Genuine examples of moderated IA reports
This page explains in great detail through a webcast how three different genuine IAs (two databased and one hands-on) are marked and moderated. The IAs are supplied so, if you wish, you can mark them first then compare your mark with the moderators. A fourth exemplar IA is then given for you to work through to see whether you agree with the teacher or the moderator.
An IA moderator discusses how three IA reports are marked and moderated
I'm really grateful to James Midgley for sharing his experience as an IA moderator. James has supplied three IA reports which if you wish you can read through and award your own mark and then he discusses how the marks have been arrived at in this 70 minutes webcast. The first two reports are database reports, i.e. they are based on secondary data. The third is based on hands-on experimental work by the student.
Sample IA 1 The effect of structural isomerism on the boiling points of the first six aliphatic alcohols
Sample IA 2 To What extent does the size of the central atom in H-X-H affect molecular geometry by using ligand close-packing model framework?
Sample IA 3 Determining the activation energy of the traffic light reaction.
Do you agree with the teacher or with the IB's moderated mark?
Now that you can see how genuine IA reports are marked and moderated you might like to try this exercise.
A teacher from a subscribing school contacted me as he was concerned that the IA report of one of his students, which he had awarded 21/24 for, was marked down to 14/24 when it was moderated by the IB. The feedback form he had received from the IB afterwards had not been very helpful as his marking was graded as "Appropriate" for four of the five criteria and "Generous" for the remaining criterion - Evaluation. Apart from stating that all the reports he sent for moderation were "suitable for the Internal Assessment" the only other comment from the IB was:
"The teacher applied the assessment criteria appropriately in most instances. Additional rigor needs to be applied to the evaluation and improvement sections to meet the standards of the higher rubric scores. The detailed comments accompanying the reports were useful to determine how the criteria were assessed. Thank you."
Clearly he was perplexed as to why his marks for his students' reports had been reduced considerably and in this particular case by 33%. He asked me if I would look at the student's report to give my opinion and help him to understand "why it was marked down". Normally this is not something I have the time to do but I was intrigued that there was such a difference and wondered whether I would agree with the teacher's original marks or with the IB's moderated marks - or indeed whether I would differ from both of them. I see this as important as at workshops and in discussion forums for many years now teachers have made similar complaints.
The report was submitted for the May 2017 session. It has the title, "Impact of Ocean Acidification on Marine Life based on a Study of the Reaction Rate between Hydrochloric Acid and Bivalve Shells". With both the student's and the teacher's permission to use the report I have completely removed any reference either by name or by number to the school, the teacher and the author but otherwise the report is as it was submitted. The teacher made one small comment which was "it is just carbonated water" after the student had written on page 3 that he/she had no means of obtaining carbonic acid. Clearly the copyright remains with the student so on the downloadable version I have acknowledged this even though it has the InThinking template.
Manila clams and mussels (the shells from the two bivalves were used in the study)
Access to the report
So that you can form your own opinion and test your own marking the IA report is reproduced below either for viewing on the site or for downloading.
Download IA Report on ocean acidification
My own marks and the rationale for awarding them and how they compare to both the teacher's marks and the IB's moderated mark can be seen by clicking on the 'hidden' button.