Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools

Contributed by:
Jonathan James
Continuity of learning plan or education continuity plan for emergency learning and teaching is slightly different. It is focused on the transitions of students from one type of learning to another as their learning context rapidly changes. Continuity of learning plans does not only involve the technologies the school will use to continue teaching but also considers how the students will return to campus after the emergency ends.
1. Online learning, teaching and education
continuity planning for schools
2. Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools
Published March 2020
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4. Guidelines for online and blended learning............................................................................................ 1
Setting up............................................................................................................................................ 1
Developing an online learning plan or a continuity of learning plan ............................................. 1
Finding communities to share with ................................................................................................ 2
Specific information to supplement the IB’s FAQ on Covid-19 .............................................................. 3
How to manage online learning and teaching.................................................................................... 3
Which are the easiest activities to set up and find resources for? ................................................ 4
Free interactive material and learning tools .................................................................................. 5
Services and activities designed for IB schools .............................................................................. 5
Setting up online learning management ........................................................................................ 6
Learning experiences that involve physical activities, resources, or spaces.................................. 7
Mobile learning strategies.............................................................................................................. 7
How online learning supports exhibitions and wider community activities .................................. 7
Use of social media for learning and teaching ............................................................................... 8
Guidelines to ensure the privacy and data protection of the school community ......................... 8
How to ensure students are not disadvantaged by online teaching .................................................. 9
Managing screen time .................................................................................................................. 10
How can teachers authenticate work that is being completed remotely? ...................................... 10
Transitioning from online back to face-to-face learning .................................................................. 11
Internal assessment guidance for Diploma Programme schools ..................................................... 12
Privacy when using video for orals or other face-to-face assessments ....................................... 12
Well-being of candidates and teachers when conducting IAs online .......................................... 12
Alternatives for physical or lab-based internal assessments ....................................................... 13
In conclusion ..................................................................................................................................... 14
Guidelines for online and blended learning
The guidance here is intended for staff supporting schools that are facing closures and quarantines
due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak. It is contains suggestions and guidelines for online and
blended learning, with further suggestions for free apps and solutions for schools that may not have
online or mobile solutions in place at the time of closing.
Setting up
Developing an online learning plan or a continuity of learning plan
An online learning plan covers the teaching strategies, communication rules, devices, solutions, and
policies supporting online or blended learning in the school community. Keep the plan as simple as
possible, but make the expectations clear for learners, teachers and guardians as to how to learn
and teach online.
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 1
5. An IB World School has agreed to share their online learning plan as an example of what to consider
when creating one. This plan is updated regularly, as is common for schools using online learning
under emergency circumstances.
• Shanghai American School Distance Learning Plan:
A continuity of learning plan or education continuity plan for emergency learning and teaching is
slightly different. It is focused on the transitions of students from one type of learning to another as
their learning context rapidly changes. Continuity of learning plans do not only involve the
technologies the school will use to continue teaching, but also considers how the students will
return to campus after the emergency ends.
The Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center in
the United States of America has provided information for schools facing emergency closures. These
guidelines can be used internationally, though some tools are specific to the US context.
Example in French:
Example in Spanish:
Note: “continuity of learning” can also refer to age-based transitions in schools, especially in
Australia and New Zealand. When seeking advice online, use “education continuity plan” in addition
to “continuity of learning plan”.
There is also sound advice produced on general considerations during online learning preparation:
• How to check on the wellbeing of learners, teachers, and guardians during the closure. From
Western Academy of Beijing:
• General tips for learning online:
o From Global Online Academy:
o From International School Services:
Finding communities to share with
There are many schools struggling with closures, and just as many are posting strategies and
solutions online. There are a number places IB candidate schools and IB World Schools can seek
• Programme communities, accessible via a My IB login. There are several schools sharing
their experiences and asking questions.
• Podcasts. There are schools and organizations sharing stories of school closures. Example:
The International Schools Podcast
• Facebook groups. International Schools Information Technology Leaders and Digital Coaches
has become a popular group for IB candidate and IB World Schools to seek information for
countries that have access to Facebook.
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 2
6. • Twitter has many educators posting ideas, webchats, and other information online. Some
schools in the IB community from affected areas have posted their experiences online.
• You can also contact IB Answers for information.
