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WAB Faculty & Staff

EE: For Supervisors

Extended Essay Resources

Supervisor Responsibilities

Supervisors will:

  • undertake three mandatory reflection sessions with each student they are supervising
  • initial and date each reflection summarized on the Managebac RPPF and provide comments at the end of the process
  • encourage and support students throughout the research and writing of the extended essay
  • discuss the choice of topic with each student and, in particular, help to formulate a well-focused research question which is suitable to the subject of registration and ensure that the chosen research question satisfies appropriate legal and ethical standards with regard to health and safety, confidentiality, human rights, animal welfare, and environmental issues
  • is familiar with the regulations governing the extended essay and the assessment criteria, and gives copies of these to students
  • monitor the progress of the extended essay to offer guidance and to ensure that the essay is the student’s own work (this may include presenting a section of the essay for supervisor comment)
  • read and comment on one draft only of the extended essay (but do not edit the draft); this should take place after the interim reflection session, but before the final reflection session, the viva voce
  • ensure that the final version of the essay is handed in before the final reflection session (viva voce) takes place, and that no changes are made to it subsequently
  • read the final version and, in conjunction with the viva voce, confirm its authenticity.


EE Supervisors 2024-25 by Jaye Shaer

Teacher Wrap-up

The viva voce is conducted once the student has submitted the final version of their extended essay. At this point in the process, no further changes can be made to the essay. The viva voce is a celebration of the completion of the essay and a reflection on what the student has learned from the process.

The viva voce is:

  • an opportunity to ask the student a variety of open-ended questions to elicit holistic evidence of the student’s learning experience.
  • an opportunity for the supervisor to confirm the authenticity of the student’s ideas and sources
  • an opportunity to reflect on successes and difficulties encountered in the research process
  • an aid to the supervisor’s comments on the Planning and Progress form.

The viva voce should last 20–30 minutes. This is included in the recommended amount of time a supervisor should spend with the student.


Begin and end positively. This is the end of a long, sometimes tough, process.

Here are sample questions to help engage the student in rich dialogue about the learning process:

  • What have been the high and low points of the research and writing processes?’
  • What would you have done differently in the research process?
  • What is the most important thing that you learned?
  • What was your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
  • What would you change in your research if you did another EE?
  • How rewarding did you find the experience??
  • What was the most valuable experience that you took away from the process?
  • What was your greatest challenge and what did you do to overcome it?
  • What advice would you give to the next year’s group?
  • What IB learner profile attribute would you say helped you through the process (communicator, risk-taker, etc.)?
  • Would you like to continue reading on this topic?
  • What questions did this process raise?
  • What conclusions have you drawn about the topic?
  • What ATL skills did you develop the most through this process?

Also, use this reflection session as a way to check on the authenticity of the student's work

  • Pick points out of the essay - ask specific questions, ask for clarifications

Source: IS-Manila EE Guide

Things to keep in mind:

  • Planning & Progress tab in Managebac
  • Please DO NOT use the student's name (you can use 'the student' instead)
  • Please use gender-neutral pronouns: they, them, their
  • The comments are used as part of Criterion E- Engagement, NOT as an evaluation of the student's essay itself
  • It does not need to be long- 1-3 paragraphs is pretty standard.
  • Don't forget to add the hours you worked with the student in the appropriate box below the comments.  IB recommends 3-5 hours per student, but it may have been more or less than that depending on the student.



Early in the process, the candidate shared how their experiences growing up as a third culture person of Asian descent led to an interest in film representations of the issue. They explained that they were often confused about their own identity and in particular how social behaviours, language and physical appearance affected how others see them. They used this as a starting point to choose a topic that was both personally and intellectually interesting – though in the early stages, was mostly connected to their text choices and personal experiences as a cross-cultural Asian who lives in both North America and China.

