If you ignore most of my posts, not a problem but this one is incredible important as it flags up the Examination session report for May 2016 on the OCC. Why this is important, and probably more important than in previous years – well as this is the first cohort that has taken exams and the project for the new syllabus the feedback is not only regarding how well students have done but some important flags into parts of the syllabus that have been poorly supported by teachers and have lacked clarity from the IB also. So please read on – and do go and check the actual report at the OCC website as soon as possible!
Major Project Feedback
- Page limit and layout size are very important – it must be made clear to students that pages beyond the limit will not be marked and that copying down from A3 to A4 must ensure that the size of text is legible (11 point minimum). And it has been made clear no Appendices should be included as they will not be marked!
- Ensure that you provide notes to moderators against each criteria – and best fit approach means that you can only award to the Higher Level if the student has fulfilled the criteria to a ‘great extent.’
- As always generic problems should not be given to candidates they should use ‘constructive discontent’ to come up with their own unique problem that has the right level of complexity. Specifications were often generic, and need more detail especially the marketing specification which needed to think re commercial production even if the prototype being produce in school utilised craft production.
- Do not forget that refining ideas can involve use of tests and experiments related to materials, structure etc.
- Ideas should show a variety with something different in each one rather than a slight alteration.
- Use of CAD was variable and it is obvious that students need more support in being able to utilise these tools to really communicate their design work.
- Ensure students do Orthographic drawings or equivalent for suitable drawings to show manufacture process.
- Make sure if student does not manufacture that they keep ownership over designs – a difficult and contentious one this I know! So read more on the OCC what has been said.
- Testing and evaluation must be against all specifications including the marketing specification and so through user trials or expert appraisal to reach the higher mark bands.
- There should be detailed drawings of what can be done to overcome weaknesses found out from testing and evaluation.
Criterion E – NOTE this section was suggested to be done poorly by most candidates.
- Scale of production needed more detail, be related to product and be able to analyse costs.
- Cost analysis needs to be detailed and reflect the scale of production.
Criterion F – NOTE this section was suggested to be done poorly by most candidates.
- The report gives a full example of how Fixed, Variable costs were calculated realistically with evidence of how this data was found and calculated. DO NOT pluck Sales costs etc out of thin air.
Examination Paper Feedback
There is too much information to really go through this feedback – so please do go to check the report on the OCC. However here are a few of the main points.
- New topics in the guide need to be considered in greater depth especially – dematerialisation, biodegradability, Rogers characteristics, business elements and concepts and biomechanics.
- As usual DO NOT REPEAT THE QUESTION IN THE ANSWER!
- Make sure writing is legible for examiners.
- The IB and a group of teachers and looking into providing a glossary of terms – so any specific terms examined should be covered by teachers.
I hope this has helped and again the reminder please go to the OCC and download and digest as it is essential for your students to get the best advice for next years DT examinations.