Viva Voce

The viva voce is the "exit interview" for EE candidates. It is a required part of the extended essay process. It is the basis for the students' final reflections and the final supervisor report which must be uploaded with the final essay.

The interview

I have my EE candidates do their viva voce interviews as a panel discussion for my Psychology I students. This is a good way to introduce the EE to first-year students, and it is also a way to have students teach students. The EE candidates will each discuss:

  1. Their choice of research question.
  2. The conclusions that they drew about their question.
  3. A self-assessment of their own work. What could they have done better?

The student audience and I ask questions during the viva voce. These questions usually include:

  • Clarifying questions  - could you explain what you mean by ...
  • Questions about the research process - for example, what problems did the student encounter and how were these problems overcome?
  • Questions about the nature of their research studies and how they found them.
  • Questions regarding the writing process - for example, how did they decide which research to keep and which to discard?
  • Questions about the argument - for example, to explain the counter-argument or any areas of uncertainty.
  • Questions about their personal experience with the project. For example - what would they do differently next time or what did they personally gain from the experience.

During the viva voce, you should take notes with regard to what the student does well.  The supervisor report should focus on the positives and not include negatives, such as "missed all deadlines", "lacked motivation" or "plagiarized the first draft."  The viva voce is supposed to be a celebration of what students have done well and how they have grown as learners.

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