OCC interview videos have GONE!

The four interview videos that have been on the OCC for more than two years have now been removed. They were made because up until 2012 the visiting examiner had come to the school, looked at the exhibition and asked the questions.

When this process was switched to the teacher asking the questions, the IB received numerous worried emails from teachers who did not know what to do and were asking for advice and guidance. The IB were proactive and the videos were made and uploaded to show teachers what kind of questions might be asked for different course options for the then 30 minute video.

The videos showed me talking to four chosen from my group of students. The recording were made in January 2012 so not all of their work was available, but they had a reasonable quality and quantity, and once the videos were put up on the OCC the IB receieved a number of expressions of gratitude from teachers in many different parts of the world.

But they have served their purpose and in some ways – and in particular since the upload instructions have changed – were potentially causing confusion rather than helping.

2015 interview

Anyway, I’m starting to think about next March and what will be the final examination session of the current/’old’ course.

I’m discussing with my final year students whether they want to write an interview commentary which will become an uploaded text file or to record a visual interview/presentation. When we first started to talk about it, we looked at the four video interviews on the OCC, and the students thought that the interview would be a film of them talking about their work.


However, now that the interview only last 15 minutes, a better approach might be for the student to simply read their interview commentary off-camera while the relevant images (studio work or investigation page) are shown on-screen, matching words with whatever is being shown.

Also, for the sake of consistency and fairness neither student not teacher needs to be seen: the artwork or pages should be the focus of this upload. In fact, this is now clearly stated in the official visual arts upload documentation, but many schools either have not seen this or just ignoring it.

Almost all the videos that I saw that were uploaded for the November session had the student on-screen, with some also having the teacher appearing with questions, and some running to 30 or 40 minutes. Not sure if this is a case of the DP Coordinator not being on task, or the art teacher not seeing/responding to upload instructions, a mixture of the two or something else.

There are two other ‘interview’ options: going down the audio ‘interview’ route or writing the “1000 word interview-commentary”.

Audio works OK, providing the student clearly indicates which image or page he/she is referring to. This is so obvious that you would think the art teacher would ensure that students did this but sadly, this is not the case. Many examiners have repeatedly struggled to work out what pieces “audio” candidates were referring to. This does not help the examination process.

I think the interview commentary (text) is a great option for schools with large cohorts and not much exhibition space.

In previous years my students have adopted a mix-and-match approach with some choosing a commentary and others going for the video.

Visual arts e-submission teacher guidance materials January 2014

Page 8 says that the interview

  • “should not include the teacher’s opinion on the work
  • should not show the candidate or the teacher in shot when video is used
  • should refer to the studio work by name or the investigation workbook page by number”.

The images are screenshots from the OCC interview videos (now gone!)