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  • Question

    I would like clarification on the following standard if possible: AS 91608 Undertake brief development to address an issue within a determined context. Under explanatory Notes 2, the standard states: "... within a determined context involves ... Establishing an issue and identifying related context considerations ... Explaining the context considerations as related to an established issue" Could you clarify what each of these bullet points mean? They look a bit like the same thing but said in different ways. What should you see in the student's work for each of these bullet points? The students are working on a project in the context of formal wear and several students wish to make a ball gown.


    Statements such as "S needs a ball dress” or "S wants something unique to go to the ball” seem more like needs or opportunities, rather than issues. To ensure the depth and breadth of practice required at this level, it might be better for students to be establishing issues such as "uniqueness" within a context of school balls/formal occasions. 

    At curriculum level 8, students will generally be establishing an issue (and thus context) that is relevant to them as an individual. 
From the beginning of their practice, students should be showing in-depth consideration for social and physical environmental factors related to their context.

    For a school ball/formal occasion, this might include things such as dress code, current fashions, activities at the event (for example, dancing, eating), month and time of the event, personal culture, and so on.
 A need for one student (within the issue of uniqueness) may be to stand out at the school ball, but also to have an outfit that can be worn at future occasions.

    At curriculum level 8 it is not always the best approach to allow the outcome to drive the practice. That is, a student who wants to make a particular ball dress may find it very difficult to undertake brief development as required at this level. 
The final brief must allow judgement of the outcome’s fitness for purpose in the broadest sense. This relates to the outcome itself as well as the practices used to develop the outcome. This requires ongoing consideration of the context.

    At this level, when students are working on a project in which they are making a ball gown, it could be considered whether it would be better to focus on the skills that students develop (rather than on the brief development process). That is, instead they could be assessed against achievement standards such as:

    • AS 90621 (Implement complex procedures using textiles materials to make a specified product)
    • AS 91350 (Make advanced adaptions to a pattern to change the structural and style features of a design)
    • AS 91623 (Implement complex procedures to create an applied design for a specified product).
  • Question

    I have heard of an approach to teaching level 3 generic standards that I wanted to clarify. This is for: AS91608 3.1 Brief; AS91609 3.2 Planning; AS91610 3.3 Conceptual Design; and AS91622 3.4 Prototype. The approach is to complete all four standards in term one so students gain achieved. Then for Term two, three, and what's left of four, work towards merit and excellence for all four standards. Is this allowed?


    As a general guide, it is expected that each NCEA credit requires 10 hours of teaching and learning time. Trying to assess all these four achievement standards (20 credits) in one term would therefore be too much. At level 3 NCEA (level 8 of the curriculum), it can take a whole year for students to show the depth of practice required at excellence level for this set of standards.

    The aim of technology as a learning area is for students to develop broad technological knowledge, practices, and dispositions that will equip them to participate in society as informed citizens and provide a platform for technology-related careers. To achieve this, students should be participating in a cohesive programme of learning across all three strands (Technological Practice, Technological Knowledge, Nature of Technology). This approach is also essential for students to have success in Technology Scholarship.

    Teachers who listen to their students and guide them to address an issue that is engaging for them will generally see high-quality evidence being produced. Depending on the project that students undertake, a manageable number of appropriate achievement standards should be selected for assessment purposes.

  • Question

    I have just a quick question on AS91620 Implement complex procedures to integrate parts using resistant materials to make a specified product. (Level 3) When using wood/plastics, what sorts of procedures are classed as "complex"? What is meant by "integrate parts"?


    Complex procedures require the student to select and use a variety of techniques for the precise integration of parts. The product the student makes needs to provide opportunity for this to occur. The resource called A Power Tower is a good starting point and provides an example in wood.

