PROJECT OBSERVATIONS - Avoiding the Trouble Spots

  • The six examples in the TSM are excellent models to follow for the documentation. The TSM can be downloaded as a zip file so that the students can become familiar with the exemplars.

  • The students and the teacher should use the checklists provided in the TSM to help manage the project process.

  • Products that do not have the required complexity tend to lose marks on several criteria, especially B, D, and E.

  • The interview questions need to be carefully formulated so that they support criterion A and criterion F. Time spent on writing, testing and revising the questions is time well spent.

  • The client must be closely involved throughout all stages of the process (criteria A-F).

  • Criterion B is the feasibility study to check how the requirements for the product will be best met and the extent to which the necessary resources are available.

  • Criterion C actually is a planning page and also in some respects replaces the logbook. The first three columns are created in the planning stage and the remaining columns are filled-in as the tasks are completed. Revisions to the plan will be necessary during the process.

  • On careful examination, the testing processes referred to in criterion B, D and F must be closely aligned. This may not be obvious at the beginning.

  • Criterion D. Students must provide detailed plans for their products both in the overall structure and also in the design of components. For example, for a website, the hierarchical structure for the website would be provided along with sketches/diagrams about the various webpages and components on the webpages (i.e. design of logos and buttons, choice of fonts, etc.)

  • Criterion E: Students do not seem to realize that they must clearly indicate the complex aspects of their products and then actually describe how the specific tools (using the correct name and process) are used to make that part of the product. Students need to look at the examples in the TSM. This is where they need to show that they can use technical language and screenshots to explain how they made the special features and complex aspects in their product.

  • All diagrams, sketches, screenshots must be legible, labeled and referred to from the body of the text.

  • In all projects the content material originates from the client or the student must collect the information (i.e take photographs, make a movie, create a sound track). Wherever copyrighted material must be used, it must be cited in the resources of the report and be clearly indicated in the product in a matter appropriate for the kind of product. (see IB Academic Honesty document).

  • Students need to collect information about the content of their products, but also tutorials for developing skills and research guidelines for creating well-designed products (i.e. design guidelines for specific types of websites, for specific desktop publishing products, for specific types of databases, ... etc.). Students often collect ideas by researching a range of products of a similar nature.

  • The process for guiding the students would be much the same as in the past except by completing some criteria before moving on to the next stage. For example: Complete A, Complete B, Draft C and work on it throughout the process, complete D, collect screenshots on criterion E and keep notes as the product is being created and then complete E, and complete F. After every complete stage, the teacher would provide feedback to the student on their first draft.

  • When the teacher receives the final version to mark, the marks must be awarded on the contents of the student's CD-ROM/DVD, not from files on a server or hard disk or memory stick. The teacher and moderator need to assess exactly the same artifact. The student should test their CD-ROM/DVD on different computers to make certain that it functions properly.

  • Allow time for the project. Students work slower than expected and can run into unexpected hurtles.

Page Manager: Barbara Stefanics