As promised, here is some feedback from the May 2015 Visual Arts Grade Award which recently took place at the IB DP Assessment Centre in Cardiff, Wales.

Five years ago I blogged after attending a Grade Award meeting (June 2010) – at that stage we were a group of approximately 16 senior examiners, looking at Candidate Record Booklets (anyone remember them?!) and discussing marks awarded.

Then in June 2012 the post-Grade Award blog highlighted “the evils of the Internet”.

The discussions of marks etc still occur, of course, but this time it was a mixture of meeting face-to-face (senior examiners from Australia, Argentina etc all came to Cardiff) and virtual (Skype calls to Singapore, Hong Kong, Florida etc) – and of course there were no Candidate Record Booklets!

The first thing we did last month was confirm that the visual arts grade boundaries were correct and fair, looking at the DP Arts grade boundaries and portfolios representing achievement in each grade level.

The Grade Boundaries apply to all Group 6 Arts subjects, so interpretation was involved.



After that came assessment reviews and during this process, examiners noticed an issue that recurred with different schools and students: so-called “Double-dipping”.

Officially referred to as duplication of work: this is defined as “the presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or DP core requirements” and is a form of Academic Misconduct.

Submitting one piece of work for assessment more than once – for example, uploading a painting that was done in the workbook as an investigation page and again as a studio page – means that you are attempting get marks for the same thing twice – which is not allowed.

In these cases, the assessment team carefully review the individual portfolio and as a penalty may simply remove one of the duplicated files from the component and contact the school with a warning. If it happens repeatedly the penalty could be more serious.


By Anonymous (AWM Collection) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Double dipping and the ‘new’ course

In the grade award meeting, we were looking at submitted files for the ‘old’ course, but the IB have plans in place to check for double-dipping/duplication of work in the upload for the new course.

Although the components are assessed by different examiners, an important additional part of the process will be to review and check the content of all components for individual students.

In addition to providing the “big picture” overview of the entire submission, this will make it easy to identify cases of double dipping.

 I think most teachers understand that the process portfolio can contain documentation of the entire creative process – from initial ideas, through exploration, trial and error etc, right through to the final resolved artwork.

This seemed to be a question raised by a number of slightly confused teachers when the 2016 visual arts guide first came out: to be clear, the process portfolio can – and probably should – include both the process and the final resolved artwork.

The only exception is that the process portfolio should not include final work selected for the exhibition because that would be double dipping.

“Article 20: Candidates suspected of academic misconduct. Academic misconduct is a breach of these regulations and includes duplication of work: this is defined as the presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or DP core requirements”