Design Technology

Through the study of Design Technology, students should be aware of the way designers work and communicate with each other.

In all the subjects of the 4 Group the practical approach is emphasized through experimental works. The project of the 4 Group (to be carried out by all students of Experimental Sciences) is similar to the work carried out by professional scientists, by encouraging collaboration between schools in different regions.

The experience with the subjects of the 4 Group has shown that students without previous studies or knowledge of science will be able to successfully complete these subjects in the Medium Level (SL). The attitude of the students before the studies should be characterized by the attributes of the profile of the learning community of the IB, in particular: inquirer, thinker and good communicator.

The subject of Technology of Design is organized by subjects:

  • Human factors and ergonomics.
  • Resource management and sustainable production.
  • Modeling.
  • From the raw material to the final production.
  • Innovation and design
  • Classic design

In addition to the above topics, students must choose one of five options:

  • Science and technology of food.
  • Design of electronic products.
  • Computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD / CAM).
  • Textiles
  • Ergonomic design.

Designing with technology is using the ingenuity of the human being in certain activities to satisfy needs and find solutions. This can be achieved with the help of new technologies or existing ones. The design consists of gathering information about the problem or the opportunity, processing said information and planning some type of intervention, either by modifying what exists or introducing a new element. The designer is interested not only in the material environment, but also in the social, technological, economic, environmental, political, legislative and ethical considerations that affect the priorities of the people.

The subject of Design Technology of the Diploma Program is based on a learning model that incorporates knowledge, techniques and principles of design in problem solving contexts, while maximizing the use of local and readily available resources. No previous experience in technology or design is assumed. The objective pursued is not only the acquisition of design and technology knowledge, which may change or be outdated. It is more about learning to adapt to new experiences and focusing on problems with the right skills and relevant techniques to identify the important elements and, especially, to develop the optimal solutions. The design cycle is the center of the course and students are expected to use this process in both practical research work and theory. Each element of the cycle represents an aspect of design technology that, taken together, constitutes a holistic approach. Therefore, all the elements presented must be considered only in the context of the entire process. The technology is based on the laws and properties of nature and the technological knowledge accumulated to create new products, techniques and systems. Design technology is included in the experimental sciences of the Diploma Program because the design cycle requires a research process and students need to study scientific principles to understand the advances that have taken place in society and to be able to speculate on what that could be achieved in the future.

The subjects have been chosen so that the study program is balanced and of interest to all students, regardless of their sex and previous knowledge they have. This program includes options that will be attractive to all students, not only those who in the future perform studies in the field of science, technology or engineering, and provides the opportunity to study in depth technological issues relevant to those who choose said fields.

Main characteristics of the curriculum and evaluation models

  • Emphasis is placed on the application of an experimental approach in the instruction of the course.
  • Students are evaluated both internally and externally.
  • The external evaluation of Design Technology consists of three written tests. In the 1 test there are 30 multiple choice questions. The 2 test consists of two sections: section A includes a data-based question and several short-answer questions on core topics. Section B includes a long answer question on the core themes (three to choose from). The 3 test includes several short answer and long answer questions about the option taken (all mandatory).
  • The internal evaluation, which represents the 36% of the final evaluation, consists of the interdisciplinary project of the 4 Group and includes a design project and a series of investigations. The internal assessment allows students to demonstrate not only their knowledge of the design cycle, but also their personal skills and manipulation techniques. The work of the students is evaluated internally by the teacher and moderated externally by the IB.