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Extended project - Specification

Learners are required, with appropriate supervision, to: • choose an area of interest • draft a title and aims of the project for formal approval by the centre • plan, research and carry out the project • deliver a presentation to a specified audience • provide evidence of all stages of project development and production for assessment.

The learner will: • identify, design, plan and complete an individual project, applying a range of organisational skills and strategies to meet agreed objectives • obtain, critically select and use select information from a range of sources; analyse data, apply it relevantly and demonstrate understanding of any appropriate linkages, connections and complexities of the topic • select and use a range of skills, including new technologies where appropriate, solve problems, take decisions critically, creatively and flexibly, to achieve planned outcomes • evaluate outcomes both in relation to agreed objectives and own learning and performance. Select and use a range of communication skills and media to present evidenced outcomes and conclusions in appropriate format.

The supervisor assesses the potential project against the following checklist. 1. Is the topic to be researched, or the activity or task to be carried out, suitable for the Extended Project? 2. Does the title of the project and proposed action allow the learner to investigate and to access the higher-level concepts and skills in the learning outcomes and assessment objectives, i.e. plan, research, analyse, evaluate and explain, rather than simply describe and narrate? 3. Are the title and proposed action clear and focused on an issue which can be managed within the timescale, available resources and word total? 4. Do the title and proposed action indicate that the learner will be capable of investigating and researching the topic or carrying out the activity or task independently and within appropriate ethical or methodological guidelines? 5. Is there a danger that the learner will be unable to approach the project impartially and in a balanced way? 6. Is the learner likely to face difficulties understanding the themes and issues associated with the project topic? 7. Does the project topic either complement and develop the main learning programme and/or support the learner’s progression and development?

The Production Log and Assessment Record will document the planning and progress of the project, including decision-making and the learner’s reflections on the process: • formal proposal and approval • initial idea and outline plan for the project • record of research carried out and resources used • record of advice and support offered and action taken as a result • note of any changes made to plan and reasons for the change • a review of the completed Project Product • a record of the presentation with supervisor confirmation of relevant questioning The presentation should be for a non-specialist audience and use media appropriate to the type of project. The presentation may involve the use of flipcharts, posters, OHP transparencies, PowerPoint or short excerpts of video material. The presentation should include live response to questions from the supervisor. • reflection on the process of full project process.

The written report or record is likely to contain the following: • references to sources of and range of information accessed • historical literature, or other background research • details of the design, knowledge, understanding and skills used • a conclusion to include an evaluation of the conclusions or outcomes

Grade A* Learners identify their project and produce an effective design and thorough plan. They carry out their project in a highly organised fashion, showing excellent independent working skills and clear evidence of responding very effectively to guidance given. They use a wide range of resources critically, analyse data effectively and apply findings to good effect. They show clear links between sources of information and the themes of their project and fully explore the complexities of the topic. Problems and/or issues are identified, fully explored and addressed. Learners select and use a range of skills including, where appropriate, new technologies, to achieve high quality outcomes that fully realise the intentions of the project and to draw conclusions. Learners carry out full, in-depth evaluations, showing a high level of insight into how they conducted their project and the limitations of the resources at their disposal. They select and use a range of communication skills to present outcomes and conclusions clearly, in an appropriate format with excellent supporting evidence. Learners show a deep and extensive knowledge of the project area of study through their responses to questions.