Personal Engagement

This section of the assessment concerns student individuality and creativity in their investigation. Has the personal experience of the student helped design the investigation?

A first step is to ask, 'where did the student think of the research question?'

It doesn't need to be brand new research but there must be sign of independent thought in at least one of these areas; choice of topic, method of the experiment, presentation of results.

Beware, if the experiment is too simple, of if the results are obvious it will be hard to achieve high marks in the exploration and analysis sections of the investigation.

The complexity should be at IB level.

This is a holistic judgement, students can show personal engagement in;

  • the choice of topic or the reason why the student chose it, as mentioned above
  • the choice of sources in research for the background section of Exploration
  • originality in the design of the method, or the apparatus in Exploration
  • persistence (or resilience) in overcoming difficulties in the collection of the results
  • the quality of the observations made.
  • the methods used to analyse the data collected
  • the type of comments written in the evaluation about limitations, improvements or extensions to the experiment

The different strands of this criterion can be separated as in the table below.

Evidence of personal engagement with exploration. The justification given for choosing the research question and/or the topic under investigation. Evidence of personal input and initiative in the designing, implementation or presentation.
2 Clear with significant independent thinking, initiative or creativity. Demonstrates personal significance, interest or curiosity. A lot
1 Limited with little independent thinking, initiative or insight. Does not demonstrate personal significance, interest or curiosity. Little
0 Standard not reached. Standard not reached. Standard not reached.
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