Interdisciplinary summative task

How can engaging, effective interdisciplinary summative tasks be developed?

"Summative interdisciplinary performances enable students to build and demonstrate their understanding of the statement of inquiry. These performances—such as a final paper, a presentation, a simulation or a portfolio—also make visible students’ interdisciplinary understanding of the topic and/or how they address a real-world issue These performances allow students to bring disciplines together in ways that develop and demonstrate their understanding of a real-world issue and enable action." - Interdisciplinary teaching and learning in the MYP

In order to effectively address the new interdisciplinary objectives, and to assess students’ demonstrations of interdisciplinary learning with the corresponding criteria, more than one type of task may be needed. The task type will depend on the command terms in the criteria strand(s) used to assess each task.

Example task types

The Interdisciplinary teaching and learning in the MYP guide offers the following suggestions for task types that could support students in demonstrating the command terms:

  • One or more types of tasks might be used to allow students to communicate their thinking and reflection, assessed with criteria A and C.

  • If students develop a product or outcome in the IDU, there would be:

    • a product/outcome task (assessed with criterion Bi),

    • and a task format through which they would communicate their justification of how their product/outcome communicates interdisciplinary understanding (assessed with criterion Bii).

Task description

The description of a summative task(s) should:

  • outline what students do in each task

  • clarify how each task is assessed (including the criterion/criteria strands used to assess the task)

  • indicate how each task allows students to demonstrate their understanding of the unit's statement of inquiry. This could be through an explanation, or through including elements of the statement of inquiry in the description of the tasks (as illustrated in the example unit section below).


In this guide, a language and literature and sciences interdisciplinary unit is used to illustrate one example what each unit plan section could look like using the provided guidance. Below is the description of the interdisciplinary summative tasks provided in that unit.

In this example unit plan, interdisciplinary summative assessment includes a product task and a 'Thinking Log' task in which students have agency in choosing the form through which they will reflect and communicate their thinking. This is just one example of how a school might organize their interdisciplinary summative assessment.

Check the interdisciplinary summative assessment through the descriptors (shown below) from the IB publication Evaluating MYP interdisciplinary unit plans.

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