IB and more assessment chaos

So last week I had a half-day with our IB co-ordinator and got info on what IB is about, what it looks like to implement our curriculum through an IB framework, and got a glimpse of how that fits into my assessment angst from earlier.

The plus side: setting up my class as an IB course means that I do in fact have some assessment guidelines!  The downside: I still kind of live in a vague in-between where I have to work out how much to assess students on Tech or Arts criteria (or both).

One thing that’s interesting about the Technology assessment criteria is that it’s supposed to focus on the Design Cycle, which they’ve defined as: Investigate -> Design -> Plan -> Create -> Evaluate.  This means that I should be not only describing this design cycle to students, but assessing them at least once on their ability to do initial investigations, or on the planning phase, etc.  So “final product” is only one piece of the whole assessment.

I like this, in that it gives “assess the process” some useful structure instead of turning it into just a work habits grade.  However, it’s difficult to see how you’d reasonably fit EVERY assignment into a complete design cycle – some things are just meant to be quick two-day things to build up a specific skill.  (Then again, when does research in, say, a new API or some other technical detail happen during a software development cycle?  I’m thinking probably in pre-production, so maybe that could just be called part of an ‘investigation’?)

I’ve also found examples of IB MYP units that incorporate both Tech and Arts assessment categories, so that’s a possibility.  I’m thinking that’ll be the end-goal for the final project, to hit on both sets of criteria.  But I’m still in the decide-as-I-go phase on exactly what that’ll look like.  (Obviously my own ‘design cycle’ for this course is a bit less clearly structured – I’ll just call it agile curriculum development.)

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