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International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme

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13800 Pierrefonds Boulevard, Pierrefonds H9A 1A7

C. Galley

Assessment - Design

Table 1

Here are the key concepts to be explored across the MYP. The key concepts contributed by the study of design are communication, communities, development and systems.

Aesthetics Change Communication Communities
Connections Creativity Culture Development
Form Global Interactions Identity Logic
Perspective Relationships Systems Time, place and space

These key concepts provide a framework for design, informing units of work and helping to organize teaching and learning.


Communication is the exchange or transfer of signals, facts, ideas and symbols. It requires a sender, a message and an intended receiver. Communication involves the activity of conveying information or meaning. While exploring the concept of communication, students develop an awareness and understanding of how, why and when we need to ensure that clear messages are given and received throughout the design process. It ensures that ideas can be communicated clearly and each person involved in the development of an idea from conception to use has a common and consistent understanding of the solution and its function. Communication drives invention to become innovation.


Communities are groups that exist in proximity defined by space, time or relationship. Communities include, for example, groups of people sharing particular characteristics, beliefs or values as well as groups of interdependent organisms living together in a specific habitat. Through MYP design, students will develop an understanding that a solution to a problem for one community will create problems for another, some on a small or even personal scale, while others may be far-reaching, affecting communities thousands of miles away or the global community. When establishing the need and developing the design brief, the student always considers the community, whether this is a community that affects the design (target audience) or one that is affected by it. When developing ideas, engagement with the target audience and client drives the development to ensure it is fit-for-purpose, and the student must engage with the communities that effect and are affected by the solution when evaluating its effectiveness in solving the problem.


Development is the act or process of growth, progress or evolution, sometimes through iterative improvements. All ideas need refinement, through development, to become successful, appropriate and feasible. The development of solutions allows problems to be solved with greater success. Even though the name suggests that the main focus of development would be found in developing ideas, students have to develop research plans as and when they realize that there is further information they need in order to solve the problem. Students constantly adapt and change their plans when creating the solution, dependent on the thoroughness of their planning and, when evaluating, students develop testing methods to assess the success of the solution.


Systems are sets of interacting or interdependent components. Systems provide structure and order in human, natural and built environments. Systems can be static or dynamic, simple or complex. While exploring the concept of systems, students develop an awareness and understanding that everything is connected to a single system or multiple systems. Products and solutions are systems of components combined to carry out a specific function. Systems also structure processes: the design cycle is an example of a system. The student designs and develops systems for testing products when inquiring and analysing, and when developing testing methods for evaluating. Throughout developing ideas and creating the solution, students will develop a system or systems to solve that problem in the form of a product or solution. This is an inherent part of each objective.

Assessment Information

Assessment for design in all years of the programme is criterion-related, based on four equally weighted assessment criteria

Criterion A Inquiring and analysing Maximum 8
Criterion B Developing ideas Maximum 8
Criterion C Creating the solution Maximum 8
Criterion D Evaluating Maximum 8

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