Robotics in Computer Science

IB Computer Science
“Experiences in the classroom”
Shawn Blakey – Sir Winston Churchill
High School
Computer Science Pathways at Churchill:
What is IB?
 As of May 2012:
 2368 schools worldwide
Why do IB at all?
“preparing students for success in higher education and life in a
global society.”
The IB Diploma Programme (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced
programme of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16
to 19, for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address
the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students.
Students on full diploma choose 1 subject from each group (5) and may choose
either an arts subject from group 6 or a second from group 1-5.
IB Computer Science 2014
The Big Change:
 Regarded as an experimental science (group 4 – with biology, chemistry, design tech,
physics and environmental sciences)
 Used to be in group 4 so students had to take it in addition to Math
The course aims:
 Incorporate a diverse curriculum that is engaging, accessible, inspiring and rigorous.
 Is underpinned by computational thinking:
think procedurally, logically, concurrently, abstractly, recursively and think ahead
utilize an experimental and inquiry-based approach to problem-solving
develop algorithms and express them clearly
appreciate how theoretical and practical limitations affect the extent to which problems can be solved
Assessment Objectives:
Know and understand
Apply and use
Construct, analyse, evaluate and formulate
How is the IB ComSci Structured?
Core syllabus
• Topic 1: System fundamentals
• Topic 2: Computer organization
• Topic 3: Networks
• Topic 4: Computational thinking, problem-solving and programming
HL extension
• Topic 5: Abstract data structures
• Topic 6: Resource management
• Topic 7: Control
Case study
Additional subject content introduced by the annually issued case study
Option A: Databases
Option B: Modelling and simulation
Option C: Web science
Option D: Object-oriented programming (OOP)
Internal assessment:
Solution (what the dossier used to be)
Practical application of skills through the development of a product and
associated documentation
Group 4 project
How is the IB ComSci Assessed?
External assessment (4 hours 30 minutes) 80%
Paper 1 (2 hours 10 minutes)
 Section A (30 minutes approximately) consists of several
compulsory short answer questions. The maximum mark for
this section is 25.
 Section B (100 minutes approximately) consists of five
compulsory structured questions. The maximum mark for
this section is 75.
(Total 100 marks 40%)
How is the IB ComSci Assessed?
Paper 2 (1 hour 20 mins)
 Paper 2 is an examination paper linked to the option
studied. The paper consists of between three and seven
compulsory questions.
(65 marks, 20%)
How is the IB ComSci Assessed?
Paper 3 (1 hour)
 Paper 3 is an examination paper of 1 hour consisting of
four compulsory questions based on a pre-seen case
 This years topic is “Network Security”
(30 marks 20%)
How is the IB ComSci Assessed?
Internal assessment (20%)
This component is internally assessed by the teacher and
externally moderated by the IB at the end of the course.
 “Solution” to a client’s problem
 The development of a computational solution. Students must
 a cover page that follows the prescribed format
 a product
 supporting documentation (word limit 2,000 words).
(34 marks)
 Group 4 project
(6 marks total 40 marks)
Grades and international reach:
What has changed?
Joins the Experimental Sciences (Group 4)
 Changes from Group 5 to Group 4 as an non- elective subject
 can be taken instead of a science
• Students have to participate in the Group 4 project
• Schools/students have choices in focus areas
We have options
Students (or more likely schools) must select one of following four options to
study, in addition to the common program
• Object Oriented Programming (Java)
• Web Science
• Simulation and Modelling
• Databases
• Common Assessment Criteria for both SL and HL
• No more mastery aspects
• Project can focus on one of the four options (offers great flexibility)
• Project to be submitted digitally
• Teachers can only mark one draft before the final copy
• Assessment criteria
Solution Overview (includes a record of tasks)
Functionality and extensibility of project (video of program being run)
• Presented in the form of a web page with links (a template is provided)
Programming Language
• All students have to study a programming language
• But it doesn’t have to be Java
• Algorithmic questions will be written in pseudocode
• Option – Object Oriented Programming (Java)
Case Study
• It’s radically different
• Only for HL students
• Of a specific topic well beyond the depth presently
• There will be a new Case Study every year
(a way of keeping topics and theory current?)
