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Ministry of Education.
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  • Question

    We have been teaching the generic standard for brief development across all levels at this school. I am confused as to whether or not the students should show functional modelling or concept designs at any level. As there is now a separate standard to assess students on their concepts, it seems strange that some exemplars are including designs and evaluations of designs. One of the older TKI resources for Brief has functional modelling in one of the tasks, but when we moderated last year on this standard, the moderator advised us that functional modelling should not be part of this assessment and it was not necessary for students to show any evidence of this. Please can you clarify – is functional modelling or concept design supposed to be included in AS91044 Undertake brief development to address a need or opportunity, AS 91354 Undertake brief development to address an issue, or AS91608 Undertake brief development to address an issue within a determined context?


    The technological practice components are closely woven together – brief development, planning for practice, and outcome development and evaluation all inform each other.

    Brief development is often running parallel to the development of an outcome where functional modelling and design concepts could be being created.

    It is not essential that functional modelling and conceptual design ideas are provided as evidence for a standard that assesses brief development. Therefore, students should not necessarily be penalised if these aspects are not part of their evidence. However, this evidence could give further details of the outcome that is required for brief development. For example, it could explain such things as how the student may have considered the environment, give further information on attributes and how these moved from attributes to specifications, and generally further information about the outcome.

  • Question

    What will teachers need to teach within the technology curriculum? I am a primary teacher in years 7 and 8. I want the students to design a dunking biscuit that is tasty and takes a while to dissolve and to describe the process they need in steps. I was looking at the LO of a design process – using Kimbell’s APU model and Melanie Fasciato’s reading to develop a herring-bone graphic that records group and individual technological practice during the “Designed for Dunking” biscuit lab.


    At years 7 and 8 students should be achieving at levels 3–4 of the technology curriculum. However, it is also important to determine the student’s prior knowledge and take this into account when planning the level at which to target the teaching.

    This teaching snapshot describes the technological process that students followed in developing a biscuit: Developing a new biscuit.

    The teacher guidance section in the indicators of progression in the curriculum documents provides guidance for teachers to support students to develop understandings. See the Indicators of Progression at What does progression in technology look like?

  • Question

    Hi, I am a food technology teacher, currently teaching AS 91643. I can't quite figure out how to get all of the students work to come together for the HACCP plan, quality assurance, flow diagram, testing, and so on. Can these all be done separately or, for example, can the quality assurance and flow diagram be integrated?


    When using the process flow diagram symbols, QA and HACCP points are included automatically. Students can add as much detail as they want in the appropriate places.  For example, they could expand on HACCP beyond identifying the CCP (critical control points) by adding actions. This might be best as a column alongside the flow diagram if the students are using a process flow chart.

    Colour coding can work really well to indicate a health and safety issue at a process step. Students can, of course, add steps such as "put on safety gear" to the diagram as part of the manufacturing process.

    One thing to remember is that no matter what graphic format of diagram is used, it has to be useful when the students are processing. So there is a limit to how much information can be on the diagram before it becomes confusing when the student is making the product. While trying to get everything on one diagram looks impressive, there is a danger of it turning into just “something nice to look at”.  The processing flow diagram is a working document.

    There is more information about this standard in two other expert questions. Enter the standard number 91643 into the keyword search to view these questions and answers.

  • Question

    What is meant by "considering the context" when, for example, developing a textile item at Level 3? Are you able to give me some examples of what this might "look like"?


    Context refers to the wider social and physical environment in which the development of a technological outcome (for example, a textile garment) occurs and where it is finally located.

    In technology, the physical environment commonly refers to the location where the technological practice is undertaken to develop a technological outcome and where the final outcome will be located.

    For a textile outcome within a context of streetwear, this could include considering:

    • the activities that the streetwear might be worn for, for example, shopping, watching sport, walking
    • the place where the garment will be worn, for example, a rural village, Wellington High Street
    • the climatic conditions in the area the streetwear is mainly designed to be worn in, for example, indoor/outdoors, summer, winter
    • the differing maintenance expectations of streetwear, for example, domestic/commercially machine washable, hand washable, dry cleanable
    • the equipment and expertise available to the student for constructing the garment, for example, screen printing may have to be done commercially.

    For a textile item, the social environment could include considering:

    • the cultural expectations of the groups/organizations/events that streetwear will be worn in
    • the personal views of the wearer and wider stakeholders in terms of the appropriate style, colour, fit for streetwear
    • any beliefs they may have about styles or materials, for example, fur, natural fibres
    • fashion trends in streetwear, for example, national, global, contemporary, historical
    • the expected cost of streetwear garments

    Research findings around context need to be reflected in the student’s particular streetwear garment. For example, if the student finds out that one of the latest trends in streetwear is “clashing pattern pairings”, and the stakeholders agree they like this particular look, then the student needs to show that they have explored how this could be incorporated into the garment.

    Context considerations are often prioritised, and should be added to or amended throughout practice – technology is a field of on-going contestation and there will always be competing priorities.

  • Question

    My question is with regards to unit standard 112, version 6, level 3 (Produce business or organisational information using word processing functions). If students compose an e-mail, is that regarded as a "document"?


    It is not appropriate to regard an email as a document for the purposes of this standard.

    The general purpose of an email is for short, typically non-formal communications, not usually printed. A document, however, is normally formal, following text processing conventions or organisational style requirements, and is generally produced in a hard copy, printed format.

    Explanatory note 3 gives a list of possible types of documents that could be produced as part of the assessment activity. Six different types of documents are required and the suggestions are all level 3 appropriate, complex documents.

    Also, Evidence Requirement 1.1 gives the range of features that should be included as part of these six documents – and features in this range are unlikely to be effectively demonstrated in an email document. Other ranges in the standard also support the fact that email may not reflect the intent of the standard.