Specific information to supplement the IB’s FAQ on Covid-19
Some learning and teaching questions that have been posed by schools are answered in detail in this
How to manage online learning and teaching
There are two kinds of online learning and teaching that schools will need to balance based on their
circumstances: synchronous (happening collaboratively and at the same time with a group of online
learners and usually a teacher) and asynchronous (happening at any time, not necessarily in a group,
but with teacher feedback).
Schools should not assume that synchronous teaching is required or even desirable in order to
support effective learning. The goal is not to try to re-create face-to-face (F2F) classrooms, which is
impossible to do. Online and blended learning provide opportunities for learners to work more
independently, expand their agency, and learn to use tools and strategies that they otherwise might
not have. While it is not recommended to experiment in emergency situations, innovation, creativity
and resilience are required to make things work. Most schools will discover they need to be adaptive
and fast-thinking in order to ensure that learning continues in a healthy way.
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 3
7. The chart below provides some strategies that are commonly used in online and blended learning,
presented in alphabetical order:
Activity Synchronous Asynchronous
Blogging and vlogging (creating video blogs) X
Collaborative writing or story-making X X
Content production (word processing, spreadsheets, etc) X X
Discussion forums or text-based chats* X X
E-portfolios X
Games/gamification* X X
Intelligent tutoring (online teaching and assessment tools, often X
Live video chats* X
Mapping (mind-mapping, using interactive maps and charts, etc) X X
Multimedia presentations X X
Online drawing and drafting X
Plagiarism checking (using anti-plagiarism tools that provide X
feedback to writers)
Quizzes and surveys* X
Video chatting and conferencing* X
Video creation and sharing* X
Virtual gallery walks (there are special sites and software for X X
Virtual reality scenarios (sometimes requires special software) X X
Wiki building X
An asterisk (*) denotes activities that can be easily conducted using mobile devices. All activities are
possible on mobile devices, but some may prove very difficult to do.
Which are the easiest activities to set up and find resources for?
In order:
• Content production and collaborative writing. There are many free or inexpensive ways to
set up a word processing document online. Examples: Google Classroom, Zoho, Dropbox
• Multimedia presentations. Most content production solutions also allow for multimedia
presentations, but more complex infographics and interactive presentations are possible.
• Quizzes, polls and surveys. These can be set up online in a few minutes. Examples:
Easypolls, SurveyMonkey, Typeform.
• Games and simulations. There are many options for educational games online that can be
accessed by anyone. Examples: PhET interactive simulations, National Geographic Kids, The
World’s Future.
• Video chatting and conferencing (depending on bandwidth and access). Many free or built-
in applications are available for individual and group chats. Examples: FaceTime, Microsoft
Teams, Zoom (also available in China).
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 4
8. Free interactive material and learning tools
If schools use WordPress or Drupal for their websites or blogging, then it is possible to develop a
wide range of online activities and H5P interactive learning objects:
Merlot has the largest selection of free and open online learning tools. It is more focused on older
learners but has some content appropriate for primary age children:
Services and activities designed for IB schools
Providers who specialize in supporting schools with IB programmes have also created
opportunities for online learning, learning management, and preparation for internal
assessment. Contact the providers directly for resources in languages besides English.
Atlas Rubicon has provided specific advice for school governance teams working on
curriculum planning.
Follett is offering free resources online including more than 1000 interactive ebooks and
specific language support material.
Hodder Education has provided some free resources for Middle Years Programme (MYP)
and Diploma Programme (DP). Please contact them for more detailed information on services
Special information and contact for schools facing closure:
Please email Hodder directly for three months’ free access to a selection of Hodder
resources: [email protected]
Kognity provides fully interactive online content for DP courses. They have resources to
support students and teachers.
Lanterna is available for online tutoring for students in DP courses.
Managebac has increased capacity and provided specific information for schools. They have
services for numerous languages as well.
Using Managebac in a remote environment:
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 5
9. Oxford University Press (OUP) keeps a page that regularly updates with new resources
relevant to all IB programmes.
They also have a support page:
For schools that use OUP titles, the publisher has provided a link to register for further free
digital material:
Pamoja Education the only IB-approved provider of online (DP) courses. Its School Taught offering
may be useful to schools as they plan for long-term online learning for Diploma students.
Storypark has an extended trial period for schools. They primarily support PYP with
specialties in early learning. They have also provided guidance for educators, parents and
guardians, and organizations working through education continuation for younger children.
Support for educators:
For families:
Toddle has created special remote learning, management and sharing opportunities. They specialize
in supporting Primary Years Programme (PYP) programmes, and are making efforts set up remote
learning for schools quickly.
