Criterion A - Planning

IB Comments and Sample


Method of submission


Description of scenario

Extended writing

A Planning

Rationale for the proposed product

Extended writing

A Planning

Success criteria for product

Bullet points

A Planning

The following in blue is the sample work
and in red is the comments

Defining the problem

Richard Mulkman (the client) is the Geography Teacher at the International School of the
Rhone and had been working with some 6th Grade students on the countries of Europe.
Unfortunately some of his students are not good about bringing in colored pencils and he
was forced to share out one student’s pencils between the group on his table. So that each
student had pencils, one ended up with only three and found she could not complete the
exercise without two countries sharing a border having the same color (problem).

After some investigation, Mr Mulkman believed that four colors would be sufficient to color
any map regardless of how many countries there were on it. Andy (a 6th Grade student)
refused to believe him and insisted that he prove it. After a discussion with Mrs Meyscoli,
the Computer Science teacher, I volunteered to develop a solution using Python to
confirm Mr Mulkman’s statement.

Rationale for the proposed product

I decided to write a dedicated program using a programming language, rather than a web-site,
because the solution will require complex logic and fast automation. Users clicking buttons on
a web-page won't be much use, as the solution must automatically search for a correct
coloring scheme for the map. This should not require user interaction during the search -
although the user will need to input the data about which countries are neighbors.

I decided to use Python for the following reasons because:
• I am familiar with Python
• it runs on many platforms
• it has a good development environment
• it is free and requires no licensing

Running on various platforms without a license is attractive because, although Mr. Mulkman
is the only user now, other teachers and students might wish to use it in the future, and we
cannot be sure that it will always run on a Windows platform.


Stating success criteria

Can color any map using no more than 4 colors [this would be better if it was clear that the
success was to be able to colour any ‘given’ map, not taking on a general proof of the four
colour theorem]

· Allow the client to easily enter border data for the map and save it in a data file for future
use and modification

· Automatically find a set of colors that color the map correctly neighboring regions (sharing a border) must have different colors neighbors sharing only a vertex may have the same color

· Use fewer than 4 colors if possible

· Print the solution as a list of regions and corresponding colors

** Words = 269**
This criterion was awarded 6 marks although the first success criterion was not as clear as
it could have been.



1. Dr. Alan Smith, Interview 1, Appendix 1a


Criterion A: Planning (6 marks)

The success criteria identified in criterion A will be used in criterion D to evaluate the effectiveness of the product.




The response does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.


An appropriate scenario for investigation for an identified client is stated. The rationale for choosing the proposed product is identified. The criteria for evaluating the success of the product are generally inappropriate.


An appropriate scenario for investigation for an identified client, providing evidence of consultation, is stated. The rationale for choosing the proposed product is partially explained and includes some appropriate criteria for evaluating the success of the product.


An appropriate scenario for investigation for an identified client, providing evidence of consultation, is described. The rationale for choosing the proposed product is justified and includes a range of appropriate criteria for evaluating the success of the product.

Moderator’s comments








Marks available







Marks awarded







General comments

The code solution developed for Richard Mulkman was developed according to the guidelines for internal assessment in the guide.

The work illustrates that it is not necessary to write inordinate amounts of code to achieve high marks in the internal assessment.

The overall word count for this solution is approximately 1,400; however, some of the explanations are brief and with an additional 100–200 words the solution could have achieved full marks.

To ensure the conversion to .pdf was successful all image files used in the documentation were saved in the documentation folder.

Criterion A: Planning

A suitable scenario has been investigated with a client clearly identified. There is evidence of consultation with the client, both in this criterion and also in criterion B.

The justification for the proposed solution is detailed.

The success criteria stated are realistic and can be easily evaluated in criterion E.