Personal Project Reflection Essay Sample

 IB Career-Related Programme
Students will start the Reflective Project with the diploma programme students in term 3. The IBCP students will receive support not only in tutor / assembly time but also in their personal and professional skills lessons with focus on structure, referencing, and scaffolding. ​

Again, just like the DP you will receive a supervisor from your career-related area of study. The first role of the Reflective Project supervisor is to provide guidance in areas of ethical concerns in their BTEC studies. The second is to provide support with research, analysis, discussion and evaluation of the students findings around that area of ethical study. Students must communicate for regular 1-1’s with their supervisor, they will also benefit from a collapsed-curriculum day. 

The format

The importance of ibcp synergy

It is essential that you show synergy between your career-related subject of study, your ethical dilemma within the reflective project and your service learning. The best students will link the 3 areas of study. ​

Have any questions?

Student support documents

The Reflective Project 'Student Guide' is an essential document to support students on the process. Please download this here.

The Reflective Project timeline is essential to ensure that you meet your deadlines and manage your progress effectively. Please take note that you have:
- Support Sessions in YELLOW
- RRS Extracts in BLUE
- Official Submissions of your Reflective Project in PURPLE, and
- RPPF Formal Review stages in ORANGE

Your deadlines are highlighted in RED, you will receive reminders on these via the Reflective Project Google Classroom calendar. The Google Classroom will also house all resources from support sessions, all submissions of work, your RRS extracts and RPPF documentation. You will be added to this classroom along with your supervisor who can monitor your progress at any time. Click on the button below for a quick link. 

The reflective project should be one of the best pieces of work that you have ever produced. Therefore, you need to move away from website & textbook resources and start to consider online journals and other e-documents. The LRC team can help you and their VLE page is incredibly detailed. Click on the image below to visit (you will get further guidance from the LRC team in support sessions 1 and 2. 

Teacher support documents

The IBCP Reflective Project is an in-depth body of work produced over an extended period and submitted in year 2 of the career-related programme. Through the Reflective Project, students identify, analyse, discuss and evaluate an ethical dilemma associated with an issue from their career-related studies. This work encourages students to engage in personal inquiry, intellectual discovery, creativity, action and reflection, and to develop strong thinking, research and communication skills.

The Reflective Project is assessed using grades A to E, with A representing the highest level of achievement. 

A minimum of 50 hours is expected to be devoted to the essay.

OPtion 1

A written essay (maximum 3,000 words). The written essay should cover all the reflective project’s requirements except reflection, which forms the content of the RPPF.

Some examples can be seen below

option 2

A written essay (1,500–2,000 words) accompanied by an additional format (film, oral presentation, interview, play, or display). Together, the written essay and additional format should cover all the reflective project’s requirements except for the reflection.

The permitted additional formats are:

- a shortfilm (7 minutes). You are free to create whatever type of film you believe will be a valuable component of your reflective project: for example, a documentary, a drama, a news report and so on. You can also choose to submit a written film script instead (700 words).

- a spoken presentation (recorded on audio/video; 7 minutes). A presentation provides you with the opportunity to address in a spoken format aspects of your reflective project You can also choose to submit a written script instead (700 words).
an interview (recorded on audio/video; 7 minutes). An interview allows you to be creative by imagining and developing a discussion between two or more people. You can also choose to submit a written script instead (700 words).

- a play (recorded on audio/video; 7 minutes). The play should include one or more characters performing a spoken drama that supports elements of the reflective project. It can include dialogue, music and sound effects. You can choose to submit a written script instead (700 words).

- a display (a storyboard or photo essay using up to 15 annotated images; 700 words.) A storyboard/photo essay is usually a linear narrative told through imagery. You can decide what your imagery will accomplish and how it will contribute to the reflective project overall. For example, it could provide an overview of your reflective project and create points of discussion or illustrate particular ideas.

Function of additional format
The chosen additional format should support and add information to the reflective project overall. For example, a film or presentation could reflect the different perspectives of the stakeholders involved, or detail the local/global manifestation of the issue, while the written essay contains the central argument(s) of the ethical dilemma.

Crucially, the content of the additional format must be different from the essay. For example, you should not take an argument presented in the essay and then repeat it in the additional format. The two elements should complement each other, each adding value to the other ensuring that as an overall submission the assessment criteria are satisfied. Repetition or simply reformatting information will lose you marks.

Example 1

Reflections on planning & progress

Example 2

 IB Career-Related Programme

Welcome to the Personal Project!

