Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Extended Essay

It's time for me to start working with our junior IB students getting ready to begin their IB Extended Essays.  I have talked about this before--it has become one of my favorite parts of my job.  The Extended Essay is a 4000 word research paper IB students must complete as a part of their IB diploma.  The work is mostly done independently and begins in their junior year and is completed their senior year.  This paper is probably the biggest piece of academic research these kids have ever completed!  And when they complete it, they feel such a sense of accomplishment and also relief to have it behind them.

I am the school's EE coordinator but since I don't see all the students together in a class like a teacher does, I use some online tools to help direct the students.  My favorite one of all is, of course, Libguides.  I put together a Libguide specifically for our EE with links to the IB handbook, our databases, our subscription for Noodletools, some formatting guidelines, and even some sample papers.  I even shortened the URL with the help of bit.ly so it's easier to remember-- bit.ly/IBextendedessay.

Last year was my first year as coordinator, and I learned so much.  This year I'm tweaking the process even more, but I have to say I am very proud of this Libguide.  And just to show off a little--I've had several schools in other states ask to copy it as the start for their EE guides. That's the best feeling of all!  Not only can I help my own students, but I'm giving other librarians a place to start instruction as well.

If you get the chance to check out my EE Libguide, let me know what you think.  I've looked at it so long, I'm not sure I can find the problems in it.  So I'd love some fresh eyes to look it over!

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