Setting up online learning management
Learning management systems (LMS) are used to set up online learning. An LMS stores unit and
course plans and often has activities built into it such as discussion forums, quizzes and e-portfolios.
For schools that already use an LMS, ensure that remote logins are enabled, that each student and
teacher has their own login, and that your LMS provider is aware that there may be increased
activity or more licences required. This is also true for younger learners, but their accounts should be
accessible by their parents or guardians. It is a good idea to check with the LMS provider if any new
features and add-ons are available so the school can put as many learning activities as possible into
one solution.
Several learning management providers have release guidance and have created plans for learning
management support for IB World Schools. More are likely to become available depending on which
regions experience school closures. Schools should contact their LMS provider for more information
and to request any changes to services.
There are also free or open source options for learning management, but they may require more
time to set up, and usually requires an IT specialist to maintain. Examples:
• Google Classroom (
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 6
10. • Moodle (
• Opigno (
Learning experiences that involve physical activities, resources, or spaces
In most circumstances it is possible to assign activities and discussions so that students seek out the
physical experiences they need, then bring back evidence of and reflections on what they have
done. This is possible with all age groups, depending on the amount of supervision they need to
conduct physical activities.
For younger learners, special software that uses video evidencing and adult reflection is the best
option. Parents or guardians will need to supervise younger learners in their play and learning
activities—the school needs to provide some basic guidelines on what to observe. The school should
also set up video conferencing with learners and guardians to discuss the children’s development.
For students who are not under quarantine but separated from campus, it is possible to use public
libraries, sports facilities, or even art galleries as part of their learning. Some colleges and
universities can provide space for science and art activities. Online databases for resources are
available through most library subscriptions.
If students are under quarantine or must remain indoors, intelligent tutors and virtual learning
environments can provide some support, especially for science-related activities. There are many
open-source and free options for virtual science labs, galleries, physics simulations, etc that can be
used to support students. Physical health activities that can be conducted indoors are also
reasonable options for students under temporary quarantine.
Mobile learning strategies
An option that might be considered is mobile learning. “Mobile” does not only refer to the portable
computing device but also the learning that is best used with smartphones or tablets. The 4C
framework below is a simple, well-established starting point to decide on how to implement
learning through mobiles.
• Content: providing media (for example, documents, audio, video) to the learner/performer
• Compute: taking in data from the learner and processing it
• Capture: taking in data from sensors (for example camera, GPS, etc) and saving for it sharing
or reflection
• Communicate: connecting learners/performers with others
The 4Cs of mobile learning can help teachers design experiences that are not possible without
mobile solutions. It can also serve to expand experiences students can have if they do not have
laptops at home or easy access to fast internet. If a school is mostly dependent on mobile learning
solutions, please contact your school’s IB authorization or IB World Schools (IBWS) manager for
further support, because the complexity of mobile learning may require more guidance. Schools can
also consult IB Answers if they have general questions about mobile learning.
How online learning supports exhibitions and wider community activities
There are a few methods of exhibiting or sharing content and discussion for wider audiences.
• Virtual conferences or festivals. Usually a combination of visual content, webinars, online
discussions, and text chats. If the school wants to “host” a virtual festival, they can create a
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 7
11. website or use tools like YouTube, or (China) to create opportunities
for sharing.
• Virtual galleries. There are specific websites that use a 3D format where students can create
virtual exhibitions with text and images. Example: Kunstmatrix Art.Spaces:
• Learning management unit sharing. If the schools want to share each other’s exhibition
work, an LMS can be an effective virtual space to share and learn.
Use of social media for learning and teaching
It is possible to use social media for some communications or media sharing with parents, guardians,
or learners who are over 13 years old. There are also some closed social media sites that are
moderated and that younger learners can sign into. Examples include Edmodo and GeckoLife. For
smaller cohorts of learners and teachers, schools can consider family sharing apps such as
FamilyWall that allow small groups to post media, keep calendars, and have text chats.
That being said, using social media does not protect the privacy of users adequately enough for the
depth of sharing and discussion required for learning and teaching in IB World Schools. If schools
want to do extensive sharing of content and reflections, this should be done through an LMS.
Some social media sites and apps are not available in certain countries. China and the Persian Gulf
have significant restrictions social media usage or use internal social media solutions. Schools in
these countries should consider these restrictions when delivering learning online.
