Topic outline

  • Welcome to the 8th grade Product Design Moodle

    This Moodle contains useful resources and examples of students work to help you understand what is expected of you at each stage of the design cycle. 

    Course Requirements

    You are required to design and manufacture a project that successfully meets the design situation.  A full design folio is mandatory. The product/solution must be able to be created by you with the tools and facilities available to you within the school, with minimal support.  School policy applies for meeting deadlines of each of the individual sections: Criterion A: Inquiring and analyzing, B: Developing ideas, C: Creating the solution, and D: Evaluating. The school 'Academic Honesty Policy' applies to any work submitted for assessment.  Workshop rules and safe working practices must be employed at all times.

    Assessment Due Dates

    Assessment Deadlines 

    Criterion A Due February 17th 

    S1 - January 27th  - 1 week

    S2 - February 3rd - 1 week

    S3 - February 10 - 1 week

    S4 - February 17 - 1 weeks


    Criterion B Due April 1st

    S1 - February 24 - 1 week

    S2 - March 16 - 2 weeks

    S3 - March 23 - 1 week

    S4 - April 1 - 1+ weeks


    Criterion C Due May 13th 

    S1 - April 8 - 1 week

    S2/3 - May 6 - 4 weeks

    S4 - May 13 - 1 week


    Criterion D Due May 27th 

    S1/2 - May 20 - 1 week

    S3/4 - May 27 - 1 week


  • Topic 1

    The Design Folio

    I will share 4 Google documents with you over the course of the semester, which you must use to record your work for criteria A, B, C, and D.  These documents will be distributed via email.

    Please don't make a copy of the document or share it with me, as I am already the owner of the Google document, so there is no need to share it with me. 

    Your folio of work may include text, tables, charts, images (drawings or photographs).  

    When you create your design ideas and planning drawings, you will need to either scan or take good quality photographs of your drawings, which must be included on the appropriate Google document if the work is to be assessed.

    Photographs of your drawings must be clear enough to interpret the drawings, and any annotation must be clear to read and legible.  If these images are unclear they will not be assessed.

    Please work directly onto the Google document, and ensure any drawings are included in the document as soon as they are finished, so that there are no issues when meeting deadlines!

  • Topic 2

    Design Situation

    Smart media devices such as laptop computers, tablets and smartphones have revolutionized the way we communicate, work and play. However, there can be problems if these devices are incorrectly used, or overused. Smart media devices have led to many people complaining of physical discomfort.

    You must highlight a problem associated with using a specific type of portable media device, then design and create a solution to solve that problem.

    You may design the product for yourself, or someone else.   

  • Topic 3

    Useful websites:

    This is a link to a CNN report on a medical condition called 'Text Neck'.  Why do you think I have included this article?

    This is a link to more information about medical conditions associated with the overuse of smartphones and tablets.

    This is a link to a Youtube video explaining how to use your smartphone safely.

    This website is excellent source of information on all things DT. One of Mr. Davenport's favorites. Check out the funny animations!

    This website is packed full of DT goodness!

    For all you Dr. Who fans out there, the BBC does more than make good sci-fi series. This BBC site has info on materials and joining methods and much more. It even shows you how to make your own Tardis!

    This website is excellent source of information on all things DT. One of Mr. Davenport's favorites.

    This website has great links to other useful websites.

  • Topic 4

    Criterion A: Inquiring and Analyzing - 8 Marks

    During this assessment you must:

    Strand 1 - Explain and justify the need for a solution to a problem

    Strand 2 - Construct a research plan, which states and prioritizes the primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem

    Strand 3 - Analyze a group of similar products that inspire a solution to the problem

    Strand 4 - Develop a design brief, which presents the analysis of relevant research.


