Following IB developments is a ‘chicken and egg’ problem. What came first? What is old? What is current?
The main source for all IB educators is the Online Curriculum Center (OCC). However, the biggest challenge in following the content on the OCC is knowing the dates of when the various documents and websites were made available. This is quite straight forward for printed documents. The date is printed in the document. Where documentation is only posted online, it is necessary to look at the introductory webpage at the bottom. For example, the new Approaches to Teaching and Learning website has the date 2015.
However, it would be helpful to have an online directory listing the dates of PDF publications and related websites.
A major shortcoming of the OCC is that not all parts are updated when information changes. Sometimes there are changes posted on a subject website and the corresponding changes are not carried through. For example, both Criterion E and Criterion G for ITGS changed for May 2015 onwards and this is posted on the ITGS homepage. However, the 6 examples for the ITGS Project in the Teacher Support Material (TSM) still show the marks from the old criteria which are no longer relevant. This is not a major problem as long as ITGS teachers realize that these six projects would have received a maximum of 7 marks for Criterion E Product development now instead of the former 8 marks. Since there were no screencasts in 2010 when the site was created, these products would only receive a maximum of 3 marks for Criterion G Required elements instead of the full 4 marks which is now possible. Otherwise, the 6 examples are very useful as a resource for guiding the ITGS Project.
Long range solution – Teacher Support Material and other OCC documentation must be updated as changes occur. Teachers new to IB subjects or in schools in the process of seeking authorization need all materials on the OCC to be relevant to the current examination sessions. It also needs to be clear when the various documents were posted so any inconsistencies can be resolved by looking at the published date. At the moment the TSM for ITGS is not current for the November 2016 ITGS Project. It is advised that the Handbook of Procedures for 2015 ITGS Project be used as the Guide for submitting the sample.
Changes for HL Paper 1 and SL Paper 2 for May 2016 and onwards will appear in this blog after the November 2015 examination session.