Ideas for Internal Assessment

This is by no means a definitive list of all the topics that students could choose to explore in their internal assessment. Students should choose something that they clearly understand and is easy to replicate. Imagery vs rehearsal: participants recall more words from a (20) word list when they use an imagery method (forming a vivid mental image and linking each item to the last in a dynamic fashion) than if they use...

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Comments 20

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Ashley Phillipson 4 September 2017 - 10:54

Hi, I have some students who want to replicate Brewer and Treyens "Picnic Basket" study for an SL IA. I order to have an IV, would they need a control group (that is in a 'normal' schema setting)? If they did this, would it then result in them not replicating the experiment, rather modifying it (which would work for HL, but not SL)?

Barbara Caley 4 September 2017 - 18:48

Hi John, I just discovered the caution about the Craik and Tulving study. I have students who want to replicate this in a repeated measures design by giving participants words to remember prompted by questions that elicit shallow or a deep level of processing. Their IV is the level of processing. The DV is the number of words recalled in each level. Does this fulfill the requirement to have two separate tasks?

Kate Shepherd 5 September 2017 - 10:07

Dear John
I have two SL students who would like to do their IA based on Anderson & Pichert but would like to base their research on having two groups: a control group (no schema) and an "experimental" group (burglar schema). Does this modify the original study too much for a SL IA? Many thanks for your thoughts on this.

John Crane 6 September 2017 - 05:56

Dear Ashley, the Brewer and Treyens study is often problematic. Did you read the original study? it is available under "Key studies" in the CLOA. If they were to replicate that, they would be fine. Your idea is not a replication, so it would be problematic.

John Crane 6 September 2017 - 05:58

Dear Barbara

Examiners can be funny about this one and I know people whose students have scored very low on this replication. My understanding, however, is that the IB has addressed this issue with moderators and that it is now ok to do it in the manner that you have described.

Barbara Caley 6 September 2017 - 16:36

Thanks, John!

John Crane 6 September 2017 - 05:59

Dear Kate

That is fine. This is a good example of a simplified replication.

Steven Morris 15 September 2017 - 10:34

Hi John,
Does a control group count as a condition? Is a study which has an IV with 2 conditions and also a control condition acceptable at SL?

John Crane 16 September 2017 - 08:06

Dear Steven,

Yes, a control group counts as a condition. The students are told to have no more than two groups, so they will have to make some choices in their design and procedure. The reason for this is that three conditions requires more sophisticated statistics - and for SL, it becomes really difficult without those statistics to draw a meaningful conclusion.

Lauren Kubis 21 September 2017 - 15:31

Hi John, apologies as I *think* I have read your answer to this somewhere on the site but am very confused when reading through student samples on the OCC. I see IB moderated samples of SL students replicating Loftus and Palmer using 5 conditions. The moderator made no comments indicating this was problematic. I believe you have suggested simplifying to only 1 IV - 1 leading verb. What would be the control in this case? Should we allow students to use all 5 original conditions? Thank you kindly in advance - this is my first time around :)

John Crane 22 September 2017 - 11:16

Dear Lauren,

Was this for the current curriculum or the "new curriculum"? In the current curriculum they are supposed to have only two levels of the IV. For the new curriculum, they may use more than just two levels, but they have to apply the correct statistics.

Lauren Kubis 22 September 2017 - 13:35

For 2018 (current). I'm confused as the example I'm reviewing on the OCC is years old and has 5 levels (the moderator does not comment on the inappropriate use)...

John Crane 23 September 2017 - 05:50

Lauren, this is why I personally do not use the OCC. Many of the examples that are provided are doctored old papers, rather than examples made for the new curriculum. I would advise staying with only two levels of the IV in order to keep the statistics simple. Once you are working with five levels of one IV, things get more complex - and students are supposed to be carrying out the IA unassisted. If we have to tell them which stats to use, then they are not really being assessed on their skills.

Lauren Kubis 25 September 2017 - 15:57

I understand completely - thank you, John! This guidance is truly helpful. Thanks again :)

Ashley Phillipson 3 October 2017 - 15:16

John, I've got a group of students who are considering using the Sattler (1992) study as the basis for their SL IA. They're having difficulty finding a reference to it, though (as am I). Sattler's 1992 book is readily accessible, but are you aware of whether the study is in it, or of an alternate source.? There are of course, other experiments they can replicate that are similar, but it would be good if they can go with their original idea (and satisfy their curiosity)...

John Crane 4 October 2017 - 08:44

The only link that is easily accessible is the one that I have provided on the site. To get the original study, they have to access the actual book reference, which I do not have. I have updated the IA menu for the new curriculum and you will see that I have taken out this study as they cannot find the original easily. They do not, however, have to use the original for their IA. You may want to have them use the second study:

Valentin Lapaine 7 October 2017 - 07:49

John, can you please clarify "Also, make sure that you have two separate groups, or two tasks in a repeated measures design. Having only one task for one group does not meet the IB's definition of a simple experiment."
Specifically, a group of my students are going to replicate Morrison et al. (2012) - Effect of imagery instruction on memory, with the IV being whether word pairs were bizarre or common. My students want to use a repeated measures/within subjects design, i.e. present all participants with 50 word pairs (25 bizarre and 25 common, in random order). Is this for some reason not OK? From a methodological point of view, I'd argue that would be a much better solution than to have a separate task with bizarre word pairs and a separate task with common word pairs...

John Crane 7 October 2017 - 16:54

Dear Valentin,

The IB made an adjustment about two years that no longer requires students to have two discreet groups. I will amend this page. Thanks for pointing this out. Your students will be fine.

Valentin Lapaine 7 October 2017 - 19:40

Dear John, that's great! Thank you for the clarification!

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