Geography IB

GEO Study Guide

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Internal Assessment

Internally Assessed Geography

 

IA Geography Project Requirements

Geo IA is an integral part of the course and contributes 25% to the final assessment in the SL course and 20% in the HL course. The Geography IA is a 2,500-word written report based on a fieldwork question from any suitable syllabus topic, information collection and analysis with an evaluation.


Approximately 20 hours of teaching time for both SL and HL should be allocated and should include:

  • time for the teacher to explain to students the requirements

  • time to review the geography course ethical guidelines and risk assessment

  • time at the survey or fieldwork site

  • time for students to work on the internal assessment component

  • time for consultation between the teacher and each student

  • time to review and monitor progress

 

Students may choose from these topics from the GEO SYLLABUS:

  • Freshwater

  • Oceans and coastal margins

  • Extreme environments

  • Geophysical hazards

  • Leisure, tourism and sport

  • Food and health

  • Urban environments

  • Population distribution—changing population

  • Global climate—vulnerability and resilience

  • Global resource consumption and security

 

However, these topics within the core theme, are unlikely to be suitable for IA Geo fieldwork investigation:

  • Option B: Oceans and coastal margin - Topic 1: Ocean-atmosphere interactions

  • Option C: Extreme environments - Topic 1: The characteristics of extreme environments

  • Option D: Geophysical hazards - Topic 1: Geophysical systems

  • Option E: Leisure, tourism and sport - Topic 3: Tourism and sport at the international level

  • Option F: Food and health - Topic 1: Measuring food and health (global patterns)

  • Unit 1: Changing population

  • Unit 2: Global climate—vulnerability and resilience

  • HL extension Topics - All topics are unsuitable except:

    • Unit 5: Human development and diversity, sub-topic 3: Local responses to global interactions

    • Unit 6: Global risks and resilience, sub-topic 3: Local and global resilience.

 
Geo IA Fieldwork Investigation

Scale and Site
Many types of investigation are possible, and the choice depends on the opportunities offered by the local environment. The investigation must be manageable and the site accessible. The topic chosen for investigation must be on a local scale but it does not need to be undertaken near the school. If necessary, when there are logistical or security concerns, for example, the school site may be used and can provide several fieldwork possibilities.


Maps
It is strongly recommended that maps are student-generated, either by being hand drawn or computer-derived, and they must be made relevant to the study. Maps that are downloaded or photocopied should be adapted to the student’s own information. 


Risk Assessment
Schools are advised to follow health and safety guidelines (risk assessment) in fieldwork, observing standard regulations as appropriate.


Ethical Guidelines
Students should consider whether there are any ethical implications involved in collecting fieldwork information, such as respect for the views of individuals expressed during interviews, respect for the environment and the integrity of the information.

 
Geography IA  - Information for Collection

Primary information
This information must come from the student’s own observations and measurements collected in the field. This “primary information” must form the basis of each investigation. Fieldwork must provide sufficient information to enable adequate interpretation and analysis.


Fieldwork investigations may involve the collection of both qualitative and quantitative primary information. The type of information collected should be determined by the aim and fieldwork question. Quantitative information is collected through measurement and may be processed using statistical and other techniques.


Qualitative information is collected through observation or subjective judgment and does not involve measurement. Qualitative information may be processed and coded or quantified where appropriate, or it may be presented through images or as text. The nature of qualitative data should provide sufficient information for analysis and conclusion.

 

Secondary Information
This research involves gathering information from sources that have already been compiled in written, statistical or mapped forms. Secondary information may supplement primary information but must only play a small part in the investigation. All sources of secondary information must be referenced.

 

IA for Geography Outline and Word Count IBDP

Criterion A ~ Fieldwork question and geographic context (marks: 3 / word count: 300)
Criterion B ~ Method(s) of investigation (marks: 3 / word count: 300)
Criterion C ~ Quality and treatment of information collected  (marks: 6 / word count: 500)
Criterion D ~ Written analysis (marks: 8 / word count: 850)
Criterion E ~ Conclusion (marks: 2 / word count: 200)
Criterion F ~ Evaluation (marks: 3 / word count: 300) 
TOTAL ~ marks: 25 / word count: 2,450

 

 

IB Geography Internal Assessment Criteria

Criterion A: Fieldwork question and geographic context 

The fieldwork question guides the fieldwork investigation. It must be focused, appropriate and stated as a question that can be answered through the collection of primary information in the field. Where appropriate, students can make a brief preliminary judgment or prediction answering the fieldwork question. This prediction may be formulated as a hypothesis.