  • Question

    Please could you help with definitions and examples of manipulation transformation and formulation of materials ingredients for a products fittness for purpose in Food Technology. I am doing frozen milk products at year 9 and wanting to cover the Technological Knowledge, technological products component.


    To understand these concepts, students would require a well-developed understanding of the food chemistry of milk and the effect that processing has on its composition and structure, both from its raw state and as an ingredient within a food product. Developing this understanding may be beyond year 9 students. A focus on food generally would make the teaching and learning simpler.

    When teaching the knowledge strands, teachers are encouraged to look beyond the students technological practice to enhance student understandings.

    Within this component, materials can be considered as raw food ingredients (for example, cows milk) and also food products made from a combination of food ingredients (for example, ice cream).

    Forming refers to bringing two or more materials together
 to formulate a new material, resulting in a different overall composition and structure to that of the original materials. This results in different performance properties – for example, mixing flour, water, and salt to make dough. Any food product that used milk as an ingredient along with other ingredients would also be an example of forming.

    Manipulating materials refers to "working" existing materials in ways that do not change their properties because their composition and structure are not altered – for example, cutting, molding, bending, jointing, gluing, painting. Manipulation could be cutting biscuit shapes or icing (painting) biscuits, or even making a gingerbread house or mixing a sauce with some fresh cooked pasta. Cutting ice-cream and coating it to make an Eskimo Pie is another example of manipulation.  

    Transforming refers to changing the structure of the material to change some of its properties. But in terms of its composition, it remains the same material. Examples here include beating air into egg whites, turning cream into unsalted butter, frothing milk.

    A teaching snapshot with a focus on teaching these concepts has recently been published on Technology Online. See Technological products and outcomes in food technology.

  • Question

    For the Achievement standard 91633, can you suggest some programs that can be used on a Mac that would allow students to gain excellence? I have been told that Mac programs give templates so the students can't achieve the standard. I was sure this couldn't be right.


    File Maker Pro for MAC can be used over the course – the students could do some work in PHP/MySQL using MAMP, which is free.

    File Maker Pro does provide some templates, but there is a huge amount of work to be done “behind the scenes”. Students can create all their own custom layouts, scripts, button events, and so on.

  • Question

    Please explain why functional modelling and prototyping are both needed to support decision making when developing an outcome.


    Functional modelling is the process of checking out design concepts/ideas to see if they are suitable for developing into an actual outcome.

    Functional models are always representations, not the actual thing. They could be, for example, a sketch, a pattern or plan, a cardboard model, a CAD drawing, or even a mental picture. They may be of the whole outcome, or just a part (for example, how two sections of the proposed outcome are to be joined).

    A prototype is the first complete version of an outcome – the realisation of concepts/ideas that have earlier been developed through functional modelling. It is full-sized, made of the selected materials, and painted or finished as required. The prototype can be assessed against the brief: does it have all the specified attributes, does it work as required, is it fit for purpose?

    If the outcome is a “one-off”, then the prototype is “it” – the student evaluates the outcome and the technological practice used to produce it; this evaluation becomes part of their ongoing learning. If the prototype is the first of a number of same or similar outcomes, the evaluation will likely to lead to modifications.

    So functional modelling and prototyping have quite different purposes, but both come under the technological modelling component of the curriculum. See the Indicators of Progression for useful suggestions on how you could teach your students about functional modelling and prototyping.

    The following resources on Technology Online may also be useful:

    Discovering what functional modelling is – and why it’s so important

    Top scholar technology 2013: Robotic window cleaner

  • Question

    I am teaching year 13 Food Technology and looking for information on AS 91643. Is there a teaching resource for complex procedures? How is it best to break down this teaching and learning ?


    It’s an assessment resource, not a teaching resource, but the internal assessment resource for AS 91643 should give you a clear idea about the teaching required.

    Note that the emphasis in all the “implement procedures” standards is on technology in a commercial environment, where the viability of a product can be determined by the ability to make it consistently to exacting specifications and then sell it at a profit. So quality control and the efficient use of time and resources are extremely important.

    According to the standard, “complex procedures are those that require a diverse range of processing operations to be performed in a particular order based on knowledge of techniques, operations, and testing feedback”. EN 2 provides very good guidance on what complex procedures encompass and the bulleted points could be used as a basis for planning your teaching programme.

    While cream puffs are used as an example in the internal assessment resource, you can choose (or let your students choose) any other food product as long as the specifications are of sufficient rigour (EN 5).

    The internal assessment resource contains useful guidance on what “skillfully” (Merit) and “efficiently” (Excellence) might look like.

  • Question

    I have been looking to change the course I offer at Level 1 and found AS 91096, which seemed promising, but focuses on pattern making for fabric only. Why such a narrow focus? Are the experts not aware that pattern making is widely used in the metal fabrication and air-conditioning industries? Could this be changed in the future?


    When AS 91096 was being created, the writers decided after a lot of discussion to restrict its application to textiles (EN#4).

    Could this be changed in the future?

    The processes, techniques, and tools involved in creating a pattern for a sheet metal product or a moulding are so substantially different that it is doubtful if broadening the scope of AS 91096 could cover them off, and there are currently no plans to introduce further technology achievement standards.

    At some stage in the future there will no doubt be a review and changes, but even then, it is unlikely that the Ministry of Education (as owner of the achievement standards) will want to go too far down the path of duplicating industry-focused standards. Technology already has a vast array of standards – far more than any other learning area.

    Having said this, have you considered assessing aspects of the pattern-making process using one of the generic standards, for example, AS 91047 Undertake development to make a prototype to address a brief or AS 91046 Use design ideas to produce a conceptual design for an outcome to address a brief? Between them, they provide for a very wide range of possible teaching contexts.

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