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Live: Chronological summary of COVID-19 updates

This page is a supplement to the official COVID-19 updates located on ibo.org. Due to the rapidly changing circumstances and its impact on students and educators around the world, the IB communications team will be summarizing and reporting on relevant updates and changes.  While updates here will be regular, this page is intended for reference only. Critical updates will first appear on social media and the official page.

UPDATE: 11:30am ET Thursday 2 April

Three major updates are now reflected on the official page, including clarification related to eCoursework and information for Universities related to grades and transcripts. These followed an email sent directly to heads of school and coordinators.

  1. Clarification on how the IB diploma will be awarded, added to the results section:

How will a student be awarded an IB Diploma or Certificate?

We will award each student a grade for each of their registered subjects using a calculation that takes into account their coursework marks and their predicted grade, as submitted to the IB by their school. For most components we will externally mark work that is usually marked by teachers, instead of taking samples and applying moderation.

Will students be awarded a Diploma, numerical grade for each subject, the core and overall?
We will be awarding Diplomas and Certificates for the May 2020 session. At a subject level, students will be awarded a grade on the normal IB 1-7 scale. Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the Extended Essay and the Career-Related Programme Reflective Project will be awarded a grade on the normal IB A-E scale. The DP core will be awarded on the normal IB 0-3 scale. A total points score will be awarded for the Diploma, out of 45 as normal.

  1. Details were added about the eCoursework system and Internal Assessments (IA) within the Coursework and deadline extensions section:

When will the eCoursework system be ready for students and schools to upload the additional file?

Wednesday 1 April 2020/ Thursday 2 April 2020 GMT.

Can candidates upload Internal Assessment work that will now be externally assessed by the IB?

By default *, candidates will be given the option to upload their Internal Assessment work (that will now be externally assessed) to the school for submission to the IB. Once uploaded by the candidate, the submission will appear in the ‘Candidate submitted, pending school upload’ status, which is visible on the eCoursework dashboard. At this stage, the school must upload the ‘Criteria marks and teacher marking comments’ document, complete the authentication process and submit to the IB for assessment. For further information regarding uploading work to the eCoursework system, please refer to the eCoursework user guide and eCoursework user guide for candidates available on the programme resource centre.

* There is functionality within the system for a school to restrict access to candidates and upload the work themselves (this is explained in the eCoursework user guide).

Do I need to upload a clean copy of works without teacher marking comments and criteria marks and then upload a separate document containing these?

If uploaded works contain teacher marking comments and criteria marks this is fine there is no need to upload a clean copy. The system will require the upload of a separate document but if this detail (teacher marking comments and criteria marks) is included in the original works then you will just need to upload a file stating that these are included in the original work.

  1. A new series of questions about grades and transcripts for universities was included under the recognition and universities section:

Information for universities

Will students be awarded a Diploma, numerical grade for each subject, the core and overall?

We will be awarding Diplomas and Certificates for the May 2020 session. At a subject level, students will be awarded a grade on the normal IB 1-7 scale. Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the Extended Essay and the Career-Related Programme Reflective Project will be awarded a grade on the normal IB A-E scale. The DP core will be awarded on the normal IB 0-3 scale. A total points score will be awarded for the Diploma, out of 45 as normal.

On what basis will students be awarded their Diploma or Certificates?

We will award each student a grade for each of their registered subjects using a calculation that takes into account their coursework marks and their predicted grade, as submitted to the IB by their school. For most components we will externally mark work that is usually marked by teachers, instead of taking samples and applying moderation.

How will you ensure that the student’s work is of appropriate quality to receive the grade?

Coursework, for subjects where students would have been required to sit an exam, will now be externally marked by examiners. We will use our robust quality assurance methods to ensure coursework marks are reliable.

Will the proportion of students receiving each grade and overall score be similar to previous years?

We will aim to maintain the standard from previous years so that there is comparability with previous and future years.

Will the transcript that universities and colleges receive look the same as previous years?

Yes. We will send transcripts to universities in the same way as previous years.

When will the results be released to universities?

We intend to release results on 5 July 2020, as previously advertised. If this changes, we will inform universities and colleges.

Will students be able to appeal their results?

Schools will be able to access the Enquiry Upon Results and Appeals services.