Students must also comment briefly on the geographic context, explaining why and where the fieldwork investigation is to be carried out. This can include relevant spatial, physical, socio-economic conditions and other background information, concepts or characteristics. A map of the research area and/or the locations used in the fieldwork investigation is essential to provide the necessary spatial element.


Students must also state the area(s) of the syllabus to which the study relates, which geographic inquiry topic or sub-topic in the syllabus, whether it is from the optional themes, the core theme, or the HL extension. It can be drawn from a combination of two or more topics or themes.


This criterion assesses the focus and geographic context of the fieldwork and to what extent the link between the fieldwork question and the geographic context (that is, material in the syllabus, a relevant syllabus topic or geographical theory) is made clear. The fieldwork question should be specifically geographical.

 

Marks - Level for Criterion A:
0 ~ The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1 ~ The fieldwork question is not formulated as a question or is not appropriately linked to the relevant syllabus topic or geographical theory. The fieldwork question does not allow for the collection of primary data, does not include a location or is too broad to address within the limits of the internal assessment. No locational map is included or the map is inappropriate for the fieldwork question.
2 ~ The fieldwork question is geographical, identifying an appropriate link to the relevant syllabus topic, the syllabus or geographical theory. The fieldwork question identifies a specific location allowing for the collection of primary data and a question that can be addressed within the limits of an internal assessment. The locational map is a copy of an existing map (for example, internet or satellite map) with too many unnecessary details or lacking mapping conventions.
3 ~ The link between the fieldwork question and the relevant syllabus topic, the syllabus or geographical theory is described. The link made to geographical theory allows for the possible formulation of hypotheses and predictions. The fieldwork question is geographical and focused, clearly identifying a precise location allowing for primary data collection within the limits of the internal assessment. One or more locational maps are presented and follow mapping conventions, providing clear information and details of the fieldwork location.

 

Criterion B: Method(s) of Investigation
Students must describe the method(s) used to collect information. The description may include technologies employed, sampling techniques, time, location and circumstances of information collection where relevant. The method(s) used must be justified and must enable a sufficient quality and quantity of primary data to be produced to allow the fieldwork question to be investigated. This criterion assesses the description, justification and appropriateness of the method or methods including sampling and surveying techniques, primary or secondary data collection as appropriate used to investigate the question formulated.

 

Marks - Level for Criterion B:

0 ~ The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1 ~ The method(s) used for information and data collection are listed or outlined, but are too general or vague or do not allow for the collection of enough information and data that are relevant to address the question formulated or the hypotheses. Data collection technologies/instruments and sampling/surveying techniques are listed or outlined but are not correctly used.
2 ~ The method(s) used for information and data collection are described, outlining how the data collected is relevant to the question formulated and hypotheses. The method(s), data collection instruments/technologies and sampling/surveying techniques are used correctly and allow for sufficient data for quantitative and/or qualitative analysis, but it may be minimal or only one or two variables are collected.
3 ~ The method(s) used for information and data collection are described, explaining clearly and accurately how the combination of data collected is relevant to the theory, question formulated or the hypotheses for the internal assessment. They may describe statistical tests if appropriate. The method(s), data collection instruments/technologies and sampling/surveying techniques are used correctly, resulting in reliable and good quality primary data supporting a relevant quantitative and/or qualitative analysis.

 

Criterion C: Quality and treatment of information collected
Students should treat and display the information collected using the most appropriate techniques. These techniques must be the most effective way of representing the type of information collected and must be well used. The precise techniques employed will differ depending on the nature of the fieldwork question but may include statistical tests (including confidence limits), graphs, diagrams, maps, annotated photographs and images, matrices and field sketches.


Students must also refer to the geographic context, information collected and the ways in which the material has been treated and presented. This criterion assesses the quality of information and data collected and its suitability for analysis in criterion D, whether it is appropriate and a sufficient range of techniques have been used for the presentation of information, and whether the presentation follows accepted conventions (that is, the numbering, labelling, and annotating of tables, graphs and diagrams).

