IB Presentation Rubrics

Will be distributed Monday, March 26th in class.  This rubric will be used to assess the presentations of all TOK students (Diploma Candidates or otherwise). If you’d like to see it earlier, click here. Additionally, there will be additional points distributed for the Quality of the Presentation – all students will be expected to present an engaging, well-organized, and practiced presentation that is ready on March 26th [regardless of assigned/scheduled date].


Just to be clear about Due Dates –

The internal presentations for IB Diploma Candidates must be completed before students go on Spring Break.  On Monday, March 26th, all groups will submit a paper copy of the entirety of their script.  Quality scripts should include the following:

  • The duration of different phases of the presentation (i.e. “Discussion – 4 minutes”)
  • ‘Stage’ directions with ‘blocking’
  • The student speakers
  • Words that speakers will say (or at least the specific topics that student speakers will include)
  • Problems of knowledge hi-lighted in the script itself

Students need to be finished with their scripts on Monday, March 26th.  Students will sign up for a day to present on Monday, March 26th [BUT ALL STUDENTS SHOULD BE READY TO PRESENT ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28TH].  Students will prepare to present using class time on March 26th and 27th.

Presentations will begin on March 28th.  All diploma candidates will present before Break; we may have presentations (from Non-Diploma candidates) after break.

Some input from the IB gods regarding the internal presentations…

would include the information from the TOK guide found on the linked pdf file. Here are a few things mentioned therein:


Students must make one or more individual and/or small group presentations to the class during the course. The maximum group size is five. If a student makes more than one presentation, the teacher should choose the best one (or the best group presentation in which the student participated) for the  purposes of assessment.

 Assessment details

The TOK presentation requires students to identify and explore the knowledge issues raised by a substantive real-life situation that is of interest to them. Aided by their teachers (see below), students can select the situation they will tackle from a more limited domain of personal, school, or community relevance, or from a wider one of national, international or global scope.

It is important that the situation that is selected is sufficiently circumscribed, so as to allow an effective treatment of knowledge issues. For this reason, it is wise to avoid topics so unfamiliar to the class that a great deal of explanation is needed before the underlying knowledge issues can be appreciated and explored. 

Presentations may take many forms, such as lectures, skits, simulations, games, dramatized readings, interviews or debates. Students may use supporting material such as videos, MS PowerPoint presentations, overhead projections, posters, questionnaires, recordings of songs or interviews, costumes, or props. Under no circumstances, however, should the presentation be simply an essay read aloud to the class.

Each presentation will have two stages [but all presentations need not have such a rigid structure]:

an introduction, briefly describing the real-life situation and linking it to one or more relevant knowledge issue

a treatment of the knowledge issue(s) that explores their nature and responses to them, and shows how these relate to the chosen situation.

A good presentation will demonstrate the presenters personal involvement in the topic and show both why the topic is important and how it relates to other areas (see assessment criteria for more details).  Approximately 10 minutes per presenter should be allowed… Presentations should be scheduled to allow time for class discussion afterwards.  Interaction and audience participation are allowed during the presentation, not just in follow-up discussion,  but there must be an identifiable substantial input from the presenter(s) that is assessable.


Examples of presentation topics

It should be noted that these are merely examples, meant only to illustrate the kinds of topics appropriate for TOK presentations. In particular, they are included to provide a concrete sense of what is meant by “real-life situation/contemporary problemand to show how a knowledge issue can be identified in it and then treated from different perspectives. As well as guiding the selection of appropriate topics, the examples also illustrate ways that topics may be treated in the presentation, in accordance with the assessment criteria.

 Real-life situation/contemporary problem: Global warming

Knowledge issues: Can we be certain that global warming is taking place?or, Does language (or the use of statistics, graphs, photographs) affect our view of whether or not the planet is undergoing global warming?

 • Format: Students analyse and critically evaluate video and newspaper clips involving the views of experts, politicians and activists who defend or dispute the notion that the planet is suffering from global warming. Each member of the group draws attention to different aspects of the evidence the nature of the words used, statistics and graphs, photographs.

 • Knowers (students) point of view: As a group, students suggest that the evidence in favour of global warming seems compelling, but underline that in some cases it is difficult to separate some protagonistspositions and how they are formulated from the interest groups they represent.

 Real-life situation/contemporary problem: Intensive agriculture

Knowledge issue: How can we know whether intensive farming methods are always harmful?

Format: Inputs by students representing the views of farmers in different circumstances from different parts of the world, cross-examined by a presenter and members of the audience.

Knowers (students) point of view: It may be easy to take a view on (to think we know) what is right in our own situation. Looked at globally the question is much more complicated.

 Thanks, A.H., for finding the link.

Some input from the IB gods about presentations

“the TOK presentation has still not been achieved in some schools.  One verifier writes: ―Too many of the presentations were descriptive, with a great deal of reading and video clips that were too long. We still have quite a long way to go in getting the point across of the presentation as a means to link the “real world” with the “TOK world” … Sadly few are the presentations which convince and give a sense of progress regarding an issue… Unfortunately, most of the presentations I verified did not show much critical thinking about knowledge.  Some candidates who did take the trouble to formulate a knowledge issue then ignored it for the remainder of the presentation. Another verifier laments: ―The biggest problem continues to be that the presentations take the form of descriptive subject reports on a topic with little relevance to, and therefore little understanding of, knowledge issues.”

“In short, the articulation of real life situation and knowledge issue that lies at the heart of the presentation task is often still not being achieved. … Verifiers are deeply concerned about viewing so many presentations in which students clearly invest much time and effort, but do so to little effect as the outcomes are almost entirely descriptive and lacking in analysis. This is a problem of relevance; specifically, presentations are not focused on knowledge issues. If students can structure their presentations around knowledge issues … this relevance problem should be avoided.

We cannot stress strongly enough;

the TOK presentation is NOT a descriptive research project; NOT a social studies “report” or “monograph” on some subject of general interest. Without a focus on knowledge issues, presentations cannot deserve major credit on the assessment criteria (criteria A and B are almost certain to score zero for research projects, and a very low mark for D is very likely). They can be very good presentations, but are very poor TOK presentations. “


Homework for the weekend…

This weekend, it would behoove you to read part six (6) of the Postscript in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (pages 205-207).  The test on Monday will include a question that asks you to consider Kuhn’s thoughts in the section which directly address criticisms of his essay regarding the concept of ‘Scientific Progress’.  Your assessment on Monday will provide:

  1. a few minutes to insert quotes into the ‘puzzle-solving’ explanations you did today in class
  2. an opportunity to answer a few short-answer questions on the scope of the text, and
  3. a chance to chime in on Kuhn’s view on the idea of progress.