Please see the official announcement to check for changes or additional information.

UPDATE: 5:00pm ET Tuesday 31 March

The May 2020 Middle Years Programme (MYP) on-screen examinations are cancelled. A message was sent earlier today by email to IB World School heads and coordinators indicating the IB will be taking the following actions:

  • May 2020 MYP on-screen examinations are cancelled.
  • e-Portfolio and Personal Projects grades will be issued.
  • MYP certificate will be awarded, reflecting achievements from a combination of Personal Project, ePortfolio subjects, and predicted grades for other subjects.

Please see the official page to check for changes or additional information.

UPDATE: 12:00pm ET Tuesday 31 March

A second new document is available with requirements for DPCP ARTS (Group 6). It includes expanded detail for these key areas:

Confirmed submission deadlines for DPCP arts subjects

  • Internally assessed components – 20 April 2020
  • Externally assessed components – 30 April 2020

Guidance for the completion of coursework per subject and component

  • Theatre and theatre (pilot)
  • Film
  • Music
  • Visual arts
  • Dance
  • Literature and performance

This is the third related update in a series. Please review the previous entries and the official updates page for recent changes.

UPDATE: 8:00am ET Tuesday 31 March

Additional Q&A has been added to Coursework and deadline extensions section of the updates page:

Can schools bulk upload from Turnitin?

No. The eCoursework system will be used and normal processes followed.

Do group 6 need to upload all external and by when?

Group 6 assessment will continue as normal, apart from the Music exam being cancelled. Group 6 components which are usually internally assessed (IA) will only require a sample of candidates. The original deadlines apply. For internally assessed (IA) work the deadline is 20 April. For externally assessed coursework the deadline is 30 April.

Do we need to enter, verify marks and enter criteria marks and comments for IA?

For components which are not being externally marked you will still need to enter, verify marks and enter criteria marks and comments in IBIS. This applies to the IA for the core, Language A, the Arts subjects and Global Politics HL Extension Oral.

Do we need to upload all IAs for TOK?

No. Only a sample will be required for the TOK Presentation.

Are we required to upload all language orals, or still following the moderation process?

The Language A (group 1) subjects will only require samples of the IA orals and will follow the moderation process. The Language B and Language ab initio subjects (group 2) will require all candidates’ orals to be uploaded for external marking.

This update is an expansion of the previous entry, highlighting a new document that shows internal assessment (IA) upload requirements for each subject. Please review the official updates page for changes.

UPDATE: 8:00pm ET Monday 30 March

A new document is available: changes to internal assessment for May 2020 DP/CP candidates. The link is located under the Coursework and deadline extensions section of the updates page.

The official updates page has also been amended to answer the following related question:

Is the group 6 deadline the 20 April or 30 April?

The original deadlines apply. For internally assessed (IA) work the deadline is 20 April. For externally assessed coursework the deadline is 30 April.

The new document includes requirements for internal assessment (IA) for each subject group, organized by the following topics:

  • Overview of changes to internal assessment components for DP/CP
  • Teacher marking
  • Internal assessment mark entry and sample selection in IBIS
  • Criteria marks and teacher comments entry in IBIS
  • eCoursework upload
  • Example criteria marks and teacher marking comments document

“The IB will award each candidate a grade for each of their registered subjects using a calculation that takes
into account their coursework mark and their predicted grade, as submitted to the IB by their school.
For subjects with one coursework component where candidates would have been required to sit an
examination, the IB will externally mark work that is usually marked by teachers, instead of requiring only
samples to be uploaded and applying moderation.”

“For the components concerned, schools are required to upload the coursework of all candidates registered
for the subject along with a document including the criteria marks awarded by the teacher and teacher
marking comments.”

UPDATE: 8:30am ET Monday 30 March

Additional detail has been added to the Coursework and deadline extensions section of the official IB updates. It lists exceptions to required Internal Assessments (IA) uploads. These exceptions include:

  • DP and CP core subjects
  • Language A subjects
  • Arts subjects
  • Global Politics HL Extension Oral

Noting that for the DP and CP core subjects, Language A subjects, Arts subjects and the Global Politics HL Extension Oral, samples of IA will need to be submitted for moderation as usual.

