Fieldwork – Internal Assessment

IB Geography Fieldwork: Introduction and outline

You are required to produce a local, small scale study within which primary data collection must take place. Skills will include planning, collection of data (primary and secondary), presentation, interpretation and evaluation.

The planned fieldwork investigation should, where possible, be located as follows. It should be:

  • on a local scale, but one that allows for sufficient information to be collected
  • an area of a size that can be covered by all students in the time allocated
  • safely accessible at the times when data collection will be undertaken
  • open to the public and be an area where research is permitted.

Investigation activities

  • Read around the topic area and research relevant information about the location.
  • Devise a fieldwork question (FQ). You might also identify possible hypotheses to test.
  • Decide what info is needed to test any hypotheses and answer the FQ.
  • Decide what data can provide that info and how it is to be collected (including sampling techniques to be used).
  • Ensure necessary equipment is available.
  • Create data recording sheets.
  • To collect any secondary data, such as climate figures, geology details, relief maps, etc that might be relevant.
  • Identify types of presentations to be produced, eg photographs, annotated sketches and maps, profiles, scattergraphs, etc.
  • First draft of report.

The detailed criteria and specifications are to be found on pages 60-72 of the IB Geography guide:

The DP Geography Guide from the IB (2011)

Here are some suggestions from the IB for suitable research areas within the Urban Environments unit:

  • Is there a pattern to perceived levels of personal safety in town X? (bipolar surveys/observation/litter counts/interviews/questionnaires)
  • Does environmental quality and urban stress increase or decrease with increasing distance from the centre of town X? (transect/bipolar surveys/observation/noise assessment/building, pedestrian and traffic density/interviews/questionnaires)
  • How does the urban heat island in town X change over a 24-hour period? (thermal transect/measurements of building density and anthropogenic heat sources)

This site from the Royal Geographic Society on Urban Fieldwork is helpful. As is this one from The Field Studies Council on Urban Geographical Enquiry.

Here is student checklist for the fieldwork: checklist04_en

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