Well, that’s it for me for another year. The visiting examiner spent a day interviewing our final year students on Thursday and their exhibitions come down on Monday.

The students took three of the four possible options (HLA, HLB and SLA) so he had a variety of assessment criteria to refer to when making his judgments.

HLB and SLB are still fairly unusual option  choices – out of my current examining ‘workload’ of over 50 candidates, only two opted for option B. Both of these set up strong exhibitions, but of course the focus of the interview was the content of their workbooks.

Meanwhile for the first time ever I’m visiting exclusively  UK schools – visits to interview students in schools in Dar-es-Salaam, Nairobi, Beijing, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Rome (and many other cities)  may be a thing of the past as the IB looks very closely at the expense  of flying examiners all over the world and weighs up the benefits vs. the costs.

There is currently a discussion thread on the OCC with a subject line ‘Major Changes In Visual Art Assessment From 2013- No More Visiting Examiners’ (original posting date March 19th) with quite a lot of discussion.

Personally I think that the visiting examiner is a great system, and seems to be supported universally by students, art teachers, parents and examiners.

But in the 21st century there are questions about carbon footprint, and the continued success and growth of the IB programme poses another question: how can we keep recruiting the huge number of examiners needed twice a year (for both examination sessions) and also guarantee their reliability?

OK, enough for today.

Good luck to all those students (and their teachers!) who have still to set up their exhibition and go through the examination – in whatever form it takes.