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Unit rationale, description and aim

All students benefit from being able to solve problems through design thinking and being able to safely design, use and evaluate the material and manufacturing technologies that shape our world.

To align their work to the Australian Curriculum: Design and Technologies, and to function as secondary teaching professionals in the Technologies discipline, students must undertake a sequence of technologies units that enable students to acquire conceptual, procedural and professional skills and knowledge in design technologies. In this unit students will develop knowledge and skills in timber design and the associated materials and digital technologies that are used.

Students will learn to identify, select and evaluate principles, properties and performance characteristics of timber materials and their suitability for design applications. Students will develop competence in the selection and safe use of appropriate timber manufacturing techniques and equipment.

The aim of this unit is for students to explore a range of timber design and manufacturing technologies and apply these skills and knowledge to their own designs and teaching practice.

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
LO1Select and use a range of materials, tools and equipment competently and safely in the design and manufacture of timber products (APST 2.1, 4.4)GC1, GC2
LO2Interpret and demonstrate principles of design for timber products using diagrammatic, graphic and text-based conventions (APST 2.1)GC1, GC2, GC3, GC9, GC11
LO3Consider social, ethical and sustainability impacts of timber design to critically discuss designed products and iterative design processes (APST 2.1)GC1, GC2, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC12
LO4Exhibit innovative practice in the selection and organisation of content and delivery of learning and teaching programs (APST 2.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 4.4)GC1, GC2, GC9, GC11


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ well-being and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.


Topics will include:

Design principles and factors related to timber product design

  • classification, structure and properties of timber
  • analysis of properties and performance characteristics of timber
  • selection criteria for using various timbers
  • designing with timber
  • case studies and examples from small-scale workshops to larger-scale industry
  • sustainability issues in timber
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification
  • Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of timber
  • Sustainability strategies suitable for timber design projects
  • analysis of design issues specific to timber
  • analysis of quality attributes specific to timber design
  • CAD and CAM - computer aided manufacturing in timber
  • seasoning and manufacturing of timber
  • emerging timber technologies

Graphic and design communication techniques for Timber and Industrial Design

  • AS100 drawing standards – drawing types freehand drawing
  • rendering techniques
  • cabinet drawing
  • exploded isometrics
  • design communication techniques and conventions specific to Timber Design
  • CAD skills appropriate for timber products
  • ePortfolio

Product manufacture

  • measuring and marking out methods and tools
  • cutting, shaping and Joining techniques cams and levers as a function of motion (pull toys – engineering)
  • decorative and finishing techniques
  • hand and machine tools use and maintenance
  • jigs, Chucks and moulds

Workplace health and safety policies and requirements

  • workplace health and safety practices and safe working environments
  • risk management processes (including risk assessment)
  • safe operating procedures
  • development of safe work method statements

Design projects using timber as the primary material

  • use of the design process to identify need, generate solutions, plan and manage production, and evaluate completed products (including social, ethical factors and issues of sustainability)
  • project management of timber-based design projects
  • design and manufacture of timber-based design projects
  • evaluation – Self, peer and summative

Technologies Workshop Safety

  •  management practices for technology teachers including safety and risk management, budgeting, selecting, storing, maintaining and replacing materials, equipment and other resources related to Timber 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 timber design and design theory through interactive lectures, concepts are discussed and broadened through analysis of specific case studies and further informed by independent research during development of design projects. In practical workshops students design, manufacture and evaluate timber items. Design thinking skills in timber are introduced through a practice-oriented learning method. This method involves the parallel development of procedural and conceptual skills required for design, development and documentation of timber material products in technologies. Students develop solutions to timber design problems using a design thinking methodology and a user-centred design approach. They develop conceptual knowledge in timber alongside procedural knowledge of timber material and manufacturing technologies through practical design projects. Students identify needs, design, manufacture, communicate and evaluate items against principles of timber 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 technologies contexts with timber materials and to develop effective teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem-solving, and critical and creative thinking 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, discussion, video, independent research, design project management, lab reports, workshop logs, report writing, design projects, including design folios etc.

The unit is hosted on a Learning Management System (LMS) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between content and educational experiences.

Mode of delivery: This unit may be offered in different modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants.

On Campus

Most learning activities or classes are delivered at a scheduled time, on campus, to enable in-person interactions. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.


Learning activities are delivered through a planned mix of online and in-person classes, which may include full-day sessions and/or placements, to enable interaction. Activities that require attendance will appear in a student’s timetable.

