Please turn on the javascript option.

NSW Department of Education and Communities

Curriculum support for NSW Public Schools

Teaching and assessing

Implementing the Technology learning process in the classroom

Questioning techniques are important for teacher planning processes in a design project, for guiding student thinking and assisting students to become creative, critical, innovative and enterprising. Use the following questions to implement the technology learning process in the classroom.

Exploring and defining the task

The need or opportunity

  • Is there a product, a system or an environment that is not doing its job effectively?
  • Can we think of ways to do it better? (Cheaper, stronger, more attractive etc)
  • Is there something we can use in a new way or for a different purpose?
  • Is there a need that has no practical solution?

The user

  • Who will use the design?
  • How will they use the design?
  • What will the design have to do to meet the users’ requirements?
  • What qualities (aesthetic) will the design need for the user to appreciate it?

The client

  • Who has requested the design? Why?
  • What will the design have to do to meet the client’s requirements? (functional and aesthetic)


  • What is the budget?
  • How much time is available?
  • What other resources are available? (Skilled people, information, materials, processes, equipment etc)

Social and environmental considerations

  • Who else might the design affect? How?
  • Is there an environmental impact?
  • Are there laws, rules or regulations that you need to consider?

Criteria for success

  • What will the design have to do to be successful?
  • What are the most essential success-criteria and which are desirable?
  • What is the priority order for the success-criteria?

Defining the task

  • How can we bring all these considerations together into a clear and concise statement of the design task or design brief?

Generating and developing ideas

Generating ideas

  • What design solutions exist that address similar needs, problems or opportunities?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of these solutions?
  • What creative thinking techniques can we use to generate new ideas?
  • What ideas can we come up with?

Representing ideas

  • What techniques can we use to represent my ideas (sketching, story-boarding, drawing, modelling, flow-charts, diagrams etc)?
  • Who is the audience (me or others) and what is the purpose of the representations (rough ideas, resolving ideas, presenting ideas etc?)
  • Which techniques can we use to represent ideas as they become more resolved?
  • How can we improve skills in representing ideas?

Exploring resources

  • What materials/processes/equipment/etc could be used for the design?
  • What are the performance properties the design requires?
  • What risks (safety, cost, environmental) are associated with using the materials/processes/equipment/etc?
  • How can we test the suitability of the materials/processes/equipment?
  • How can I improve my skills in using the materials/processes/equipment/etc proficiently and safely?
  • If we are unable to use the materials/processes/equipment/etc, can someone else help?
  • Which materials/processes/equipment/etc will we choose and how do they relate to the success criteria?

Resolving ideas

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each idea in relation to the success criteria?
  • Have we considered the long-term (social and environmental impact) as well as the short-term (money, time, appearance) consequences of the design?
  • What do the client and user think?
  • What design idea/s will we choose and why?
  • Will the chosen design meet the success criteria? (essential? desirable?)
  • Do we need any further modifications to the design?

Finalising the concept

  • Do we know exactly what is involved in producing the design?
  • Do we need to further detail the design? (technical construction drawings, pattern pieces, layout, storyboarding, flowcharts, models)
  • Which equipment and material is required?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What is the step-by-step sequence that will need to occur to produce the design?
  • Do we have the skills needed to do each step or will we need more time to practice?
  • How long is each step likely to take?
  • Who is responsible for each step?
  • Does our proposed time plan and budget meet the success criteria?
  • Will modifications be required?

Producing solutions

Managing safety risks

  • What safety risks can we identify? (user capability and behaviour, materials, equipment, facility, teacher expertise)
  • Where can we find sound advice?
  • How can we eliminate or control the risks?
  • If the risks cannot be controlled how will we modify the design?

Managing production

  • Have the necessary information, materials and equipment been acquired?
  • Is the equipment set up safely and working effectively?
  • How and who will manage storage and equipment maintenance issues?
  • Do we need particular skills to be modelled (demonstrated) or reviewed with us or are we able to proceed independently?
  • Do we need an expert to supervise our work?
  • Is the production proceeding according to time plan and budget?
  • Is the quality of production work appropriate to the success-criteria?
  • What modifications do we need to make to the planned design and production?

