Select a topic across a two year cycle

Recommended any combination of three topics per year.
Choose a combination of units that suits your students and context.

Cycle one (Year 5)

Jan Jun Dec

Cycle two (Year 6)

Jan Jun Dec

App design

Overview

This unit enables students to explore app design, through a process of problem definition, prototyping and evaluation. Students explore concepts of user interface design, design criteria and user stories. They use visual programs including variables, input and control structures to produce an app.

By the end of Year 6 students develop and modify digital solutions, and define problems and evaluate solutions using user stories and design criteria. Students design algorithms involving complex branching and iteration and implement them as visual programs including variables.

  • investigate and develop user stories to understand defined problems
  • use paper prototyping to explore app functionality and user experience
  • plan and design algorithms using wireframes and flowcharts
  • ideate a range of possible solutions using design criteria
  • develop and edit programs using a visual programming environment
  • evaluate and suggest modifications if design ideas do not satisfy design criteria and user stories.

App designImage

Achievement standards

By the end of Year 6 students develop and modify digital solutions, and define problems and evaluate solutions using user stories and design criteria. Students design algorithms involving complex branching and iteration and implement them as visual programs including variables.

Use this rubric to assess students’ proficiency in:

  • algorithm implementation
  • user interface design
  • algorithm design with branching and iteration
  • problem definition and solution evaluation.

Rubric: Algorithm implementation and design, User interface design, and Evaluation

1 (limited) 2 (basic) 3 (proficient) 4 (advanced)
Algorithm implementation shows some ability to implement algorithms as visual programs, with basic control structures, variables and input implements algorithms involving control structures, variables and input, with occasional need for assistance implements algorithms as visual programs, showing independent use of control structures, variables and input implements algorithms independently, demonstrating ability to generate, modify, communicate and evaluate designs involving complex control structures, variables and input
User interface design with guidance can design a user interface for a digital system, showing limited understanding of fundamental design principles designs a user interface for a digital system with basic elements, with occasional need for support designs a user interface, demonstrating an understanding of design principles and creating effective digital system interfaces designs user interfaces incorporating innovative elements and showing a deep understanding of design principles for optimal user experience
Algorithm design with branching and iteration with guidance can design algorithms involving multiple alternatives (branching) and iteration designs algorithms with branching and iteration, with occasional need for assistance designs algorithms involving multiple alternatives and iteration independently designs complex algorithms, demonstrating creativity and efficiency in handling multiple alternatives through branching and iteration
Problem definition and solution evaluation with guidance can define problems with design criteria and create user stories, showing limited understanding of the process defines problems with given or co-developed design criteria and creates user stories, with occasional need for support defines problems, co-develops design criteria, and creates comprehensive user stories, effectively guiding the development process defines intricate problems, collaboratively develops design criteria, and creates detailed user stories; critically evaluates existing and student solutions against design criteria and broader community impact, showing a holistic understanding of the development process

Unit sequence

The four sequences in this unit are designed to be covered in order.

Investigating and defining problems

What is this about?

This entails teaching students the fundamental skills of empathising and problem identification within the design thinking process. It emphasises two critical aspects: first, crafting user stories that narrate how users interact with a situation or task to identify problems, and second, identifying and developing design criteria that provide specific objectives and requirements for addressing problems. This educational objective is versatile, and equips students with the essential skills of problem-solving and effective communication within specified guidelines, a valuable skill set for diverse problem-solving scenarios.

Content description

Define problems with given or co-developed design criteria and by creating user stories AC9TDI6P01

 

This sequence enables students to:

  • empathise as part of the design thinking process
  • explore and develop user stories
  • consider and create design criteria.

Resources to include

Resources to introduce

Resources to develop and consolidate learning

Further reading and professional learning

Designing solutions

What is this about?

Students engage in activities that cultivate their ability to generate and modify designs, fostering creativity and adaptability. Skills are honed through the integration of visual tools, ensuring effective demonstration of design concepts. Students focus on user interface (UI) design for digital systems by exploring ideas in the ideation phase of design thinking, and developing interactive prototyping. They are also introduced to algorithmic design and explore concepts including flowcharts, pseudocode, branching and iteration.

These components could converge in a project-based learning approach, where students apply their skills to an integrated project, demonstrating their proficiency in design thinking, UI design and algorithmic problem-solving. The learning sequence emphasises reflection and continuous improvement, fostering a culture of iteration and refinement in students' design and algorithmic choices.

Content descriptions

Design algorithms involving multiple alternatives (branching) and iteration AC9TDI6P02

Design a user interface for a digital system AC9TDI6P03

Generate, modify, communicate and evaluate designs AC9TDI6P04

This sequence enables students to:

  • ideate as part of the design thinking process
  • explore and develop algorithmic thinking
  • consider and design user interfaces for a particular user
  • undertake prototyping.

 

Resources to include

Resources to introduce

Resources to develop and consolidate learning

Resources to apply and extend learning

Further reading and professional learning

Creating and implementing algorithms

What is it about?

This involves using visual programming languages or environments to depict the logical flow, control structures, variables and input interactions of a computer program. By implementing control structures, such as loops and conditional statements, students gain a visual understanding of program logic. Working with variables, they learn to declare, assign and manipulate data placeholders. Students incorporate user input to help ensure that interactions within their visual programs can be effectively handled.

Content description

Implement algorithms as visual programs involving control structures, variables and input AC9TDI6P05

This sequence enables students to:

  • debug simple sequential and event-driven programs, employing the debugging process and identifying best practices
  • describe branching, including conditionals like if/else statements, and grasp iteration concepts related to loops
  • describe variables, their role within algorithms, and use appropriate vocabulary to describe variables, expressions and variable assignment
  • explore user input within visual programs, understand how it influences output, and practise code editing for varied outcomes
  • implement algorithms as visual programs, construct app designs, write programs with branching and iteration, and use control structures within visual programming to extend their programming knowledge and understanding.

Resources to include

Resources to introduce

Resources to develop and consolidate learning

Resources to apply and extend learning

Further reading and professional learning

Evaluating

What is it about?

Students are guided to evaluate solutions against specific design criteria and user stories. They assess how their solutions might affect or benefit the community at large. Design criteria are the predetermined standards or specifications that a solution must meet, ensuring its effectiveness and functionality. User stories give insights into the end users' needs, preferences and interactions with the solution. The process of evaluation helps students develop critical thinking skills, which help them ensure that their solutions align with established criteria, meet user requirements, and contribute positively to the wider community.

Content description

Evaluate existing and student solutions against the design criteria and user stories and their broader community impact AC9TDI6P06

This sequence enables students to:

  • understand effective testing and evaluation of app prototypes for usability and user experience
  • grasp the significance of the test phase in the design thinking process
  • systematically capture and analyse feedback
  • gather valuable feedback on effectiveness of solutions within projects
  • share results and insights of app designs with a broader audience
  • gain insights to refine and optimise user interfaces in line with design principles and design criteria.

Resources to include

Resources to introduce

Resources to develop and consolidate learning

Resources to apply and extend learning

Further reading and professional learning