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Ministry of Education.
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  • Question

    I have a question regarding AS91053. When it comes to this design element standard, the explanatory notes say: "Design elements may include but are not limited to: line, balance, shape, colour, symmetry, strength, contrast, durability, alignment." I appreciate that is says “may include but are not limited to”. My students have been studying video game design so my question is, if we are looking at the design elements of video games, do we still need to consider the traditional CRAP and SCABS of design? Or can we look at those aspects that relate to gaming? Or do we have to do both? http://wps.pearsoncustom.com/wps/media/objects/8771/8981685/SG140_Ch01.pdf The link given outlines the required elements for game design. They go something like this: 1. Play: Games arise from the human desire for play and from our capacity to pretend. Play is a wide category of nonessential, and usually recreational, human activities that are often socially significant as well. Pretending is the mental ability to establish a notional reality that the pretender knows is different from the real world and that the pretender can create, abandon, or change at will. Playing and pretending are essential elements of playing games. Both have been studied extensively as cultural and psychological phenomena. 2. Pretending (see above) 3. A Goal (objective): What do you want your player to achieve, what do you want them to feel or experience? Do you want them to relax, to take their breath away, emotional, invincible, rock the world, kill everything that moves? How long will people play for – hours or a quick fix? These decision must be made to help pick the genre of your game as well as your target audience. 4. Rules: Generally speaking players expect that the game will have rules that are fair. However, sometimes players may choose to change the rules. (See Changing the Rules, page 10). 5. Gameplay: The challenges that a player must face to arrive at the objective of the game. The actions that the player is permitted to take to address those challenges. 6. Symmetry and Asymmetry. 7. Competition and Cooperation. Also, in one of the Marking Exemplars on TKI it states: The report describes experiences you would expect to come from a course of instruction derived from the technology learning area in the NZC: A critique of existing products embedded within a student’s tech practice; Testing and trialling within a modelling process; Developing a conceptual design; Development and/or refinement of a brief, material selection, and/or construction techniques used; Development of a one-off solution or prototype; An evaluation of a student’s one-off solution or prototype. I am not sure how developing a conceptual design, the modelling process, evaluation of a one-off solution, and so on are included in this standard about demonstrating an understanding of design elements. Or are these mentioned as means through which the student might have acquired knowledge of the required design elements?


    Students are required at achieved to describe the elements that underpin design within a specified context and describe considerations used to determine the quality of a design within a specified context.

    Explanatory note 3 of the standard outlines the definitions of subjective and objective aspects to determine the quality of design. See:

    • Considerations used to determine the quality of a design include subjective and objective aspects.
    • Subjective aspects are those that are based on personal, cultural, and sociological factors (e.g. preference, style, fashion, taste, identity, image, perception).
    • Objective aspects are those that can be established in a quantifiable sense (e.g. ergonomics, anthropometrics, purpose, operation, cost, production) and which are based on physical conditions.

    The elements outlined for game design generally fit into the definition of subjective aspects used to measure the quality of design in the context of gaming. 

    Students are encouraged to demonstrate understanding based on their own technological experiences. Developing a conceptual design, the modelling process, and evaluation of a one-off solution may be part of a student’s technological experiences. Technological experiences can also include visiting speakers, a site visit, research of existing products, and knowledge gained from their whānau/family and wider community contacts. Students can demonstrate understanding of design elements and the quality of design by applying or discarding this knowledge within their own technological practice

  • Question

    What are some examples of cultural appropriateness of trialling processes in a textiles context?


    Trialling in textiles includes fitting and modeling of garments or textile outcomes. Examples of cultural appropriateness of trialling processes when addressing the concept of fitness for purpose in its broadest sense could include:

    • demonstrating a sensitivity to privacy, modesty, and personal space when carrying out fittings in a classroom setting
    • working in timeframes for fittings that suit the wearer
    • not requiring excessive fittings
    • adhering to protocols that may derive from religious beliefs regarding modesty and body exposure 
    • adhering to cultural protocols about the use of classroom fittings (for example, sitting on tables is unacceptable in Māori culture).

    Sometimes the boundaries between personal, cultural, religious, and ethical beliefs and practices are not always clear and examples will overlap.