    As per Explanatory Note 2 of the standard, implementing complex procedures to integrate parts for products such as a ladder or sprinkler could include:

    • preparation of parts for integration (preparing all parts of the ladder or sprinkler to tolerance before it is put together)
    • preparation of the integration environment (making a jig to ensure the ladder is perfectly square and straight; preparing a clean assembly environment with the equipment needed to accurately assemble the product)
    • integrating parts to ensure product meets specifications (putting it together)
    • ongoing testing against reference points to reduce error in the integration of parts (using the jig and checking for tolerances at each stage of assembly).

    Radio controlled boats could also provide a platform for this standard in plastics. The expectation would be coverage of a range of techniques in the discipline of plastics forming, for example:

    • vacuum forming, including material properties affecting form and making plugs to suit assembly tolerances
    • heat strip bending, including allowances for distortion, wall thickness, temp settings
    • protocols relating to adhesives, including initial tack and setting times (adhesive selection and application should take into account the performance required of the adhesive in the outcome, for example, load, exposure to high temperature, water)
    • mechanical fixings, including material properties relating to drilling/cutting that affect alignment and relationship of parts.

    Radio Control would include many things to be integrated and require students to find such things as reference lines, centrelines, and datums or start positions for assembly alignment. Each part would need to be taken into account when assembling.

    It is likely that any plastics outcome would include materials other than just plastics. A sailing yacht without radio control may also offer the complexity required for this standard. 

    Additional products and possible associated examples are suggested in the following document:

    Ask an expert question and answer AS91620 (Word 2007, 6 MB)

  • Question

    I am just planning and looking at my Level 2 pattern adaptation AS 91350 Make advanced adaptations to a pattern to change the structural and style features of a design. Can you clarify for me if changing an A- Line skirt with a facing, and dart to a gathered skirt onto a fitted waistband has enough degree of difficulty and would be considered advanced enough for level 2? In addition, all of the other appropriate other documentation that goes with the standard would be provided.


    Pattern alterations such as gathering are generally not seen as advanced adaptations. However, if the student carried out the adaptations in a similar way to that outlined below, then this would be considered an advanced adaptation to a pattern.

    The student:

    • determined the degree of fullness required (They measured, slashed, and added width to the front and back skirt pattern pieces for gathering based on the placement required in the finished style. They marked the skirt pieces so they could be gathered evenly to match the notches on the waistband. When adapting the pattern pieces, they determined how much fullness to add when using a particular type of fabric.)
    • drafted a pattern piece for the waistband to the required finished length, height, fit, and waistband style. (The pattern piece indicated the placement of the gathering when attaching the skirt pieces to the waistband.)
  • Question

    Where can I find exemplars for AS91351 Implement advanced procedures to process a specified product? Thanks.


    NZQA manages the development of exemplars. The assessment schedule for the TKI assessment resource "Process a lemon meringue pie" provides examples of acceptable evidence for each grade. (The word file on the web page given below is titled "2.60 Food".) The teacher guidelines are also very useful in explaining requirements. See NCEA on TKI, Level 2 Technology assessment resources

  • Question

    In the standard 91633, complex procedures include: create queries to insert, update, or delete to modify data. If I use Access to assess this standard, would you please give me some examples of "inserting to modify data"? What kind of techniques are required in Access to do this?


    The standard requires students to create queries to retrieve and modify data not insert to modify data. 

    AS 91633 states the following at achieved.

    1. Implement complex procedures to develop a relational database embedded in a specified digital outcome involves:

    • creating queries to retrieve and modify data

    Explanatory note 6 includes the following statement.

    Complex procedures to develop a relational database include:

    • creating queries which insert, update or delete to modify data

    Because the word "or" is in the statement (insert, update, or delete to modify data) it is not the expectation that all are done. 

    An example of creating queries to modify data in Access is in the assessment schedule on TKI . The student has created relevant queries that combine data from multiple tables, which allow the user to retrieve and modify information for the situation. For example: The student has created a query to find a certain member and then edit the data; and a query to find all DVDs that are rated M. (Queries could also be created that show those members who are over or under a certain age.)

