The Academic Honesty form is a 500 word reflection that highlights the student’s progress through the inquiry cycle with the support of their supervisor. It must reference their supervisor because it must validate / prove that the supervisor has been aware of the process and that the supervisor can, honestly, declare that all the student’s work is their own academic voice and writing. 

Meeting 1: Academic Honesty 1

This is approximately 150 words in length. In the first reflection, the student discusses how they came upon their topic, chose their global context, and did their initial research. They may write about seeking supervisor assistant in refining their research question. 

The purpose of this reflection is to prove that the student came up with the idea on their own. If they download someone’s Personal Project from the internet and present it to their supervisor, they won’t be able to demonstrate the blood, sweat, and tears that comes with grappling with possible topics. They won’t have the frustrations of word-smithing until the perfect research question emerges. 

The supervisor must be aware of this process and attest that it belongs to their student. 

Meeting 2: Academic Honesty 2

This is approximately 200 words in length. In the second reflection, the student is reflecting on how they created they product. They might write about coming up with their specifications, made their rubrics, figured out their methodologies, etc. They could write about problems that arose in their creative process, the additional research required, and the decisions made. They could talk about the advise they sought (social skills) and the communications they used (e.g. emails, notes, etc.)

The purpose of this reflection is to prove that the student produced the product on their own. If a student is learning to sew and comes back with a beautiful, perfect hoodie, then there may be questions about whether a local tailor “helped.”  The supervisor should look through the student’s process journal for pictures of the student cutting fabric, sewing, ironing, etc. As a beginner, the supervisor should be looking for sewing mistakes that arose and what the student learned from them.

Again, the supervisor must be aware of how the product was going throughout the process, and attest that the product was made (or the outcome was accomplished) by the student.  

Meeting 3: Academic Honesty 3

This is approximately 150 words in length. In the third (last) reflection, the student reflects on how they gathered data for the evaluation of their product and how they put their report together. They might be discussing their survey samples, or the data gathered in their experiments. They might discuss their pride in their final product and whether they think they accomplished their goal. They could also discuss feedback given on their draft report, and any changes that were made.

The purpose of this reflection is to prove that the student wrote the report on their own. If they downloaded the report from the internet, they won’t be able to discuss their first draft and the feedback from their supervisors. They won’t be able to discuss the surveys they conducted on their classmates at school. 

Again, the supervisor must be aware of how the report was written through the draft, to revising, to final submission phases.

Debriefing Session: Signed Academic Honesty Form

In our school, we do a final debriefing session, similar to a viva voce in the Diploma Programme. At this point, the student’s work has been assessed by their supervisor and has been standardised by a standardising team. Their achievement results have been entered into ManageBac’s Assessment tab, with an overall comment given.  ManageBac then uses this data to automatically populate the Academic Honesty form. Go to the Academic Honesty tab in ManageBac and click, “Academic Honesty Form,” and a new window will open with the student’s reflections and the supervisor’s final comments. This document needs to be printed, signed, scanned, and re-uploaded to ManageBac.  It is then ready to be uploaded to the IB for external moderation.

The purpose of the debriefing session is for the supervisor to give final feedback on the process as a whole. For students who have achieved well, this is a moment of celebration, when the supervisor congratulates them, hands them their ManageBac Personal Project report card and has them sign their finished Academic Honesty form. For students who have struggled with self-management issues and who did not achieve well, this is a moment where the supervisor can advise them on how to proceed in the future, especially as they enter the Diploma Programme.

The four questions we ask our students during the debriefing session generally relate to the over-arching purpose of the Personal Project:

  1. How did you consolidate your learning to complete this project?
  2. Do you feel like you enhanced your passion or area of interest by completing this inquiry?
  3. How did you improve your ATL skills?
  4. How has doing this project helped to prepare you for the rigors of the Diploma Programme?