I’m surprised to discover that I have never written about our Extended Essay support on this forum, as it is really where our journey with FOSIL began, as Darryl mentions above. Darryl has often written about this elsewhere, and I recently wrote a post for the Ideas Roadshow blog on The Role of The Librarian in the IB DP, which explains our support in more detail if anyone is interested, so I am not intending to go into the background here. This forum gives me the opportunity to reflect on the design process for our support and how it is evolving over time.
For those unfamiliar with it, the Extended Essay is (as Darryl says above) an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper , which is a compulsory element of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. We are in an interesting situation as a school because we offer both the IB DP and A-levels (and two BTECs) as alternative pathways through our Upper School (and are a three year IB MYP candidate school offering GCSEs in Years 10 and 11). This mixed economy allows for a great deal of transfer of ideas between ‘codes’ – a number of our EE resources have been very helpful in supporting the EPQ, for example (see the forum topic FOSIL and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the resource Supporting EPQs at Oakham) and we are looking at developing this provision further.
I am going to outline below the basic structure of the support the Library provides for EE students, which runs alongside the compulsory support provided by the supervisor, a subject teacher who has expert knowledge of the broad subject area and is expected to spend 4-6 hours over the course of the essay (which takes about 10 months on our timetable) supporting the student individually. This includes 3 formal reflection sessions (after which the student must write assessed reflections) and feedback on the first draft. The supervisor may only offer comments on one draft of the essay.