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Frequently asked questions
Design and Technology and Industrial Technology project requirements

1. What is the ‘project’?

In Design and Technology the Major Design Project consists of an individual product, system or environment, and a folio. In Industrial Technology, the Major Project consists of a product of one or more related items and an accompanying management folio.

2. What is the ‘folio’?

The folio is part of the project and is a document that shows the research, conceptualisation, development and evaluation of a project. The folio should show how the examination criteria for a project have been met.

In determining which material is included in a folio, it is essential that all the examination criteria are addressed. However, it should be remembered that for both Design and Technology and Industrial Technology the marking is ‘holistic’ – that is, marks are not allocated criterion by criterion.

3. What are the requirements for HSC projects submitted for Design and Technology and Industrial Technology?

4. How have the requirements for projects changed from previous years?

The main change in the project requirements for both Design and Technology and Industrial Technology is to the folio parameters and format.

From the 2011 HSC the folio parameters are:

  • Page extent should be no more than 80 written A4 pages OR 40 written A3 pages printed on ONE side only.
  • Media-based or multi-media attachments cannot exceed six minutes viewing time in total.

5. When do the revised requirements come into effect?

These revised requirements apply to projects for both Design and Technology and Industrial Technology for the 2011 HSC onward. Students and teachers of these courses must note that all projects submitted in 2011 and in future years must comply with these requirements.

6. What happens if the folio page or view time limits are exceeded?

All folios for Design and Technology and Industrial Technology must comply with these folio requirements. Mark penalties may apply if the limits are exceeded.

7. What if a smaller font size is used for some or all of the folio?

The format of the folio requires text that is in a ‘clear and easy to read font equivalent in size to 12-point Times New Roman’ (see links at question 3). Using a smaller font is equivalent to exceeding the 80-page limit, and mark penalties may apply. Fonts other than Times New Roman and in a size larger than 12-point may be used, however the overall folio page limits still apply.

Students are encouraged to consider the examination criteria for their course to see how presentation techniques are valued during marking.

8. What about font size in tables, charts or graphs?

The requirement of 12-point Times New Roman or equivalent font size applies to all of the folio, including tables, charts or graphs.

9. Why were the changes made?

Concerns had been raised that the preparation of HSC projects for these courses was placing a heavy demand on school resources, and on the time of students at a critical time of the HSC year. The Board of Studies has consulted widely on these changes, which are designed to help reduce student and teacher stress while ensuring that these projects can be described in sufficient detail.

10. What is included in the folio requirements?

For detailed information on what should be included in the folio, see:

Assessment and Reporting in Design and Technology and
Assessment and Reporting in Industrial Technology

All pages of the folio will count toward the page limit, including:

  • title page
  • index
  • appendix
  • journal or diary
  • bibliography
  • research
  • samples of any surveys
  • time, action and finance plans
  • documentation of testing/experimentation
  • evidence of specific practical activities or evaluative measures
  • design ideas, concept sketches and detailed drawings
  • any information presented on displays or noticeboards.

11. What if working drawings take up most of the 80 pages?

If drawings are included in a folio, they will be included in the folio parameters. When editing a folio, students should consider which drawings would assist markers in determining how well they have demonstrated the relevant examination criteria. Only those drawings that best communicate the nature of the project should be included.

Very large drawings should be reduced to scale to fit an A4 or A3 page, or a photograph of a large full-scale drawing plus a small sample of the drawing to illustrate its quality may be used.

Working rods are not paper-based and so are not included in the page limit.

12. What are some ways of reducing a folio to meet the folio requirements?

Once the information in a folio shows how a project meets particular examination criteria, additional information will not gain more marks.

In preparing a folio, consider the following suggestions in relation to presenting information and research:

  • Think about which parts of research best relate to the project and then present findings in a clear and concise way.
  • Simply highlighting sections of pages printed directly from the internet is not a recommended method of presenting research.
  • Consider referring to research when explaining a choice, decision or change in the project.
  • Always make sure an appropriate referencing system and bibliography are used.
  • The way research is used is more important that simply having a large number of books, websites or other references.
  • The marking guidelines for the Industrial Technology Major Project refer to ‘relevant research, justifying the selection of appropriate materials, processes, technologies and resources’.
  • The marking guidelines for the Design and Technology Major Design Project refer to ‘appropriate research, experimentation and design solution testing’.

