What part of ‘where no other activities are taking place’ do you not understand?

Where are you going to have your IBDP Visual Arts final exhibition?

Page 21 of the visual arts guide discusses, among other things, the final examination interview, and states
The examiner may ask to see the exhibition space before beginning the interview. The viewing and discussion of the student’s work must be arranged in a quiet, well-lit room where no other activities are taking place and where the examiner can talk privately with the student. If students present visual arts work on videotapes, DVDs or slides, appropriate viewing facilities must be provided by the school. If the examiner is not satisfied with the facilities or space arrangements, the school’s Diploma Programme coordinator will be asked to make appropriate changes.”

These guidelines seem fairly clear, and in my experience, IBDP Coordinators, in conjunction with the art teachers, generally make a good job of creating an exhibition venue, usually within the school itself. It could be a sectioned off part of the school library or art department area, a purpose built exhibition space, an assembly room or a sports hall – the size of the space often depends on the number of students, how large their artworks are and how many pieces are on display.

Having said that, there have been some instances where, as the visiting examiner, I’ve had, as the guide puts it, to ask the Coordinator ‘to make appropriate changes’.

A few years ago I flew into a big city (which shall remain nameless), checked into my hotel and spent the evening looking at and making notes on numerous CRBs. The next morning I was collected and driven to the school (which also shall remain nameless).
I met the DP Coordinator and Art teacher, and was taken to a very large gym. A large curtain divided the gym into two sections, and in the section I was shown there were all the exhibition spaces of the candidates I would be interviewing. It was well-lit and quiet and looked good, so after  brief look round the art of display I asked for the first candidate.

The candidate appeared and we shook hands and I was just starting the interview when a whistle blew, there were the sounds of gym shoes running and a few loud shouts (‘to me!’, ‘over here!’) started to echo across the gym.
A basket ball match had just started in the other half of the hall.

I apologized to the student and said that I wanted a quick word with the coordinator, who was standing just outside the hall.
Apparently it was a vitally important intramural qualifying match, and it could not be re-scheduled.

So I wished the coordinator good  luck with finding another visiting examiner, went back into the exhibition section of the gym and began putting the CRBs and other documents back into my bag.
He appeared puzzled about my imminent departure, so I reminded him that it was an examination, and required the conditions of an examination.
Basically, either they go – or at least move or postpone their match – or I go.

I suspect that he had bowed to pressure from the PE/Sports tournament coordinator without really thinking it through, and he was now just beginning to realize how unfair it would be on the candidate for us to try to hold a conversation/examination interview,
Given the fact that there was a full interview schedule, postponing the first interviews was not really an option.

So the match was stopped. I don’t know whether it was moved to another venue or postponed:  my main concern was that the candidates had a chance to have their interview in a quiet space.

Which, eventually, they did.

1 Comment
  • Paul Clark
    March 15, 2010

    I couldn’t agree more. As IB Co-ordinator I took tiime with the Art department to find a space that displayed the student work to its full advantage, and a quiet area for discussion to take place. This has to be a whole school arrangement put into effect well before the planned visit.

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