Guidelines to ensure the privacy and data protection of the school community
Privacy and data protection should be taken seriously. While there are no global agreements for
data privacy and protection, certain regional mandates such as General Data Protection Regulation
of the European Union (GDPR) affect many schools. Recommendations for data privacy and
protection in this document are GDPR-adherent whenever called for.
Example in French:
Example in Spanish:
GDPR rules
If a school is in a GDPR country and transmits or asks for personal data or information from anyone,
including video and images, even temporarily, GDPR rules apply for transmission. If a school is in a
country that is not under GDPR but is transmitting data or information to or from anyone residing in
a GDPR country, the rules also apply. If a citizen of a country under GDPR currently resides in a non-
GDPR country, the rules do not apply—GDPR only applies to residents, not citizens abroad. However,
students or teachers returning to a GDPR-adherent country from abroad may find some of their data
is not transferrable if the school does not comply with GDPR.
There are two major areas in online learning where privacy and data protection must be considered.
• Sharing personal data via the internet
o Images, videos, or student submissions are all considered “personal information”
under GDPR rules. It is required for GDPR countries (and recommended for others)
that any information created by students, or with them included, is anonymized,
blurred out, or otherwise protected unless the guardians give formal permission in
writing that the information can be used. If the student is considered a legal adult in
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 8
12. their country of residence, they can give formal permission, but guardians should be
o Children under the age of 13 must not participate in unmoderated social media
activities as part of their learning. There are moderated sites for younger users or
sites that permit moderators to be added (teachers and guardians).
o If the school uses social media as part of its contingency learning plan, the personal
information of students, teachers, other staff or guardians should not be used or
transmitted to third parties online.
o If the school uses learning management or reporting systems, the provider must be
able to prove their systems are GDPR-compliant or the school must prove that GDPR
rules do not apply to any member of the school community.
• Video conferencing and recording
o Just as with personal information, video imaging of minors needs permissions from
parents or guardians for all age groups. With learners under the age of 11, video
conferencing should happen with said guardians present. Learners can also chat in
groups regardless of age, though one-on-one conferencing with students is best for
feedback on individually-assigned activities and general wellness.
o As much as possible, video conferencing should be set up to eliminate backgrounds
that provide information on learners’ personal lives and locations. A simple white or
light-coloured background is best.
o Personal names should be avoided in any chat invites or titles. For conferences, the
student and guardian should be informed if the conference will be recorded.
How to ensure students are not disadvantaged by online teaching
Effective online teaching is not the same as face-to-face (F2F). It is not a matter of whether it is
equal. It requires different activities, some which are better done online. However, learners become
disadvantaged if they are not provided with certain resources for learning independently and online:
• Access to devices appropriate for online learning. Some learning activities can be
conducted using mobile devices.
• Internet access and adequate bandwidth (speed). Poor bandwidth can make many
synchronous activities very difficult. For schools with students in poor bandwidth areas, a
combination of asynchronous activities and telephone check-ins provides more support.
• Time zone friendly schedules. Changing teaching schedules to shorter class times in similar
time zones with more meetings but fewer students at one time is more effective in online
learning situations. If meeting times are combined with collaborative activities, students are
more likely to log on and complete tasks or discussions.
• Effective feedback. Checking in with learners regularly is important. If systems allow,
students can also get valuable feedback automatically from online quizzes and intelligent
tutors as well as direct comments or discussion from peers and teachers.
• Opportunities for independent learning. Wherever they are, students are learning
informally every day. Designing learning activities and discussions that capture students’
experiences while they are away keeps them engaged and gives teachers valuable feedback
on how the students are feeling. It also provides opportunities for multiple perspectives in
learning that might not happen if students were all physically together.
• Meaningful screen time and conferencing.
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 9
13. o For children over the age of 5, this means developing activities that keep their
attention and engage them with the environment around them.
Common Sense provides a wealth of information on interacting online. An example
of their offerings is here:
o For children under 5, it means keeping engagement between the learner and the
adults with whom they are chatting.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provides
some guidelines on effective strategies for very young children:, and
Managing screen time
“Screen time” refers to the amount of time a user spends on a device to access onscreen activities.
There are limits as to the amount of time everyone should spend online, but the amounts and the
rules for screen time vary by age. Videoconferencing and social interactions using video do not count
towards screen time.
For more information, please check this blog that summarizes the research on screen time for
Recommended screen time, that is not video conferencing for learners and teachers, are based on
the recommendations created by the American Academy of Pediatrics:
• Ages 2–5: 1 hour, broken into sessions of a maximum of 30 minutes.