  • To effectively complete your personal project you need to follow each step listed on this webpage. To help you understand each section of the personal project Inquiry cycle there are five 10-minute videos to watch that will provide extra guidance. We recommend you read the steps under each heading and then watch the videos to reinforce what you have read.
  • At each step of the personal project there is a .pdf exemplar for you from a previous Good Shepherd Lutheran College student that can help you structure your own process journal. See the hyperlink at the beginning of each objective.(Disclaimer: this is not an example of an excellent personal project, but rather a simple guide for you to follow as you complete your own personal project.)
  • Before you embark on the personal project journey ensure you have a process journal that suits your preferred journaling style, e.g., notebook, visual art diary, blog, pages document, etc.
  • Your process journal is where you document your progress throughout your Personal Project – it is extremely important that you back this up as you travel along your personal project journey.
  • Enjoy the process of engaging in your personal project and ensure you make regular contact with your supervisor; they will be your greatest support throughout the personal project.

We wish you all the best as you embark on this journey that will consolidate your International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme learning and prepare you for the further rigours of Stage 1 and Stage 2 at Good Shepherd Lutheran College.

Objective A:Investigating

(Supporting document for Investigating: Process Journal Exemplar – Investigating)

Step 1:

Personal Project Mind-map

In your process journal mind-map ideas for your personal project based on your personal interests. Spend time thinking about which product/outcome you would like to create and ensure this is a project that can maintain your interest and enthusiasm for an 8-month duration.

Step 2:

Defining a clear goal

In your process journal outline exactly what you want to create for your personal project and explain how this is based on a personal interest.

Ensure you document the following:

  • Give a precise meaning of the goal of your project. Explain what you want to achieve, when, where, how and why you want to achieve this.
  • Describe what makes the personal project personal: the experiences, interests and ideas that make it important to you.

Step 3:

Defining a global context

Select one global context from the six global contexts below that best applies to your project

Once you have chosen a global context, you need to decide on an area of exploration within this global context. An area of exploration is a way to make the global context you have chosen more relevant and specific to your project.

You now need to articulate in your process journal how the global context and area of exploration you have chosen can help you answer the following questions:

  • What do I want to achieve through my project?
  • What do I want others to understand through my work?
  • What impact do I want my project to have?
  • How can a specific context give greater purpose to my project?

Step 4:

Clarifying your goal

Drawing together your initial goal definition based on a personal interest and the global context and area of exploration of your choice, refine your goal using the SMART goal graphic organiser. Ensure you document this in you process journal.

Step 5:

Identification of prior-learning and subject-specific knowledge

In your process journal identify what you already know about the goal for your project, the sources of your knowledge and how this will help you achieve your personal project goal. For example, prior-learning could be a night class, sports clinic, previous training or experience, etc.

Step 6:

In your process journal identify what you have learned from your MYP subject groups that will help you achieve your personal project goal.

Step 7:

Demonstrate your research skills

In order to effectively achieve your personal project goal you need to firstly research and evaluate the sources you have researched so you can then transfer this research to your actual project.

Research Process

Using the research model below, you need to document your research in your process journal.

Ensure you have 1 – 3 primary sources and 4 – 8 secondary sources.

Ensure you copy/print your sources and ensure they are all documented in your process journal – see exemplar for example of how to do this effectively. (See process journal exemplar – Criteria A – for example of how this information can be documented.)

Ensure you highlight relevant sections of your sources and annotate how you can apply this to your product/outcome.

Step 8:

Evaluate sources

Each source you research you must ensure you evaluate this source using the process on the following page.

Authority – Who is responsible for presenting this information?

  • Who has written or provided this information and can you check their qualifications?
  • Is the information from an ‘expert’ in this field?

Accuracy – Is the information accurate, can it be proven and verified?

  • Is the information correct?
  • Can you check the accuracy of information through links, footnotes and bibliography?

Objectivity – Is the information based on facts, things you can observe or based more on opinions and emotions? Is it from just one point-of-view?

  • Is there personal bias?
  • Can you verify that facts, statistics and links to sources are accurate and truthful?

Currency – How old is the information and is this important?

  • Has the author(s) provided a date for when the information was written?
  • Has the information been revised or updated, and if so, when?

Ensure you document your source evaluation in your process journal. (See process journal exemplar for an example of how you can document this.)

In your process journal ensure you reflect on how your research skills have developed over the duration of the project. Ensure you document how you have shared your research skills to help your peers as they progressed through their projects too.

Here is a video tutorial to reinforce the information above:

Objective B: Planning

(Supporting document for Planning: Process Journal Exemplar – Planning)

Step 1:

Develop criteria for your product/outcome

Now that you have set your goal, defined the global context for your project and completed your research – you need to transfer this into criteria for success for your project.

In order to develop criteria for your project you need to develop a set of specifications for your product/outcome.

When creating your specifications ask yourself the following questions:

  • How will I know when I have achieved my goal?
  • How can I judge the quality of my product/outcome?

You need to create a minimum of five rigorous specifications for your criteria.

When creating your specifications you can consider the following options:

You now need to transfer your specifications in a draft form in your process journal and once your supervisor has approved this, write the final copy in your criteria for success rubric breaking down each specification from excellent to limited. (See process journal exemplar for what the criteria for success rubric should look like.)

