1. Neal Young:

    Yes, those PDFs are literally the only guidance we have for this project.

    March 12, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  2. I stumbled onto your blog while looking for something else. If you want more info about IB Comp Sci, try my site at:

    It links to some other sites and lots of documents.

    Here are two sample dossiers that would receive high grades:

    SL :

    Maybe that helps a bit.

    March 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  3. Anon:

    I realize this is an old post but feel it’s worth adding to since others may reach it via a search like I did.

    The reason the focus isn’t on user interfaces is that it’s more important to teach portable, core concepts that can be called upon by students in many situations. For example, teaching classes, arrays, adt’s in Java will allow students to easily migrate to other environments later on and retain that knowledge.

    On the other hand, teaching them how to make fancy interfaces in Java will be next to useless when they want to switch over to another environment.

    January 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  4. Dimitris:

    I agree with you.. I am currently in the final year of the IB and i just started doing the dossier and i realised I dont know enough programming for this project. I dont know what to do…

    January 24, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  5. Debra Butera:

    This is my first year teaching IB comp. sci. HL. I’m realising that it is very challenging to teach the students the programming skills (among all else) to them to successfully complete the Dossier. I am teaching the class in a Linux environment using a terminal window (no IDE) What I think is more challenging, is the fact that these students need to set up a Java programming environment on their home computers. I find that IDE’s can be confusing and much more robust than their simply needs at this stage of the game. The only simplistic one that I know of is BlueJ. Does anyone have any suggestions/experiences/instructions sheets to share in this regard?


    February 12, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  6. tim:


    This is a very interesting blogg as I am applying to become an IB computer science teacher. All points are relevant,from the student’s perspective the white text black box is nothing like reality but the way IB teaches programming is meant to focus on learning the language and adts not the interface so both hepoints are relevant. I was wondering if the jdk from the sun web site which provides a free ide might be an easier way of doing the dossier. I have taught many causes requiring a real end user and it is difficult to find and teenagers might be embarrassed to ask all the questions to an adult when others love to do it,board set assignments as a scenario also have problems as they are text based documents and cannot by nature be questioned. The most relvant point is that the mark scheme must be transparent,it is something like this
    analysis 12 marks
    design 12 marks
    the program 12 marks
    documentation 11 marks
    the java code is worth about one quarter of the marks (12/47)of that 3 marks for style,3 for user friendly features,3 for error handling and 3 for it working!

    March 7, 2010 at 6:06 am |
  7. I recently submitted my HL dossier in which I know (as mentioned by my cs teacher) i’ll be getting more than 30/35 i.e. a 7!

    I’ll upload it very soon as it would be very helpful for other students.


    March 29, 2010 at 12:03 am |
  8. Taran:

    I use the Eclipse IDE in my school’s HL Comp Sci class. It’s a lot similar to BlueJ. However, it is more complicated. I prefer it over other IDE’s though, because it’s much more useful when trying to solve a complicated problem like for our Dossier. It’s especially useful when you start with Test first design. If you create the tests first, it will produce errors saying that the classes you are testing aren’t in the package. This is helpful, because it gives you the option to create those classes with all the methods tested to remove the errors.
    I won’t explain everything in detail does right now though, so try it out for yourselves.

    October 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm |

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