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Curriculum strands

Specialist strands

AOs/LOs by level

Technological practice (TP)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Technological knowledge (TK)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Nature of technology (NT)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2

8-1 | 8-2

Design in technology (DET)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2


Manufacturing (MFG)

6-1 | 6-2

7-1 | 7-2


Technical areas (TCA)


Construction and mechanical technologies (CMT)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3 | 6-4

6-5 | 6-6 | 6-7

7-1 |  7-2 |  7-3 |  7-4

7-5 |  7-6 |  7-7

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3 | 8-4

8-5 | 8-6 | 8-7

Design and visual communication (DVC)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3

Digital technologies (DTG)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3 | 6-4

6-5 | 6-6 | 6-7 | 6-8

6-9 | 6-10 | 6-11 | 6-12

7-1 |  7-2 |  7-3 |  7-4

7-5 |  7-6 |  7-7 |  7-8

7-9 |  7-10 |  7-11 |  7-12

8-1 | 8-2 | 8-3 | 8-4

8-5 |  8-6/7 | 8-8 | 8-9

8-10 |  8-11 | 8-12

Processing technologies (PRT)

6-1 | 6-2 | 6-3

7-1 | 7-2 | 7-3

8-1/2 | 8-3

Technological products TK 7-2

Achievement standard 2.6 AS91359

This component focuses on the relationship between the composition of materials and their performance properties, the role of material evaluation and how this relationship impacts on the use of the materials in developing technological products.

Achievement objective: TK 7-2

Students will:

  • understand the concepts and processes employed in materials evaluation and the implications of these for design, development, maintenance, and disposal of technological products.


Students can:

  • discuss a range of subjective and objective evaluative procedures used to determine the suitability of materials and describe the underpinning concepts and processes involved in particular procedures
  • discuss examples of material evaluation procedures undertaken to support material selection decisions and justify the appropriateness of these procedures
  • discuss examples to explain how material evaluation impacted on design and development decisions
  • discuss examples to explain how material evaluation impacted on maintenance and disposal decisions.


At level 6, students developed their understanding of material development considering the characteristics and structure of materials. The step up at level 7 is the role of testing and evaluation of materials and how they relate to product performance specifications, and the objective and subjective evaluation techniques used to make decisions about a product during development, maintenance, and disposal.

Teacher guidance

To support students to develop understanding of technological products at level 7, teachers could:

  • support students to understand that material evaluation enables decisions to be made about what material would be optimal to ensure the fitness for purpose of particular technological products
  • support students to explore a range of subjective and objective evaluative procedures used to identify the suitability of materials for different uses
  • support students to describe the underpinning concepts and processes related to subjective and objective evaluative procedures
  • support students to understand that the selection of appropriate material evaluation procedures relies on understanding the composition and structure of materials, how their properties can be enhanced through manipulation or transformation, the performance criteria required by technological products, and an understanding of the physical and social context within which the technological product will be situated
  • support students to identify and analyse examples of how materials have been evaluated to allow material selection decisions that maximise the potential fitness for purpose of particular technological products and to gain insight into how material evaluation procedures can be used to identify product maintenance and disposal implications, and therefore inform design, development, and post production care decisions
  • provide examples that include the material evaluation practices of technologists.

Contexts for teaching and learning

  • Ensure students understand the concepts of forming new materials and the transforming and manipulation of these materials, and how these processes impact on the development of materials (refer to these definitions below).
  • Understand the importance of material evaluation before developing a technological product. It is about the why and the how and establishing the characteristics and properties of materials in order to meet the relevant specifications required for product development. It is about collecting information and applying this knowledge to material suitability and selection.
  • It is important that students understand the relationship between the composition of materials and their related performance properties, and how this is essential for understanding and developing technological products.
  • This objective is about students matching the performance standard of materials to the performance specifications of a product, either the one they are developing or of an existing one. It is also about understanding how different material evaluations are undertaken and how these support material selection for a specific product. This objective is not, however, a diary of practice about what the student did but it is about how the role of material evaluation leads to product development and decision making. The focus should be clearly about the material knowledge used.

