In 2013 the IBO finally released Internal Assessment forms that we can fill in electronically. However, it can still be a lengthy process doing them individually so, to help speed up the completion of the required paperwork for the IB History Internal Assessment, I’ve created a mail-merge version that fills in all the duplicate data automatically.
The Excel file has been created for teachers to input the information needed by the IB. It’s very straightforward:
- In cell A2 of the first column type the session you are entering students for (May or November and the year). This will be duplicated down the column.
- In cell B2 type the name of your school as registered with the IBO, and this will be duplicated down the column.
- In cell C2 type the teacher’s name. This will again duplicate down the column. If there were different teachers, type their names in the appropriate cells.
- Each school has a unique IB school number. It begins with 00 and is followed by four more numbers. Type the first of the next four numbers in cell D2, the second number in E2, the third in F2 and the fourth in G2.
- Cell H2 is for the subject – presumably History, unless you’ve tweaked these files for another IB subject in Group 3.
- Cell I2 is for the Level (SL or HL) for the first student you are entering. Cell data from hereon is not duplicated down the column.
- The candidate session number is the school number followed by three digits. Cell J2, K2 and L2 are for the first, second and third digits in the candidate’s session number. Make sure you enter students on the spreadsheet in candidate number order!
- M2 is for the candidate name, as entered for the exam.
- N2 is the title of the Internal Assessment piece.
- Cells O2-T2 are for you to type the marks awarded for each criteria in the Internal Assessment. Cell T2 will automatically total these marks out of 25.
- If you have more than the default 20 students, simply copy one of the completed rows into a blank row.
When you have finished entering data into the spreadsheet, load the Word document. Depending on yoru version of Word, you may see a window similar to that on the right, warning you that “Opening this document will run the following SQL command…” Click “Yes“. You will now need to point Word to the location of the Excel spreadsheet you downloaded and saved to your computer. Once you’ve located it and clicked “Open” the form will load.
The formatting of the page may appear incorrect, and you may notice some codes such as «School_number_1» (example below). These codes load the data from your spreadsheet, and the page layout will be fixed when the process is complete. Go to the menu bar and click Tools > Letters and Mailings > Mail Merge… This will open a window at the right-hand side of your screen. Click “Edit recipient list” and ensure that the boxes at the side of all the candidates required by the IBO are ticked. Click “OK“.
In the mail-merge window at the right of the screen click “Next: write your letter“. You don’t need to change anything here, so just click “Next: preview your letters“. If you now scroll down the main document window you will see that the «School_number_1» codes have been replaced with your school and student information.
As long as the formatting appears correct on the preview (e.g. all names are clear, and the pages don’t run onto the next), click “Next: complete the merge“.
If you want to double-check all the merged sheets before printing, you can select to “Edit individual letters…” Alternatively, if you trust the mail merge to have done it properly you can just click “Print…” and the individualised information sheets on each of your students will print out, ready to be sent to the IBO, and hopefully saving you an ENORMOUS amount of time writing them out by hand!