Skinny dipping is fine. Double dipping is NOT.

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”


  • maria ambre
    August 4, 2015

    Andrew…please clarify the double dipping. IF a student prepares for a terrific studio piece, and her process portfolio ROCKS- she is not allowed to use that piece in her exhibition??? How much work does IB think we can produce in this course if we cannot use the great process pages and pieces in the final exhibition??? I teach at a large public school…I am expecting 48 Seniors this year-this is going to be quite challenging…

    What would you suggest???

    • Andrew Vaughan
      August 4, 2015

      Hi Maria,
      Your student is definitely allowed to use the piece in her exhibition and she can of course use the preparation in her process portfolio. She just can’t show the “terrific studio piece” in the process portfolio as well as the exhibition.

      You ask “How much work does IB think we can produce in this course if we cannot use the great process pages and pieces in the final exhibition???”

      I’m a little puzzled by the question.
      There is no point in putting process pages in the exhibition because the exhibition is for resolved artwork, not process. Process pages should go in the Process Portfolio and the final pieces should go in the exhibition.

      I hope this helps.



  • Shannon
    August 23, 2015

    Hi Andrew! Hope you are well in the new school year!

    Question: if a student reflects on the final, finished artwork and shows a photo of the finished piece (that was selected for display in the exhibition) as part of a Process Portfolio slide (and perhaps uses that photo to annotate and point out concerns or highlights), would that also be considered a case of double-dipping? Furthermore, should students make mention of works selected for the exhibition vs the ones not selected to keep the process portfolio more transparent? Thank you for clarifying!

    All the best,

    • Andrew Vaughan
      August 24, 2015

      Hi Shannon,
      Yes, all OK so far!

      My understanding is that a photo of work selected for the exhibition cannot also be included in the process portfolio, whether it has annotations or not.

      However, I think its fine for the student to indicate that the reason there is no image of the final work in the process portfolio is because it has been selected for the exhibition.

      (By all means ask your DP Coordinator to clarify this with the IB.

      Thanks and best wishes,


  • Barbara
    January 4, 2017

    I am very hopeful IBO will revisit the silly notion of ‘double-dipping’. From my understanding, the student is allowed to include excerpted ‘close-ups’ of the final work as well as the work before it is 100% complete… What really constitutes 100% complete. Consider that a student has worked on a painting and photographs it before they add 2 or 3 more brush strokes and then declares it complete. Technically that photo is admissible because the work was incomplete… I mean, really! I hope this is addressed very soon.

    • Andrew Vaughan
      January 5, 2017

      Hi Barbara,
      Double dipping refers to students getting marks for one piece of work twice, so is really an important academic honesty issue.

      However, in the Process Portfolio vs Exhibition context I agree it is complex and the “2 or 3 more brush strokes” question is valid.
      But my understanding is that the IB are working towards a clarification of this issue, whereby a ‘final artwork’ as displayed in the exhibition can be included in the process portfolio, provided there is an accompanying statement alongside the reproduction of the work, making it clear that the image is the final resolved work as included in the exhibition.

      Thanks for your comment!

      • Barbara
        January 6, 2017

        Hi Andrew,
        Thank you for your reply. If it is an issue of academic honesty then IBO needs to clarify and close ‘loop holes’ that are very open to interpretation.
        In the previous marking system, students could include a photo of finished artwork that they used in their exhibit in their IWB submissions. Why was this not considered ‘double dipping’ at that time?
        I am hopeful that having gone throw 2 examination sessions that they will make a change before the session in April 2017.

      • Andrew Vaughan
        January 6, 2017

        Hi Barbara,
        I can’t answer for the IBO and issues relating to the previous course/marking system, but it is indeed an issue of academic honesty, and I am hoping that the clarification I referred to will be in place before the May examinations.

        Thanks again

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