    Other examples could include the following:

    • creating queries which extract data from more than one table
    • running an update query or a delete query (For example, you may need to update the postal codes of the customers table or you may need to delete a certain item. These queries enable this to be done efficiently.)
    • running an append query (For example, you might need to add data to the customer table. You acquire a database that contains a table of new customers, and since you already have another table in your database that stores similar data, you would like to add those new customers to your table. Instead of copying the data from the acquired database into the table in your existing database, you could use an append query.) 

    Here are 2 links that help to explain update queries in Access for different versions:

    Access help: Create and run an update query (Access 2013)

    Access help: Change existing data by using an update query (Access 2003)

    Some providers are collecting data into an Excel spreadsheet and then running an update query to add this data into the database.

    If using A MySQL Database and PHP web pages, this can be done using PHP coding and the updating is done directly from the user input in the web page.

  • Question

    I would like clarification around the use of non-proprietary software applications being used to create a digital media outcome in relation to AS91073. In a recent assessment, students used either MS Publisher or MS Word to create a multi-paged desktop published document (a DVD cover) which integrated still images that students had captured and/or included their own created graphics (for example, barcode). Some students edited the still images in MS Word, and some in Photoshop, and others used online photo editors or other programs that provided the tools to edit/manipulate still images. Some students created textual elements in MS PowerPoint and then exported them as images that they then integrated into the design of their cover. The students final outcomes were fit for purpose and functioned as DVD covers. Is the assessment evidence provided by students who used MS PowerPoint and MS Word invalid because they did not use a proprietary software application such as Publisher or InDesign, hence meaning they do not achieve the standard? Also, the student who created textual elements and exported them as images using MS PowerPoint, created her complete DVD cover using Photoshop. She integrated her still images, the text-based image elements, and her barcode graphic into the cover design that she developed and published using Photoshop. Is the evidence produced from this method valid? Or should she not achieve? The clarification document for this standard indicates that students should create their digital media in at least two applications and also indicates that students are not required to specify or justify the applications used. If students used only one application but integrate two different types of digital media (for example, graphic and still images) can they meet the evidence requirements for this standard? Last question ... does it matter at all what type of software application they use if they are able to integrate different media types to create a digital media outcome?


    The digital media standard is derived from the indicators of progression for the learning objectives for the Technology specialist knowledge and skills strands – create a digital media outcome, level 6 (page 23). Learning objectives for the specialist knowledge and skills strands can be found in the Indicators of Progression section of Technology Online.

    The teacher guidance includes the following.

    "To support students to implement basic procedures to create a digital media outcome at level 6, teachers could:

    • Provide opportunity for students to explore and develop technical expertise with digital media tools.
    • Provide opportunity for students to apply an understanding of digital media to design and create a number of different digital media outcomes using a variety of digital media technologies."

    Students should be taught about tools that are fit for the purpose of the task and should then select those that are appropriate to create their digital media outcomes.  

    Publisher, InDesign, Scribus, and Pages (Mac) are layout-specific software applications. Word may not be a good choice – it is generally considered difficult and clumsy to use for layout. PowerPoint could be used for creating and implementing digital media outcomes such as interactive quizzes, but this would depend on how the outcome was saved. PowerPoint is a "holding pen" for the different media types (for example, video, sound, music, imagery), so the student should be focusing on the media types within the PowerPoint presentation rather than the PowerPoint itself. Image editors such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Fireworks, or Pixlr could be more appropriate than PowerPoint. Hongkiat.com provides some more free software applications for image manipulation. You may also seek clarification from NZQA on achievement standards. This information is in the NZQA circular "Request for Clarification", which replaces "Optional Teacher-selected Evidence" (S2012/030 – 20 Nov 2012). Requests should be made through the principal's nominee. 