    To ensure understanding students should:

  • Investigate a range of products and the materials used in the development of products to establish an understanding of the relationship between the performance specifications of the product and the performance properties of the materials used. These can be casual conversations about everyday items or with reference to a breaking news development. This raises the awareness of technological products in our daily lives and any discussions can be about the why and how of fitness for purpose.
  • Then investigate the role of material evaluation that was undertaken as part of developing a product or relate it to an existing product by researching and inferring to demonstrate understanding.
    • Understand that some information will be subjective testing techniques (opinion, preference based or trends and fashion) and some are objective techniques (for example, measurable qualities such as crease resistance, durability, absorbency, nutritional value).
  • Identify the performance specifications (of own or existing product) and explain how they relate to the performance properties of materials/ingredients, including references to any forming, manipulation or transformation that may have occurred to the material in the development of the product.
  • Explain the different material evaluations undertaken during the development of the product. This could be to evaluate such things as tensile strength, viscosity, acoustics, stability, weatherproofing, nutrition, ductability, washability, elasticity.
  • Explain what data (information and knowledge) was gained from the material evaluations and how they supported decision making for selecting appropriate materials when developing the product and matching performance characteristics of the product and materials.
  • Explain how the material evaluation procedure leads to an understanding on how they might affect social, cultural or environmental factors, which could be a deciding factor in selection or non-selection.
  • Be able to discuss the relationships between evaluation of materials and product design, with mention of how material selection considered disposal and maintenance of the product. Prior knowledge of lifecycle analysis would support this learning.

Literacy considerations

  • Students may need support to understand the specialist language related to the formation, manipulation and transformation of materials, product performance, and evaluation/testing procedures.
    • 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, moulding, 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).
  • Students will also need to understand the concepts of evaluation of materials in relation to the performance properties of materials that can be measured objectively and subjectively. Subjective measurement is reliant on people’s perception and preferences (such things as tasty, evokes a sense of natural beauty, warm and inviting), whereas objective measurement is measurable and quantifiable (such things as conductivity, UV resistance). The fitness for purpose of a product relies on the material providing appropriate performance properties to ensure the product is technically feasible and socially acceptable (such things as safe, ethical, environmentally friendly, economically viable, as appropriate to particular products).
  • Teachers will need to ensure that students understand the academic vocabulary and assessment vocabulary that is part of this objective, which includes understanding what describe, explain, and discuss look like in terms of this objective, how to structure a report, and the use of appropriate information.

Resources to support student achievement

Case study material


Assessment for qualifications

The following achievement standard(s) could assess learning outcomes from this achievement objective:

  • AS91359 Generic technology 2.6: Demonstrate understanding of the role of material evaluation on product development

Key messages from the standard

For this standard and assessment the understanding focuses on the relationship between material evaluation (testing) and the product in which it is used. Therefore, students need to understand the performance characteristics of the material and the product in which the material is situated. Students will be required to demonstrate their understanding of the relationship between the evaluation of materials and a product’s design to enhance suitability of choice for inclusion in the product, which includes the maintenance and disposal considerations that influence material selection decisions during the development of the product.

This standard does not require students to compare and contrast products or materials but to explore (describe and explain) the relationship between the material, evaluation techniques used, and the performance properties/characteristics required of the product(s). Students will need to understand how to write an explanation of this relationship. Students can use either their own materials or the materials of practicing technologists or a mixture of both to demonstrate their understanding of the materials. If this last approach is used, students must make the links between practices, materials used, and the evaluation techniques to demonstrate clear understanding.

Teachers must ensure students know how to write a report that meets the requirements as set out in the assessment specifications and covers everything asked for in the standard, which demonstrates their knowledge of procedures underpinning material evaluation.

Using the bullet points from the criteria of the standard as headings or using them as focus questions will support students to complete a report that presents evidence of their understanding clearly.

As this is an externally assessed standard the issue of authenticity must be addressed with the students prior to writing or gathering information for their report.

This should include:

  • The use of information:
    • credible information and how to use information within their report
    • authenticity: ensuring that the work is the student’s own work and is not a download that is unmediated
    • referencing: using simple in-line referencing and having a bibliography 
  • The issue of plagiarism and the consequences within the context of external assessment for qualifications:  
    • The student should receive clear guidance about how to structure their report and receive formative assessment feedback prior to the work being sent for assessment to ensure authenticity and accuracy.

To be successful, students should structure reports with clearly headed sections; for example:

  • the relationship between performance properties and performance specifications
  • material evaluation procedures undertaken – subjective and objective examples and evidence
  • knowledge/techniques underpinning a procedure.

Resources to support student achievement

Last updated February 20, 2018