Internal Assessment Project (IA)

The ITGS internal assessment (IA) practical project applies to both Higher Level and Standard Level students. Students must analyse a situation involving a real client and design and implement a solution using information technology. The solution must involve at least 3 'complex' skills - a list of possibilities is given in a document published by the IB. The product and the documentation must be submitted on a CD or DVD, along with a screencast to demonstrate that the product functions correctly. Below are some resources to help students complete this project.

  • ITGS project ideas
  • Example project - DTP
  • Example project -  web site
  • Example project - database
  • ITGS project screencast
  • Project checklists
  • Resources for web site projects
  • Resources for database projects
  • Resources for DTP projects
  • Project cover page generator

Creating a website: The Missing Manual book cover

Creating a Website: The Missing Manual

by Matthew MacDonald
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Kindle | Worldwide (free shipping)

This book introduces students to HTML and enough CSS to help them create good looking web sites. The book is not a series of tutorials, so it will still need to be used with a series of well planned lessons. As a reference book it is clearly laid out, making it very accessible for students. One thing I particularly like is that it often points out common mistakes and things to remember when designing sites (such as browser compatibility and different screen sizes.

A separate book, CSS: The Missing Manual, goes into more advanced CSS, but I recommend you buy Creating a website first because it will probably fulfil all of your students' needs.
Updated: 2014-11-07
HTML and CSS book cover

HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites

by John Duckett
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Worldwide (free shipping)

This book is an excellent HTML and CSS reference full of working examples. Rather than cover the entire HTML/CSS from start to finish, the book is divided into chapters based on different aspects of web pages: text, images, lists, video, and so on.

The page layout is very attractive and accessible. Images and code samples take up most of the page with short but clear explanations in the "margin". Often there are also "Results" images that show how the code looks when rendered in a web browser. This format works really well. The book's web site has code examples and a free sample chapter.
Updated: 2014-11-07
Web Designer's Idea Book book cover

The Web Designer's Idea Book, Volume 3

by Patrick McNeil
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Worldwide (free shipping)

The Web Designer's Idea Book, Volume 3: Inspiration from Today's Best Web Design Trends, Themes and Styles (to give it its full title) contains examples from over six hundred web sites to inspire web designers. These are conveniently divided by design style and purpose, making it easy to find suitable ideas.

The book is not a web design tutorial (in fact, it contains relatively little text), but is a very useful book for students who are creating a web site for their ITGS project. There are also two previous volumes containing even more ideas.
Updated: 2014-11-07
Access the Missing Manual book cover

Access 2010: The Missing Manual

by Matthew MacDonald
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Worldwide (free shipping)

This book is a very helpful guide for students completing ITGS projects using Microsoft Access. The book covers many topics that students typically enquire about, including making queries that alter data, report design, and creating menu systems using forms. As with Creating a Web Site (above), the content is creating organised and presented, with plenty of examples and screenshots to guide readers. The web site also features downloadable examples that go along with the explanations in each chapter.

There is also an edition for Access 2007.
Updated: 2014-11-07

ITGS Project Ideas

The most important factor when deciding upon an ITGS project is the client. The project must be centred on a real client with a genuine need that can be solved using information technology. Students should not decide that they wish to 'make a website' or 'film a video' and then attempt to find a client to fit this solution. The client must always come first.

Our blog has 20 ITGS project ideas based on successful projects by past students.


Updated: 2014-11-07
Example ITGS project - DTP

Exemplar ITGS Project 1 - REDHOR Magazine (Desktop Publishing)

By Michelle Wieser. This project is an example of a very high quality desktop publishing (DTP) production for REDHOR, a small watch-making cooperative. The student has made excellent use of advanced skills including the creation of vector graphics and their conversion to bitmaps, integrating them with the DTP software, the manipulation of bitmap images, the creation of a DTP template, and excellent layout. Criteria E in this project is particularly good and shows the level of effort the student put into the project. 

This project scored 28 / 30 in May 2012 - an IB grade 7.

(Note: For privacy and bandwidth reasons the video interviews the student performed with her client for Criteria A and Criteria F have been removed)

This project is Copyright © 2011-2012 Michelle Wieser. It is available here for download under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence. This means you can download and view it for free, but you may not use it for commercial purposes, you may not make alterations to the project, and the creator's name must remain on the files.


Updated: 2014-11-07
Example ITGS project - Website

Exemplar ITGS Project 2 - El Salvador Cricket (Website development)

By Jayger McGough Tomasino. This project is an example of a very high quality website development project. The student has made excellent use of advanced skills including editing HTML and CSS, manipulating graphics, and editing video and sound. This is a good example of a student working on a project in which he has a great deal of personal interest - with excellent results.

This project scored 29 / 30 in May 2012 - an IB grade 7.

(Note: For privacy and bandwidth reasons the video interviews the student performed with his client for Criteria A and Criteria F have been removed)

This project is Copyright © 2011-2012 Jayger McGough Tomasino. It is available here for download under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence. This means you can download and view it for free, but you may not use it for commercial purposes, you may not make alterations to the project, and the creator's name must remain on the files.