Step 2:

Develop a plan and development process

In your process journal create a timeline or Gantt Chart (see personal project exemplar for example of a Gantt Chart) for the completion of your Personal Project.

Your timeline needs to include the following:

  • due dates for each segment of the Personal Project
  • meetings with supervisor
  • incremental stages for the completion of your product/outcome
  • how you will manage your time to complete your personal project (for e.g. balancing sports with school work, etc.)
  • draft of report
  • final copy of report
  • submission of whole personal project – process journal, report and product/outcome.

As you progress through the creation of your project, ensure you document your progress and how you are keeping to your plan.

(Disclaimer: the process journal exemplar for develop a plan and development process is very limited, you need to expand on this with much more detail.)

Step 3:

Demonstrate self-management skills

In your process journal you need to ensure you document your self-management skills as you create your product/outcome.

The next section of your personal project is to place your goal into action. As you create your product/outcome you need to continuously reflect on and document your developing ability to:

Organisational skills:

  • Meet deadlines
  • Stick to your goal
  • Maintain your process journal with regular updates
  • Select and use technology effectively and productively

Affective skills:

  • Mindfulness – practise strategies to overcome distractions and maintain mental focus
  • Perseverance – demonstrate persistence and perseverance
  • Self-motivation – practise analysing and attributing causes for failure and practise positive thinking

Reflection skills:

  • Develop new skills, techniques and strategies for effective learning
  • Keep a journal to record reflections
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of personal learning strategies (self-assessment)

In your process journal, document your reflection. Be honest, explain how you have overcome self-management difficulties and reflect on how you can continue to have self-management success.

If you need further information on mindfulness and positive thinking strategies see our College Director of Positive Psychology, Mr Boyce or our College Chaplain, Pastor Andrew.

Here is a video tutorial to reinforce the information above:

Objective C: Taking action

(Supporting document for Taking Action: Process Journal Exemplar – Taking Action)

Step 1:

Create a product/outcome in response to the goal, context and criteria

Here is the part of your personal project where you place your investigation and planning into action.

In your process journal you need to ensure you document the creation of your product/outcome. You need to ensure you take regular photographs and annotate these in your process journal.

Step 2:

Demonstrate thinking skills

As you progress through creating your product/outcome you need to document the following:

  • Problems you encountered and how you critically and creatively solved these problems
  • How you have transferred and applied information to make decisions when creating your product/outcome (explicitly explain at least 2 primary sources and at least 4 secondary sources – how have you applied this research to your product/outcome?)
  • Skills you developed as you created your product/outcome
  • How your prior-learning informed the creation of your product/outcome
  • How your knowledge and skills have grown throughout the creation of your product/outcome
  • How have you designed improvements

Step 3:

Demonstrate communication and social skills

As you progress through creating your product/outcome you need to document the following:

  • Communication with experts and how their advice informed the creation of your product/outcome (make sure you document communication as evidence)
  • Communication with your supervisor and how their feedback informed the completion of your Personal Project (make sure you save all emails and record Skype sessions, etc.)
  • How you have read a variety of sources for information on your personal project
  • How you have transferred information given through communication to your product/outcome
  • How you have made inferences and drawn conclusions.

Here is a video tutorial to reinforce the information above:

Objective D: Reflecting

(Supporting document for Reflecting: Process Journal Exemplar – Reflecting)

Step 1:

Evaluate the quality of the product/outcome against their criteria

For this section of your personal project you need to refer back to your specifications and criteria for success rubric that you created and have been seeking to achieve as you took action to create your product/outcome.

Using a highlighter, highlight in your process journal what you think your product/outcome has achieved against the specifications you have set.

You now need to provide a justification of why you have given yourself the grade against the specification. This needs to be documented in your process journal. If you have not achieved the top achievement levels you need to justify why and explain how you can improve your product/outcome so you can achieve the top achievement level.

Step 2:

Reflect on how completing the personal project has extended your knowledge and understanding of the topic and the global context

In your process journal respond in detail to the following questions:

  • how has completing the personal project extended your knowledge and understanding of the topic of your product/outcome?
  • how has completing the personal project extended your knowledge and understanding of the global context you have chosen?

Step 3

Reflect on development as a learner

In order to respond to this part of your reflection choose at least 2 of the learner profile attributes in the following table and in your process journal reflect on how you have developed the characteristics of the learner profiles of your choice as you have progressed through the personal project.

Here is a video tutorial to reinforce the information above:

Writing your personal project report

(Supporting document for Report: Personal Project Report Exemplar)

(MYP Personal Project Assessment Criteria: Personal Project Assessment Criteria)

Step 1:

Now that you have created your product/outcome and reflected and documented each step of the personal project inquiry cycle, you now need to transfer this information to your personal project report. This is a formal piece of writing that provides a report on the completion of your personal project. The word count is 1500 words to 3500 words.

