> Home > Domains > Design, Creativity and Technology > Background to the VELS

Background to the VELS − Design, Creativity and Technology domain

Standards in the Design, Creativity and Technology (DCT) domain were developed following a detailed analysis of the Curriculum and Standards Framework (CSF) II, the previous curriculum guidelines for Victorian schools. The VELS focus on the essential learning students need. Further information about the general relationships between the two curriculum frameworks is provided in tables for each level.

Introduction | Level 1 | Level 2 | Level 3 | Level 4 | Level 5 | Level 6 | Show All

Introduction

The learning focus for DCT provides an overview of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that students are expected to develop through each level. It should be the starting point for curriculum planning. The DCT standards provide a benchmark of the expected achievement by the end of each level. For this domain there are no standards at Levels 1 and 2. However, the learning focus at these levels provide advice about ways learning experiences can be incorporated into curriculum to assist students to work towards achievement of the standards at Level 3.

The Technology CSF II has three strands of learning: Materials; Information; and Systems. At Levels 1–3, the Materials and Systems strands are combined to form the Materials and movement strand. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) domain within the Interdisciplinary Learning strand of the Victorian Essential Learning standards, replaces the Information strand in the CSF II.

The DCT domain does not address materials and systems separately. However, the standards at each level refer to knowledge, skills and behaviours in selecting and using materials and systems components as well as creating products and systems.

Image displaying relationship between CSF II Technology the VELS

The design and technology process

The technology process is described on pages 7 and 8 of the Technology CSF II document and addressed in Outcome 2 of each strand.

The technology process includes investigating, designing, producing and evaluating. DCT includes the design and technology processes that students engage in when responding to challenges. These are evident in the standards through the three dimensions: Investigating and designing; Producing; and Analysing and evaluating. As in the CSF II Technology, students would be expected to work through all stages or phases of the process to address any particular problem or challenge.

Activities related to the domain’s three dimensions may be applied sequentially, with students moving directly from investigating to designing, producing and evaluating, or, alternatively, moving between the dimensions in an iterative manner as they solve a problem. For example, to assist their decision making while designing a product or system, students may evaluate the potential impact on the environment of the proposed materials, components or processes. Additionally, after evaluating their product, students may return to the designing and producing dimensions to improve it. In this way, students may work in a non-sequential manner through the dimensions. This approach is similar to that described on pages 7 and 8 of the Technology CSF II document and addressed in Outcome 2 of each strand.

Level 1

The learning focus statement provides the key advice, as there are no standards at Level 1. Systems and components are not addressed at this level – they are introduced at Level 2. As in CSF II Technology, students explore the characteristics and uses of common materials, investigate familiar products, and begin to engage in the process of designing. Simple design briefs provide the context for student problem-solving in applying aspects of design and technology processes and for developing skills in the use of tools and equipment.

The learning focus statement further emphasises the use of models to represent design ideas as well as the non-sequential nature of design processes. Students are encouraged not only to reflect on how they made their product and how the design solves the problem or meets the need identified in the design brief, but also how it could be improved.

Victorian Essential Learning Standards CSF II learning outcomes

The Learning focus statements for Levels 1 and 2 provide advice about learning experiences that will assist students to work towards the achievement of the standards at Level 3.

Materials and movement

Identify the characteristics and uses of some common materials.

Generate ideas for and process materials to make simple products.

Level 2

While there are no standards at Level 2, the learning focus statements at Levels 1 and 2 provide advice about learning experiences that will assist students to work towards the achievement of the standards at Level 3. As in CSF II Technology, students have opportunities to further explore the characteristics of materials and consider their uses, to safely use tools and equipment when working with materials, and to evaluate products in relation to their purpose. Students further develop design skills when responding to design briefs.

The opportunity to work with components and systems is introduced at this level. The use of models continues to be explored, as does the relationship between individuals, communities, products and systems. There is now more explicit reflection on the thinking that has occurred throughout the design and technology processes.

Victorian Essential Learning Standards CSF II learning outcomes

The Learning focus statements for Levels 1 and 2 provide advice about learning experiences that will assist students to work towards the achievement of the standards at Level 3.

Materials and movement

Describe the characteristics of common materials and relate the characteristics to possible uses.

Develop simple products, and describe the products in relation to the original intention.

Level 3

The standards at Level 3 address the key concepts of CSF II Technology at this level. Students further explore materials in terms of their characteristics and properties, and consider how these affect their uses. They generate design ideas, plan and make products and systems using tools and equipment safely, and evaluate products and systems. Students begin to provide input into design briefs and are encouraged to take risks in their designing. Aspects of evaluation are strengthened, particularly in terms of function and suitability for the intended purpose. Students are also introduced to the notion of developing and using evaluation criteria to make decisions about, and assess, design ideas.

