Assessment in IB
To support and improve student learning at South Forsyth High School teachers uses diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments. In the International Baccalaureate Programme at SFHS, assessments are criterion referenced according to specific criteria published by IB. Groups/subjects are provided resources like guides, rubrics, and mark bands that measure and inform student success from previous years to show its strengths and weaknesses. Teachers meet collaboratively as a whole and within content areas to review and update school and classroom policies yearly. In addition to the guidelines provided by IB, teachers differentiate assessments according to the needs of their students so that students with various learning styles are able to be successful within this highly rigorous program.
Purposes of Assessment:
- To provide consistent and frequent feedback to students about how they are meeting the expectations of state standards
- To provide consistent and frequent feedback to students about how they are meeting the expectations of IB standards
- To provide feedback to teachers on student progress
- To provide feedback to parents through grade progress reporting
- To provide quality assurance
- To prepare students for IB Internal Assessment components and the rigors of IB External Assessments and exams
Methods of Assessment:
The South Forsyth High School IB program implements a variety of assessment strategies to measure student success. Diagnostic methods include tests and assessments which have been developed for each IB course, and assessments developed by individual teachers and content groups (in school or county-wide) are used to measure previously acquired knowledge.
Formative assessments may include: class discussions, field work, essays, projects, investigation workbooks, multimedia presentations, tickets out the door, reflections/journals, etc. Summative presentations similar to those in the IB are: historical investigations, individual oral commentaries, and research papers, among others that are subject specific. A variety of assessment strategies are used to reduce disadvantages, allowing a range of opportunities for students to be successful as displayed in our Special Academic Needs Policy. While these are just a few examples of the types of assessments, they are not limited to just the DP programme. Similar assessments are used in lower grades to prepare students for the IB programme. Teachers collaborate in vertical planning sessions to create assessments appropriate for their student’s achievement level(s). This helps scaffold the students’ skills toward those expected in the programme and within our policies.
How are IB Courses assessed?
The Diploma Program courses each have two types of assessments that are used to determine the final score award in the subject: Internal Assessments and External Assessments. Internal Assessments (or IA's) are given in the classrooms and are based upon the skills and content of that subject area. So, for example, in a Language B IB class, one Internal Assessment is an Oral converation in language. For a Sciencels the IA would be a lab experiment designed and conducted by the student. For a History class, it would be a history research paper. Each subject has a unique, and the IA counts toward the final grade award the student will earn for the class from IB.
The other assessment type is the External Assessments or Exams/Papers. The easiest way to think of the External Assessments is to think of them as the cummulative sit down exams they take at the end of the IB Course. This is completed yearly at South High in May and is composed of 2 or 3 different Papers (or exams) and depends on the subject.
Every IB course weights the Internal & External Assessment components in slightly different ways. Below are the IB courses and their specific weights for each component that are offered at South High.
How do you earn the IB Diploma? How is this determined?
The Diploma Program requires students to take and be assessed in each of six subjects across all major subject areas due to the programme emphasis on whole student. Final student performance grades are normed against the course standards across the world and are scored on a 1 to 7 scale. In simplified terms, to earn the Diploma, students must do all of the following:
(A) score a total of 24 points between all six subject scores (average of a 4 in each subject)
(B) complete the Theory of Knowledge course and pass each of its assessment requirements
(C) complete an Extended Essay paper and pass its assessment requirements
(D) complete approximately 140 hours of Creativity, Activity, and Service
As an example, if a student earns scores of 5 in IB English Literature, 4 in IB Spanish, 4 in IB History, 3 in IB Math, 5 in IB Science, and 4 in their IB elective subject, they would earn a total of 25 points. If they completed and "pass" their Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge assessments, they will earn the IB Diploma.
How about the IB Career-related Certificate? How is this determined?
The Career-related Program has slightly different requirements. Each IB CP student must complete each of the following:
(A) finish an industry or state-certified Career Related Pathway (for Georgia, these are state certified and have an end of pathway test to show competency)
(B) take and "pass" (score of 4 or higher) two or more IB Diploma courses
(C) develop (complete and pass) a second Language and submit a Language Development Portfolio to show completion
(D) complete the Personal & Professional Skills course
(E) complete a Reflection Project on an ethical dilemma connected to their pathway and pass its assessment requirements
(F) complete approximately 50 hours of Service Learning connected to their pathway