomalies. To support your analysis you must refer to figures making sure that you use the correct units.
  • Make sure that you refer back to your research question and hypotheses during your analysis. Have your hypotheses been proven or disproven. How does your data analysis help you answer your research question?
  • Are your findings been supported by the geographic theory that you mentioned in your introduction. Make sure that you make a link between the two.
  • If you have any anomalies or results you simply weren't expecting, you must try and explain these. For example if the discharge of a river actually decreased between two points, this might be explained by water being extracted for agriculture. Alternatively it might be that a road is a lot quieter than expected and that it could be explained by a diversion or road closure, an area of pedestrianisation or even the fact that it is a public holiday.
  • Remember that it is important to refer to all your presented data, If some data is not referred to then it won't get you any extra marks.

Section E: Conclusion - 200 words


This criterion assesses the ability of the student to summarize the findings of the fieldwork investigation.
Marks
Level descriptor
0
The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1
There is some attempt to draw a conclusion to the fieldwork question, which may not be completely consistent with the analysis.
2
There is a clear conclusion to the fieldwork question, consistent with the analysis.
  • Make sure that you refer back to your research question. If you were looking at the impacts of tourism, briefly summarise the impacts.
  • If you have used hypotheses make sure that it is clear whether these were proven or disproven.
  • You may refer to a few pieces of data or information from your analysis to support this.
  • Link back to your theory, did your research support or contradict current geographic theory.
  • You can also state what you have learnt e.g. you may have found that tourist areas are more globalised or that tourism mainly has negative impacts.

Section F: Evaluation - 300 words


This criterion assesses the student’s ability to review the investigative methodology.
Marks
Level descriptor
0
The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1
There is either some attempt to evaluate methods of collecting fieldwork information or some suggestion is made for improvement or extension.
2
Methods of collecting fieldwork information have been evaluated or there are valid recommendations for improvements or extensions.
3
Methods of collecting fieldwork information have been evaluated clearly. There are valid and realistic recommendations for improvements or extensions. There may be some suggestions for modifying the fieldwork question.
  • Explain how your data collection may have been improved. This will normally mean collecting data from more sites, collecting data on different days or at different times, making sure things like counts are all done at the same time, surveys are as objective as possible (and maybe all done by one group to ensure consistency) or possibly several groups doing the same data collection and taking an average. This may also mean buying and using better equipment e.g. a flowmetre is more accurate that a measuring tape, tennis ball and stopwatch to measure the velocity of a river.
  • You can refer to any problems that you encountered during data collection e.g. bad weather, broken equipment, inaccessible areas or shortage of time.
  • You may have also had problems with your sampling technique. For example if you were asking every tenth person a questionnaire, there may have been people who refused making this impossible.
  • You should also mention how your internal assessment could be developed further. This might be adding a new or different hypothesis, or it might be collecting more primary or secondary data or it might be studying something slightly different e.g. if you have been studying the impacts of tourism you might want to develop your internal assessment by looking at the locations position on the Butler's Life Cycle.

Section G: Formal requirements


This criterion assesses the extent to which the student meets the five formal requirements of writing, organizing and presenting the written report.
  • The work is within the 2,500 word limit.
  • Overall presentation is neat and well structured.
  • Pages are numbered.
  • References used for background information follow standard conventions.
  • All illustrative material is numbered, is fully integrated into the body of the report and is not relegated to an appendix.
Marks
Level descriptor
0
The work exceeds the 2,500 word limit or meets none of the other formal requirements.
1
The work is within the 2,500 word limit and meets one of the other formal requirements.
2
The work is within the 2,500 word limit and meets two of the other formal requirements.
3
The work is within the 2,500 word limit and meets three of the other formal requirements.
4
The work is within the 2,500 word limit and meets the other four formal requirements.
  • Front page
  • Contents page
  • An acknowledgement page (not compulsory)
  • Clearly and correctly labelled/numbered pages
  • Don't be scared of using lots of headings and sub-headings (remember these are not included in your word count) because they make your work easier to follow.
  • All maps, graphs, tables, diagrams, etc. are clearly labelled and numbered
  • You may want to include separate contents page listing graphs, tables, maps, diagrams, etc. (not compulsory)
  • Your internal assessment should follow a logical order (follow the criterion A to E). Please not sections C and D can be completely separate or integrated i.e. graphs, tables, maps, etc. for one hypothesis followed by some analysis for that hypothesis.
  • All material e.g. data collection forms and/or statistical calculations included in your appendix are clearly labelled and numbered and referred to in the body of your text.
  • All maps, theory, photos that are not yours, are referenced and included in a bibliography. There are many different referencing styles e.g. MLA, APA, etc. It doesn't matter which one you use as long as you use it consistently throughout the internal assessment. For more information on referencing visit: Plagiarism and Referencing.