• Age 6 and above: no specific screen time limits, but screen time should not affect physical
activity and face-to-face interactions at home and school. Consistent limits on screen
time are also very important.
Some screen time activities such as online socializing and gaming can be very immersive.
Creating learning experiences with limited capacity to engage are key. Make sure that
activities are limited in length with clear goals that learners can retain when they are
How can teachers authenticate work that is being completed remotely?
It is easier to authenticate student work online than most people think. However, it requires some
changes to how assignments are presented and submitted for review. It also requires teachers to
monitor students’ online activity more closely than in normal classroom situations.
Note: these guidelines are for school-based assessments only. The rules and procedures for
academic integrity of IB-validated assessments are mandated by the IB and schools should refer any
questions about IB-validated assessment to their IBWS managers.
Here are some basic guidelines to designing and evaluating online work for authenticity:
• Use more formative assessments that are designed to get students to work together and use
online resources.
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 10
14. • Have a very clear policy on how to submit work online. Students who are given a precise
procedure are less likely to make mistakes in submissions, which accounts for many online
learning integrity violations.
• Create more assignments that are collaborative. If the teacher is working directly with
groups of students on their work, it is far easier for the teacher to monitor what the
students are doing and to check their understanding.
• Create questions and inquiries that require learners to embed their personal experiences
and context into any assessed content. Since many online students will be in different
locations, it will be easier for the teacher to see when a student is using their surroundings
to compose their work.
• Use plagiarism checkers whenever students have to submit individual work, and assign
drafts of parts of the work prior to a final submission. Most plagiarism checkers can accept
drafts of assignments to check against final submissions.
• Create more multimedia assignments that require students to remix pictures, videos and
text into their own creations.
• Create libraries and pathfinders for students to use as part of assignments, then ask students
to quote from them as part of their work. This check how well they are able to reference and
cite work as well as reduce opportunities for copying the work of others.
• Interview students about their work using a synchronous chat with audio or video feeds, if
possible. It is much more difficult to produce spontaneous answers when talking online.
• For schools using an LMS, check login time, collaboration data, and submission types to see
how often and long students are involved with assignments. Very short assignment
involvement times may indicate students are submitting unauthenticated work.
• For older students, consider using MOOCs (massive open online courses) for certain topics
or units. MOOCs are designed to create learning experiences that evaluated using more
multiple-choice and short answer assignments.
Transitioning from online back to face-to-face learning
A continuity of learning plan is advised to transition learners and teachers back to school.
Learners may have:
• become accustomed to more independent learning and will need time and guidance to
transition from it. Some learners may have preferred learning remotely and will find the
constraints of school difficult to accept.
• become accustomed to shorter activities, asynchronous assignments, more freedom in their
work and less face-to-face collaboration. The school should consider how to slowly transition
learners to in-school schedules.
• been temporarily transferred to other schools. The school will need documentation from
parents and guardians to assess what learners have studied and how that fits into the
school’s programme(s) and pedagogical aims.
• experienced illness, isolation, intensive traveling and other challenges that require them to
have time to process. Schools should be prepared to create space and interactions that take
into account what their learners might have gone through.
• not had the opportunity to be prepared in traditional ways for examinations. The school
should consider how to re-focus learners and assure them they are ready.
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 11
15. Teachers may have:
• experienced fatigue and stress due to the rapid professional development they experienced
when facilitating online learning, creative scheduling, and exposure to a wide variety of
apps, solutions, and technical challenges. Reduced schedules and less administrative
activities might help teachers transition more easily.
• pending assignments and activities online that need to be completed before fully
transitioning to face-to-face teaching. The school’s continuity of learning plan should include
clear dates on when online assignments should be completed, then give teachers latitude to
use blended learning techniques to move online learning back to the classroom.
• been under quarantine or been separated from their students for extended periods of time.
Some teachers may have had other students depending on how time zone scheduling was
designed during the school closing. Giving teachers opportunities to collaborate and discuss
student progress will be essential.
• not had time to evaluate student work. They may need more time for catching up.
• felt less confident that their online teaching prepared students for examinations. Creating
activities that are specifically designed to prepare for examinations may be helpful.
Internal assessment guidance for Diploma Programme schools
It is possible to conduct internal assessments (IAs) online in most DP subjects. The IB’s FAQ
specifies expectations on certain subjects. There are a few other considerations for schools
as they operationalized the assessments remotely.