Reflecting on learning after the design process

Design solution

  • What did we produce as a result of the design process?
  • Does it work for the client and user? Do they like it?
  • In what ways did our design solution achieve each success-criteria?
  • What aspects of the design solution did not achieve the success criteria?
  • How would we do it differently next time?

Design process

  • What was the design process we used?
  • How could the design process be improved?
  • Was our documentation processes helpful? Why or why not?
  • Did we meet the requirements of the design task ? Why or why not?
  • What skills did I gain or further develop?
  • Did the group work well as a team?

Learning outcomes

  • Which syllabus outcomes were we focusing on?
  • How well have I progressed towards achieving each outcome?
  • What experiences do I need to improve in my progress?

Strategies to facilitate aspects of the design process

The following teaching and learning strategies have been identified by teachers as particularly useful for students working through the design process. The table illustrates which aspect of the design process the strategy facilitates.




Exploring and defining
the task

Generating and developing ideas

Producing solutions

Planning and managing design projects

Evaluating problems
and solutions

Retrieval chart




Y chart


‘So, what's the problem?'






Expert jigsaw




Thinker's keys


Bloom's experiment form


1:2:4 or 1:4:P:C:R or 3-step interview


Paired interviews







Thinker's keys: evaluation


Six thinking hats





Resources for use by teachers

Integrating ICT in teaching and learning online modules web site


A web site has been created for DET teachers to increase their capacity to integrate the use of ICT applications in teaching activities and learning experiences for students. The web site contains modules with both primary and secondary curriculum focus and is linked to specific KLAs and stage outcomes.

How to access the site

  • To log onto the Integrating ICT in teaching and learning online modules web site from school, type the following url:

Or from home:

  • Select your chosen pathway: Primary, Secondary or ICT.
  • When prompted enter your DET Enterprise portal ID and password.

Resources for use by students

Power House Museum Resources

The Powerhouse Museum as well as being a great place for school excursions also offers a number of online Powerhouse Museum resources:

  • Design Hub is a gateway to the worlds best design collections and online magazine with news, interviews, opinions and ideas across the breadth of design.
  • Australia Innovates is an online guide to innovation in Australia's industries.
  • Eco’tude is a learning resource aimed at assisting school students in measuring the environmental impact of their schools using a unique online calculator.
  • Sydney Designers Unplugged features detailed case studies of seven industrial design groups with video interviews.
  • Pot Biz: the innovation game is pitched at primary students but secondary students may find it interesting. Students learn how to be a successful innovator as they try to turn an idea for a decomposing plant pot into a profitable business.
  • Sourcing the muse features the journeys of eight Australian fashion
    designers from inspiration to creation.
  • Electronic swatchbook allows students to browse fashionable fabric designs ranging from the 1830s to the 1920s, and use them freely in their own creations.

Australian Designers at work

The Australian designers at work web site features designer profiles developed by the Technology Unit, Curriculum K-12 Directorate and supported by the Vocational Education in Schools Directorate of the Department of Education and training in partnership with the Powerhouse Museum. Additional resources to support the use of the web site by students and teachers can be found in Teaching ideas. These resources were funded by the School to Work Unit, Vocational Education Directorate.

Draw It

Draw It includes interactive activities based on text, virtual tours and Flash animations. It allows teachers to tailor lessons to different students’ learning needs and interests. Draw It can be used for individual student learning or classroom teaching. Developed by the CLI, this resource supports the development of fundamental knowledge and skills in the area of graphics technologies.

Students study:

  • the purposes of drawing
  • the styles and tools of drawing
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD).

A teacher support section provides programming advice and includes syllabus outcomes, as well as downloads of worksheets and activities.

NEAL's logo

Conditions of use | Contact us