Victorian Essential Learning Standards CSF II learning outcomes

Investigating and designing

At Level 3, students, individually and in teams, generate ideas based on a design brief, demonstrating understanding that designs may need to meet a range of different requirements. They use words, labelled sketches and models to communicate the details of their designs, and clarify ideas when asked. They identify simple systems components and common materials/ ingredients and explain the characteristics and properties that make them suitable for use in products. Students think ahead about the order of their work and list basic steps to make the product or system they have designed.

Producing

At Level 3, students use their list of steps and are able to choose appropriate tools, equipment and techniques to alter and combine materials/ingredients and assemble systems components. They use a variety of simple techniques/processes and a range of materials/ingredients to safely and hygienically alter and combine materials/ingredients and put together components to make products and simple systems that have moving parts.

Analysing and evaluating

At Level 3, students test, evaluate and revise their designs, products or simple systems in light of feedback they have gained from others. They identify what has led to improvements and describe what they consider to be the strengths and drawbacks of their design, product or simple system. They consider how well a product or simple system functions and/or how well it meets the intended purpose.

Materials and movement

Compare the characteristics and uses of three common materials.

Develop products safely using a variety of processes and evaluate with reference to the appropriateness of the materials used.

Level 4

At Level 4, design factors relating to function and aesthetics remain a focus, as does the impact of products and systems on people and the environment. The development of technical language and symbols that are used in the design of products and systems is less obvious in the Learning standards. The development of specific knowledge related to systems (for instance, describing inputs, processes and outputs; different types of systems; energy sources, conversion and the difference between open and closed loop systems; and components, such as pulleys and belts, levers and linkages, gears, cranks and sliders, electrical circuits, resistors, LEDs and motors) is not mentioned in the standards; however there is reference to exploration of ideas and concepts about systems.

The standards introduce the notion of quality in design, and further understanding of the impact products and systems have on people and the environment as well as ways in which people and the environment influence the design of products.

Victorian Essential Learning Standards CSF II learning outcomes

Investigating and designing

At Level 4, students contribute to the development of design briefs that include some limitations and specifications. Individually and in teams, they use a range of methods to research and collect data in response to design briefs. They generate and communicate alternative design ideas in response to a design brief and use words, labelled sketches and models, to demonstrate that they are aware of environmental and social constraints.

Students take account of the views of users/consumers and produce step-by-step plans and/or modify recipes for making products and/or simple mechanical/electrical systems. They describe how their intended product will function or be used, and what it will look like in the context of the requirements of the design brief. They identify evaluation criteria from design briefs and use them to justify design choices.

Producing

At Level 4, students use their production plan and select and work safely with a variety of materials/ingredients and systems components to produce functional products and/or systems. They use a range of measuring, marking, joining/combining techniques to alter materials and finishing/presentation methods, and operate tools and equipment competently, showing consideration of safety and hygiene, and record their progress.

Analysing and evaluating

At Level 4, students reflect on their designs as they develop them and use evaluation criteria, identified from design briefs, to justify their design choices. They modify their designs/products/systems after considered evaluation of feedback from peers and teachers, and their own reflection. They describe the impact products and technological systems have on people and the environment.

Materials

Explain how the specific characteristics of materials affect functional and aesthetic design requirements.

Prepare designs for products, organise and undertake a range of production processes and evaluate against the design specifications.

Systems

Explain the relationship between the inputs, processes and outputs of simple systems.

Plan, construct and modify simple systems and report on their performance.

Level 5

At this level, the standards and CSF II Technology both emphasise the use of a variety of techniques to generate and communicate ideas to address design briefs. Students are expected to plan production processes and safely use a range of tools and equipment, including complex equipment, to make products and systems. They evaluate products and systems through testing and applying evaluation criteria, and make recommendations for improvement. The effectiveness of processes is considered in the evaluation.

The standards introduce design elements and principles, and the development of risk-assessment processes. The analysis of products and their performance is made explicit. Aspects of evaluation are strengthened in terms of reflection on the students’ selection of relevant evaluation techniques and their ability to adapt production processes and modify products as a result.

The knowledge that students acquire to be able to develop products and systems at this level could include concepts such as:

Victorian Essential Learning Standards CSF II learning outcomes

Investigating and designing

At Level 5, students use various strategies and sources of information to investigate and research a range of factors relevant to more sophisticated design briefs to which they have contributed. During the design process they clarify their understanding of design brief requirements and their design ideas by gathering, responding to and providing feedback to others. They develop evaluation criteria from the design brief to inform their judgments during the design process. They use a variety of drawing and modelling techniques to visualise design ideas and concepts. Students demonstrate understanding of design elements and principles and use appropriate technical language.

