Capturing the Curriculum, Criteria & “Zooming In”

Shortlink to this resource:

Update Sept. 5 2017 based on edits summarized in this update from the IB.

Big Update Dec. 2 2017: added subject group overview (curriculum articulation) tabs for each subject group, with data validation for key, related concepts, ATL. 

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Capturing the Criteria (and the Curriculum)

After some parent-teacher conferences recently, I was asked to show all of the MYP assessment criteria together and realised I couldn’t find something that met our needs for a single-reference, quick overview of the MYP assessment objectives and criteria.

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 17.52.59Here is an attempt to put the big ideas and rubrics together in one place, so that colleagues can quickly see vertical and horizontal articulation and connections, and so that parents have a resource to hand to help understand assessment.

You might find it useful.

To make your own copy, click “File –> Make a copy”.

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  • This involved a lot of clicking and is bound to have some errors. Big thanks to Mitsuyo-san, our data secretary, who helped with this. 
  • Descriptors in bold did not make it across from text to spreadsheet. Use original descriptors in student assignments.
  • This is intended only as an overview of the programme. Teachers must exercise caution with this, and default to the published guides on the OCC for assessment rubrics, clarifications, rules and guidance.


Zooming In: Focus on what’s important in assessment

Edit: added 3 May 2017

Why the green bands? 

In each of the subject-area bands, you’ll find the Level 5-6 row accented with green. This is part of something I’m trying to work on with colleagues and students in terms of zooming into the objectives-level of assessment, and was something I used in #HackTheMYP.

The basic idea is this: 

As a model of a 4-band rubric, we typically see the third band as ‘meets objectives‘. This means that the rows below are approaching and above are exceeding.

      • Try it: add up the scores for all 5, all 6 or a combination thereof. What does it come to when you apply the total to the 1-7 conversion chart? This is the kid that meets the outcomes of our core curriculum.

When we get rubrics wrong

When we focus only on the top-band descriptors we may inadvertently end up doing one of two things:

  • Causing students to get stressed by default as they’re aiming for the ‘exceptional’ descriptors first. “The gap” between where they are and want to be is too big; or,
  • Falsely making our core expectations for all students fit the 7-8 band, thus leaving nowhere to go from there – creating a “low ceiling” and no room for extension into genuinely meeting those top descriptors.

If we zoom into the 5-6 band first – in task design and as a student – we are able to set an appropriate expectation for all learners, see how and where to scaffold and support those who need it, and provide a “high ceiling” for innovation, application, analysis, synthesis, etc.

It should then become easier to create the task-specific clarifications. If we can clearly describe the 5-6 “core” band first, we should then make sure that the levels above and below can be really clearly distinguished. In my experience, this is easier than starting at the top and working back.

If you’ve tried this idea (or similar), how did it go?


The Single-Point Rubric

For a similar discussion and great resources, but in an SBG context, check out Jennifer Gonzalez’s (@cultofpedagogy) posts on the “single point rubric”:

Creating a task-specific clarification in MYP that “Zooms In” to Level 5-6 can save you a lot of time and provide clarity in the single-point sense. 


Beware of Reductive Rubrics

Here’s an animated gif, made in the Keynote 9, that is a rebuild of an animation I have used in the past. It was inspired by a cartoon that I can’t track down again and would love to find. The intention goes along with the project above: consider the rubric as a launchpad for the outcomes, not the limits. Don’t over-describe the higher achievement levels. 

gif test


Webb’s DOK 4 As A Filter For Transfer

A more detailed post on this is here, but some key ideas:

Not A Wheel. ASCD.
  • DOK (Depth of Knowledge) is a complementary construct to the success criteria that can give support in levels of thinking. The command terms are very similarly defined.
  • In the “Cultures of Thinking” sense, we could be reflecting on “what thinking moves are required here?” from the understanding map.
  • Webb’s DOK is not a wheel and is not Bloom’s. Check out this post from Erik Francis for ASCD.
  • With the guiding question how else can this be used?”, DOK 4 acts as a Filter for Transfer, and can be accessed from each of levels 1-3.
“How else can this be used?” DOK 4 as a Filter For Transfer



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13 responses to “Capturing the Curriculum, Criteria & “Zooming In””

  1. Matt Stenovec Avatar
    Matt Stenovec

    Wow! This is great!

    On Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 2:55 AM, Ripples & Reflections wrote:

    > Stephen posted: “After some parent-teacher conferences recently, I was > asked to show all of the MYP assessment criteria together and realised I > couldn’t find something that met our needs for a single-reference, quick > overview of the MYP assessment objectives and criteria.” >

    1. Stephen Avatar

      Thanks Matt!

  2. Stephen Avatar

    Reblogged this on i-Biology and commented:

    Here’s a post over on my other blog for teachers in the MYP: all the assessment criteria and objectives in one place and a simple ‘zooming in’ strategy to design tasks and tune-in to assessment for students.

  3. Amy Avatar

    Hi Stephen, I’m an MYP Coordinator in Oregon. Your Google Sheets reference is extremely helpful- thanks for putting that together and sharing! I’m always looking for examples of task-specific clarification to share with my teachers. Do you have an example of using a single-point rubric for an MYP assessment?

    1. Stephen Avatar

      Hi Amy, thanks for the comment. I don’t have any single-point MYP examples, as we have the published criteria and need to produce TSC’s. However, I’m working with teachers and kids on ‘zooming in’ to band 3 as a benchmark for effort, so it serves a similar purpose. Still early days, though.

  4. Stephen Anil Pinto Avatar
    Stephen Anil Pinto

    Dear Stephen,

    I am an MYP Coordinator in Dubai. Thank you for sharing your google sheets, they are a life saver! Being new to MYP and the role as Coordinator this document consolidates everything from MYP Principles to Practice in one place. Bless you.


    1. Stephen Avatar

      Thanks Stephen!

  5. Wayfinding: Ripples & Reflections | Wayfinding & Learning Avatar

    […] All the MYP Criteria in one document […]

  6. Make It Easier To Do Better Things | Wayfinder Learning Lab Avatar

    […] All the MYP Criteria in one document […]

  7. Reductive Rubrics | Wayfinder Learning Lab Avatar

    […] It was inspired by a cartoon I saw but cannot track down again. I’d love to find. I have used it in the context of critiquing my own MA dissertation and more frequently in conversations about not over-describing the 7-8 level of MYP assessment criteria. […]

  8. Carole Mortl Avatar
    Carole Mortl

    I was searching online for Design cycle posters and came across your Design Cycle charts. They are wonderful. I would like to know if you are selling your Design Cycle charts or how can I get a copy of all the ones you have made for the MYP curriculum. If you are from the IB school, were the charts approved by the IB since they are all slightly different?

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    […] All the MYP Criteria in one document […]

  10. kylie Avatar

    What a hidden gem in your document ‘MYP Assessment and Subject Group Overviews’
    I have been looking for something like this. Thank you so much!

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