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The Extended Essay (EE): SMART Goals

25 April 2017

As an integral and an indispensable part of the Core in the IB Diploma Programme , the Extended Essay is one of the obligatory tasks that contribute into developing and shaping the learner’s profile. This task, which is basically a research paper of approximately 4000 words, guarantees a deep understanding of the knowledge that the student attains from one of the subject areas that he or she chooses. However and in order for this deep knowledge to be gained, the whole school community needs to contribute to this journey of inquiry. From here comes the role of the Extended Essay coordinator in managing the whole process starting from helping the students find their research question and reaching to submitting the essay. To this end, internal school plans and procedures need to be implemented.
On Feb 23-25, I attended a workshop in Czech Republic, Prague organized by IBICUS under the title of Managing Extended Essay. The workshop , which was held in the International School of Prague, highlighted the importance of collaboration between the different stakeholders within the school community in order to ensure a smooth and fruitful journey for the student (EE candidate) when it comes to working on his or her research paper. Though there is a stress on the fact that it should be an individual task, still this does not mean that the candidate is lonely in this process. The Head of the school, The Diploma Programme Coordinator, the EE Coordinator, the Supervisor and the Librarian all are having eminent roles in providing the proper assistance the EE candidate needs.
All stakeholders need to supervise the candidate’s work who needs to show understanding of the different ramifications of this task through the skills that revolve around the IB Approaches to Learning. The candidate has to demonstrate communication, social, self- management, thinking and research skills and to exhibit ethical responsibility by following the IB ethical research guidelines and the school’s Academic Honesty Policy.
As EE coordinator designate, the management of all these requires a plan that follows the SMART goals criteria. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. Thus, every step in the EE process should be preceded by a plan and a goal that follows the SMART goal criteria where specific key people and resources have to be involved. It is note-mentioning that key people are not necessarily DP staff members only; any individual within the school community is held responsible when necessary.
All in all, the workshop was quite informative and eye-opening to many details that we in the DP team have already started working on and we are definitely going to set more SMART goals in order to ensure a metacognitive journey of inquiry and reflection.


Hiba Chamandi
Extended Essay Coordinator Designate
MUN Director
HS English Language Teacher