DP country alignment studies (2023)

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This page highlights a series of standards alignment studies comparing International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) courses with their upper secondary equivalents from Australia (Victoria), Canada (Ontario), Finland, Singapore, South Korea and the United States.

Specifically, the research team from Ecctis compared DP courses—primarily mathematics and sciences but also history and English—at both the standard level (SL) and higher level (HL), along three dimensions as follows.

  • Learning outcomes: A comparison of the key knowledge, skills and competencies that students are expected to be able to demonstrate upon successful completion of a subject.
  • Content alignment: A comparison of the extent of overlap of the fields of knowledge that are taught and learned within the curriculum of a subject. Curriculum content is typically split into topics and more specific sub-topics.
  • Demand: Demand is compared in these studies as a holistic measure that comprises four criteria designed to judge complexity, depth, breadth, workload levels and potential for intellectual stretch within a subject. The four criteria used were: revised Bloom’s cognitive skills; depth of knowledge; volume of work; and outstanding demand areas.

Below is a high-level summary of findings by country as well as select findings from each study and the full reports by Ecctis.

After completing this initial batch of six studies, Ecctis conducted two additional studies. These follow the same research design and format of the previous studies, but also include additional subject comparisons.