New Assessment Model
• SLP1 and HLP1 similar to present papers 1 and 2 (except no Case Study
• SLP2 and HLP2 based on the option chosen
• HLP3 Case Study
A - Databases
• SL/HL Core
• Basic concepts
• Relational databases
• Database management
• HL Extension
• Different database models
• Database analysis
B – Computer Modelling and Simulation
SL/HL Core
Basic model
HL Extension
Genetic algorithms
Neural networks
Natural language
C – Web Science
• SL/HL Core
• Web fundamentals
• Searching the web
– search engines / web crawlers / use of meta-data
• Distributed approach to the web
– Peer-to-peer / grid computing
• The evolving web
– On-line interaction (social networking) / cloud computing
• HL Extension
• Directed graph theory
• The intelligent web ontology / folksonomy
D – Object Oriented Programming
SL/HL Core
Features of OOP
Program development
• HL Extension
• Advanced programming development
– Recursion / reference mechanisms / ADTs / use of libraries
Link to CSE Alberta Ed?
 Mapping of course criteria is still fairly straight forward, the modules of:
 Object Oriented Programming
 Computer Science 2-4
 Dynamic Data Structures
 Iterative Algorithms
 Recursion
 Standards
 There are a set of past papers and mark schemes that are directly transferable.
 Assessment becomes easier
 The project is a work in progress to mapping that to the CSE modules
 Stepping out of the CSE courses currently offered, IB ComSci meets Alberta
Education’s “Inspiring Education” Initiatives (engaged thinker, ethical citizen,
entrepreneurial spirit)
How is it offered at Churchill?
 Students can take CS IB as a single IB course
 At this stage we haven’t been impacted by students taking advanced ComSci term classes
INSTEAD of IB (instead have seen an increase in these course numbers)
 Numbers stabilized at 10-15
 First semester effectively matches CS301/302
 Students get 3 credits per term. Except in term 4.
 Key periods are the Internal Assessment in April and the
examinations in May.
 Students spend the period after the exams taking additional
project modules of their choosing
Computer Science Pathways at Churchill:
How are the courses structured:
 Theory topics
 Skill building tasks
 Mastery/mini-project work
 Projects and Internal Assessment
 Timed programming tests
 IB Exam style question papers (Test programming and theory topics)
 Mastery/Project rubrics
Split Classes:
 Try to schedule advanced CS courses with IB (overlap of content and projects)
 Reality: I teach 201, 202, 301/302 and IB in one class.
 D2L!!!
All classes can follow their course content and links to activities and submissions, self-paced (to a
all groups have starter activities that either introduce topics, check understanding or check progress on
skill building tasks.
 Resources used: powerpoints, web resources, Blue Pelican, collaborative activities
and flipping in terms of using web resources.
 For all groups, we deconstruct by identifying
key principles/outcomes of tasks (what did we need to have in the program for a “successful” program.
Students circulate, look at each other’s programs and give feedback.
Review and look at a program guide I provide – we discuss strengths and weaknesses of all the
approaches seen
 I don’t group students other than in terms of the course that they are taking, I ask
them to be where they are comfortable.
Benefits – course students feed off of experiences
How important is IB for us? (at SWC)
 Aspirational
 Students who are not part of IB can be part of the process
 Be part of an international focus
 Benchmarking of assessment and standards
 Allows students to follow their passions and focus
 Provides exemplars that other students not part of the course can measure
themselves and their work against.
 project work is open ended and can be a platform to create a portfolio piece (as in IB)
 Students on the IB have been incredibly helpful to the other students in the split
 Alumni and their testimonial to students (both IB and non-IB)
 We talk about what differentiates success – do not fear trying and keep thinking of opportunities
to create solutions.

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