Please read the original update carefully and check for modifications since this post:

In order to award a Diploma or certificate, we will be requiring all schools to upload all internal assessments (IAs) for every candidate enrolled in the May 2020 session except for the DP and CP core subjects, Language A subjects, Arts subjects and the Global Politics HL Extension Oral. For the DP and CP core subjects, Language A subjects, Arts subjects and the Global Politics HL Extension Oral, samples of IA will need to be submitted for moderation as usual.

UPDATE: 8:00am ET Friday 27 March

The official COVID-19 updates page has expanded to include new information across every section. In each, you will find an exhaustive FAQ. Because the document has been completely updated, please be sure to review any sections that are relevant to you and your school.

Navigate to a specific topical area by using the links below:

*A printable PDF is also available in English, French, and Spanish.

Update: 5:00am ET Friday 27 March

IB World School Heads and Coordinators received additional instructions by email with guidance on submitting materials. If you did not receive this message please contact support@ibo.org.

Blog: 4:00pm ET Tuesday 24 March

In an article published this morning, IB Director General, Siva Kumari responds to Q&A about the decision not to hold may 2020 exams. It is also available in French and Spanish.

“The community is reacting with the ethos of the IB―speaking up about the values of fairness and equity, showing compassion and caring and looking critically at the facts in play”

Update: 8:00am ET Monday 23 March

A detailed FAQ with initial responses to questions about the cancellation of May 2020 exams has been added to the examinations section of the official update on the IB website.

Update: 7:00am ET Monday 23 March

May 2020 examinations will no longer be held. The official announcement was published this morning, and reads as follows:

Our students, their well-being and their progression in future stages of life have been at the forefront of our thinking as we respond to this extraordinary pandemic.

As an organization, it is critical for us to ensure that the options we provide our global community of IB World schools are based on compassion for our students and teachers and, fairness for the difficult circumstances our students and educators are experiencing. We are grateful for your patience and consideration. As a result, the IB with considerable advisement from stakeholders across the globe including schools, students, universities and official bodies has determined the most responsible and ethical way forward.

The IB will be taking the following actions for the 2020 May Examination session:

  • The May 2020 examinations as scheduled between 30 April and 22 May for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates will no longer be held.
  • Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes.

Full details and FAQs will be sent to schools by 27 March 2020 (CET). You can read initial FAQs on our COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update page.

We know that schools and May 2020 students will have many questions and we will continue to be available to answer questions. Our goal continues to be to find ways to support our global community during these uncertain times and provide the best possible outcomes for our students.

Information about the Middle Years Programme eAssessment examinations due to be held 11-22 May will be provided next week.

Update: 7:00am ET Sunday 22 March

IB World Schools, examiners and other stakeholders were notified of changes to the May 2020 examination session by email.

Update: 2:00pm ET Friday 20 March

Guidance for authorization and guidance for completing MYP ePortfolio have both been updated to in the official COVID-19 update page. Please review these section directly on the page to obtain the most up to date information.

Update: 7:00am ET Thursday 19 March

The IB has released a statement related to examinations. The official announcement can be found here, and reads as follows:

“The IB, like other examination bodies, is treating the challenges that this pandemic is presenting for our worldwide school community very seriously. We have deep empathy for the impact this is having on over 200,000 IB students across the globe and are currently reviewing all available options. We are gathering feedback from schools, students, universities and official bodies to determine the most judicious way forward. It is critical for us to ensure that the options we provide our world of schools are done with compassion for our students and teachers and fairness for the difficult circumstances our students and educators are experiencing. Ultimately, we want to ensure that our students have every chance of success as they pursue university entry or future career plans. Our students are at the forefront of our thinking as we navigate this extraordinary global pandemic.

“We are working through these options with the utmost urgency and will be providing a decision on the May 2020 examination session and the options available for schools and students no later than 27 March 2020.”

News/Media: 2:00pm ET Wednesday 18 March

UK government announces that all UK schools will close on Friday, 20 March 19. If you are at an affected IB World School, please follow the guidance for school closures located here.

Blog: 10:00am ET Wednesday 18 March

IB schools located in Shanghai, China are entering their 3rd month of closure and have shared a story about their experience using online learning. Read it here.

Notice: This page is intended for reference only. Critical updates will first appear on social media and the official page.

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