Let’s be clear: the upcoming changes to the visual arts assessment process have nothing to do with the way the work is assessed/the assessment criteria.

In a sense it’s a peripheral change – there is still the interview, and the same number of photographs of studio work and copies of IWB are made, according level (HL or SL) and option (A or B).

Examiners still take account of what is said in the interview, and they still judge work using the markband descriptors.

But that is not to dismiss or minimize the concerns of many art teachers, or to ignore the lessons learned from those brave and proactive teachers and students who have volunteered to be guinea-pigs for the current session.

Their experiences have been fantastically useful, particularly (of course) when they encountered problems.

The more difficulties and issues they flag up now, the more smoothly it should all run in March/April 2013.

There were some technical issues – problems uploading files – but also some of the concerns raised included the amount of time that will be involved in recording and editing the candidate interviews.

Examples of interviews are available on the OCC: although these hopefully offer some insights into how the interview may be handled, the fact remains that the process will inevitably be more time-consuming.

Whereas previously it was pretty much taken out of the teacher’s hands, (by the good old visiting examiner) in less than year it will be very much the teacher’s responsibility – not just interviewing the candidates but also recording and uploading, as well as making sure that all the pages and studio work are also successfully and accurately recorded and uploaded.

In my school the 12th grade (final year) students are almost finished with their school career – graduation is next week – and the focus is swinging towards the 11th grade.

Maybe its time to think about practicing a few recordings of interviews (if you haven’t already)  – visual and/or audio (its optional) – as a pre-emptive strategy to give everyone a chance to have their own little experience of things to come…