    Strand 1 - Explaining and Justifying the Need

    During this strand you must explain and justify the need for a solution to the problems associated with using a portable media device.
    For this strand you will need to define the following:
    • What is a problem associated with using a portable media device?
    • Whose problem is it? (Identify the client/target market.)
    • Where is the problem occurring? (Identify the situation.)
    • What is the cause of the problem?
    • What effect is it having?
    Start by identifying and recording at least 3 physical problems e.g.text neck, associated with using smart devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops).  
    Choose one of the problems you identified, which would benefit you or someone else, and state clearly why you think it is a good problem to solve.
    Now you have identified the problem, you must carry out research to prove (justify) there is a real need for a solution to the problem you identified. 
    Once you have researched your highlighted design problem thoroughly you will use the information to write your own 'Initial Research Report'.  This work must be in your own words, though you must use at least 3 quotes from the information gathered to support your own ideas. Please reference these quotes correctly.
    The 'Initial Research Report' must: 
    • be between 300 and 500 words long
    • support the need for a solution to the problem you identified
    • use at least 3 quotes to support your views and opinions (Don't assume anything!)
    • use images to support the report (must be cited correctly)
    • define what your specific problem associated with using a portable media device?
    • define whose problem is it? (Identify the client/target market.)
    • define where is the problem occurring? (Identify the situation.)
    • define what is the cause of the problem?
    • define what effect is it having?
    Please use Noodeltools to keep a record of all the sources of the useful information you use to create your report, and any other research work.  You must submit a 'Works Cited' document at the end of criterion A, which must be formatted using MLA conventions.

    Design Situation

    As a result of your initial research, pinpoint a specific problem that you would like to solve, and write a concluding statement explaining the background to the problem; we call this the ‘Design Situation’.

    For example: 

    Design Situation: I like to watch TV shows or movies on my iPad when I'm getting ready for work, or washing up the dishes.  I try in vain to keep the iPad at good angle so I can see the screen, though it always slides down the wall or object I am resting it against, or the light reflects off the screen making it difficult to see the screen.  This is frustrating as I'm constantly having to adjust my iPad so I can see the screen!  I am also worried that I could damage my expensive iPad if it falls and hits something hard. I also carried out a survey to find out if this is a problem for other people.  I sent the survey to 15 people with iPads, and 12 of the people said that they found it difficult to hold their iPads at the angle they needed to watch a movie. Therefore, I am going to design and make a device that will hold my iPad at various angles, so I don't have to worry about it falling over and breaking when I'm trying to watch something on it. 

    Strand 2 - Compile a Research Plan

    Now that you have thought about the problem in detail, you will perhaps have more questions than answers.  You need to organize these questions into some form of plan that will state what you need to find out.  You must also prioritize this information, most important to least, and write a justification as to why you think the information will be important to solve your unique design problem.  You will need a minimum of 8-12 questions.

    Carry out your Research

    Make sure to use a range of primary and secondary research techniques to find the answers to your questions. You must cite where you found your sources of information correctly using MLA conventions.  Please use NoodleTools to create your citations. 

    Primary research is information you find out by asking the questions yourself - taking a survey, interviewing a client/expert, measuring something.

    Secondary research is is data (information) that other people have gathered - internet articles, book research, historical data. 

    Strand 3 - Analyze a group of similar products that inspire a solution to the problem - Learning By Example

    Internet examples

    Students must research at least 2 products that solve their own specific problem. A good starting point is Amazon.  Under the heading 'Looking at Existing Products' Copy and paste images of the 3+ product's into your inquiring and analyzing document (don't forget to cite the images correctly).  Read at least 6 reviews of each product (good and bad reviews). Analyze what people have said in the reviews, and summarize the main points. Also write your own review of the product.  In your review write about: what you think about the aesthetics and how well you think it will function. 

    Real Examples

    Investigate how others have solved the problem you have identified:

    a) Find at least 2 different device holders, record and label the main features.  Identify what materials, making and joining methods have been used, and state clearly why they may or may not be appropriate.

    b) Test and Evaluate each device to help you understand what makes a good and/or bad design.  Focus on both the aesthetics and the function of each device.

