At the Nanjing International School, we use both the IBO curriculum and we are trying to adopt NoTosh’s ideas about Design Thinking.
I might argue that since we are trying to follow both the IB Design Curriculum AND Design Thinking we ask students to choose from at least one strand in each criterion. In my teaching career with MYP, I have noticed most times every item from the IBO’s level 7-8 criteria does not make sense for students to complete. They are not realistic and rather than student being informed by the process, they are bored out of their mind.
A case example:
If students would like to make a website, they might only choose:
Criterion A: Inquiring and analysing
i. explains and justifies the need for a solution to a problem for a client/ target audience
ii. constructs a detailed research plan, which identifies and prioritizes the primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem independently
iii. analyses a range of existing products that inspire a solution to the problem in detail
iv. develops a detailed design brief, which summarizes the analysis of relevant research.
Criterion B: Developing ideas
i. develops detailed design specifications, which explain the success criteria for the design of a solution based on the analysis of the research (in this case, a website layout)
ii. develops a range of feasible design ideas, using an appropriate medium(s) and detailed annotation, which can be correctly interpreted by others
iii. presents the chosen design and justifies fully and critically its selection with detailed reference to the design specification
iv. develops accurate and detailed planning drawings/diagrams and outlines requirements for the creation of the chosen solution.
Criterion C: Creating the solution
i. constructs a detailed and logical plan, which describes the efficient use of time and resources, sufficient for peers to be able to follow to create the solution
ii. demonstrates excellent technical skills when making the solution.
iii. follows the plan to create the solution, which functions as intended and is presented appropriately
iv. fully justifies changes made to the chosen design and plan when making the solution.
Criterion D: Evaluating
i. designs detailed and relevant testing methods, which generate data, to measure the success of the solution
ii. critically evaluates the success of the solution against the design specification based on authentic product testing
iii. explains how the solution could be improved
iv. explains the impact of the product on the client/target audience. (IBO, 2014)
Following this idea, teachers would still have something to mark for every criterion, but it would be more succinct and we could enable the FUN back into the learning. I would emphasize that we would want the students to choose and (verbally) justify why they have chosen those criteria. Along the lines of Design Thinking, we want the kids to: “be immersed, synthesize, ideate, prototype, and then display” (NoTosh, 2015).
I think it is important that we follow the rules, but as educators we need to realize when the rules should be broken if we are ensuring that our students are not enjoying the subject matter.