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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

Assemble and test electronic and embedded systems DTG 8-10

The assembly and testing of electronic and embedded system is focused on developing the skills needed to integrate technologies (hardware, software, mechanical) to produce a working prototype. These skills follow directly from those acquired during the development of an electronic environment as a functional model. It is also about the application of testing, debugging and modification skills to ensure the prototype is operational, fit for purpose and meets specifications.

Learning objective: DTG 8-10

Students will:

  • demonstrate complex assembly and testing techniques used in complex electronic and embedded systems.


  • Uses PCB (printed circuit board) CAD software to develop a PCB layout that will preserve signal integrity.
  • Constructs, tests, analyses and modifies reliable functional circuits on PCB, with substantially improved track layout and soldering.
  • Writes, debugs and modifies well-structured, clearly annotated, and readily understandable embedded software.
  • Analyses and effectively manages signal and data parameters.


Initially students learn basic assembly and testing skills and about working safely in the classroom and/or workshop environment. Students progress from here to levels that require more advanced and complex skills. This progression may require developing competency in calculating values and in the use and interpretation of data from devices such as multimeters (extended functions), oscilloscopes and other test instruments. At the highest level, students will be able to use complex techniques to construct and debug electronic and embedded systems to meet design specifications.

Teacher guidance

To support students to demonstrate complex assembly and testing techniques used in electronic and embedded systems at level 8, teachers could:

  • provide, or develop in negotiation with the student, specifications for an electronic environment that will require complex techniques;the environment will include several subsystems and include at least three multi-pin devices
  • provide opportunity for students to select an extended range of components to match a schematic
  • guide students in the design and production of a quality, complex PCB to near-industry standard, using techniques that will achieve this result
  • provide opportunity for students to develop complex soldering techniques (for example, surface-mount) so that students can achieve consistently professional results
  • provide opportunity for students to employ complex techniques to assemble a functional, reliable and well-laid out hardware platform on PCB(s) (organised layout, component size considerations, component and user safety, off-board connections, vias, clever routing, siting and protection of off-board components, EMI and other interference considerations) with easy access to testing points
  • provide opportunity for students to acquire complex programming skills for the development, testing and debugging of clearly annotated embedded software that uses features such as communication protocols, macros, flags, interrupts and counters
  • provide opportunity for students to use complex diagnostic techniques (advanced multimeter, oscilloscope, signal generator, logic tester etcetera) functions to test an extended range of component functions in situ, including integrated circuits
  • guide students to perform systematic and logical testing, evaluation of data and debugging in the electronic environment
  • guide students to employ calculation and measurement in the process of testing and debugging of the hardware and software in the system
  • support students to employ complex techniques to evaluate, test and debug the assembled electronic and embedded system so that the overall system is functional.

Contexts for teaching and learning

  • Provide an opportunity for students to analyse electronic projects that use a range of hardware interfacing techniques to overcome design issues.
  • Provide an opportunity for students to undertake a project in developing a specified electronic environment (for example prototype, product or system). 
  • This outcome will require the student to integrate a range of techniques to develop a PCB for a microcontroller or significant interface (for example to a smart phone, tablet, Arduino etcetera).
  • The outcome must also include student developed software to read and control the PCB.

Literacy considerations

Students will need support to identify sound design practices for dc circuits with regard to voltage and current requirements; these may typically be researched from manufacturer’s datasheets and design notes.

Signal integrity (for example via decoupling) on PCBs is an important practice for students to understand and apply in their work.

Resources to support student achievement

Detailed case studies of electronics project development will be required such as those found in specialized electronics and amateur radio magazines (Elektor, Silicon Chip, Everyday Practical Electronics, Circuit Cellar, Nuts and Volts, Break-In).

Explanatory component and electronic theory can be found in a wide range of websites on the internet and from various textbooks.

Manufacturer’s datasheets and application notes.

Assessment for qualifications

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

  • AS91640 Digital technologies 3.49: Implement complex techniques in constructing a specified complex electronic and embedded system.

Key messages from the standard

Students will design and construct their own PCB for an embedded circuit or complex interface to a high standard; this must be a PCB layout of high quality where signals degradation is not an issue (for example short tracks, good decoupling techniques, correct track size and spacing).

Students will write and debug their own software to prove the reliability of their design.

Last updated September 23, 2013