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  • Semester 2Campus Attendance


30 cp of 200-level Technology units and TECH306 Product Design Innovation

Unit rationale, description and aim

Students learn to extend their developing expertise in Design and Technologies through sustained exposure to the high-level conceptual design thinking and workshop practice methodologies of professional designers. This unit also contributes to an accredited sequence of Technologies units that is recognised by state-based Initial Teacher Education standards authorities (NESA, VIT and QCT) and aligns with the Australian Curriculum: Design and Technologies.

Through professional experience, students will consider a specific contextual need for advanced user-centred design a specific contextual need for advanced user-centred design through product design factor analysis and collaborative mentorship. Students will design and manufacture advanced design products to a professional standard and demonstrate evidence of the use of tools, equipment and techniques to a high level in the production of working solutions to design challenges. The technology professional experience will augment the student’s technologies specialisation sequence developed in earlier units. Students will produce designed solutions suitable in technologies contexts by selecting and manipulating a range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment creatively, competently and safely; and managing processes.

The aim of this unit is to enable students to demonstrate design knowledge and skills in project management in a professional design technologies context for advanced and ethical management of design and manufacturing process in their area of technologies specialisation in a professional design technologies context.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Synthesise broad and deep theoretical and technical knowledge in a discussion of attributes of design solutionsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC9, GC11
LO2Communicate effectively with mentors and others in developing an advanced user-centred design briefGC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC12
LO3Work collaboratively with mentors and interpret feedback in response to changing contexts, emerging practices and technologies to enhance the design and production of their projectGC1, GC2, GC4, GC7, GC8
LO4Plan and manage the production of a quality design solutionGC1, GC2, GC3, GC8
LO5Evaluate quality attributes of designed productsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC7, GC9, GC10, GC11


Topics will include: 

This unit will provide students with “hands on” experience in an area of design and technologies related to their area of specialisation. In consultation with academic staff, students will experience an authentic, professional design environment with an external professional mentor for the specified period of time. Examples of suitable professional environments can include but are not limited to craft/design workshops, industrial design studios, model-making workshops, fashion studios and commercial kitchens or restaurants. Professional experiences can be undertaken either externally through a professional internship or internally through a series of master-class workshops on campus delivered by technologies design professionals. Under the guidance of academic staff and the co-operating professional craftsperson/designer, students will undertake an advanced self-directed project in their area of specialisation.

Management practices for technology teachers including safety and risk management, budgeting, selecting, storing, maintaining and replacing materials, equipment and other resources related to Technologies.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

A student-focused, problem-based learning approach is used in this unit. Students encounter concepts and principles of design and design theory through a professional experience, and concepts are discussed and broadened through analysis of specific case studies and further informed by independent research and mentor consultations during the development of design projects. Initially students acquire knowledge through research based critical design analysis, their professional experiences and mentor consultation. Advanced design thinking and advanced skills in design and communication are developed through the professional experiences and practical workshops. In workshops and during their professional experience students design, illustrate and evaluate items. Design thinking skills are introduced through a practice-oriented learning method. This method involves the parallel development of procedural and conceptual skills required for design, development, communication and documentation of advanced designed products in technologies. Students develop advanced solutions to user-centred design problems using a design thinking methodology and a user-centred design approach. They develop conceptual knowledge alongside procedural knowledge of technologies through practical design projects. Students project-manage, design, manufacture, test, communicate about and evaluate items against principles of user-centred design. These methods enable the development of conceptual, procedural and professional knowledge and skill which allows students to practice design thinking and problem solving in design technologies contexts. 

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video etc.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The problem-based learning strategy employed in this unit is supported by the integration of progressive authentic assessment tasks completed at critical points of the students’ learning. Theoretical and conceptual knowledge and practical skills-based knowledge are developed simultaneously in that acquisition and assimilation of knowledge is developed during research, consultation and the design process.  Professional experiences and practical workshops provide opportunities for experimentation, testing and formative assessment which supports assimilation of knowledge. Summative assessment aims to assess students’ application of knowledge and skills (conceptual, procedural and professional) and competencies holistically using an integrated approach common in design education which focusses on the assessment of an entire design activity rather than specific elements in isolation. Therefore, the main assessment method used is design projects which include two components, namely, design documentation folio and a designed and manufactured product or products. Folios document students design processes and include evidence of project definition, research, ideation, prototyping, iteration and critical evaluation. 

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit objectives consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures may include presentations, a verbal exam (viva), exhibition of designed products and practical design project with a folio. Assessment tasks will address all learning outcomes as well as relevant graduate attributes.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Hurdle Task: 

Self-directed project proposal

Requires students to select suitable professional experiences and product design proposal  


Assessment Task 1 

Progress report: Requires students to demonstrate their ability to report on progress through  

  • A verbal presentation communicating a research-based user-centred design project; 
  • A written progress report summarising research and testing 
  • <


LO1, LO2, LO3

Assessment Task 2

Designed product:

Requires students to demonstrate advanced design, project management, manufacturing, finishing and presentation skills.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Assessment Task 3

Design folio:

Requires students to document and critically evaluate design outcomes.


LO1, LO2, LO5

Representative texts and references

Fletcher, K. (2013). Sustainable fashion and textiles: Design journeys (2nd ed.). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Gruijters, K., & Hinte, E. (2016). Food design. Houten, The Netherlands: Terra.

Hallgrimsson, B. (2012). Prototyping and modelmaking for product design (Portfolio skills. Product design). London: Laurence King Publishing. 

Peters, S. (2014). Material revolution 2: New sustainable and multi-purpose materials for design and architecture. Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser. 

Quinn, B. (2010). Textile futures: Fashion, design and technology. Oxford: Berg.

Sweetapple, K., & Warriner, G. (2017). Food futures: Sensory explorations in food design. Barcelona, Spain: Promopress.

Thompson, R., & Thompson, M. (2013). Sustainable materials, processes and production. London: Thames & Hudson.

Zampollo, F. (2018). Food design thinking: The complete methodology. [Place of publication not identified]: Francesca Zampollo.

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