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IB Computer Science

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by BrianUK, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. BrianUK

    BrianUK New commenter

    We are thinking of introducing this from September 2011. Does anyone have any experience of the subject at IB? Looking for pointers/resource/advice etc.
  2. Here's my thoughts from my experience so far. Having taught both A Level Computing and Applied ICT elsewhere, I'd say it's far closer in content and emphasis to Computing than ICT. With the Java programming project/dossier forming such a significant part of the assessment (35%), the main difference to me was the amount of practical programming instruction you need to introduce so early in the course (compared to when you would introduce the standard algorithms in A Level Computing).

    Right now, I'm looking at my schemes of work to see what I can do about developing more programming-related approaches to solving problems where appropriate in both KS-3 and 4 ICT so that my students are better prepared for this part of the course.
  3. BrianUK

    BrianUK New commenter

    Thanks for that. We too have been considering revamping our KS3 SoW and from next year we will be introducing Scratch in Y7, Alice in Y8 and GreenFoot in Y9. We can't do OCR GCSE computing as we are overseas and the WJEC GCSE Computer Studies course isn't different enough from standard ICT GCSE. Powers that be aren't convinced by IGCSE Computer Studies at this time either (statistics perhaps?). I have read somewhere that IB Computer Science at HL is equivalent to a first year degree level Computer Science course in term of topics covered and the depth of study required. Is this true? Could you please tell me what the SL and HL units have in common and what is different as I can't find this anywhere? Sorry for tall the questions but I need to be armed to the teeth with the facts before apporaching SLT!
  4. I introduced Scratch last year in KS3, and the response was very positive. So I'm hoping to build on that.

    As for KS4, we've been following the Edexcel IGCSE ICT syllabus, and it slowly dawned on me that my next cohort were going to be less prepared for IB CS under the 2011 syllabus, given the change in emphasis in the course. My response has been to discuss doing some extra-curricular web development with the students who are likely to opt for CS. We'll see how that works out.

    IB CS is structured so that there are 3 core topics covered by both SL and HL.

    • Systems life cycle and software development
    • Program construction in Java
    • Computing system fundamentals
    The additional HL topics are:

    • Computer mathematics and logic
    • Abstract data structures and algorithms
    • Further system fundamentals
    • File organisation
    As for level of difficulty, I'd say that was balanced by less 'breadth' in the course when compared to other ICT qualifications.
  5. HL IB Computer Science is definitely First Year Degree Level.It is far and away the hardest IB course there is of any of them. Ive taught at Undergraduate and Pre University entry level and IB Computer Science deifnitely covers the majority of the whole of first year programming modules at University Level.
    I have to say that I cant think of any group of students Ive ever taught that would have suited the rigours of the IB CS course at age 16, Personally, I advise that students should study ITGS (which is changing in a big way this year) and base either a lab based practical extended essay or product coursework on programming if thats what they want to do at University,

  6. BrianUK

    BrianUK New commenter

    Thanks for that! Very useful. I will take a look at ITGS for sure. It's good to note that an extended essay can be lab based (I've never taught IB before), and that programming isn't necessarily foresaken if ITGS is the chosen route. Mmmmm.
  7. ITGS is certainly a better option if you're moving from teaching A Level Applied ICT or are likely to be recruiting staff with experience of teaching Applied ICT rather than computing.

    I would say that ITGS is aimed at students who want to become expert end-users of a range of applications software in context, CS is aimed at students who may want to pursue a career in developing new software applications.

    As well as the potential for greater 'mass appeal', there is the advantage that ITGS is in Group 3 (Individuals and Societies), CS is in Group 5 (along with Mathematics and Math Studies). So, the decision may be made for you by timetabling constraints and option choices alone.

    As for students with aptitude for the subject - here's something scary to think about. When teaching A Level Computing, I tested a Myers-Briggs CGI script with one class - all but one came out as being the same personality type - would you like to guess what type that was?
  8. Bumped for silent85's benefit - feel free to add to the discussion...
  9. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    Excellent course, and quite easy to get good kids through with a level 6/7. The issue is that the teacher needs to know the theory and practice of data structures, if you aren't on top of computer science you won't be able to teach it.
  10. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    I woldn't bother with ITGS, that I feel is the lack of knowledge in the teaching staff driving the curriculum
  11. Tosha

    Tosha New commenter

    Rubbish Maths is, we get average students through it with 6/7.
    The bottom line is if you teach this course you must have a degree in computer science and be able to translate that. It is not undergrad level.

  12. We're offering IB CS SL and HL from 2014/2015.

    I've seen a couple of books but could anyone who's taught the course recommend any books for both students and teachers?


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