David Bowie – Changes Lyrics | MetroLyrics

“Turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes.

Ooh, look out you rock ‘n’ rollers!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strange ch-ch-changes.

Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older…”


Yes, changes.

As most of you (probably) know, the DP visual arts team have been working relentlessly to keep the guide as useful and accurate as possible, and this blog highlights a few of the ch-ch-changes. (Look out you rock n rollers!)

The 2017 revised Guide is available on the OCC.

Two documents that list the changes are also available on the OCC

And really these could be more accurately described as modifications and amendments. But, either way, I have identified and explained five of these changes/modifications as they relate to the Comparative Study, the Process Portfolio and the Exhibition.

I have included page references that relate to changes/pages in the 2017 Guide. (And I’m just referring to David Bowie because I like him!)


1 Academic Honesty (COMPARATIVE STUDY)

I admit, adhering to the IB Academic Honesty requirements can be a time-consuming process. But it’s about honesty and fairness, acknowledging sources – and, in any case, students should be used to it in all their other subjects. And the implications of NOT following the instructions can be heavy. You and your student do not want to be investigated by the IB Academic Honesty team, who are known for their rigour and attention to detail, and are not known for their flexibility.

For the Comparative Study, there is a double requirement: students are required to submit

1 the list of sources used and

2 in-text referencing is throughout the comparative study.

“A recognized system of academic referencing must be used in line with the school’s academic honesty policy.

A candidate’s failure to acknowledge a source will be investigated by the IB as a potential breach of regulations that may result in a penalty imposed by the IB final award committee”.

(See page 36 of the 2017 Guide)

2 Double dipping revised instructions (PROCESS PORTFOLIO)

Similarly, the “Double Dipping” issue is also about Academic Honesty. I blogged about it in July 2015.

Skinny dipping is fine. Double dipping is NOT.

To be honest, it was always an odd and potentially unworkable rule, if (for example) one brush stroke could be the difference between a work that is “in progress” and a work that is finished…

But two years on, things have changed: the use of final images of work from the exhibition is now permitted providing it is identified as such with an appropriate annotation or label.

“Students should declare when an image in the final version of the work is also used in part 3: exhibition assessment task”.

PAGE 46 of the 2017 version of the visual arts guide

Academic honesty

  1. Every image used within the process portfolio must be appropriately referenced to acknowledge the title, artist, medium and date (where this information is known) and the source, following the protocol of the referencing style chosen by the school. Students must ensure their own original work is identified and acknowledged in the same way to ensure examiners are clear about the origins of the materials.
  2. When the student is aware that another person’s work, ideas or images have influenced their conceptual or developmental work, the source must be cited at point of use and must also be included in a list of sources.
  3. Students should declare when an image in the final version of the work is also used in part 3: exhibition assessment task”.

This makes things clear and given the separation of assessment teams is a good resolution of the double dipping question.

 3 Student ‘group’ or shared projects. Be careful! (EXHIBITION)

In December 2015 I asked  To collaborate, or not to collaborate – that is the question!

 …So this is not so much a change as a revised and clearer version of the guidance: “work submitted for assessment needs to demonstrate how well an individual student has achieved against the marking criteria and collaborative projects might risk to make this unclear”.

The important part of this sentence is “an INDIVIDUAL student”.

OK, and as I wrote previously, there are many reasons to work together. A lot of fantastic learning can happen when we work in pairs or groups. It’s a beautiful thing. In addition, sharing ideas and skills is a great creative process, and can lead to unusually creative resolved work, with different art-makers being able to contribute specialist competencies.

But it makes assessment a hit and miss process, which is something examiner hate. So please don’t submit group projects!

“Where collaboration between students is permitted, it must be clear to all students what the difference is between collaboration and collusion. Teachers should consider that while there is value in working on collaborative projects in the first year of the course, work submitted for assessment needs to demonstrate how well an individual student has achieved against the marking criteria and collaborative projects might risk to make this unclear”.

2017 Guide Page 51

4 Mark (i.e. assess) the digital rather than the real version (EXHIBITION)

I have had discussions with art teachers about this issue and some refuse to be persuaded.

They insist on assessing the actual work rather than the on-screen digital version.

They say they understand the point I’m making, but they feel that the real world has more integrity than the virtual one.

And yes, the real world probably does have more integrity etc – but that is missing the point.

The exhibition files – and the examiners – are in the virtual world, so for the purpose of assessment accuracy the teacher needs to join that world.

2017 Guide page 52

“Requirements and recommendations section updated for clarity to indicate that It is “important for the integrity of the moderation process that the internal assessment by the teacher considers and refers to the same evidence as that available to the moderator. Teachers should therefore always refer to the digital, on‐screen version of the submitted work when marking the exhibition.”


5 Text must outline intentions and/or sources of inspiration (EXHIBITION)

I have seen some rambling and pointless exhibition texts which really did not make me any wiser about the work submitted.

I could usually see the title and size OK. but often was mystified by what was written for “Medium” (for example, repeating the work ‘medium’ was not helpful, nor was just writing ‘yes’); I was also often unable to understand what inspired the work or even the purpose (because these were not referred to).

The text needs to

  1. be focused (only 500 characters including spaces),
  2. provide title, medium, size, (under the “medium” section students must also indicate if objects are self-made, found or purchased)
  3. outline the intentions and/or references to sources of inspiration for each piece.

2017 Guide page 57 Additional text

“students submit exhibition text (stating the title, medium and size of the artwork as well as an outline of intentions and/or reference to sources of inspiration) for each selected artwork”.

Images (discussing “Changes” I could not help but think of the great, late David Bowie)