  • Question

    Please provide a definition of: "synthesising evidence from ongoing research and functional modelling, including feedback from stakeholders, to evaluate conceptual designs" AS91356 Thank you


    Technology is a field of on-going contestation and a technologist is required to manage multiple influences and priorities.

    In synthesising evidence, the student will show that they have considered their research findings, their findings from functional modelling, and their stakeholder feedback. They will look for common elements, and the links between these findings. 

    Students should be reflecting on these findings to evaluate each conceptual design (for example, to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each in terms of the brief being addressed). The idea is that, by pulling together their evidence (synthesising), they will evaluate conceptual designs more robustly.

  • Question

    I would like clarification around the definitions of formulation,manipulation ,and transformation in textiles materials. At level 4 in the component Technological products it states: Provide students with the opportunity to discuss what is meant by materials being formed, manipulated and transformed. 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; mixing wood fibres, resin and wax to make MDF; glass fibre and a polymer resin combined to form fiberglass or fibre reinforced polymer (FRP). Manipulating materials refers to ‘working’ existing materials in ways that do not change their properties as their composition and structure is not altered. For example: cutting; molding; bending; jointing; gluing; painting. Transforming refers to changing the structure of an existing material to change some of its properties, but in terms of its composition, it remains the same material. For example: felting; beating an egg white; steaming timber to soften its fibres and allow it to be manipulated (bent). I am working in practice with students on a wearable art project. Is melting layers of plastic together manipulating or transforming? Is stretch corduroy a good example of forming? Is the new yarn and fabric WoJo developed by the Formary an example of forming a new material? See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlfI_IdHF0Q Is it likely that students could be forming new textile materials in technological practice?


    Is melting layers of plastic together manipulating or transforming?

    Joining plastic using heat is manipulation - a thicker piece of plastic is created but there are no change in properties as the structure and composition stays the same –it is still plastic just thicker.

    Is stretch corduroy a good example of forming?

    No this is an example of manipulation. The two base materials-cotton and spandex are spun together and then woven into the corduroy fabric. The composition (read chemical ) and the structure of the spandex and cotton is not changed in this process therefore it is not an example of forming a new material.

    Is the new yarn and fabric WoJo® developed by the Formary an example of forming a new material? See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlfI_IdHF0Q

    WoJo® fabric is created by blending wool and jute fibre from coffee sacks. The composition (read chemical) and the structure of the wool and jute is not changed in this process therefore it is not an example of forming a new material. This is an example of manipulation.

    Is it likely that students could be forming new textile materials in technological practice

    It would be unusual for students to be forming new textile materials in the classroom, as this requires access to industrial equipment and facilities. Polyester, Dacron and Terylene are examples of a material that are formed by combining ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid to form polyethylene terephthalate.

  • Question

    What is meant by 'considering the context' when, for example, developing a website? 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 (i.e. website) 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 website this could include considering:

    • the device/s websites can be viewed/used on e.g. phone, iPad, laptop, PC
    • the limitations that software and hardware may place on the website design
    • search engine optimisation
    • how better connections have led to higher expectations eg the inclusion of video/audio

    In Technology, the social environment refers to an individual or groups of people and their input in to the development technological outcome and the end users of the final outcome.

    For a website, the social environment could include considering:

    • the expectations of an end user(s) and how these change across different end-user groups (i.e. changes in a groups social/cultural/age/gender/education make-up). For example:
      • expectations around performance e.g. layout, interaction
      • content preference  e.g. inclusion of blogs etc, ‘contact us’)
      • common ‘loves’ and ‘hates’ of websites
      • what is accepted as ‘good design’
    • internet experience of end users
    • writing standards ‘for the web’- industry terminology /codified knowledge

    A key sign that students have considered ‘context’ when developing a website is that they have identified the needs/expectations of the websites end user. Students should be encouraged to undertake research to identify these needs/expectations; this includes the devices that end users are likely to use. As a website is developed students should undertake technological modelling (tests) on devices to ensure that the site is likely to function on those which end users are most likely to use.

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