The IB say

“Welcome to your OCC…The OCC is a key resource for teachers, coordinators and other school stakeholders. The enhanced branding and colour scheme improves both navigability and usability in order to delight the many of you who depend on the site for information and collaboration”.

I get a lot of correspondence from art teachers about the OCC (ONLINE CURRICULUM CENTRE , not all of it favourable, to put it mildly…

Clint_Eastwood Good Bad Ugly

The bad

Teachers are frequently mystified and confused by the continued presence of out-dated visual arts information, dating from the course that effectively finished more than two months ago.

For many new teachers in my last few workshops there was no easy way to work out what is useful and valid on the OCC , and what is unhelpful and incorrect, leading to many frustrated teachers – and many exasperated messages to me.

Confused questions from confused teachers…

  • Where do we find information about the interview?”
  • What is this option A or option B business?”
  • “Is the candidate statement submitted with the exhibition files?”
  • How do I upload investigation workbook pages?”

All these are no longer part of the visual arts programme. Teachers are confused by documents on the OCC because they relate to two different visual arts courses, only one of which is actually running, and I still receive messages (and the OCC visual arts forum shows messages from) teachers who think that there is an interview etc, because the OCC still implies that it exists.

The OCC still offers the guide for the old course, candidate statement and candidate declaration, and teacher support for the course that finished November 2015.

There are plans to get rid of the old and unnecessary stuff but for the moment my advice to new teachers visiting the OCC is be very careful about what you read there and double check that it is relevant to the current course!

The uglyJohn_Henry_Fuseli_-_The_Nightmare


“It’s a Nightmare!”

This is a typical response from a teacher making a first or second visit to the site –

“Sure, there’s a wealth of information there, but finding it is a nightmare. Its interface is crowded, hard to navigate and not user-friendly!”

I think calling the OCC a nightmare might be putting it a little strongly, but I have to admit that – especially for newcomers – the OCC interface is not perhaps the most user-friendly design.

The content may be great but finding your way around can be a challenge.

  • However, familiarity breeds expertise.
  • The more time you spend browsing, looking and finding, the easier it will be to navigate.
  • Don’t give up on the OCC because it’s so frustrating – get to know its weirdly old-fashioned design so you make it work for you!

The Good!

OK we’ve looked at the Bad and the Ugly, now it’s time for the Good.

There are at least three reasons to celebrate the OCC

1 The OCC Facilitators

JAYSON PATERSON and HAZEL GIL-SALAZAR. (“This forum is moderated by the online faculty members for visual arts, Jayson Paterson and Hazel Gil-Salazar“).

These two gurus consistently answer questions and provide reliable and useful information for all DP visual arts teachers. They are the people you can trust.

Unfortunately a few teachers post what they obviously think is correct and helpful information when in reality it’s as outdated and/or incorrect as some of the ‘official’ OCC stuff.

 2 The content/information!

As mentioned above, there is a wealth of information in the OCC – a gargantuan ocean of IB-related stuff, most of it helpful, and some of its extremely useful – if not vital. Not just for visual arts but foe all IB programmes and courses.

For example, if you fancy checking out what Theory of Knowledge teachers are worried about? – visit their forum!

Have you looked at the comprehensive Teacher Support Material? Or the teacher resource exchange?

Despite all the moans and complaints, the fact remains that the OCC is a fantastic repository of guidance, ideas, answers to questions, and both official and unofficial information.


New items: there is a NEW section called “FAQ and clarifications” (see image)FAQ & clarification

In this section there are three very important documents.

They appeared very quietly and I think have been largely unnoticed by teachers, but they contain useful and relevant information about the three course components.

Check them out!



The Nightmare (Henry Fuseli, 1781)


FAQ image

Up to date it’s not…_-_NARA_-_532656.jpg