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Senior Project: 6. Reflect/Evaluate

Guide to the research process required to complete the WSA Senior Project.


research process

The final stage of the research process is to reflect on your work.

Evaluate Your Work

Ask yourself questions.
Your answers will help you identify any problems, so you can then find ways to solve them.

Take a break between finishing your work and evaluating it. This helps you assess your work more objectively.

Begin by asking yourself general questions, like:

Have I answered the question?
Does my work meet the assessment criteria I was given?
Have I given evidence to support my ideas?
Is my assignment structured correctly?
Have I edited my work enough?
Is my work interesting?

Then, ask more specific questions, like:

Are there any spelling mistakes?
Does each sentence make sense?
Is there anything I can do to improve my presentation?
Does every sentence and paragraph add to my argument?

Britannica Image Quest - question mark


Ways to evaluate

PMI - Pluses, minuses, improvements

A PMI is a graphic organizer that helps you to evaluate your work by viewing it objectively:

P = pluses: what's good?
M = minuses: what's bad?
I = improvements: what can I do better and how can I improve?

To use this method:

  • Divide your page into three columns
  • Write one letter at the top of each column
  • Underneath each letter, write your thoughts about your work.

When you've finished your PMI, you'll be able to clearly see the parts of your assignment that need improvement, and also the parts that you've done really well.

Six Thinking Hats

This method helps you to view your work from six different points of view. You ‘wear' one hat at a time and think about your topic from that perspective.

It's important to focus on one perspective at a time and give it your full attention:

  • White hat = facts and information - Does your work make sense? Is your spelling right? Are your facts right?
  • Red hat = feelings - Do you feel anxious or concerned about your work? Why? Are you happy with it? Is there anything you're proud of?
  • Black hat = Negatives - What's wrong with your work?
  • Yellow hat = Positives - What's good about your work?
  • Green hat = Creativity - Is there anything you could have done differently? Is your work interesting? Unique? Personal? Surprising?
  • Blue hat = Organization - Do the different parts of your assignment fit together as a whole? Have you answered the question?

In the end it doesn't matter which strategy you choose to evaluate your work. As long as you take the time to reflect on what you've done, you're guaranteed to improve your final product.

Britannica ImageQuest - Alligator taking a turn wearing the black hat!
          Black Hat:  What's wrong with your work?

CAS Learning Outcomes in Your Senior Project

In the Senior Project Panel Presentation, you will be assessed on your presentation of information, comfort speaking, effective communication, and knowledge about your topic, including the CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) Learning Outcomes:

  • How was this a new challenge for me?
  • What strengths did I discover in myself and what are some of my areas for growth?
  • What part of this project did I initiate and plan myself and where did I have to collaborate?
  • When did I have to persevere and demonstrate commitment to completing the entire project?
  • What is globally important about this topic?
  • What are some of the ethical implications of this topic?
  • What new skills did I learn?

International Baccalaureate OrganizationCAS Learning Outcomes

As a result of their CAS experience as a whole, including their reflections, there should be evidence that students have:

Increased their awareness of their own strengths and areas for growth

They are able to see themselves as individuals with various skills and abilities, some more developed than others, and understand that they can make choices about how they wish to move forward.

Undertaken new challenges

A new challenge may be an unfamiliar activity, or an extension to an existing one.

Planned and initiated activities

Planning and initiation will often be in collaboration with others. It can be shown in activities that are part of larger projects, for example, ongoing school activities in the local community, as well as in small student-led activities.

Worked collaboratively with others

Collaboration can be shown in many different activities, such as team sports, playing music in a band, or helping in a kindergarten. At least one project, involving collaboration and the integration of at least two of creativity, action and service, is required.

Shown perseverance and commitment in their activities

At a minimum, this implies attending regularly and accepting a share of the responsibility for dealing with problems that arise in the course of activities.

Engaged with issues of global importance

Students may be involved in international projects but there are many global issues that can be acted upon locally or nationally (for example, environmental concerns, caring for the elderly).

Considered the ethical implications of their actions

Ethical decisions arise in almost any CAS activity (for example, on the sports field, in musical composition, in relationships with others involved in service activities). Evidence of thinking about ethical issues can be shown in various ways, including journal entries and conversations with CAS advisers.

Developed new skills

As with new challenges, new skills may be shown in activities that the student has not previously undertaken, or in increased expertise in an established area.


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