However, as they worked through the feedback on their draft, they expressed concern about the analytical depth of the essay, especially related to the film Crazy Rich Asians. At this relatively late point in the process, they showed a willingness to challenge themself by examining new forms of critical theory and looked for ways to examine the film with more rigour. Interestingly, they commented on how they eventually questioned their choice of texts, given what they later learned about race theory. Far from problematic, it was great to see this discovery in the process. Indeed, they commented in their viva voce that they are now intending to refocus their university studies toward sociology rather than film alone, given what they learned about the subject and its relevance in contemporary communications.

The candidate used their time well early in the planning and investigation phase, which enabled them to create an effective research question. While this eventually led to a more critical evaluation of their texts, it is fair to say that they struggled to achieve a completely effective balance between the two films, especially in the area of cinematic analysis, which is a concern they voiced in their reflections. They were eager to recognise this and appreciate how this understanding will help them in the future to focus their research earlier and create a realistic plan to allow more time in the revision phase.

Overall, the candidate has positively engaged with the intention of the extended essay process and reflected constructively on areas for their growth as a student of film.


Throughout the process of the extended essay, the student showed commitment and was diligent and productive. They were always punctual for meetings, replied promptly to messages, and showed great enthusiasm for the topic. They responded very well to feedback and acted upon all suggestions in a very mature manner. It is evident that the student dedicated a lot of time to collecting a great deal of secondary sources and has completed a good piece of writing. One of the high points for them was the research, they accessed a wide variety of authors, with a range of nationalities and views. They enjoyed this and felt that this has helped develop their skills as a historian. Their first language is Chinese and for someone to research and write about Italian history in their second language is an impressive effort. They are pleased with the development of their skills in writing and reading and have used some of the structures from books they have read in their own writing. They also demonstrated excellent evidence of their reflection process throughout. Their Viva Voce was indicative of their efforts and final product.


This student was initially slow to get to experimentation and their research was initially weak. However, after a few meetings, this student renewed their focus and worked tirelessly through several setbacks during the process of developing their experimental design. They had great difficulty generating sufficient reliable data despite many attempts. They leaned on their Chemistry background, were receptive to teacher feedback and eventually hit upon the right mix of controls to get the data they needed. Their level of research improved as the project went on and they became adept at reading and processing challenging academic sources. They were determined to understand specific mechanisms and asked good questions at our meetings. They became a much more confident experimenter and is now an excellent problem-solver in practical situations. While they experienced a bit of lag in following a schedule for writing their final paper, with some teacher prompting, they rose to the challenge and completed their paper, amidst many competing assessment deadlines.

Under the Assessment tab in ManageBac choose the appropriate number for each criterion (descriptors are included).  The total points will be shown in the box on the bottom of the page. DO NOT FILL OUT THE COMMENT BOX ON THE ASSESSMENT TAB.

This mark will be used as your predicted grade that will be submitted to the IB.

For more details about assessment, look at the assessment tab above.

Five Criterion:

  • A: Focus and method (6)
  • B: Knowledge and understanding (6)
  • C: Critical thinking (12)
  • D: Presentation (4)
  • E: Engagement (6)

Total: 34 points

Grade Boundaries (2018)

  • A 27-34
  • B 21-26
  • C 14-20
  • D 7-13
  • E 0-6

For EE supervisors: Here is the standard description for everyone to post (copy and paste) for EE in grade 12 reports:

The extended essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic resulting in a 4,000 word analytical essay. It promotes academic research and writing skills, providing students with an opportunity to engage in independent research on a topic of their choice under the guidance of their supervisor. By engaging with the theories, tools and techniques of their discipline, students gain valuable experience and further develop their ability to think critically.

  • For Extended Essay please comment on their work throughout the process.
  • For grade mark N/A.

Research Questions

Other resources for Supervisors

If you have access to InThinking website for your subject, there is quite a bit of information about EEs in that subject.

Podcast: Alethea Bleyberg - IBDP Core Consultant-focuses on L&L but gives a lot of general information about the Extended Essay.

Rubric for RD Feedback.  You can use this if you think it is helpful-not required.