Updated: 2014-11-07
Example ITGS project - Database

Exemplar ITGS Project 3 - Iglesia Luz y Verdad (Database)

By Hector Manuel Melara. This project is a very high quality database for a local church. Complex skills include multiple related tables, graphics fields, and excellent use of forms. Criteria E in this project is particularly thorough and well documented.

This project scored 29 / 30 in May 2012 - an IB grade 7.

(Note: For privacy and bandwidth reasons the video interviews the student performed with his client for Criteria A and Criteria F have been removed)

This project is Copyright © 2011-2012 Hector Manuel Melara. It is available here for download under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence. This means you can download and view it for free, but you may not use it for commercial purposes, you may not make alterations to the project, and the creator's name must remain on the files.


Updated: 2014-11-07
Example ITGS project - Website

Exemplar ITGS Project 4 - Luis Peralta Photography Website

By Luisa Margarita Angel Murcia. This project is a high quality web site project for a local photographer. Complex skills involved include manipulation of graphics, CSS, and HTML.

This project scored 24 / 30 in May 2012 - an IB grade 7.

(Note: For privacy and bandwidth reasons the video interviews the student performed with her client for Criteria A and Criteria F have been removed)

This project is Copyright © 2011-2012 Luisa Margarita Angel Murcia. It is available here for download under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence. This means you can download and view it for free, but you may not use it for commercial purposes, you may not make alterations to the project, and the creator's name must remain on the files.


Updated: 2014-11-07
Example ITGS project - Database

Exemplar ITGS Project 5 - Salazar Romero Workers Database

By Raul Salazar. This project is a very high quality database project for a local company. The student has made excellent use of complex skills including forms, reports, and related tables. The final database also has excellent navigation features.

This project scored 26 / 30 in May 2012 - an IB grade 7.

(Note: For privacy and bandwidth reasons the video interviews the student performed with his client for Criteria A and Criteria F have been removed)

This project is Copyright © 2011-2012 Raul Salazar. It is available here for download under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence. This means you can download and view it for free, but you may not use it for commercial purposes, you may not make alterations to the project, and the creator's name must remain on the files.


Updated: 2014-11-07
ITGS project screencast

Project Screencast

The aim of the ITGS project screencast is to enable students to highlight the complex skills they have used during the project, to show how they have met their clients requirements, and to demonstrate any features of their products which may not be obvious from criteria E (for example, interactive features such as rollovers or drop-down menus on web pages).

The screencast is also used by the examiner in the event that the student's work cannot be opened (for example, if the student creates a database but the examiner does not have Microsoft Access on their computer).

Recommended screencasting software:

I have posted more advice for creating the screencast (including a link to an example) on the ITGS News blog.

You can find screencast examples for website, database, programming, and video projects in this blog post.


Updated: 2016-02-27

Project Checklists

  • ITGS Project final checklist is a checklist for students before final project submission. Please note this is a check list of common mistakes and omissions I experience with my students. It saved me time and frustration when collecting projects from them. It is not an official IB document. Teachers should ensure they have fully read the official IB project requirements in the ITGS guide, the Project FAQs, and the Teacher Support Material.
  • Students designing web pages for their project may want to look at the resources for exercise 9-22.

Updated: 2014-11-07
Resources for Web design projects

Resources for Web design projects

Web Design software

  • Dreamweaver is considered the industry standard web design tool. Unfortunately even the Student and Teacher edition is very expensive. It is also for Windows and Macs.
  • Visual Web Developer Express 2012 is a free tool from Microsoft with many powerful features, and is a good alternative for Windows machines.
  • Mozilla Thimble is a unique tool that lets you create and edit HTML and CSS live in the browser, with instant previews. It can also host the pages for you, or you can copy and paste the content into a text editor and upload to your own web hosting service. No account or sign-in is required.
  • CrunchZilla hosts Code Maven and Code Monster - two similar projects that let you program Javascript live in a web browser.

Web hosting and domain names

  • Arvixe offers good hosting at an affordable price, with the option to host up to 6 domains on one account. I have used it for several personal projects.
  • NameCheap offer hosting and domain name registration. Their prices start at $3.94 / month for their basic 1 year contract, which is easily sufficient for ITGS students. I use NameCheap for www.itgstextbook.com.
  • HostGator has similar prices ($3.95 / month) if you buy a 2 year plan. They offer web hosting and domain names and all plans have unlimited bandwidth. Plus, you can get a $9.94 discount if you use the code ITGSTEXTBOOK during signup. Do HostGator pay me a small commission for recommending them? They sure do. Would I still recommend them if they didn't? I sure would.

Books

  •  The wider reading page contains a number of books which are useful for the ITGS project.