Students understand and logically sequence major stages of production, and calculate and list materials/ingredients and quantities needed for production. They record and communicate their ideas using a variety of media that includes information and communications technology equipment, techniques and procedures.

Producing

At Level 5, students work safely/hygienically with a range of tools and equipment, including some which are complex, and manage materials/ingredients, components and processes to produce products and systems, taking full account of the appropriateness of their properties, characteristics or expected outputs in meeting requirements of design briefs.

They make modifications during production, providing a sound explanation for changes that demonstrates reflection, research, responsiveness to feedback, and use of evaluation criteria.

Analysing and evaluating

At Level 5, students select appropriate equipment and techniques to safely test and evaluate the performance of their products/systems. They suggest modifications to improve their products/systems in light of evaluation of their performance, function and appearance. They recommend improvements to the performance, function and appearance of others’ product/systems. They describe and analyse the social and environmental impacts of their own and others’ designs, products and technological systems.

Materials

Explain some of the social and environmental implications of using particular materials in products.

Justify, develop and implement design ideas, using some complex equipment and processes, and evaluate the efficiency of the processes used.

Systems

Explain the components and operations of systems, and how people control and use systems.

Justify, develop, implement and evaluate the preferred option with reference to function, performance, quality and safe use.

Level 6

As in CSF II Technology, students are expected to undertake investigations that are relevant to the design briefs or challenges posed. They are expected to produce a range of design ideas, justify the selection of design options, and develop evaluation criteria. Students prepare detailed plans for production and evaluate products and systems using the criteria.

The standards introduce the concept of ethics in design as well as approaches for developing innovative design solutions. Time and resource management is explicitly addressed and risk assessment is further strengthened. The development of testing methods for evaluating products and systems is emphasised.

The knowledge that students acquire to be able to develop products and systems at this level could include concepts such as:

Students can be encouraged to develop strategies for identifying potential clients and working with them to develop products and systems.

Victorian Essential Learning Standards CSF II learning outcomes

Investigating and designing

At Level 6, students identify considerations and constraints within a design brief. They undertake research relevant to the design brief. They locate and use relevant information to help their design thinking and identify the needs of a variety of client/user groups. When designing, they generate a range of alternative possibilities, use appropriate technical language, and justify their preferred option, explaining how it provides a solution to the problem, need or opportunity. They make critical decisions on materials/ingredients, systems components and techniques based on their understanding of the properties and characteristics of materials/ingredients and/or of the relationship between inputs, processes and outputs. They effectively use information and communications technology equipment, techniques and procedures to support the development of their design and planning. Students take account of function and performance, energy requirements, aesthetics, costs, and ethical and legal considerations that address the requirements of design briefs. They identify a range of criteria for evaluating their products and/or technological systems. Students plan a realistic and logical sequence of the production stages, incorporating time, cost and resources needed for production.

Producing

At Level 6, students implement a range of production processes accurately, consistently, safely/hygienically and responsibly, and select and use personal protective clothing and equipment when necessary. They produce products/systems using complex tools, equipment, machines, materials/ingredients and/or systems components with precision. They clearly explain decisions about the suitability of materials/ingredients, systems components, energy requirements and production techniques based on their understanding of the properties and characteristics of materials/ingredients, and the inputs, processes and outputs of systems.

In response to changing circumstances, they adapt their methods of production and provide a sound explanation for deviation from the design proposal. They make products/systems that meet the quality, aesthetic, functionality and performance requirements outlined in the design brief.

Analysing and evaluating

At Level 6, students use evaluation criteria they have previously developed, and critically analyse processes, materials/ingredients, systems components and equipment used, and make appropriate suggestions for changes to these that would lead to an improved outcome. They use a range of suitable safe testing methods in this analysis. They relate their findings to the purpose for which the product and/or system was designed and the appropriate and ethical use of resources.

They synthesise data, analyse trends and draw conclusions about the social, cultural, legal and environmental impacts of their own and others’ designs and the products/systems, and evaluate innovative new technology in the manufacturing industry.

Materials

Analyse the appropriateness of using particular materials, including emerging materials, for specific purposes.

Prepare detailed design proposals, make products using some complex equipment, and analyse the effectiveness of the products with reference to specified criteria.

Extension

Analyse the costs and benefits of specific processes and materials, including emerging materials.

Develop innovative solutions to problems, and evaluate products using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods.

Systems

Analyse how the principles, structure, organisation and control of systems both affect and are affected by community needs, circumstances and resources.

Prepare detailed designs and use specialised techniques to construct and operate complex systems, and evaluate the designs against community needs, circumstances and resources.

Extension

Analyse the consequences of using a range of systems in terms of their energy source.

Develop innovative solutions to complex systems problems and use qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate performance.

 


Back to Top