Privacy when using video for orals or other face-to-face assessments
Candidates at least need to express in the video that they consent to being recorded and
acknowledge the audio and/or video will be distributed to others for assessment purposes.
Parents and guardians should be informed of and give permissions for minors. Please also
check the privacy policies of any provider you use to determine how personal data is being
shared or analyzed.
Well-being of candidates and teachers when conducting IAs online
Students tend to chat online without difficulty if they have used devices as part of their lives
outside of school. The formality of video conferencing can sometimes be a little
disconcerting for students, and the stresses of taking exams are the same as they would be
face-to-face (F2F). If the students are aware of the format of the examination and have had
a chance to understand and reflect on what will happen when the actual recording occurs,
the experience is usually positive.
Some of the visual cues and interactions that are part of a F2F oral or presentation will be
different, but this is not what is being assessed: the candidate’s communicative proficiency,
organisation and presentation of ideas and analytic abilities are. That should be clearly
stated to students so that they prepare for the experience. Some candidates may even
prefer an online oral as they can become distracted in F2F situations.
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 12
16. The technical aspects of the assessment should be tested prior to the recording, and the
student should receive the following:
• instructions on when the oral examination will occur and what it will consist of
• a checklist to test the candidate’s internet connection, setup of the video
conferencing software, and the arrangement of the room where the oral will be
recorded (the room should ensure the candidate’s privacy and have no personal
effects or other identifying objects in the video frame)
• a pre-written permissions statement explaining the way the recording will be used
and a confirmation that parents or guardians have also given permission for
Teachers also face well-being challenges as they must schedule the orals and be online
continuously for significant amounts of time. If the teachers do not have a stable internet
connection, this can cause the most frustration. For schools that are partially open for
exams, it may be best for teachers to conduct the IAs from the school rather than at home.
The teacher at least should store the IAs on a local device or via a learning management
system that stores to a school server. Storing examinations in the Cloud may not ensure
Most teachers experience fatigue starting after two consecutive hours of teaching online.
Teachers with younger children at home may need to take a break after each oral. Breaks
should be scheduled as much as possible, and the school should take more time to get the
orals set up and conducted for the teachers’ sake.
Parents and guardians need to be informed of when and how the internal assessment is
taking place. Teachers will need to schedule times and ensure the candidates are given the
space, time and resources wherever they are.
Alternatives for physical or lab-based internal assessments
Candidates can use content from a number of sources that can be accessed remotely for a
variety of subjects in the sciences and individual societies.
There is guidance in teacher support material (TSM) for each subject as to how to best choose a
simulation which is suitable for an IA. Common simulations found online are often based on
mathematical solutions and thus do not produce varied results. Please consult subject guides for
specific information.
Open data sets
There are various databases which can be used in sciences and individuals and societies subjects.
Sites such as the World Health Organization (WHO) European Space Agency (ESA) and can provide
great sources of data multiple languages. Free Code Camp has created a blog with a list of open
datasets that students and teachers can work with.
Not all of these data sets will be easily understood by students and it may take some time to find a
source (or sources) of data they can use. Students may need a little extra support to determine how
the data was collected, what sampling techniques were used and the quality of the data available.
Online learning, teaching and education continuity planning for schools 13
17. This provides opportunities for students to understand what constitutes quality data and
information as well as to promote discussion on how data can support different points of view on a
Media repositories
For most presentations, media repositories for every subject are widely available. It is important for
candidates to follow copyright laws and fair use per their country’s legislation. Open-source
repositories for images, music and video are available. Students and teachers can change the
settings on most search engines to display only open source or royalty-free content.
Home-based experiments
Some simple experiments are possible to conduct at home with simple equipment such as
stopwatches and rules. Most mobile phones can use apps that take digital measurements for
temperature, speed, motion capture or other basic measurements. Candidates will not be penalized
based on the method of data collection method being “too simple,” as there are many practical
ways where the student could develop a sophisticated understanding of the ideas being tested. If
they collect sufficient data, there is plenty of scope for students to conduct analysis, conclusion and
In conclusion
Many teachers, leaders and learners are experiencing an unprecedented situation in their schools.
This guidance reflects the schools’ desire to stay open and provide the best possible learning
experiences for students despite difficult conditions. For schools who have found a way to be
successful given their constraints, a sincere congratulations is in order. For those who are just
beginning their journeys, the IB community is available to help.
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