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Design and Technology Major Design Project portfolio answers

  1. How detailed and neat do sketches need to be? Can computer drawings like ones created in CAD replace hand sketches?

    Sketches need to be a visual record of the design process you are following for the development of your MDP. They would start as a thumbnail type and evolve to a more developed design as you refine your design work. The final sketches need to be very detailed as they are the plan you intend to follow to develop your project.

    As part of the development of the design, CAD presentations assist with a professional format and for proficient users save time. They are not a replacement for hand sketches but are another tool which you may decide to use and justify as appropriate to communicate your design idea.

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  2. I have already started working on my MDP and have taken photos of every stage of the project and will add these to my folio. Will this be too many photos? If I have photos in the folio will this decrease the need to explain what has occured to the MDP in writing?

    Photographs are a valuable tool for demonstrating processes developed and realised in the MDP. They would need to be annotated (commented upon). Photographs are also useful to create storyboards when displaying your final project for marking and to summarise the processes undertaken. Photographs are also valuable as a record to assist when you may not remember all the processes you have undertaken.They are a good visual stimulus for your portfolio report, not a replacement.

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  3. Is a multimedia presentation better than the traditional folder presentation, or vice versa? Does a multimedia presentation still require a hard copy as backup? If so, what quality does the hard copy have to be? In the case of technical error, if the hard copy is all that is left one would think that would need to be good?

    A multimedia presentation may be considered as an option for presentation of the design portfolio. It is not rated as better or worse than a folder. What you have to do is demonstrate a range of appropriate communication and presentation techniques with quality.

    All aspects of the marking criteria still need to be followed. A hard copy is still required as back-up. I have experienced blackouts and faulty computers during a marking session! The quality would need to be as if it were all the marker was viewing. It is important to express in the best possible format what you have undertaken to complete your MDP.

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  4. How do I put evidence or development of creativity in my folio?

    Creativity needs to be developed throughout the design portfolio as it would in the design process cycle. Evidence would need to be produced in the development and visualisation of design ideas from thumbnail sketches through to final product drawings.

    The development and ongoing experimentation and evaluation of prototypes and a final product that reflects some development the student has undertaken to bring about realisation of the project. Not just a copy of a standard item that may be purchased.

    Many students put the heading in their portfolio but have little understanding of what is required. Creativity is not a separate section in the portfolio. It is the part that makes your project unique or different from similar products, systems or environments. It is explored throughout the project development and is constantly evaluated.

    This is where you show off throughout the portfolio the special ideas you are developing and the creative ways you overcome problems encountered on the way. These could be related to the material, tools or techniques that relate specifically to your project development and realisation.

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  5. I am keen to know how much time a marker will spend marking my project. There are 16 other students at my school who all, well most, will have 'big' presentations. I am preparing some multimedia material and a folio that seems to be getting bigger everyday. Should I limit the size of my presentation?

    The HSC markers are allocated around 30 minutes to mark your project. This includes the product and portfolio. It is marked separately by each member of the marking team. It is important to include the relevant material according to the marking criteria and not include material to pad out folders. This has occurred when students feel they must have for example, four folders just because their classmates do.What is important is the quality of the portfolio. I have marked some that have scored highly with only one folder.

    Excerpt below is from the NSW Board of Studies Design and Technology assessment and reporting document.
    (external website) (BOS 2010)
  6. Folio Parameters: The folio will be limited to 80 written A4 pages OR 40 written A3 pages printed on ONE side only. Note that the page limit includes the title page, index, bibliography, design ideas, concept sketches and detailed drawings, as well as information presented on displays or noticeboards. Students who need to use a combination of A3 and A4 pages in their folios to display their work to best effect must keep to the overall page limit, using 1 × A3 page = 2 × A4 pages as a guide.

    Folio format: The folio should be presented in an A4 or A3 folder. A clear and easily read font equivalent in size to 12-point Times New Roman should be used for text. Folio pages should be numbered.

    A multimedia presentation is acceptable as part of the portfolio but ensure that you have back-up and hard copy available. You are limited in the length of these presentations unless they are the actual"product". "Other media-based or multimedia-based materials in a student's folio should not exceed six minutes viewing time in total" (BOS 2010).

    The markers will however mark your total project presented, irrespective of the time it takes. The danger is that if too long you may tend to stray off the point and make your project appear less connected and the analysis weaker.

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  7. I am creating an emergency management system. Could someone advise me on any different requirements needed to complete a folio on a systems project?

    Depending on the system you are developing, e.g. a coordinated emergency reponse to natural disasters like State Emergency Services (SES) as a community based approach or a first aid kit with visual stimulus and checklists. You would need to outline the whole system that is to be operational. Consider:

    • what components you have specifically developed. (These could be developed as per an individual project.)
    • how crucial the project is to the efficient operation of the system
    • the impact of the whole system on society and the environment as well as specific components developed as part of the project.
    In summary you would need to address the individual components as well as the features of the system.

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  8. How do I go about preparing a portfolio?

    Take a look at the Designing and producing section of the Design and Technology node HSC Online. Select project advice and examples and there you will find a tutorial on preparing a design portfolio.

    Use the examination criteria on page 31 of the syllabus as a guide. Relate most of what you do back to the criteria to evaluate success. Record your evaluations throughout the portfolio.

    The portfolio should reflect the design process from original ideas to the final solution. This needs to incorporate a report style document that reveals the process you have undertaken to achieve an end result. Design development, research, investigation and experimentation should, via analysis of results, provide guidance for the course you follow. Many students provide headings in their portfolio that match the marking guidelines:

    • project proposal and management
    • project development and realisation
    • project evaluation.

    The presentation chosen should reflect your design development in layout. Many students choose either an A4 or A3 folder or sets of folders to reflect stages of the project's development.

    The design portfolio is used to display and validate your chosen design idea to your eventual marker. Because of this it is important that you try to scaffold the marker through the entire portfolio by using presentation techniques that are user friendly, well-organised and as
    creative as possible. Diagrams, bullet points, graphs and visual material are great ways to display your information (and less time consuming than writing an essay). They also make it easier for the marker to read and absorb.

    Please access the marking criteria for the practical component of the HSC. Use this as the basis for the headings within your portfolio and be sure to use a new page for each heading. This will make it much easier for you to manage your portfolio and keep track of where you are up to. When you reflect on your work and these headings they should follow the progression of the design process.

    Remember to only include information that is relevant to your project and try not to repeat this information throughout. One clear and concise explanation or reference is much better than repetitive information.

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