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IB MYP- Design

Design, and the resultant development of new technologies, has given rise to profound changes in society, transforming how we access and process information, adapt our environment, communicate with others, solve problems, work and live.

As part of the Middle Years Programme (MYP), design challenges all students to-

  • apply practical and creative thinking skills to solve design problems
  • explore the role of design in both historical and contemporary contexts
  • consider their responsibilities when making design decisions and taking action.

MYP design focuses a holistic design process rather than final products and solutions. Inquiry and problem-solving are at the heart of design. MYP design requires the use of the design cycle as a tool, which provides: the methodology to structure the inquiry and analyse problems; the development of feasible solutions; the creation of solutions; and the testing and evaluation of the solution.

Design courses can be offered as-

  • a distinct digital and/or product design course
  • a series of distinct digital and/or product design courses
  • a single course which combines digital and product design.

In MYP design, a solution can be a model, prototype, product or system independently created and developed by students. MYP design enables students to develop not only practical skills but also strategies for creative and critical thinking.

MYP uses the design cycle as a way to structure:

  • inquiry and analysis of design problems
  • development and creation of feasible solutions
  • testing and evaluation of students’ models, prototypes, products or systems.


Aims of the Course

According to the official study brief, the aims of MYP design are to encourage and enable students to-
• Enjoy the design process, and develop an appreciation of its elegance and power
• Develop knowledge, understanding and skills from different disciplines to design and create solutions to problems using the design cycle
• Use and apply technology effectively as a means to access, process and communicate information, model and create solutions, and to solve problems
• Develop an appreciation of the impact of design innovations for life, global society and environments
• Appreciate past, present and emerging design within cultural, political, social, historical and environmental contexts
• Develop respect for others’ viewpoints and appreciate alternative solutions to problems
• Act with integrity and honesty, and take responsibility for their own actions developing effective working practices.

Curriculum Overview

The MYP promotes inquiry in design by developing conceptual understanding within global contexts. Key concepts such as communication, communities, development and systems broadly frame the MYP curriculum. Related concepts promote deeper learning grounded in specific disciplines. Examples of related concepts in MYP design include adaptation, ergonomics, sustainability and innovation.

Students explore key and related concepts through MYP global contexts.
• Identities and relationships
• Orientation in space and time
• Personal and cultural expression
• Scientific and technical innovation
• Globalization and sustainability
• Fairness and development

The MYP curriculum framework offers schools flexibility to determine engaging, relevant, challenging and significant content that meets local and national curriculum requirements. This inquiry-based curriculum explores factual, conceptual and debatable questions in the study of design.

The MYP requires at least 50 hours of teaching time for each subject area in each year of the programme. For students participating in MYP eAssessment, the IB recommends 70 hours of guided learning each year in MYP years 4 and 5.

Assessment Criteria

Each design objective corresponds to one of four equally weighted assessment criteria. Each criterion has eight possible achievement levels (1–8), divided into four bands with unique descriptors that teachers use to make judgments about students’ work.

1. Criterion A: Inquiring and analysing
Students are presented with a design situation, from which they identify a problem that needs to be solved. They analyse the need for a solution and conduct an inquiry into the nature of the problem.

2. Criterion B: Developing ideas
Students write a detailed specification, which drives the development of a solution. They present the solution.

3. Criterion C: Creating the solution
Students plan the creation of the chosen solution, then follow the plan to create a prototype sufficient for testing and evaluation.

4. Criterion D: Evaluating
Students design tests to evaluate the solution, carry out those tests and objectively evaluate its success. Students identify areas where the solution could be improved and explain how their solution will impact on the client or target audience.



Students seeking IB-validated design course results must demonstrate their achievement of the subject group’s objectives by submitting an ePortfolio.

Students are presented with a design situation from which they identify a challenge or problem; research, develop and create a product or solution; and evaluate its success. The submitted ePortfolio is comprised of a design project presented as a complete design folder that contains a design brief and specification.

MYP design courses are formally assessed as product design, digital design or combined digital and product design.

MYP ePortfolios are marked by students’ classroom teachers against published criteria for MYP year 5. In each exam session, the IB moderates a sample of ePortfolios from each school, adjusting grades as necessary to ensure the application of rigorous and reliable international standards.

MYP design ePortfolio tasks are aligned with understanding and skills that prepare students for high levels of achievement in the IB Diploma Programme’s design technology course. The IB MYP certificate requires a satisfactory level of achievement in at least one course from physical and health education, arts or design.

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IB MYP- Design
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