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  • Question

    Hi there, I am just wondering is it o.k for 1.61- Demonstrate understanding of basic concepts used in processing, to use the concept of custards. Students will be given 4 different types of custard to compare and contrast Soft Custards: Creme Anglaise Baked Custards: Crème Brûlée Starch Thickened Custards: pudding Gelatin Set custards: Bavarian Thank you


    Custards would be a suitable food product to explore to develop the understandings required for AS 91083 (1.61) Demonstrate understanding of basic concepts used in processing. Students should explore a range of processing operations testing techniques and appropriate safety procedures in processing. It is important to note that the focus of this standard is on the processing and associated testing in making a product and not on the effect that changing ingredients has on the type of product produced. All 4 processing operations must be covered as outlined in explanatory note 4.

    Here are some examples (not an exhaustive list, you and your students will think of others) of custard processing that the students could explore in the 4 operations categories. Each of these techniques will have associated testing:

    one or more of – measuring, shaping, or finishing

    • measuring quantities of ingredients, testing temperature (for both heating and cooling),
    • volume and shape of baking and setting containers to ensure a typical product
    • storage techniques to prevent skin formation on crème anglaise
    • finishing techniques for crème caramel (e.g. blow torch, or using the oven grill)

    one or more of – containment, contamination prevention, or disposal:

    • food safety techniques to prevent contamination when making the various custard types

    one or more of – mixing, extracting, separating, or growing:

    • processing techniques and how these create the different types of custards and their attributes
    • processing techniques to ensure prevention of curdling in different custards

    one or more of – heating, cooling, or reacting

    • heating and cooling techniques used for the different types of custards and how they ensure a typical product
    • the reaction between ingredients to thicken or set the custard

    Testing in food processing provides guidance to help students to understand testing in a classroom environment. This resource highlights the type of qualities that food technologists could identify and test for when processing products.

  • Question

    AS1.60 is focused on assessing a student’s competency in ‘using’ basic procedures to implement a processing operation that enables a specified product to be produced. AS1.61 assesses student understandings of the basic concepts that enable processing to occur. Do both the standards need students to make a product? From what I understand 1.60 is where a student has to produce an outcome to demonstrate competency, were as 1.61 is where a student doesn't have to make a product but can do an investigation/report on a wider concept which compares and contrast difference in processing, safety etc?This could be done through some functional modelling in class.


    Yes, you are correct regarding AS 91082 (1.60) Implement basic procedures to process a specified product -a student should produce an outcome to demonstrate competency.

    For AS 91083 (1.61) Demonstrate understanding of basic concepts used in processing students should explore a range of processing operations testing techniques and appropriate safety procedures in processing. Students may find it easier to focus on one product for example bread or cheese or preserves as shown in the NZQA assessment resources for this standard.

    The exemplar for AS 91083 shows the student developing their understandings of processing bread through technological practice. However, this is just one example and students could develop these understandings from multiple learning opportunities. These could include:

    • from their own and other class members, technological practice (including functional modelling.) Class groups could be making different products and sharing their findings with the class.
    • research (this could be carried out individually or in groups and findings shared with the class)
    • industry visits (for example if bread was the focus product a visit could be made to a local baker and understandings gained shared on return to class)

    It is important to note that the focus of this standard is on the processing and associated testing in making a product and not on the effect that changing ingredients has on the type of product produced. All 4 processing operations must be covered as outlined in explanatory note 4.

    For additional information and resources see:

    Connecting with Industry

    There are several video clips here that present information on food processing, testing and food safety in a range of food industries. These include Hinterland Express Old Cottage Cakery, (a food processor providing products for a local environment) Findlay’s Bakeries, (a food processor providing products for a national environment) and Cedenco (a food processor providing products for a global environment).

  • Question

    91057: Implement basic procedures using resistant materials or textile material to make a specified product Would an Electronics project - for example, in which students need to design a printed circuit board, manufacture the printed circuit board, populate and solder components, construct a suitable housing and cable other components such as motors or LCD displays- qualify as a basic procedure to meet the standard? An example could be making a digital clock.


    The construction of the electronic system for the clock would be more accurately assessed against AS91079 Implement basic techniques in constructing a specified electronic and embedded system. The construction of the housing system for the digital clock could be assessed against AS91057 Implement basic procedures using resistant materials or textile material to make a specified product. The specifications for the housing (maybe teacher given or student generated) must meet the requirements of Explanatory note 6 that is:

    Techniques include:

    • one or more of measuring/marking out
    • one or more of sizing/shaping/forming
    • one or more of joining/assembling
    • one or more of finishing/detailing/tuning.
  • Question

    How complex does the prototype need to be when using the prototype standards (91047, 91357,91611). I plan to teach a unit on 3d printing and would like some examples of how 3d printing has been used at L1- 3. For example, would the following brief be acceptable at Level 1: Develop a prototype of a toy with moving parts for children at the local playgroup. The toy must be no bigger than 20cm x 20cm and should be able to stand up on its own.