  • Question

    I have been discussing fitness for purpose in the broadest sense with my students and would like to seek clarity on this. Can you explain to me what students should consider in fitness for purpose in its broadest sense in a digital context? I wonder if there are generic understandings that would apply to all of the digital medias used – print, information systems, web, game design, and programming – but also some that would be only specific to a particular area.


    Fitness for purpose in its broadest sense relates to the outcome itself as well as to the practices used to develop the outcome. This is a curriculum level 8 concept and is referred to in the generic achievement standards at NCEA Level 3.

    Some of the areas students could consider when demonstrating understandings of this concept and/or applying this within practice are shown in the table on pages 2–7 of the PDF below. These suggestions should not be considered exhaustive and students will find other ideas that relate to particular outcomes.

    Fitness for purpose in its broadest sense in a digital context (PDF, 129 KB)

    Some teachers have found that, when developing a brief that allows fitness for purpose in the broadest sense, it works well to have students develop specifications for the two aspects. That is, students categorise their specifications as either being for the outcome itself or for the practices to be undertaken to develop the outcome. This helps to reinforce that students must consider more than just fitness for purpose (as is the practice at NCEA Level 2).

    Examining and critiquing the practice of technologists within the framework of fitness for purpose in its broadest sense can also assist students to develop their understandings of this concept.

  • Question

    Please can I have clarification on what level a leotard that is being adapted by running a swathe of different fabric through the body would be – level 1, 91096 or level 2, 91350. The fabric being used is Lycra. It will involve cutting the original pattern and creating a new pattern to accommodate the curved piece and a pattern for the swathe. I am not sure if this is rigorous enough to meet the requirements of level 2 or if it is better suited to 91906. There don't appear to be any exemplars for 91350.


    AS 91096 defines basic adaptations in explanatory note 7 as "Examples of basic adaptations include, but are not limited to – lengthening, shortening, widening, simple shape changes". The alteration described is more advanced than the examples listed here.

    AS 91350 defines advanced adaptations in explanatory notes 6 and 7 as the following. "Advanced adaptations refer to making changes to pattern pieces to enable the inclusion of structural and/or style features into an existing design. Advanced adaptations include but are not limited to: manipulating darts, sleeves, adding pleats, gores, yokes, button wraps, facings, and collars".

    The adaption you describe could be considered an adaption as described in AS 91350 – the inclusion of the curved piece in the front of the leotard and the associated pattern alteration is one adaptation. However, the student would need to include another adaptation to meet the requirements of the standard. For example, the pattern could be adapted so sleeves can be added or a strap lattice can be added, or the shoulder shape and neckline could be adapted to allow for a thin strap.

  • Question

    Do students have to make the garment as part of AS91623 (Implement complex procedures to create an applied design for a specified product) or can they add the applied design to a garment that they already have?


    AS91623 is about interpreting a complex design and creating it on a garment. That is, students do not have to make the garment as part of the standard. 
    Explanatory note 7 states that the complexity of the design may result from various factors. For example:

    • some skill may be required to ensure the applied design is placed as planned (for example, registering a screen print on a shaped pre-made garment)
    • the characteristics of the material the garment is made from may make it more difficult to apply a design (for example, textured, shiny, slippery fabric)
    • the chosen design medium may be challenging to work with
    • the design itself may be intricate.

    Whatever it is that makes the design complex, the application of the design must enhance the garment aesthetically (explanatory note 6).

  • Question

    For AS91642 can the network simulator Cisco Packet Tracer be used for the entire assessment? Can IP V6, IP V4, or both be used for the Assessment (given IP V6 is designed not to use NAT).


    Cisco Packet Tracer is suitable for this task.

    The latest version is 6.0.1 and includes full support for IP V6. 

    It would be appropriate to look at both IP V6 and IP V4 networks considering the state of play in the real world. NAT is given as an example in explanatory note 5 so if using IP V6, it would not be needed, but some form of security would need to be provided.

    Cisco Packet Tracer is only available to those schools that are enrolled in the Cisco Networking Academy

    Schools not enrolled in the Cisco Networking Academy could consider the following alternatives.

