… and so the TSM (teacher support material) for the new course is with us – the IBO provided guidance to the new programme… 2016).

The purpose of the teacher support material (https://ibpublishing.ibo.org 08/08/2014)

Welcome to the Biology teacher support material (TSM). The biology subject guide for first assessment in 2016 represents a significant shift, in a number of aspects, from the previous biology course and this TSM is specifically designed to assist both new and experienced teachers to build or revise their course design so that it reflects the new guide.

The TSM is designed to:

  • support experienced and inexperienced teachers alike in structuring and delivering a course
  • support teachers with the organization of practical work
  • complement IB professional development.

From what I have gleamed I still have concerns over the referencing of material as a requirement of the IA.  I have not seen, from the moderators, comments any clear guidance on this. All the discussion of the IA initially seemed to be of a “mini-EE”. I thought that referencing the basis of the experiment in literature sources was a positive move forward. I will continue to insist that my students do it as I feel it to be good practice.

From what I have gleamed from discussions over the last few months and in my discussions with reliable sources, I would like to share the following:

  • The NoS statement under the “essential idea” will not be assessed. It was never intended to be assessed (so I have heard). Instead, what will be assessed is the NoS as it applies to the “Application and skills”.
  • Group work is a no-go. Even though the Biology Guide indicates that students can group work if they highlight that which is theirs. You may have already thought that this did not make sense as students are to work on an independent study. I am just trying to clarify this error for you and strongly urge you not use group work in the IA

I would also like to urge you to use the OCC website. As the new syllabus beds down, its more important than ever that we, as a community of Diploma educators, discuss and ruminate over the changes so that a common consensus is reached etc. Raise the issues I have posted here on the OCC forum, and check that my comments are correct. If they are not, I too, need to know so get in touch.