    The requirements for AS91047 Undertake development to make a prototype to address a brief (see Explanatory note 2) include:

    • selecting and using materials and/or components
    • selecting and using tools and equipment
    • applying practical techniques and processes to make a prototype. 

    Teaching students how to use a 3d printer could be a precursor to enabling students to select (as outlined above), rather than driving the development of the prototype.

    The requirements for the brief for AS91047 (see Explanatory Note 3) state:

    The brief may be provided by the teacher or developed by the student. If the student develops the brief then the teacher must ensure that it provides sufficient guidance to enable the prototype to be developed. The brief used for this standard must allow for a range of outcomes and include a conceptual statement and specifications for the prototype to be evaluated against.

    The brief you suggest could provide more guidance and allow for judgement of fitness for purpose if it had more specifications. For example, these could be around safety, hygiene, the defined age group, the relevant cognitive and or fine motor skills the toy could develop, and/or whatever else the playgroup environment may require. A discussion with stakeholders from the playcentre should enable an authentic conceptual statement and a range of relevant specifications to be presented to students as a starting point.

    At level 3 NCEA AS91611 Develop a prototype considering fitness for purpose in the broadest senserequires that the brief used must allow judgement of an outcome’s fitness for purpose in the broadest sense. There have been several other Ask an Expert questions on this concept see - AAE search fitness for purpose in its broadest sense.

    There is also a webcast on “fitness for purpose in its broadest sense” at Team Solutions Wikispace screencasts

    The prototyping standards across the three NCEA levels are used to assess the student's ability to develop a prototype, rather than any complexity of the outcome itself. See Explanatory Note 5 for a definition of a prototype and prototyping as used for these standards.

    A prototype is a finished outcome that is ready to be trialled in situ. It is developed through technological practice and is reflective of accepted techniques and tolerances, and safety and legal responsibilities. Prototyping is the trialling of the prototype to gain evidence for the evaluation of the outcome’s fitness for purpose in its intended physical and social environment (context).

    This definition is similar across all of the 3 standards mentioned.

  • Question

    What is the distinction between competing and contestable factors in the level 3 functional modelling external (91612)? I have read a few definitions but I feel as if I need some examples of comments students might make about addressing those through functional modelling. Am I on the right track in thinking that students may model a design to ensure it is actually viable or not (viability being a competing factor). Then they may use another form of functional modelling to experiment with aesthetics which are more subjective and influenced by the opinions of stakeholders (a contestable factor). does that capture the distinction between the two types of factors?


    There is an excellent screencast by Pippa Lawlor on this standard that is available on YouTube.

    Students may examine functional modelling used within their own technological practice. Equally they may also research the modelling that was used in the creation and use of a prototype outside of their own practice.

    The difference between contestable and competitive factors is described within this screencast as follows: 

    “Competing factors are those that are in direct opposition and therefore only one can be chosen to be put ahead of all the others. Ultimately this means that only one can be accommodated or one must be prioritised over the other or one overrides the other or actually outweighs the other in the selection process. Competing factors that students may readily identify within their own practice are time versus quality where students are working to strict time constraints or cost versus quality where students are working with a limited budget. Typically priorities are tied to a specification and ranked. One priority will become the most important and influencing factor for decision making.

    Contestable factors are those that can be disputed. Choices can be challenged, as there is always more than one viewpoint. Compromise can be accommodated in a design but the priority or importance will vary with stakeholder views. They are often based on people’s roles, views and values. These factors may arise from a number of issues, which include but are not limited to ethical, social, historical, cultural, political, economic, sustainable, humanitarian and environmental. Some factors maybe highly contestable and others perhaps less so. For example if we look at the issue of culturally appropriate design we might ask the question who decides on the culture and its appropriateness – this is dependent on values and viewpoints. Another example would be to look at environmentally friendly material and ask the question to what extent is it really green? “

  • Question

    I'd like some clarification about AS91634, please. In particular, what does it mean when it says (EN2) “explaining why content needs to be manipulated to be used across media types" EN5 says that "Media types include: text, web languages, audio, video, graphics, animation or still images." This suggests that the standard is talking about processes such as turning text into audio (screen readers), web languages to video (??), still images to web languages etc. Most of these pairings sound crazy. EN8 gives examples of presenting content across different media. One example is presenting “web content on screen and in print or on mobile devices”. Does this mean that comparing web content presented on screen with web content presented on a mobile device is sufficient to address this part of the standard?


    The intent of this part of the standard is that students should be able to explain why similar media types such as video or still images may need to be manipulated for different outcomes at achieved.

    An example is that resolutions will be different depending on the use

    For instance, an image used in a large adverting poster may have a resolution of 10 pixels per inch (PPI) or less, an Image on a website typically would be 75 PPI and in a magazine 200 PPI.  

    Similarly, video delivered to a web browser and to a phone will have different characteristics.

    As the standard requires two digital media (EN3) then it is quite conceivable the student could explain why one digital media type is used in differing ways (such as a web site and a print media.) The focus should be on the depth of explanation rather than a large number of media types. 

  • Question

    How do different forms of modelling provide valid and reliable evidence from different stakeholder groups?


