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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

Develop an electronic environment DTG 8-9

Development of electronic environments focuses on the analysis of how electronic environments (functional combinations of hardware and embedded software in the real world that is circuits, prototypes or products) work in terms of their components, subsystems and software and how these components may be selected, subsystems put together and the hardware and software tested and debugged so that the electronic environment is functional with respect to agreed specifications. The model produced through these skills is a necessary precursor to developing a functional electronic and embedded system. 

Learning objective: DTG 8-9

Students will:

  • demonstrate an ability to develop a complex electronic environment.


  • Devises and applies functional input subsystems that interact with the environment.
  • Devises and applies functional output subsystems to interact with the environment.
  • Analyses and modifies input subsystems to substantially improve the quality of the data delivered by the interface.
  • Analyses and modifies output subsystems to substantially improve the way they work.
  • Writes well-structured, clearly annotated, readily understandable software that interfaces effectively with the data provided by the sensors and with the actuators it controls.
  • Interfaces subsystems to each other and to the embedded software in a microcontroller.
  • Analyses, modifies, tests and debugs a functional model of the interface to achieve and demonstrate substantially improved operation.


Initially students learn basic functional modelling, d.c. circuit analysis, subsystem assembly and adjustment, testing and debugging skills. Students progress from this to more advanced skills to deal with more advanced and eventually complex environments. This progression will involve the introduction of more complex calculation and competency in the use and interpretation of data from devices such as multimeters (extended function), oscilloscopes and other test instruments. At the highest level, students will be able to analyse and develop complex electronic environments in terms of their subsystems and programming structures and employ mathematical calculations as part of this process.

Teacher guidance 

To support students to demonstrate ability to develop a complex electronic environment at level 8, teachers could:

  • provide, or develop in negotiation with the student, specifications for an electronic environment that will require applying some complex interfacing procedures
  • support students to analyse complex circuits (those involving FETs, npn and pnp transistors, SCRs, op-amps, LCD displays, , servo and stepper motors and so on) in terms of their subsystems
  • provide functional modeling tools to enable students to perform measurements in, and to test, debug, and make adjustments to complex circuit subsystems
  • guide student to use functional modeling to develop clearly annotated, well-structured software (including communication protocols, macros, flags, interrupts, counters, bitwise AND/OR, PWM) for a complex embedded system
  • provide functional modelling tools to enable students to test, debug and make adjustments to complex embedded software
  • guide student to use functional modeling to interface subsystems to each other and to the embedded software in a microcontroller, or other development environment for example Arduino, Raspberry Pi or tablet/smart phone interface
  • guide students to perform complex calculations, including gain, , RMS values, and power, based on parameters important in the behaviour of real circuits
  • support students to interpret datasheets and undertake calculations based on real circuits, for example selecting component values and subsystem design so that a circuits hardware and software are well matched to each other
  • ensure students are able to test and debug the complex electronic environment to ensure functionality.

Contexts for teaching and learning

Provide an opportunity for students to analyze electronic projects that use complex interfaces.

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 input and output devices with some type of microcontroller or computer system (android/tablet/smartphone and so on).

The outcome must include student developed software to read and control the interfaces.

Literacy considerations

Students will need support in understanding manufacturer’s specifications for both the hardware and software aspects of both the microcontroller and the specific interfaces.

Specifically this includes being able to match voltage levels and current requirements between microcontroller and the chosen interfaces.

Also being able to manage the serial/parallel communication protocols used between microcontroller and their chosen interfaces.

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:

  • AS91639 Digital technologies 3.48: Implement complex interfacing procedures in a specified electronic environment.

Key messages from the standard

Students will need to demonstrate the ability to interface a small range of both input and output devices that are complex in nature.

The students understanding must be demonstrated within an electronic environment (product or system) and not within isolated exercises.

The electronic environment must be the students own practice not the practice of others.

Last updated November 27, 2014