We decided not to fork out for LibGuides although I’ve seen many good examples of them for the EE. I designed my own set for the process for our intranet Firefly, but I’m also now using OneNote ClassBook for the pupils as a reflection space and a place for them to think about ideas and topics. I always take the EE as a separate entity when it comes to referencing, even though the pupils are learning to reference lower down the school. This is because the IB has specific instructions on what needs to be included in a reference, and also I teach the pupils at least 2 styles of referencing whereas elsewhere they are only taught Harvard. I find a 30-40 minute referencing session with EE pupils around this time at their Study Day is sufficient, and then I offer refresher sessions once they have done their writing.
Some really good thoughts here Jenny! I would just add that in the past 4 years I have seen (and completed!) some terrible surveys for EE and EPQ where it was patently obvious what they wanted the answers to be. As a result I ran a session (pretty short as we didn’t have much time – approx 20 mins) on data collection which focused on surveys/questionnaires and interviews. I invited one of our Marketing team over to talk to the pupils who were doing primary data collection and he was able to tell them that it is crucial they think about their questions before they write them. They have to spend time planning their survey design and they can’t ask leading questions or try to manipulate the field because it’s much better to analyse data where there might be anomalies and things you didn’t anticipate.
It was good to have another voice other than mine added to the research morning, especially someone who does surveys as part of his job. It would be worth looking out examples of poor surveys (if you have copies of previous years’ EPQs you will most likely come across some!) and maybe anonymise and get your students to evaluate and rate them as surveys? The Study Skills Handbook by Sheila Cottrell was my go-to resource for this – she goes into some depth on questionnaire design – but there are plenty of other resources out there. It’s not rocket science but like anything it requires careful planning – pupils have to think hard about what they want to find out and craft questions which aren’t leading and which will help them to best answer their research question.
I’m Emily Stannard and I’m the Head Librarian and (recent) IB Extended Essay Co-ordinator at Bradfield College. I’ve been at Bradfield for 5 years now but previous to that was working as the Copyright and Compliance Officer at the University of Reading. I qualified as a librarian in 2003 and became Chartered in 2006 and have a background in HE and FE libraries.
Since starting at Bradfield I have introduced a research skills programme throughout the school. I am fortunate to have 2 dedicated part time library assistants and 1 full time deputy so that frees me up to do a bit of teaching (although SMT won’t let me call it that officially!) and strategic stuff. I was very fortunate in that when I arrived here the IB was going well and we had recently introduced the EPQ. Now, the EPQ is compulsory for all Sixth Form students who are not doing the IB, and the IB has its own research component, the Extended Essay, which I now manage. This has been massively significant for research in the school and I have pretty much had carte blanche to do what I like with the programme, which in Y9 links closely to the topics and assignments that pupils are being taught in their Divisions programme. Our Y10 pupils have a research project to work on in the Summer Term so we teach them research and referencing as part of that.
I have recently been working more closely with teachers teaching A level and IB subjects and looking at how we can better support the curriculum. I am speaking at the JCS Digital Literacy conference 2019 about this project which has been really exciting and has already had an impact! I’m also the Vice-Chair of the SLA Central and East Berkshire branch.
I’m happy to chat about anything from EE to copyright to curriculum resources and working with teachers, and look forward to getting more involved! I’m on Twitter as @copyrightgirl under my maiden name – I don’t tweet as much as I used to (when it was a formal part of my job) but I try to keep my hand in the copyright arena as much as possible although it doesn’t form anywhere near as much a part of my job as it used to.