MYP Digital Design Handbook


The aims of all MYP subjects state what a teacher may expect to teach and what a student may expect to experience and learn. These aims suggest how the student may be changed by the learning experience. The aims of MYP design are to encourage and enable students to: 


The objectives of any MYP subject state the specific targets that are set for learning in the subject. They define what the student will be able to accomplish as a result of studying the subject. The objectives of MYP design encompass the factual, conceptual, procedural and metacognitive dimensions of knowledge. Each objective is elaborated by a number of strands; a strand is an aspect or indicator of the learning expectation. 

Subject groups must address all strands of all four objectives at least twice in each year of the MYP 

A Inquiring and analysing 

Students are presented with a design situation, from which they identify a problem that needs to be solved. They analyse the need for a solution and conduct an inquiry into the nature of the problem. In order to reach the aims of design, students should be able to:

i. explain and justify the need for a solution to a problem for a specified client/target audience

 ii. identify and prioritize the primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem

 iii. analyse a range of existing products that inspire a solution to the problem

 iv. develop a detailed design brief which summarizes the analysis of relevant research. 

B Developing ideas

Students write a detailed specification, which drives the development of a solution. They present the solution. In order to reach the aims of design, students should be able to:

 i. develop a design specification which clearly states the success criteria for the design of a solution

 ii. develop a range of feasible design ideas which can be correctly interpreted by others  

iii. present the final chosen design and justify its selection 

iv. develop accurate and detailed planning drawings/diagrams and outline the requirements for the creation of the chosen solution 

C Creating the solution 

Students plan the creation of the chosen solution and follow the plan to create a prototype sufficient for testing and evaluation. In order to reach the aims of design, students should be able to:

 i. construct a logical plan, which describes the efficient use of time and resources, sufficient for peers to be able to follow to create the solution

 ii. demonstrate excellent technical skills when making the solution

 iii. follow the plan to create the solution, which functions as intended

 iv. fully justify changes made to the chosen design and plan when making the solution v. present the solution as a whole, either: a. in electronic form, or b. through photographs of the solution from different angles, showing details. 

D Evaluating

 Students design tests to evaluate the solution, carry out those tests and objectively evaluate its success. Students identify areas where the solution could be improved and explain how their solution will impact on the client or target audience. In order to reach the aims of design, students should be able to:

 i. design detailed and relevant testing methods, which generate data, to measure the success of the solution 

ii. critically evaluate the success of the solution against the design specification

 iii. explain how the solution could be improved

 iv. explain the impact of the solution on the client/target audience 

The MYP Design Cycle

Every designer may approach a problem in a different way. Depending on their specialism, designers tend to have their own methodology, but some general activities are common to all designers. The design cycle model underpins the design process.

The design cycle model  represents the MYP design methodology of how designers develop products. The process is divided into four stages: inquiring and analysing; developing ideas; creating the solution; evaluating. This incremental process allows the designer to go from identifying a design opportunity to the testing and evaluation of a solution. This process leads to the creation of solutions that solve a problem.

It is important to note that, while the design cycle includes several successive stages, the design cycle is an iterative and cyclical process. When using the design cycle, students will often need to revisit a previous stage before they can complete the stage they are currently working on. Solving design problems is not always a linear process.

MYP Projects

The MYP community project (for students in years 3 or 4) and MYP personal project (for students in year 5) aim to encourage and enable sustained inquiry within a global context that generates new insights and deeper understanding. In these culminating experiences, students develop confidence as principled, lifelong learners. They grow in their ability to consider their own learning, communicate effectively and take pride in their accomplishments.

Courses in design help students to develop key approaches to learning (ATL) that lead to success and enjoyment in MYP projects. In this subject group, students have important opportunities to practise ATL skills, especially creativity and communication. Creating novel solutions to authentic problems and designing improvements to existing products are essential aspects of design.

From their learning experiences in this subject group, students can find inspiration for their projects. The skills and experience they develop within design equips them to approach a variety of projects using the design cycle as a structured methodology for problem-solving and project management. Design teachers provide an important resource for any student whose project focuses on solving a problem.

