Last post I referred to the upcoming changes to visual arts assessment as ‘peripheral’, but of course it’s less peripheral when you take into account the fact that the actual studio work and the actual investigation workbook pages will no longer be seen by an examiner.

Teachers have complained about the ‘old’ paper CRB for many years, and have asked (also for many years) for a ‘new’ digital upload – a 21st century option rather than a 20th century one. So the digital upload (or ‘e-CRB’ or electronic submission) should please many.

Marks will still be awarded for achievement against the familiar old assessment descriptors, but of course  the examiner will not experience the exhibition, talk to the candidate, be in the presence of the artwork or physically see the workbook pages. This change has not pleased quite so many.

So what happens in March/April 2013?

The electronic submission, made up of studio work and IWB photographs, and a recording of the interview.

Part of it is exactly what you do already: take good photographs of studio work and make good copies of workbook pages. Instead of printing them on old fashioned and environmentally unfriendly paper, you will launch them into cyberspace.

The lessons learned from the pilot are being digested even as I write this and revised instructions on how to upload these files will appear in due course.

The other change is the interview. The teacher (usually) interviews the candidates. This can be audio or video – it’s optional – but either way a recording of this will be uploaded along with the studio work and investigation files. The teacher and candidate continue to make their statements, just as they always did, and this also is uploaded

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.

Video or audio? Audio is easier, and insofar as the examiner will be marking the photographic record, not any images seen in the video, potentially as useful as video.

But if for some reason  there are no general views of the exhibition uploaded alongside the studio photos then  if exhibition overview images occur in a video of the interview,  the video version might be better (more useful) than the audio.

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

What EXACTLY will happen in terms of how to upload the files?

That has yet to be decided – all we know for sure is that the pilot scheme threw up a lot of issues and the information technology/digital experts at the IB are working on solving/resolving these. But everything currently required by the CRB will be uploaded – ie two statements (teacher and candidate),and a selection of studio work and investigation workbook pages, plus a recording of the interview.


  1. Where can I find rules and regulations of pilot for e-submission?

All the information required by pilot schools has been sent directly to IB Coordinators, but is also on the OCC DP Visual Arts Home Page, under the General Documents header, entitled Visual arts E-submission pilot: teacher guidance material

  1. The interview is recorded between teacher and student?

The interview is a recording between teacher and student, but could be between the student and a third party if so desired.

  1. No visiting examiners anymore?

For pilot schools at this stage, no visiting examiners. Visiting Examiners will still be used in the November 2012 session for schools not piloting the e-submission programme.

  1. Can we record the interview in either audio or video?

Yes – it’s entirely optional.