Using your personal project report graphic organiser you need to respond to each heading using the information you have gathered in your process journal.

Personal project report checklist

To achieve at your very best in the personal project report, ensure you address each dot point in the personal project report checklist.

Criteria A: Investigating

Define a clear goal and context for the project, based on personal interestsIn my report:

–       I give the precise meaning of the goal of my project; I explain “what I wanted to      achieve; when, where, how and why I wanted to achieve it”..

–       I define the global context that applies best to my project and explain its connection.

–       I describe what makes my project personal: the experiences, interest and ideas that  make it important to me.

–       If I made changes to my goal during the project, I explain the changes and why I made    them.

Identify prior learning and subject-specific knowledge relevant to the projectIn my report:

–       I identify what I already knew about this topic/project and the sources of my  knowledge.

–       I identify what I learned in MYP subject groups at Good Shepherd Lutheran College  before the project started, and how this was helpful.

Demonstrate research skillsIn my report:

–       I outline the research skills I had when I started the project.

–       I discuss the research skills I developed through the project.

–       I explain how I may have shared my research skills to help peers who needed more  practice.

Criteria B: Planning

Develop criteria for the product/outcomeIn my report:

–       I refer to the criteria I designed to evaluate the project product/outcome.

–       If I made changes to my criteria during the project, I explain the changes and why I  made them.

Plan and record the development process of the projectIn my report:

–       I provide evidence of my planning through timelines, milestones or other  tools/strategies.

–       I present a record of how the project progressed from start to finish.

Demonstrate self-management skillsIn my report:

–       I outline the self-management skills I had when I started the project.

–       I discuss the self-management skills I developed through the project.

–       I explain how I may have shared my self-management skills to help peers who needed  more practice.

Criteria C: Taking action

Create a product/outcome in response to the goal, context and criteriaIn my report:

–       I discuss the product/outcome as the result of the process undertaken during the project.

–       I check that I have included evidence of my product to be submitted with my report.

Demonstrate thinking skillsIn my report:

–       I outline thinking skills that I had when I started the project.

–       I discuss thinking skills I developed through the project.

–       I explain how I may have shared my thinking skills to help peers who needed more    practice.

Demonstrate communication and social skillsIn my report:

–       I outline the communication and social skills I had when I started the project.

–       I discuss the communication and social skills I developed through the project.

–       I explain how I may have shared my communication and social skills to help peers who  needed more practice.

Criteria D: Reflecting

Evaluate the quality of the product/outcome against their criteriaIn my report:

–       I evaluate the product/outcome against the criteria I designed.

–       I identify the strengths, weaknesses and possible improvements of the  product/outcome.

Reflect on how completing the project has extended their knowledge and understanding of the topic and global contextIn my report:

–       I identify challenges and the solutions I developed to meet them.

–       I demonstrate a deeper knowledge and understanding of my topic and the identified  global context.

–       I base my reflection on evidence, including my process journal.

Reflect on their development as IB learners through the projectIn my report:

–       I identify how I have developed as a learner (using the IB learner profile as appropriate).

–       I discuss my strengths and weaknesses in completing the project.

–       I summarize the impact the project could have on my future learning.

Step 2:

Ensure you provide a bibliography and an appendix. (See Bibliography guide for examples of how you need to structure your bibliography.)

Ensure you double-check your report for spelling and punctuation errors.

Step 3:

Once you have finished your report, you need to email this to your personal project supervisor for their feedback and when they have responded with feedback you need to update your report according to their feedback.

Submission and Exhibition

Step 1:

You need to submit the following to the MYP Coordinator’s office. On the bookshelf in the office there are alphabetically organised boxes, you need to place the following in the box (ensure all parts of your project are collated into a file of sorts or clipped together):

  • Report
  • Process journal (if electronic either printed out, uploaded to Coneqt or provide a url address for your process journal if this is a blog or website)
  • Academic honesty form, signed by yourself and your supervisor
  • Product or evidence of outcome (if you product is very large in size, please see Ms England to make a special arrangement for storage, delivery, etc.)

Here is a video tutorial to reinforce the information above:

Step 2:

The week prior to your exhibition and awards evening, ensure you have pictures, headings, artefacts, etc., organised so when your rostered time comes to prepare your exhibition space you are ready to simply spend 20-minutes preparing your exhibition space.

Congratulations – you have officially finished your personal project!!

*Your final standardised grade will be submitted via Seqta.


MYP: From principles into practice, 2014

Projects subject guide, 2014

Further guidance for MYP projects, 2015

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Published by misslauraengland

Disciple. Learner. MYP Design and Language and Literature Teacher. NZ Titahi Bay Girl. View all posts by misslauraengland


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