    Strand 4 - Develop a design brief, which presents the analysis of relevant research

    You should now be able to write a detailed, well-expressed statement outlining what the problem is and what you intend to do about it.

    From the IB Pilot Subject Guide - What is a design brief?

    The student’s response to the design situation, based on his or her research, detailing how he or she intends to solve the problem. This will summarize the relevant findings from his or her research, and inform the development of his or her design specification.

    When developing the design brief, students should concisely summarize only the useful and relevant information they have found through their research. They will present this information in their own words. Students should not copy and paste information from sources without analysis or indicating relevance.

    The 'brief' shouldn’t solve the problem at this stage. For instance don’t infer what it should look like by using words such as ‘stand’ or ‘bracket’. This will stop you thinking of a variety of ways to solve the problem. Words such as 'solution', 'device' or 'product' are good to use.

    The Brief should tell you what to do, but not how to do it!

  • Topic 5

    Criterion B: Developing Ideas
    While developing ideas you will need to do the following:

    Strand 1: Develop a design specification which outlines the success criteria for the design of a solution based on the data collected

    Strand 2: Present a range of feasible design ideas, which can be correctly interpreted by others

    In this section a range of creative and feasible ideas are presented which can be easily interpreted by others. This information most often takes the form of annotated drawings and sketches. The accompanying notes often document: product features, materials, assembly directions, joining techniques and or surface finishes (The WHAT, WHY, HOW's).

    Strand 3: Present the chosen design and outline the reasons for its selection

    Part 1: You must outline the reasons for the idea's selection against the requirements of the design specifications.

    Part 2: Once you have evaluated your chosen idea against the specifications you need to develop and refine the idea, which should be presented in a series of drawings.  The first drawing (Development Drawing) should be an exploded drawing (if appropriate) to show how each part will be joined, and how big each part will be (use mm).  The chosen design is often a combination of the best parts of each idea, or an improved version of one of your single ideas. Once you have completed the exploded drawing you will need to create a 3D rendered 'Presentation Drawing', to show how your chosen refined idea will look when it is made.  

    Strand 4: Develop accurate planning drawings/diagrams and outline requirements for the creation of the chosen solution. 

    For this part you will need the exploded drawing you created for Strand 3, which should include the measurements of each part of your chosen design.  You will use these measurements to help create your scaled 'Working Drawing', which should be a set of 2D drawings to show the front elevation, end elevation, and plan view.  We call this type of drawing an 'Orthographic Projection'.  You also need to include the main dimensions on this drawing.

  • Topic 6

    Criterion C: Creating the Solution 

    While creating your device you must:

    Strand 1 - Construct a logical plan, which outlines the efficient use of time and resources, sufficient for peers to be able to follow to create the solution

    Strand 2 - Demonstrate excellent technical skills when making the solution

    Strand 3 - Follow the plan to create the solution, which functions as intended and is presented appropriately

    Strand 4 - Explain changes made to the chosen design and the plan when making the solution.

  • Topic 7

    Criterion D: Evaluating 
    To evaluate your media holder you must:

    Strand 1 - Carry out Product Testing:  Describe detailed and relevant testing methods, which generate accurate data, to measure the success of the solution (Use your original design specifications from criterion A to help you write your own testing methods)

    Strand 2 - Carry out a Product Evaluation:  Explain the success of the solution against the design specification

    Strand 3 - Suggest Improvements:  Describe how the solution could be improved

    Strand 4 - State the Impact of your Solution:  Describe the impact of the solution on the client/target audience. (How has the media holder improved the life of the person using the device?)

    Notes for criterion D

    Product testing: This is a stage in the design process where versions of products (for example, prototypes) are tested against the design need (specification), applied to the context and presented to the end-user or target audience. These tests may include the collection and analysis of data. Types of testing include user trial and observation: (usability and intuitiveness), field/performance test: (functionality and performance), expert appraisal: (beta testing, consumer testing)

    Authentic tests: The tests are relevant to the project and are completed by appropriate testers to gain high-quality quantitative and qualitative feedback.