Tutorials and guides

The following links can help students to create more effective, well designed web sites:
Updated: 2014-11-07
Resources for Database projects

Resources for Database projects

Online resources


Updated: 2014-11-07
ITGS Project cover page generator

Project cover page generator

Each project must be submitted with a HTML cover page that includes details of the student and the client and provides links to the documentation files and the product itself. A HTML template file is available for download from the IB, which can then be edited by hand in a text editor. Alteratively, the simple Cover page generator program I wrote will create the HTML cover page for you. (Java, multi-platform).
Updated: 2014-11-07
ITGS project introduction

Introduction to ITGS Internal Assessment Project

This is the presentation I use to introduce the ITGS IA project to students. It gives students an overview of the project requirements, gives them some examples of good and bad project ideas, and sets them up ready to find a client with an appropriate problem that can be solved with IT. Of course, these slides are just an introduction and it is also essential to provide students with a copy of the IB marking rubric and other formal requirements from the ITGS guide.

The presentation can be downloaded or viewed on SlideShare.


Updated: 2014-11-19
Criterion A - Consultation

ITGS Project Criterion A - Initial Consultation

This is the presentation I use to introduce the first part of criterion A to students. In the Initial Consultation students must perform and record a transcript of an interview with their client, discussing their current situation and the problems they face. Effective interview questions are essential to provide enough material for students to complete the other part of criterion A, the Initial Investigation. Although it is not required, it can also be very useful to have an audio or video recording of the interview for transcription purposes, future reference, and evidence of client authenticity.

The Criterion A presentation can be downloaded or viewed on SlideShare.


Updated: 2014-11-27
Criterion A - Investigation

ITGS Project Criterion A - Initial Investigation

This presentation introduces the second part of criterion A to students. In the Initial Investigation students must detail the client, their current situation and its inadequacies, and make clear reference to the interview transcript from the Initial Consultation. It is essential that students do this well because a well-defined client and problem is the basis for all future product development.

The Criterion A presentation can be downloaded or viewed on SlideShare.


Updated: 2014-12-06
Criterion B - Analysis

ITGS Project Criterion B - Analysis

An introduction to the Analysis stage of the ITGS project. This presentation explains to students how they must systematically break down their client's requirements, write clear and detailed Specific Performance Criteria, and fully justify their choice of solution.

The Criterion B presentation can be downloaded or viewed on SlideShare.


Updated: 2014-10-10
Criterion C - Schedule

ITGS Project Criterion C - Schedule

This is the presentation I use to introduce the schedule aspect of the project - Criterion C. The presentation emphasizes the need to make regular and detailed entries into the schedule document, and to cover all criteria from A to F, in order to achieve the maximum grade.

The Criterion C presentation can be downloaded or viewed on SlideShare.


Updated: 2014-10-10
Criterion D - Design

ITGS Project Criterion D - Design

This is the presentation I use to introduce students to Criterion D - the product Design. I try to emphasize that the design must be done before development, not afterwards, and that it should contain enough detail for an IT literate reader to understand how the product could be created. The presentation gives examples of the overall structure and the internal structure for different project types, and explains the additional parts of the design - the test plan and table of resources.

The Criterion D presentation can be downloaded or viewed on SlideShare.


Updated: 2014-10-10
Criterion E - Development

ITGS Project Criterion E - Product Development

This presentation guides students through Criterion E - Product Development of the ITGS project. It tries to help them ensure they correctly implement and clearly document their advanced skills (called appropriate skills as of May 2015) to earn the highest grades.

The Criterion E presentation can be downloaded or viewed on SlideShare.


Updated: 2015-01-16
ITGS Project criterion F

ITGS Project Criterion F - Product Evaluation

The final two presentations in these series guide students through Criterion F of the internal assessment project. The first presentation covers the final client interview, while the second addresses the student's evaluation in relation to their specific performance criteria. Suggestions for future development and improvement are also covered.


Updated: 2015-06-02
ITGS example project

Exemplar ITGS Project 6 - Alas Database

By Sam Linares This project is a very high quality database project created for a local auditing and accounting company. The project is designed to help the client organise and schedule her appointments.

This project was awarded an IB grade 7 in May 2013

Notes: For privacy and bandwidth reasons the video interviews the student performed with his client for Criteria A and Criteria F have been removed. For ease of access the password has been removed from the database. The client details in this version are fictional, for privacy reasons.

This project is Copyright © 2012-2013 Samuel Linares. It is available here for informational purposes but the author retains copyright and all associated rights.


Updated: 2015-06-02
Example ITGS project

Exemplar ITGS Project 7 - Centro Biblico Cristiano Website

By Jose Aquino. This ITGS project is a very professional looking website which the student developed for a local church group. The website demonstrates excellent use of CSS to create a pleasing and consistent look and feel, and a great navigation system. A wide range of pages and features (including embedded audio) ensure the project meets the client's needs.

This project was awarded an IB grade 7 in May 2013

This project is Copyright © 2012-2013 Jose Aquino. It is available here for informational purposes but the author retains copyright and all associated rights.


Updated: 2015-06-02