    Commercial solutions:

    1.  Boson NetSim

    2.  GNS3

  • Question

    I find when teaching year 9 and 10 food technology, we have a lot of paper work for the students: stakeholder forms; initial brief; concepts and specs; final brief and specs; multiple evaluations along the way. I was just wondering if there was a way I could reduce the paper work we provide the students, while still having them understand the key processes and applications they need to do to produce a quality outcome. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


    Depending on the aspect of the curriculum that is the focus at the time, teachers may use a range of strategies to make evidence gathering efficient and effective. This could include templates, flow charts, check lists, and annotated photos. When using these strategies, it is important that they are designed in such a way that they do not limit the student’s ability to provide full answers. The following teacher snapshot shows another innovative method: Using iCoach to record evidence in furniture making

  • Question

    I have been thinking about using Minecraft to better facilitate student exploration of architectural styles. I have a year 13 class and I am wondering whether there is a NZQA Achievement or Unit Standard I could offer them where they demonstrate their understanding of designing within a brief (where that brief reflects the constraints of a specific architectural style). Would AS91629 be a possible fit? Or perhaps AS91610?


    Depending on the approach taken, AS91610 Develop a conceptual design considering fitness for purpose in its broadest sense could be a suitable assessment tool for this project. Students would communicate a conceptual design for an outcome that has the potential to address a brief. Minecraft could be used in the process of describing how the outcome will look and function.  

    In technology, a brief describes how a desired outcome will meet an authentic need (that is, in the real world, not within a hypothetical scenario) or realise an authentic opportunity.

    The student work might also be able to be assessed against AS91628 Develop a visual presentation that exhibits a design outcome to an audience. This standard requires a starting point (a design outcome that the student then presents within an exhibition space). Students make informed designer decisions drawing on exhibition design knowledge, the needs of the audience, and the nature of the outcome.

    The design outcome could be the conceptual design developed for AS91610, or it could a spatial or product design developed for AS91629 Resolve a spatial design through graphics practice or AS91630 Resolve a product design through graphics practice.

    A critical aspect of these standards (91629 and 91630) is to show understanding of product design and/or spatial design knowledge, and this is defined in explanatory note 4 in each standard.

    The explanatory note for product design states the following. 

Product design knowledge includes elements of design approaches, technical knowledge, and visual communication techniques relevant to the specific product design context. These may include:

    • design tools used for the development of product design ideas (for example, market research, anthropometrics, ergonomes, mockups, and models)
    • technical knowledge of materials, joining, fitting, assembly, finish, fasteners, sustainability, and environmental considerations
    • product design visual communication techniques and approaches (for example, product design drawings and rendering, prototypes, models, and animation)."

    That is, students must show understanding of design approaches, technical knowledge, and visual communication techniques relevant to the specific design context. The explanatory note includes examples of possible elements.

    While it is common practice to assess several standards within one project, care must be taken to ensure all aspects of each standard are covered. This should be with sufficient rigour to reflect curriculum level 8.

  • Question

    Can you explain to me what students should consider in fitness for purpose in its broadest sense in a textiles context?


    Fitness for purpose in its broadest sense relates to the outcome itself as well as to the practices used to develop the outcome. Beyond ensuring that the outcome itself meets the requirements of the brief, some possible ways of addressing this notion are outlined below:

    If the fabric has a traceable label, the manufacturing processes used to produce it could be explored. Otherwise related understandings could be explored, for example, the amount of pesticides, water and/or energy used to produce that type of fabric. Dyeing processes may also be traceable or related understandings could be explored (for example, if fibre-reactive dyes were used for the fabric the student is working with, the impact of those dyes on waterways could be explored). Students could be seen to minimise waste by planning the use of resources as efficiently as possible, for example, planning layout to minimise material requirements. Design in terms of timelessness or recycling/up-cycling/further use might also be a consideration.

    • Practices used in manufacture

    Where the country of origin of the textile and notions is known, the textile and fashion industry working conditions of employees in that country could be explored. Where relevant, student garments should comply with legislation, for example, The Product Safety Standards (Children's Nightwear and Limited Daywear Having Reduced Fire Hazard) Regulations 2008. Intellectual property issues should also be considered – ensuring that students are not using the ideas of others without the permission or acknowledgement required in intellectual property laws. See: Intellectual Property Issues

    • Maintenance

    The type of cleaning processes required and their impact on the environment could be explored. This could include any regular or long term maintenance requirements, for example, reapplying waterproof coatings, sealing seams, replacing or repairing lining, zips, and so on. Where relevant, students should provide country of origin, care, and fibre content labeling for outcomes.

