Viva Voce

EE presentations to Grade 11 students, parents and staff.

10 minute presentation followed by questions from Viva Voce panel.

Part of the process of the EE is a viva voce or an oral defence of your essay. There are different models as to how these defences can occur – one is simply an interview between the supervisee and supervisor to establish that you are fully conversant with the contents of the essay. Another model (in German academic institutions for example) is that the writer makes a public defence in the form of a short presentation followed by questions from an examining panel. We have this model of viva voce at ISS.

The first purpose of the viva voce is to establish that the work is your own – i.e. you are able to explain and justify it. As well as being an assessment of how much you know about your essay, it is also an opportunity for you to show the fruits of your labours. You will have spent many hours with your project – the viva voce is the chance you have to explain to the outside world why it was so fascinating.

Your presentations will be viewed by an audience consisting of grade 11 students, staff and anyone you choose to invite (e.g. your parents). There will be an examining panel consisting of your supervisor and at least one other extended essay supervisor, possibly from a different subject area. They will ask you questions after your presentation to determine how familiar you are with the contents of the essay. Your answers will help your supervisor justify the grade given for criterion K (Holistic Judgement) for internal reporting purposes (ISS Diploma) and also will act as a guide for the supervisor writing their report on the essay to the external examiner.

Students who, in the opinion of the examining panel, are not able to defend their essay adequately may be invited to attend a subsequent viva voce which will consist of an interview with another examining panel who will convene with the purpose of deciding whether the student might be guilty of malpractice.


How will the viva voce be organized?

Presentations will run from Period 1 (8:30) through Period 3 (11:40)  on Wednesday November 25 (White week) All grade 11 and grade 12 students will be off-timetable for periods 1-3 and grade 11 students are expected to attend presentations during these periods.

  • There will be parallel sessions of presentations.
  • The presentations will be divided into three blocks
  • Block 1 will consist of 2 presentations.
  • Blocks 2 and 3 will consist of 3 presentations.
  • The mid-morning break will occur as usual.
  • There will be a shorter break between blocks 1 & 2 to allow students to change session and to allow the examining panels to change.

Student Expectations

  • Students will have 2 minutes to set up their presentation.
    • It is expected that most students will be use Powerpoint or similar presentation program.
  • Students will be expected to make a presentation that lasts 10 minutes.
  • Students will then have up to 8 minutes to answer questions.
    • Priority is given to examination panel questions.
    • Questions from the floor will only be accepted if time allows.
  • The presentation should be in the language that the essay is written, but supporting material can be presented in the language of the essay. Currently ISS supports essays in German for German A and English for all other subjects
  • Supervisor questions may be in the language of the essay if that is deemed necessary.

Structure of the presentation

The presentation should summarise the process of conducting the research as well as presenting the results of the research.  In general, the presentation should have the following outline

  1. Generation of research question: How was this research question developed? Place the research in context. (1 slide)
  2. Development of hypothesis(es): Justify the hypothesis. (1 slide)Only for Group 4 and 5 and Geography essays
  3. Research conducted to address hypothesis(es): What research was conducted? How was it carried out? (1 slide)
  4. Results of research: What results were obtained? (1-2 slides)
  5. Conclusions: Did the results of the research support or reject the original hypothesis(es)? How can that conclusion be justified? (1 slide)
  6. Evaluation of research: Was the conducted research suitable to fully address the hypothesis(es)? What other approaches/steps could have been considered? (1 slide)
  7. References: All materials presented should be properly referenced if they do not come from the candidate’s own work. (1 slide)
  8. Acknowledgements: (optional) (1 slide)
  • Points 1-6 will be orally supported by candidates during the slideshow
    • one to two minutes per slide
  • Points 7& 8 can be shown on slides without the need for students to explain further

Question Session

  • The Extended Essay Supervisor leads the question session.
  • These questions should allow students to demonstrate that they made the key decisions regarding their extended essay (conduct of research, organization, design, development of conclusions, etc).
  • In responding to questions, students are expected to demonstrate they fully understand the implications of their decisions.
  • The purpose of the questions is to determine that the essay is a student’s own work.
  • The Second Examiner can ask one or two more general questions.
  • Questions that arise as a result of the presentation may also be asked.