Online unscheduled

Learning activities are accessible anytime, anywhere. These units are normally delivered fully online and will not appear in a student’s timetable. 

Online scheduled

All learning activities are held online, at scheduled times, and will require some attendance to enable online interaction. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.

ACU Online 

In ACU Online mode, this unit is delivered asynchronously, fully online using an active, guided learning approach. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The problem-based learning strategy employed in this unit is supported by the integration of progressive authentic assessment methods embedded at critical points of the students’ learning. Theoretical conceptual knowledge and practical skills-based knowledge are applied simultaneously in design practices. Initially students acquire knowledge in timber by  developing skills in design and manufacture through practical workshop access. Safe work practices are introduced in workshops through a hurdle task. Practical workshop access provides opportunities for formative assessment which supports assimilation of knowledge of knowledge. Summative assessment aims to assess students’ application of knowledge and skills (conceptual, procedural and professional) 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.

In this unit the method aims to assess students’ achievement of a synthesis between design theory and practice in timber. Therefore, the main assessment method used is design projects which include two components, design documentation folio and designed and manufactured products. Folios document students design processes and include evidence of identifying user needs, product definition, research, ideation, prototyping, iteration, critical evaluation and risk assessment. Building upon the earlier assessments undertaken by students, to provide them with applicable teaching strategies upon completion of this unit, acquired technical skills are combined with pedagogical practice. This allows students to effectively establish sound teaching practices through mirroring their role in this unit with that of their future students, while also researching and analysing Australian teaching standards for Design and Technology and STEM.

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit objectives consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures may include online safety modules, reports, examinations, tutorial exercises, student presentations and practical design projects with folios work. 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:

a. OnGuard WHS online safety training and testing modules (or equivalent) Requires student to demonstrate knowledge of safe operating procedures in design and technologies workshop environments

b. Technology Workspace Supervision Agreement Requires student to arrange for access to and supervision in a school-based design and technologies workshop (or equivalent) with an appropriately qualified mentor and approval from the head teacher in design and technologies and their principal. 



Assessment Task 1

Timber Design Project 1:

Analyse the secondary Technologies Stage 4 curriculum and associated content and skills.

Use this analysis to demonstrate developing a design, manufacturing, communication skills and knowledge of factors in timber product design and response to a timber design context.


LO1, LO2

Assessment Task 2

Analysis Report

Analyse the secondary Stage 4 Technologies curriculum and associated content and skills. In the context of this analysis, position yourself as a junior secondary Technologies teacher within contemporary Australian society and use this analysis to

 demonstrate knowledge of key terminology, concepts and principles in relation to nominated examples. For example, using an analysis of the secondary Stage 4 Technologies curriculum to select and justify materials.


LO2, LO3, LO4

Assessment Task 3

Plan A Unit of Work in Timber Technology

Analyse the secondary Stage 4 Technologies curriculum and associated content and skills.

 Use this analysis to develop a high-level design of a program/unit of work for Stage 4 Timber Technologies education. For example, using your knowledge from Task 2 you are to generate and justify a self-defined user – centred design brief, project and portfolio supported by the formative and summative assessment tasks. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references

Bootle, K. (2005). Wood in Australia: Types, properties and uses (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Davy, P., & Plewes, B. (2011). Ultimate woodwork bible: A complete reference with step-by-step techniques. Collins & Brown; Sterling Publishing (co-distributor).

Feirer, M., & Feirer, JL (2011). Wood: Technology & processes. Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.

Glasner, B., & Ott, S. (2013). Wonder wood: A favorite material for design, architecture and art. De Gruyter.

Jackson, A., & Day, D. (2005). Collins complete woodworkers manual (2nd ed.). Harper Collins Publishing.

Jeska, S., Pascha, K., & Hascher, R. (2015). Emergent timber technologies: Materials, structures, engineering, projects. De Gruyter.

Leadbeatter, M., Keable, B., Clarke, J., & Clarke, T.D. (2017). Woodworking (4th ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

McGlashan, A. (2018). A Pedagogic Approach to Enhance Creative “Ideation” in Classroom Practice. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 28(2), 377–393.

McMullin, P.W., & Price, J.S. (2017). Timber design. Taylor and Francis.

O’Donoghue, D. (2001). Hamlyn book of woodworking. Hamlyn.

Wood art: Innovative wood design. (2015). Gingko Press.

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