Structure of the Design, Creativity and Technology domain
The DCT domain is organised into six sections, one for each level of achievement from Levels 1 to 6. Each level includes a learning focus statement and, from Level 3, a set of standards organised by dimension. A glossary is included which provides definitions of underlined terms.
Learning focus statements are written for each level. These outline the learning that students need to focus on if they are to progress in the domain and achieve the standards at the levels where they apply. They suggest appropriate learning experiences from which teachers can draw to develop relevant teaching and learning activities.
Standards define what students should know and be able to do at different levels and are written for each dimension. In DCT, standards for assessing and reporting on student achievement apply from Level 3.
Standards in the Design, Creativity and Technology domain are organised in three dimensions:
- Investigating and designing
- Analysing and evaluating.
Activities associated with the three dimensions are linked and may be applied sequentially, where students move directly from investigating to designing, producing and evaluating. Or alternatively, students may move between the dimensions 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 intended use of materials/ingredients, components or processes required to make the product or system. Additionally, after evaluating a product they have made, students may return to the Investigating and designing and Producing dimensions to improve the product. In this way, students may work in a non-sequential manner through the dimensions in this domain. In order for students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and behaviours in this domain a ‘design and make’ project-based learning approach must be taken, that focuses on meeting the problem, need/s or requirements defined in a design brief.
Investigating and designing
In the Investigating and designing dimension, students identify ideas, problems, needs, wants and opportunities. A design brief can be a starting point or it can be developed to clearly define the idea, problem, need, want or opportunity and requirements for a solution. Students undertake research and investigation to identify the human, material, equipment, and/or energy resources available to meet the idea, problem, need, want or opportunity.
Students combine practical and design skills with knowledge, skills and behaviours from other domains to select and record creative methods of generating and depicting design possibilities and options. They devise a plan to outline the processes involved in making a product, and select and justify the option that best meets the requirements of the design brief.
The Producing dimension involves students in the management of the production phase and includes the appropriate selection and safe manipulation and use of tools, equipment, materials/ingredients and components to carry out processes appropriate to the materials/ingredients or assembly of systems components to produce a quality product or technological system.
Students explore, share and use both traditional and more innovative techniques. They reflect upon their progress and alter plans as appropriate. Progress and changes to plans are reflected upon and altered as appropriate.
Analysing and evaluating
In the Analysing and evaluating dimension, students compare the outcomes of design and production activities with earlier design work and planned intentions. Following the application of testing, improvements, modifications and alternative approaches are considered.
This dimension also involves students in describing, analysing and evaluating the impact and value of both their own and others’ technological products, technological systems, processes and innovations (past, present and predicted future) on the individual, society and culture, the environment and the economy. This includes consideration of sustainability issues.