Internal Assessment

This section of the site is dedicated to support for the internal assessment [IA]. In addition to guidelines for setting up and carrying out the IA, there are materials to help students monitor their own progress, tips for assessing the drafts, ideas for studies to replicate, and samples of good papers.

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Comments 12

Emma Parker 25 August 2017 - 09:51

Hi John- question about descriptive stats for IA. I don't really understand how the students should select which of mean/median/mode is more appropriate. I have some kids who have been collected scores on a scale as their data. I thought that mode would be most appropriate so that they don't end up with integers as their processed data (as with the original scale) but the original study used mean. It seems that mean is always the preferred choice, but when should you not use it then?


Emma Parker 25 August 2017 - 09:51

*so that they DO end up with integers

John Crane 26 August 2017 - 11:27

Dear Emma, this is the problem with the IB's current "purist" approach vs. the reality of modern research. If you students are obtaining data that is on a scale, then it should be ordinal data, which means that they should most likely use the median. So, I would have students do that with that justification. However, since the goal of the IA is to compare their results to those of the original study, it does not make sense not to use the mean. In modern research the mean is almost always included, in spite of the fact that technically it is not the most appropriate stat. I would have students also include the mean and justify it by stating that in order to compare our findings to the original study..... That should be just fine.

Emma Parker 7 September 2017 - 04:30

Hi John,
Thanks for clarifying this- big help!

Steven Morris 15 September 2017 - 09:00

Dear John,
I was looking for some clarification on using Loftus and Palmer for the IA at SL. The guide says that the study must be a replication, but in order to do this my students will have to reduce the number of conditions to 2 e.g. 'smashed' and 'bumped'. This technically means that it is not an exact replication. Is this an issue?
Thanks John.
Kind regards,

John Crane 16 September 2017 - 08:03

Dear Steven - no, it is not an issue. It is a partial replication, which is what they actually want. Students are only allowed to have one IV and in the current curriculum, only 2 levels of the IV - so only two words is the norm in the replications.

Jessca Patella 9 October 2017 - 17:23

Hi John,
I am preparing my students for their first IA, but I am having a difficult time finding the original studies, for example Loftus & Palmer & Asch on conformity. Any suggestions?
Thank you,

John Crane 10 October 2017 - 06:47

Dear Jessca

You should be able to find the link to Loftus and Palmer on the "IA Menu" on this site. The link is:

As for Asch on conformity, the guide explicitly forbids any conformity research. Be careful not to have students do that as they would earn no marks.

Jessca Patella 10 October 2017 - 15:53

Thank you John for letting me know about conformity research and the IA. And for the link to Loftus & Palmer.

Danyelle Cawood 18 October 2017 - 06:13

Hi John
I am about to start my IAs with my class. Thank you for your resources on the IA (although I could not open the power points you have - any suggestions on that?). I mainly have SL students so I was wanting to ask how close to replication do SL students need to be. I am giving them the choice between Loftus & Palmer 1974, Craik & Tulving 1975 and Peterson & Peterson 1959. For example we don't know what other questions were asked in the L & P study besides the critical questions, can SL students therefore create some other relevant questions to embed the critical one in or they should just ask the one critical question? (As can be seen in your sample 2 SL IA). For P & P do students have to use trigrams and if so can they make up their own list of trigrams and make up own list of numbers as I cant find the original. For C & T can SL students do structural - (words are presented in upper or lower case) and asked if it was in capitals and semantic - they ask the participant to put the word in to a sentence (which is slightly different from the study)? And do they have to do the same number of words - 40 words? This class is doing the old version of the course. I would appreciate your comments. Thank you

John Crane 19 October 2017 - 04:50

Dear Danyelle

Do you mean that you couldn't download the ppts or that you cannot open them? If you cannot open them, do you have the newest version of ppt?

You do not have to do an exact replication. Your students will design their own materials, so it does not matter that they do not have the original questions asked in the L & P study or the trigrams from P & P. All of your modifications to the original studies are totally fine.

Danyelle Cawood 22 October 2017 - 00:26

Thanks John for the feedback and I have now managed to open and save the powerpoints. Danyelle

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