Concepts and principles are specified for each topic. There are examples of International-mindedness, links to other IB subjects and Theory of Knowledge questions to enrich the syllabus and broaden students’ understanding of the impact of technology and design thinking.
Common core - all standard and higher-level student complete a common core:
- Human factors and ergonomics
- Resource management and sustainable production
- Raw material to final product
- Innovation and design
- Classic design
HL extension - Higher level students examine four further topics designed to extend and deepen their understanding of the subject. The four additional higher level topics aim to introduce aspects of innovation:
- User-centered design (UCD)
- Innovation and markets
- Commercial production
Internal assessment (design project) accounts for 40% of the final assessment.
All standard and higher-level students complete a design project as an internal assessment task. This design project allows them to demonstrate their investigative, analytical, design thinking, design development, prototyping, testing and evaluation skills and mirrors the design processes used across the various industries that integrate design practice.
- At SL, the design project requires students to identify a problem and develop a solution. It is assessed against four common criteria: Analysis of a design opportunity, Conceptual design, Development of a detailed design, Testing and evaluation
- At HL, the design project is extended to include aspects of innovation. The design project is assessed against two additional criteria: Commercial production, Marketing strategies
- Examined assessment accounts for 60% of the final assessment.
The standard level course is assessed through: a multiple choice paper (paper 1), a core paper, which consists of a short response and extended answer questions (paper 2) and the internal assessment design project.
At higher level, paper one has more questions, and students answer an additional paper (paper 3) consisting of three structured questions based on the HL extension material, one of which is based on a case study.