    Depending on the decisions that the technologist is needing to make at the time, modelling may be in different forms for different stakeholder groups. For example:

    • At the initial stage of development of an outcome, the technologist may be seeking feedback on the broad attributes of the product. Talking over ideas could be an appropriate form of modelling.
    • When seeking evidence on proportion, form and shape of a possible outcome, a three-dimensional model (rather than a flat drawing) should make it easier for a group of stakeholders to give valid and reliable feedback.
    • For some stakeholder groups, it may be appropriate to model components of the outcome - so, for example, they can be checked for technical feasibility and stakeholder expectations. 

    Additional information  is available here under  key ideas for technological modelling

  • Question

    What is meant by "basic concepts" in the Achievement standard 91059: "Demonstrate understanding of basic concepts used to make products from resistant materials"


    It is clear from the explanatory notes that the focus of the standard is on understanding materials and working techniques, and on how and why different materials and techniques are used in different situations.

    As far as materials go, the “basic concept” is that different materials have different characteristics that make them suitable in some situations but not others. The standard (EN 5) says these characteristics may include but are not limited to profile, hardness, malleability, ductility, elasticity, and grain.

    With respect to techniques, the “basic concept” is that different techniques are used for different purposes and when working with different resistant materials. The standard (EN 3) says that purposes include measuring or marking out; sizing, shaping or forming; joining or assembly; and finishing, detailing, or tuning.

    The standard (EN 2) makes it clear that “basic concepts” extends to safe practice. This means that students need to be aware of the hazards associated with particular materials and techniques, and how these can be mitigated.

    For assessment against this AS, students should draw on understandings gained from their own practice, but the expectation is that they will also draw on understandings gained from exploring a wide variety of products. Teachers need to give students opportunities to do this and to model the sorts of reflective and inquiry questions students should be asking.

    This AS is derived from the Technological Knowledge strand of the curriculum and is designed to encourage students to extend and deepen their understanding of materials and safe working techniques, and to apply these understandings to their technological decision making.

  • Question

    Would a jacket constructed of Chambray fabric and lined with satin be sufficient for AS 91621 (3.21)? The assessment asks for a formal garment to be constructed. Would the use of interfacing in a collar, lining of the jacket, the use of pockets and the application of applique or machine embroidery be sufficient complex procedures? What do you consider as complex procedures in a jacket for this assessment? Could a jacket with a rounded neck and not a collar also be considered for this standard?


    The jacket you describe would meet the requirements of complex procedures as outlined in explanatory note 3. See below:

    Explanatory note 3

    Complex procedures are those that require carrying out two or more of the following:

    • joining materials with different properties, for example, jacket shell and lining, sailcloth on to tape (joining the chambray fabric to the lining)
    • changing the characteristics of the materials, for example, interfacing, interlining, boning (changing the characteristics of the collar fabric by using interfacing)
    • managing special fabrics, for example, fine knits, sheers, satins, ripstop nylon, canvas
    • managing the inclusion of structural or style features, for example, tucks, pockets, openings, closures, weather proof storage (the inclusion of pockets)
    • cutting on the bias.

    A jacket with a rounded neck could still provide two complex procedures if the pocket and lining are still included as described in the initial jacket.

    These students could also be using interfacing in hems and front facings. The outcome does not necessarily need to be a formal garment. Some students have had success with making tents, raincoats, and other textile items.

    Technology clarifications for AS91621 provides further guidance on this standard.

    The application of applique or machine embroidery is generally assessed using a different standard – AS 91623 Implement complex procedures to create an applied design for a specified product.

  • Question

    I am a Digital Technology teacher. I have Year 7 and Year 8 students. Their abilities range from Level 1-4, 5? With my Year 7 students we make Monopoly Play pieces with a 3D printer. Year 8s produce a computer game writing their own coding etc. Do I have to get them to make three Functional Models? What in your opinion is a suitable Functional Model for them to make? Can you give me an example of a Functional Model Students of this age could be expected to create? Thanks


    Functional models are representations of potential technological outcomes and that they exist in many forms (For example, thinking, talking, drawing, physical mock-ups, computer aided simulations etc) The purpose of functional modelling is to test design concepts to see if they are suitable for use in the development of an outcome.

    There is no requirement for a set number of functional models but rather that the functional modelling was adequate to test designs and reduce the risk of wasting time, money, and materials.

    The examples you have suggested are great examples of functional modelling in technological practice.

    You will see in the key ideas on the technological modelling component on the Technology Online website the following comment: 

    At levels 1–4 students can learn much about functional modelling within the context of their own practice. But by the time they get to level 5 they need to be learning from the experience of a broad range of technologists so that their understanding is not limited to what they can personally do or by the opportunities available in their school setting.  

    There are lots of news items on Technology Online that are good examples of how technologists go about technological modelling.

    See: All news tagged technological modelling

    Students could explore some of these news items to extend their learning experience of technological modelling  beyond their own practice. Teachers have also had success by bringing in technologists to the classroom through the Futureintech facilitators initiative. 

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