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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

Knowledge of electronic environments DTG 8-8

Knowledge of electronic environments focuses on the concepts and operational function of components that underpin the understanding of how electronic environments (functional combinations of hardware and embedded software in the real world, that is circuits, prototypes or products) are developed, assembled and tested.

Learning objective: DTG 8-8

Students will:

  • demonstrate understanding of complex concepts and components in electronic environments.


  • Discusses complex software concepts.
  • Discusses complex hardware concepts.


Initially students learn about basic components and the concepts that describe the behaviour of a circuit. At level 8 students progress from this to more advanced understanding of circuit and embedded programming concepts and learn about an increasing range of components and their operation function in real circuits. At the highest level, students will be able to discuss complex electronic environments in terms of their subsystems and programming structures and apply some basic mathematical calculations within this discussion.

Teacher guidance

To support students to develop understandings about complex concepts and components in electronic environments at level 8, teachers could:

  • provide opportunity for students to learn about complex hardware concepts for example, IR and radio transmitting subsystems, amplifying stages, impedance matching, coupling, noise reduction and filtering circuits, UART, bus subsystems, through hands-on practical work and internet research, and so on
  • provide opportunity for students to learn about complex software concepts for example, variables, binary notation (bits, bytes and words), protocols (I2C, RS232), macros, flags, interrupts, counters, XOR, bitwise AND/OR, pwm, through hands-on practical work and internet research, and so on
  • provide opportunity for students to learn about complex components for example, FETs, npn and pnp transistors, voltage regulators, SCRs, 555s, gates, H-bridges, op-amps, data latches, half-adder,  keypads, LCD and other displays, pressure and proximity sensors, servo and stepper motors etc. and describe these in terms of their operational function in different 
  • provide opportunity for students to identify, describe and explain some complex subsystems in circuits for example, Wein bridge, transistor combinations (for example, push-pull), transistor configurations (for example,  common collector), extended gate arrangements, power supply circuits
  • provide opportunity for students to learn about software program development through the logical structuring of software programs (for example, flowcharting) and the use of subroutines and variables
  • support students to develop software with more than one embedded platform for example, a selection of two or more PICAXE (advanced), ATMEL, Microchip, Arduino and so on
  • guide students to research information (books, online and so on) about the properties and operation of components and ensure they are able to determine relevant material and critique and/or synthesise this in ways that support their understanding
  • support opportunities for students to perform complex calculations, including gain, resonant frequency, RMS values, impedance, based on parameters important in the behaviour of real circuits.

Contexts for teaching and learning

Provide a suitable teaching and learning program that involves developing student understanding and critical analysis skills through research, investigation, discussion and analysis of a range of electronic concepts, components and software techniques that either the student or others have used within a specific electronic environment (for example prototype, product or system).

Literacy considerations

Students will need support to develop critical analysis skills (argument, logic, reasoning, deduction), through deconstructing an electronic environment and asking specific why and how questions, for example how does a particular component work within a voltage regulator circuit, what would be the effect of its failure, predict, or experiment with it to see what would happen if its value changed by 20%, or how does a specific piece of program code keep the system reliable and predict its response for a range of expected and unexpected outcomes.

Students will need support to find a way to communicate their research, investigations and analyses for assessment purposes; this could be via a range of media either written or verbal.

Resources to support student achievement 

Detailed case studies of electronics project development will be required such as those found in specialised 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.

Assessment for qualifications

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

  • AS91638 Digital technologies 3.47: Demonstrate understanding of complex concepts used in the design and construction of electronic environments.

Key messages from the standard

  • Students will need to demonstrate understanding in a small range of complex concepts to meet the assessment criteria.
  • The concepts demonstrated must be contextualised within an electronic environment and not for instance as isolated component research.
  • These concepts may be demonstrated about the students own practice or the practice of others.

Last updated October 7, 2013