Pre-IB students had an ‘Extended Project’ week last week in which they tried their hands on producing a piece of research essay on a subject of their choice. The week was intended to give them an opportunity to simulate research skills for their Extended Essay- a core component of the IBDP next year. Thus, all normal lessons were put on hold and they had to use their own time-management skills to finish everything they had to do for their projects. At the beginning, some of the students were not used to choosing their own topics or coming up with a time line for themselves, but they quickly learned to think and plan following the prompts from their teachers.
The subject selection this time saw takers across the subjects on offer in the IB programme, with the majority of students choosing Economics and Chinese language and literature. After filling in their Enquiry Forms with their initial ideas, the students approached their teachers to have initial consultations. Some of them needed more time to rework their research questions or consider other subjects they enjoyed, but the majority were happy to start doing secondary reading.
The suggested plan given to the students was to spend the first day finishing their literature review, during which they jotted down summaries of the information gathered as well as the details of the sources, then they could begin data-collection, whether it involved doing experiments in the science laboratories, conducting surveys or analysing texts. During their data-collection, the students were reminded about basic research ethics and the Daily Meeting Sheets which they had to complete when they met their supervising teachers in the mornings and afternoons. Every consultation and change was documented as it was emphasised to the students that it was the process that mattered this time, not the results.
Around mid-week, students started writing up their essays according to the sections laid out in their Extended Project Booklets. The librarian was called in to help with citation enquiries. After they were satisfied with their drafts, students handed in their final essays and a viva voce followed where they answered questions about their whole process asked by their supervising teachers. Points from their reflections were noted down and all essays submitted to Turnitin to check for plagiarism. Students were visibly relieved at the end of the week and many remarked that the week had been even more stressful and tiring than usual since the research experience was a first for them and they were hard pressed for time. Nonetheless, they were proud of all they managed to learn in this short week and would be preparing to display their process to their parents come the Student-led Conference in May.
在“课题研究项目”的中期，学生们要按照《课题论文写作指导手册》中所列的要求进行写作。与此同时，图书管理员也就“如何正确引用文献资料的问题”给学生们提供了及时帮助。学生们对初稿进行了反复修改，直至满意后上交了论文的终稿，最终，学生参加了论文答辩，他们需就自己的整个论文写作过程回答指导老师的提问，进行口头陈述。学生在口头反思陈述中的要点都被一一记录下来，随后所有的论文被上传至“Turn it in ”系统审查是否有抄袭。学生们在论文完成之后如释负重，由于这是首次接触论文写作和时间有限，学生表明“课题研究周”比正常上课更有压力和更具疲惫感。尽管如此，他们还是对能在短短一周内快速学习并顺利完成论文而感到骄傲，也为五月初即将进行的“学生主导式”家长会做好了充分准备。