    • Determination of life cycle

    The lifecycle of all of the components of the garment, including the ultimate disposal (see below), could be considered. The Slow Fashion movement considers various factors attributed to garment lifecycle – see Not Just a Label, The Slow Fashion Movement.

    • Ultimate disposal

    The end life and its impact on the environment of all of the components in a garment could be considered. This might include the fibres, dyes, thread, and/or notions.

    • Ethical nature of testing practices

    Ensuring personal comfort and modesty during the trialing and modelling of finished garments might be a consideration. Where relevant, the age appropriateness of garments and dress standards should be considered.

    • Cultural appropriateness of trialing procedures

    Respect for cultural beliefs around behavior when trialling outcomes might need to be considered.

    • Health and safety

    Usual safety in the workroom should be considered. There may be extra requirements if, for example, students are dyeing using fibre-reactive dyes.

    It is also important that students ensure that the outcome is itself fit for purpose in the broadest sense. At curriculum level 8 students need to consider the outcomes technical and social acceptability. Some additional considerations at this level could include:

    • Ergonomics – ease of getting in and out of the garment, comfort, the ability to do things when wearing the garment
    • Usability – for example, not just for a party, but considering when/how else the garment will be used, across seasons, in alternative contexts
    • Ethics/cultural appropriatenes – for example, the wider social acceptability of applied designs where, for example, specific cultural imagery has been used such as religious, Māori, or Pasifika designs, or where possum fur is used in garments

    Observing and mimicking the technological practice of textile technologists may assist in ensuring the students are practicing in a manner that will ensure fit for purpose in its broadest sense of both the practice and the outcome itself.

    There is also a Team Solutions webcast on the concept of fitness for purpose in its broadest sense at Team solutions PLD, Technology, Fitness for purpose: in the broadest sense.

  • Question

    I am quite confused about how to run with AS91635 (3.43) Implement complex procedures to produce a specified digital media outcome. I have some students who want to create a website using HTML5 and CSS and are certainly capable while I have others who can't go down the coding pathway as it is not their strength. For the latter, can I get them to create a similar outcome (that is, a website) but using a WYSIWYG but their digital media is movie (Virtual Tour) with sound? Would this be rigour enough?


    Explanatory note four in AS 91635 gives examples of complex tools and techniques. Students do not have to integrate media from more than one application. They must, however, demonstrate the integration of more than one media type (for example, sound and imagery). 

    The movie with sound is acceptable as long as the video material meets the complex tools and techniques criteria. Creating a documentary could be considered complex skills if the student considers camera angles, media conventions, and so on, and the use of a range of complex tools and techniques to create the outcome. Sitting a camera on a tripod and doing some simple filming is not demonstrating complex skills. The video editing software used can be another opportunity to demonstrate complex skills.  

    Creating WYSIWYG Websites as a "holding pen" to store and promote the media outcomes created by the student is not considered complex and therefore should not be considered as one of their media outcomes but it does allow for the integration requirement to be met. 

    At level 3 the focus should be on level 8 of the curriculum.

    Simply creating a website using HTML5 and CSS is considered to be at curriculum level 7.  Examples for the step up to level 8 are noted in explanatory note four:

    Complex tools and techniques for web page design may include:

    • HyperText Markup Language / Cascading Style Sheets (HTML/CSS), scripting (manipulating content), dynamic data handling, interaction between user and content, multiple device outputs

    To clarify the meaning of dynamic web pages, dynamic web pages change their content based on what users do, such as clicking on some text or an image. If the information stored in the database changes, then the web page/s connected to the database change accordingly and automatically. Dynamic sites are great, for example, for image galleries, online calendars, or e-commerce.

    Here are some examples of how students could use a dynamic website:

    • Content Management System (CMS): to update information such as news, events, or products
    • E-commerce site: to take orders and so on online
    • Members’ database: manages information throughout the websites by using an administration interface, user logins, and so on
    • Deliver information to a wider audience, for example, data delivery using RSS

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