Hi all,

If you are a student in the second year of your Diploma and in a ‘May session’ school, your final examinations are fast approaching. And if you are a visual arts student, next month—March 2018—is likely to be a busy one!

The focus of this blog is the Process Portfolio component. Last month I posted the Process Portfolio checklist for HL and SL.

This month I’m clarifying some points based on questions I’ve been asked by students about the Process Portfolio.

 Questions—and Answers—about the Process Portfolio

1 ‘I thought I only needed to have a bibliography for the Comparative Study. Do I also need one for the Process Portfolio? If so, is that one of the (HL) 25 screens?’

Yes, to the first question, no to the second. The bibliography for the comparative study is uploaded as a separate file, but for the process portfolio the bibliography is included within the pdf file, but is not counted as a part of the screen count.

So, you need a bibliography for the PP but no its not counted as one of the screens.

2 ‘My teacher says the PP deadline is April 10 but I know students in other schools say different dates – who’s right?’

I would follow your teacher’s instructions. He/she will probably be following instructions from your DP Coordinator. Schools usually have internal deadlines so that they can check and confirm files etc before uploading for the ‘real’ IB deadlines.

3 ‘Sometimes I write about things (media explorations etc) I’ve done, sometimes about things I’m doing, and sometimes about things I’m planning to do – so the writing tense is inconsistent (past, present etc). Does this matter?’

No. The process portfolio is a folio of evidence documenting your art making experiences, so it is likely that overall the tenses used in your text will vary.

4 ‘Our teacher shows us examples of Process Portfolios made by previous students from our school but I’d like to see examples from students in other schools. Why does the IB not publish examples of Process Portfolios?’

They do. If you want to see examples of PP ask your teacher to visit ‘My IB’ and the Programme Resource Centre, then scroll down through the resources to Arts and follow the link to visual arts. In visual arts, select teacher support material for first examinations 2017. There are 13 examples of assessed work, covering all components.

5 ‘I don’t like showing or discussing weak or unfinished work in the Process Portfolio because the examiner might knock marks off, but my teacher says I’ve got the wrong idea. Who’s right?’

Your task in the PP is not to be perfect, to ‘sell’ the success of your work or only show your best work. If something is not working, reflect and evaluate it realistically. Acknowledge the process and explain what it reveals as you develop as an artist. For example, what skills have you developed? What weakness and/or limitations have you identified and how might you overcome or work around these? Your teacher is right!

PP Criterion D (Reviewing, Refining and Reflecting) has a focus on the process and the interventions that you make throughout the process to improve your work. Examiners need to see evidence of your involvement throughout the art-making process. Annotations evaluating the progress of work are helpful here, as well as reflections upon any choices made that result in a work changing direction, or incorporating additional imagery or media.

Visit Your PP needs mistakes! (its GOOD to make mistakes)

6 ‘Some of my pages are landscape format and others are portrait. Can my final Process PDF contain a mixture of these formats?’

My recommendation is that you have a consistent landscape format for all PP pages/screens. The principal examiners for both the comparative study and the process portfolio report that a landscape format works best, as it better fills the screen on the examining platform that they are required to use.

  • Thank you Mr P! Many of my answers to these questions were informed by the consistently useful and informative posts made by the online facilitator Jayson Paterson on My IB.
  • Wordclouds from https://www.wordclouds.com/
  • Thank you Ana P for PP example page