Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

All students benefit from being able to solve problems through systems, design, and computational thinking and being able to design and use the electromechanical 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 to acquire conceptual, procedural and professional levels of discipline specific technologies subject content knowledge and skills in electromechanical and engineering technologies. This unit provides an opportunity for students to attain and apply knowledge and skills in science, mathematics, electronics, and programming to the design, manufacture, programming, and testing of electromechanical technologies.

Students will develop knowledge of how past, present, and emerging electromechanical technologies influence principles and processes of control systems design and production through examples and case-studies. Students will consider the implications modern manufacture technologies and Industry 4.0 on society and how this relates to preferred futures. Students will develop knowledge of the design and manufacture of electromechanical systems including electronics and principles of mechanical engineering and demonstrate appropriate safe use of electronics in design. Practical skills will be developed through the design and manufacture of electronically controlled products using a range of techniques and industrial materials including CAD/ CAM technologies.

The aim of this unit is for students to be introduced to and then explore electromechanical design and manufacture and consider how they can be applied in design contexts and their 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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Define the principles of electronics, mechanics, and control systems theory and apply associated mathematical principles to a variety of electromechanical contexts (GA5, GA8; APST 2.1)

LO2 - Interpret, illustrate, and synthesise logic diagrams, electric circuits, and task-level programs by applying specialised electronics and logical skills (GA5, GA8; APST 2.1, 2.6)

LO3 - Select and use a range of materials, tools, and equipment competently and safely in the self-guided design and manufacture of electromechanical products, technical skills to initiate, plan, implement, and evaluate procedures (GA4, GA5, GA10; APST 2.1, 4.4)

LO4 - Apply cognitive skills to critically evaluate complex design and manufacturing issues in electromechanical systems and reflect upon modern societal implications posed by such systems (GA1, GA2, GA4; APST 2.1, 4.4)

LO5 - Communicate advanced engineering knowledge and technical skills through high-level planning and design of a learning program within Design and Technologies which applies the principles and processes of engineering and electronics and is guided by relevant Australian teaching standards and professional engagement (GA3, GA5, GA8; APST 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 4.4)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - Demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information

GA10 - Utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively


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:

Basic Electronics

  • Atomic structure
  • Electronic materials
  • Voltage, current, and resistance and relevant laws (Ohm’s, power)

Electronic Systems and Fundamentals

  • Electronic components
  • Control electronics
  • Circuit design

Digital Fundamentals

  • Binary number systems
  • Logic elements, Boolean algebra, analysis and design of logic circuits and truth tables

Logic Controllers

  • Control systems fundamentals
  • Control logic, e.g. if-then statements, for conditions, etc.
  • Task-level programming
  • Debugging/ troubleshooting
  • Consumer microcontrollers, such as Arduino, and industrial PLCs


  • Forces and moments
  • Free body diagrams
  • Motion
  • Engineering-related mathematics: geometry, trigonometry, and vectors
  • Levers, gears, cams

Mechanism Design

  • Fundamental mechanisms
  • Synthesising mechanism

Sensors and Actuators

  • Analogue vs digital signals
  • Common sensors and actuators and their industrial applications

Electromechanical Product Design

  • Plan and manage a project
  • Evaluate design solution against the developed criteria
  • Using CAD/ CAM software for design and manufacture
  • CNC manufacture (subtractive and additive), e.g. CNC or manual routers, laser cutting, 3D printing
  • ePortfolio development

Industrial Context of Electromechanical Technologies

  • Mechanisation and Automation
  • Modern manufacture technologies and robotics
  • Industry 4.0
  • Societal implications of robotics and Industry 4.0

Technologies Workshop Safety

  • Hand tools, machinery and equipment used for manufacturing electronics including safe operating procedures for power supplies including the use of a multimeter
  • Management practices for technology teachers including safety and risk management, budgeting, selecting, storing, maintaining and replacing materials, equipment and other resources related to Electromechanical 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 electromechanical systems 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 electronic and mechanical components. Issues in electromechanical systems design and manufacture 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 electromechanical systems. Students develop solutions to electromechanical system design problems using a design thinking methodology and a user-centred design approach. They develop conceptual knowledge in electronics and programming in addition to procedural knowledge of mechanical engineering and manufacturing technologies through practical design projects. Students design, manufacture, communicate and evaluate items against principles of electromechanical system 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 electromechanical technologies design contexts 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 tasks completed at critical points in the students’ learning. Theoretical and conceptual knowledge and practical skills-based knowledge are developed simultaneously in that acquisition and assimilation of knowledge develops as students undertake project-based learning and complete self-guided design projects. Initially, students acquire knowledge in electromechanical design by undertaking tutorial exercises and developing a research-based report on key concepts introduced in the lectures. They develop skills in design and manufacture through practical workshop classes, which may be conducted through mixed-mode delivery, i.e. in-person where applicable, remotely if facilities are available, or via on-campus intensives. Practical workshops provide opportunities for formative assessment which supports assimilation of knowledge. In this unit the method aims to assess students’ achievement of a synthesis between design theory, practice, and application of mathematical principles in electromechanical design. Therefore, a key assessment method used is project-based learning through self-guided major design projects which includes multiple components, namely a design documentation ePortfolio and a designed and manufactured product(s). ePortfolios document students’ design processes and include evidence of project definition, research, ideation, prototyping, iteration, critical evaluation, and risk assessment. The summative program planning 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. 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 research reports, a design project with an ePortfolio, and learning-program design. 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 OutcomesGraduate Attributes

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. 



GA4, GA5, GA10

Assessment Task 1 – Research Assignment

Research to explore theoretical concepts, involving critical application of electronics knowledge and judgements based on relevant theory to one or multiple case studies.


LO1, LO2

GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 2 – Electromechanical Design Project

An electromechanical design project for a system applying the concepts of mechanisation and automation to solve a complex challenge, documented via engineering drawings and an ePortfolio.


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 3 – Planning an Electronics Unit of Work

High-level design of a teaching program developed with colleagues and based on an analysis of a Stage 5 Electronics curriculum and the research and project-based learning of the previous two assessment tasks,

This serves to draw on peer reflection and professional collaboration to improve learning and teaching to guide this task, improve learning outcomes, and foster a culture of professional- and community-based networking to improve teaching and learning.


LO1, LO3, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

Alexander, C., & Sadiku, M. (2021). Fundamentals of electric circuits (7th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Bekey, G., Lin, P., & Abney, K. (2012). Robot ethics: The ethical and social implications of robotics. MIT Press.

Bryden, D. (2014). CAD and rapid prototyping for product design. Laurence King Publishing.

De Silvia, C.W. (2015). Sensors and actuators: Engineering system instrumentation (2nd ed.). Taylor & Francis.

Floyd, T., & Buchla, D. (2014). Electronics fundamentals: Circuits, devices, and applications (8th ed.). Prentice Hall.

Groover, M.P. (2013). Fundamentals of modern manufacturing: Materials, processes, and systems (5th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

Hibbeler, R.C. (2017). Engineering mechanics: Statics (14th ed.). Pearson Education.

Hibbeler, R.C. (2017). Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics (14th ed.). Pearson Education.

Mordechai, B.A., & Mondada, F. (2018). Elements of robotics. Springer Open.

Norton, R.L. (2018). Design of machinery (6th ed.). McGraw Hill.

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