13. How do the folio requirements apply if the entire project – both the folio and the product – is paper-based?

If the project is entirely on paper, it still consists of two parts:

If both the product and folio are on paper, best practice is to present them in separate, clearly labelled folders.

14. Is there a minimum size for photographs?

Photographs included in the folio should be large enough for the markers to clearly see the intended features. Photographs should measure at least 80 mm x 50 mm to ensure clarity.

15. Is it OK to scan original sketches and reduce them to fit the folio? Should the originals be included as an appendix?

Scans of sketches may be included and it is not necessary to attach the originals. It is appropriate to resize sketches to fit onto an A4 or A3 page.

As with all other folio elements, it is important to consider whether included sketches – or scanned sketches – will help address the examination criteria.

16. Is 80 pages sufficient space to demonstrate to markers that a project is all a student’s own work?

Students must certify that the project is their own original work, and that any material drawn from other sources and/or any outside assistance are acknowledged. (See section 9.3.4 Certification of submitted works and practical performances in the Assessment, Certification and Examination (ACE) Manual and HSC: All My Own Work). Note that, as it is intended that the syllabus content is taught through the development of the submitted project, all or most of the project is to be completed at school under the supervision of the class teacher. Teachers must certify that students have completed the work under supervision, and according to the Board of Studies rules.

It is expected that teachers will meet regularly with students undertaking a project, and keep a record of the student’s progress (a pro forma is supplied to teachers by the Board).

Principals and teachers are required to certify that:

  • work on the major project was done under a teacher’s supervision
  • the work is consistent with drafts and other samples of the student’s work
  • the work was completed by the due date.

If markers require more information, they can request to see the supervising teacher’s record of the student’s progress.

17. The results of testing are excluded from the page restrictions. Does this mean surveys should be placed in the folio?

No. The results of testing refers to material samples that have been subjected to physical tests (for example stress test, test of flammability and load tests).

If surveys have been used, including all completed copies will not address the examination criteria. A pro forma of any survey used should be included, along with an analysis of the results.

Questions regarding folios that have multimedia inclusions

18. Can a folio or part of a folio be presented electronically?

Yes. If a part of the project can be described better using a multimedia tool rather than on paper, some or all of the following may be included:

  • a short video of an operating system
  • hyperlinks, as a single layer, to a description of a technology that will inform markers
  • links to other websites or URLs only where a direct reference is appropriate.

Note that a paper-based ‘back-up’ should be available in case the technology does not work on the day of marking, for example in the case of a blackout or computer failure.

19. What are the requirements for folios that have multimedia as well as paper-based folio materials?

For folios that contain both paper-based and multimedia material, the paper parts of the folio must comply with the format requirements and the multimedia parts of the folio must not exceed six minutes of viewing time in total.

This time limit does not apply to a multimedia product; however it is strongly recommended that a multimedia product does not extend beyond around 10 minutes. In many cases, the skills demonstrated in the first 10 minutes are sufficient for marking and longer presentations are unnecessary.

20. Can hyperlinks to visual or audio content be included if the folio is submitted in electronic format?

If an e-folio is submitted, it should be accompanied by a paper version to ensure that the project can be marked even if there is a failure in the technology, and so markers can easily determine if the folio is within the folio parameters.

Any hyperlinks included will be counted as part of the six minutes maximum viewing time.

21. What if the folio includes CAD drawings, video or a photo-story presented on a computer?

These are all considered to be part of the multimedia component of the folio and will be included in the six-minute maximum viewing limit.

22. Should a journal, diary or internet blog be included in the folio?

No. Journals, diaries and/or internet blogs should not be required to assess a major project. They are more useful as part of the internal assessment process (for instance, they help teachers validate the authenticity of projects). Students are requested to have their journals or diaries (if one has been kept) available in the rare case that a marker wishes to see further evidence of authenticity.

Journals or diaries are important to help keep track of progress on the project or production difficulties. Some of this information is relevant to the examination criteria and should be included in the folio.

If all or parts of a journal, diary or blog are included in the folio, they will be included in the page parameters.

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