 

Marks - Level for Criterion C:

0 ~ The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1–2 ~ The information and data collected is mostly not relevant, or not sufficient, to address the question or hypotheses formulated. The information and data have mostly been presented in such a way that is either not appropriate for what has been collected or does not allow for analysis of the question formulated. The graphs, tables, diagrams or other illustrations do not follow conventions (labelling, titles, and so on) or contain frequent errors.
3–4 ~ Most of the information and data collected is relevant to the question formulated or the hypotheses, allowing for partial analysis or answering of the question formulated. The information and data have been presented in ways appropriate for the data type. The graphs, tables, diagrams or other illustrations follow conventions (labelling, titles, and so on), with occasional errors.
5–6 ~ The information and data collected is all directly relevant to the question formulated or the hypotheses, and is sufficient in quantity and quality to allow for analysis or answering of the question formulated. The most appropriate techniques have been used effectively for the presentation of information and data collected. The graphs, tables, diagrams or other illustrations follow conventions (labelling, titles, and so
on).

 

Criterion D: Written Analysis
In the written analysis, students must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the fieldwork investigation by interpreting and explaining the information they have collected in relation to the fieldwork question. This includes recognizing any trends and spatial patterns found in the information collected. Where appropriate, an attempt should be made to identify and explain any anomalies. The treatment and display of material and the written analysis must be integrated within this section. This criterion assesses the quality of the analysis of the results, referring to:

  • links to the question and hypotheses formulated

  • geographic context (that is, geographical theory, the syllabus, or the relevant syllabus topic)

  • information collected

  • statistics used (descriptive techniques—that is, graphs, charts, histograms and so on; as well as statistical techniques—that is, correlations, regression and so on)

  • illustrative material.

 

Marks - Level for Criterion D:

0 ~ The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1–2 ~ The written analysis includes descriptive techniques that are not all appropriate to the data and the question formulated. The data or information presented is outlined without explicit link to the question or hypotheses formulated. Obvious trends and patterns are listed.
3–4 ~ The written analysis includes descriptive techniques that are appropriate to the data and the question formulated. Any statistical techniques used either are not relevant to the question formulated or contain errors. The data and information, trends and patterns presented are described and linked explicitly to the question or hypotheses formulated. The written analysis allows for answering the question formulated in a descriptive way. 
5–6 ~ The written analysis includes descriptive and statistical techniques (if appropriate to the question formulated) that are appropriate to the data and the question formulated. The data and information, trends, patterns and statistics are described and linked explicitly to the question or hypotheses formulated. Outliers and anomalies in the data, if present, are listed. The written analysis allows for answering the question formulated, although there are gaps in the supporting evidence.
7–8 ~ The written analysis includes descriptive and statistical techniques (with confidence levels if appropriate) that are appropriate to the data and the question formulated. The trends, patterns and statistics found, including outliers and anomalies if present, are explained and linked to the question formulated, hypotheses, geographical theory, the fieldwork location and methods used. The written analysis allows for answering the question formulated, with no or only minor gaps in the supporting evidence.

 

Criterion E: Conclusion
Students should summarize the findings of the fieldwork investigation. There should be a clear, concise statement answering the fieldwork question. It is acceptable for the conclusion to state that the findings do not match the student’s preliminary judgment or prediction. This criterion assesses the ability of the student to summarize the findings of the fieldwork investigation and draw a supported conclusion.

 

Marks - Level for Criterion E:

0 ~ The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1 ~ A conclusion to the fieldwork question is formulated, which is partially supported by the analysis.
2 ~ There is a clear conclusion to the fieldwork question, which is supported by the analysis.

 

Criterion F: Evaluation
Students should review their investigative methodology, including methods of collecting primary information. Within this, they should consider any factors that may have affected the validity of the data, including personal bias and unpredicted external circumstances such as the weather. Students should suggest specific and plausible ways in which the study might have been improved and could be extended in the future. This criterion assesses the student’s ability to review the investigative methodology, by weighing up the strengths and/or weaknesses of the chosen method, and suggest improvements.

 

Marks - Level for Criterion F:

0 ~ The work does not reach the standard described by the descriptors below.
1 ~ Strengths and/or weaknesses of the data collection methods and suggestions for improvement are listed, but these are mostly superficial, not appropriate, or not relevant to the study. 

2 ~ Strengths and/or weaknesses of the data collection methods and suggestions for improvement are outlined, and these are mostly appropriate and relevant to the study.
3 ~ The most appropriate and relevant strengths and/or weaknesses are explained regarding the data collection methods, the formulation of the fieldwork research question, the presentation of data/information and the choice of location. Suggestions for improvement are outlined and the potential impact of these improvements is explained.

Geography Resources

 

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© 2019 DEEPEE. Luke Cameron Watson

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