The MYP personal project is a student-centred and age-appropriate practical exploration in which students consolidate their learning throughout the programme. This long-term project is designed as an independent learning experience of approximately 25 hours. The personal project formally assesses students’ ATL skills for self-management, research, communication, critical and creative thinking, and collaboration.
The personal project encourages students to practise and strengthen their ATL skills, to connect classroom learning engagements with personal experience, and to develop their own interests for lifelong learning.
Students who finish the MYP in year 3 or 4 must complete the MYP community project. MYP year 5 students must successfully complete the externally moderated personal project to be eligible for IB MYP course results and the IB MYP certificate. Students participating in MYP years 3, 4 and 5 may engage in both projects.
Aims of the Project
The aims of the MYP projects, according to the subject brief, are to encourage and enable students to:
• Participate in a sustained, self-directed inquiry within a global context
• Generate creative new insights and develop deeper understandings through in-depth investigation
• Demonstrate the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to complete a project over an extended period of time
• Communicate effectively in a variety of situations
• Demonstrate responsible action through, or as a result of, learning
• Appreciate the process of learning and take pride in their accomplishments.
Students must identify a global context for their MYP projects to establish their relevance and significance. The following global contexts direct learning towards independent inquiry.
• Identities and relationships
• Orientation in space and time
• Personal and cultural expression
• Scientific and technical innovation
• Globalization and sustainability
• Fairness and development.
MYP projects involve students in a wide range of student-planned learning activities that extend knowledge and understanding, and develop important academic and personal skills.
Students address personal project objectives through:
• the process they follow
• the product or outcome they create
• the report or presentation they make that explains what they have done and learned.
Students document their thinking, research process and development of their initial ideas by developing an outline of a challenging but manageable goal. Example goals include the development of original works of art, models, business plans, campaigns, blueprints, investigative studies, scientific experiments, performances, fieldwork, narrative essays, courses of study or learning engagements, films, computer programmes, and many other forms of work.
Students document their project work in the process journal. This learning strategy helps students record and learn from their work, and it promotes academic honesty. As a record of progress, journals can take many forms and can be recorded in a variety of media. They represent an evolving record of plans, ideas and accomplishments. The process journal provides a repository for essential reflections on learning and formative feedback on students’ work.
Extracts from the journal, which demonstrate achievement in all criteria, are submitted as appendices of the report or presentation at the conclusion of the project. The personal project report explains the project process in a concise and succinct form. The report contains a formal bibliography and a statement of academic honesty.
Each personal project objective corresponds to one of four equally weighted assessment criteria. Each criterion has eight possible achievement levels (1–8), divided into four bands with unique descriptors that teachers use to make judgments about students’ work.
1. Criterion A: Investigating
Students define a clear goal and global context for the project, based on personal interests. Students identify prior learning and subject-specific knowledge relevant to the project. Students demonstrate research skills.
2. Criterion B: Planning
Students develop criteria for the product/outcome. Students plan and record the development process of the project. Students demonstrate self-management skills.
3. Criterion C: Taking action
Students create a product/outcome in response to the goal, global context and criteria. Students demonstrate thinking skills. Students demonstrate communication and social skills.
4. Criterion D: Reflecting
Students evaluate the quality of the product/outcome against their criteria. Students reflect on how completing the project has extended their knowledge and understanding of the topic and the global context. Students reflect on their development as IB learners through the project.
In response to national or local requirements, schools may add criteria and use additional models of assessment. Each student has a personal project supervisor who provides guidance and formative feedback. Projects are assessed by their supervisors against these published criteria, and schools conduct internal standardization to ensure consistent understanding of the criteria and student performance.
The external validation of personal project grades is mandatory for all MYP schools ending in year 5. In each exam session, the IB moderates a sample of personal projects from each school, adjusting grades as necessary to ensure the application of rigorous and reliable international standards.
MYP projects are usually developed and presented in the school’s language of instruction. Personal project reports must be developed and presented in one of the MYP moderating languages, although the IB offers a special request procedure to support language learning in a broad range of students’ mother tongues. The IB MYP certificate requires a satisfactory level of achievement in the personal project.