Design offers many opportunities for learning through action. Inspiration from design for community projects and personal projects might include inquiries into:

Teaching and Learning through Inquiry

Inquiry, in the broadest sense, is the process that people use to move to deeper levels of understanding. Inquiry involves speculating, exploring, questioning and connecting. In all IB programmes, inquiry develops curiosity and promotes critical and creative thinking.

The MYP structures sustained inquiry in design by developing conceptual understanding in global contexts. Teachers and students develop a statement of inquiry and use inquiry questions to explore the subject. Through their inquiry, students develop specific interdisciplinary and disciplinary approaches to learning skills.

In the MYP, conceptual understanding is framed by prescribed key and related concepts 

Key concepts

Key concepts promote the development of a broad curriculum. They represent big ideas that are both relevant within and across disciplines and subjects. Inquiry into key concepts can facilitate connections between and among:

These key concepts provide a framework for design, informing units of work and helping to organize teaching and learning.

1) Communication

2) Communities

3) Development

4) System

Related concepts

Related concepts promote deep learning. They are grounded in specific disciplines and are useful for exploring key concepts in greater detail. Inquiry into related concepts helps students develop more complex and sophisticated conceptual understanding. Related concepts may arise from the subject matter of a unit or the craft of a subject—its features and processes.

 Adaptation              Collaboration           Ergonomics

Evaluation                Form                          Function

Innovation                Invention                  Markets and trends

Perspective             Resources               Sustainability

Global contexts for teaching and learning

Global contexts direct learning towards independent and shared inquiry into our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. Using the world as the broadest context for learning, MYP design can develop meaningful explorations of:

Statements of inquiry

Statements of inquiry set conceptual understanding in a global context in order to frame classroom inquiry and direct purposeful learning. Table 4 shows some possible statements of inquiry for MYP design units.

Approaches to Learning (ATL)

All MYP units of work offer opportunities for students to develop and practise ATL skills. ATL skills provide valuable support for students working to meet the subject group’s aims and objectives.

ATL skills are grouped into five categories that span the IB continuum of international education. IB programmes identify discrete skills in each category that can be introduced, practised and consolidated in the classroom and beyond.

While ATL skills are relevant across all MYP subject groups, teachers may also identify ATL skill indicators especially relevant for, or unique to, a particular subject group or course.

Alignment of Objectives and Criteria

In the MYP, assessment is closely aligned with the written and taught curriculum. Each strand from MYP design has a corresponding strand in the  assessment criteria for this subject group. Figure  illustrates this alignment and the increasingly complex demands for student performance at higher levels of achievement.

Alignment of objectives and criteria.pdf

Curriculum Overview

MYP 1 

DD Subject Course Overview 2023-24 (MYP1).pdf

MYP 2 

Digital Design Course Overview MYP2 (1).pdf

MYP 3 

Digital Design MYP 3 - subject overview (2022-23)

Design  Assessment Criteria 

Assessment for design courses in all years programme is criterion-related, based on four equally weighted assessment criteria:

In the MYP, subject group objectives correspond to assessment criteria. Each criterion has nine possible levels of achievement (0–8), divided into four bands that generally represent limited (1–2); adequate (3–4); substantial (5–6); and excellent (7–8) performance. Each band has its own unique descriptor, which teachers use to make “best-fit” judgments about students’ progress and achievement.

This guide provides the required assessment criteria for years 1, 3 and 5 of MYP design. In response to national or local requirements, schools may add criteria and use additional models of assessment. Schools must use the appropriate assessment criteria as published in this guide to report students’ final achievement in the programme.

Teachers clarify the expectations for each summative assessment task with direct reference to these assessment criteria. Task-specific clarifications should clearly explain what students are expected to know and do. They might be in the form of:

Design Assessment Criteria - Year 1 

Assessment Criteria - Year 1.pdf

Design Assessment Criteria - Year 3

Assessment criteria - Year 3.pdf

MYP Command terms for Design

Exemplar of Digital Design Journal

MYP 1 

_MYP 1 A (DD Journal- Exceed with Excel).pdf

MYP  2

Diya - Animaker Journal MYP - 2A.pdf

MYP 3 

Exemplar - Website designing - [MYP 3 DD Journal ] (1).pdf


Middle Years Programme Design Guide 2014

MYP: From Principles into Practice 2014