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IB BIOLOGY - INTERNAL ASSESSMENT (IA)

While I was training and studying before becoming a teacher, I worked in The Love Lab at my alma mater university, The University of Windsor. Here I helped with fieldwork, lab work, data processing, general goings-on. This eventually lead to me researching, writing, experimenting and completing a Masters in Biology!
I wanted to bring the scientific method process I had first-hand experienced to my IB students via the IA.
What I expect from my students it certainly above and beyond what the IB expects but I find that in the end,
they are proud of their work (and their final grade). Consistently, ~ half of my student earn a 7 on their IA
post-moderation, the rest mainly scoring a 6.
To help guide students, I wrote several guides which contain exemplars and descriptions of what I expect. Additionally I wrote a comprehensive statistics guide to help them conduct sophisticated analyses.
To help generate IA ideas, I created an excel spreadsheet with many potential IVs and DVs for various topics. Then, as a proposal, I have all my student complete a plan of attack in order for them to really reflect on their RQ.
This is for the 2016 curriculum.
As The Friz would say: "Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!"