Assessment Report

Level 3 Digital Technologies 2019

Standards 91908  91909

Part A:  Commentary

Candidates who clearly understood and explained the specific computer science concepts behind their chosen area did well. These candidates were able to link the computer science concepts and their impacts on people, and draw conclusions from a number of perspectives. They showed evidence of discussion and personal learning in the classroom. They showed understanding of why a computer science area was a problem. The most effective way for candidates to answer was to clearly link their chosen area of computer science to their practical application of it. 

Candidates are not expected to write a lot of information. Candidates generally wrote concisely around targeted relevant concepts. Those who could provide critical analysis and insight were more likely to access the higher grades.

Candidates who work within an authentic Digital Technologies program using appropriate contexts in a classroom where they are exposed to actual computer science concepts are better able to demonstrate their understanding and explain those concepts. Candidates that undertook and completed their own learning journeys rather than relying on a formula derived from a template, were much more likely to achieve at the highest level.

Teachers and candidates are advised to make themselves familiar with the Assessment Specifications for 2020.

Part B:  Report on standards

91908: Analyse an area of computer science

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • answered just the Achieved criteria
  • showed understanding the fundamentals of their chosen area but were unable to show deeper understanding
  • repeated or summarised their Achieved content for the Merit and Excellence criteria 
  • gave examples, but did not explain or inadequately explained the wider effects
  • explained their chosen area but focussed too heavily on the social impacts without sufficient attention to technical components
  • were overly reliant on a templated approach 
  • provided multiple evidences for the Achieved criteria, and / or provided overly thorough answers for the Achieved criteria, but did not effectively answer the Merit and Excellence criteria.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • provided in-depth understanding of the social implications, but did not or could not explain the computer science concept
  • showed inadequate or incorrect understanding of the area they were responding to
  • failed to answer some of the assessment-task questions
  • answered the topics so briefly that they did not meet sufficiency
  • provided novel or unique applications of the area with insufficient or incorrect technical foundational understanding.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • showed fundamental understanding of the area chosen, and were able to explain how this area related to people
  • articulated clearly more than one perspective and provided realistic and accurate examples
  • explained the technical components within their provided examples
  • explained how the area related to humans without solely or overwhelmingly focussing on hypothetical social outcomes
  • provided student voice based on their examples 
  • Provided reasoned and accurate explanations.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • drew accurate conclusions linked to their earlier responses
  • argued why their conclusions were valid, true, applicable or correct
  • drew conclusions that showed the candidate comprehensively understood the area they were discussing
  • criticised the area objectively 
  • linked their insightful conclusions to their previous answers rather than postulating new technologies, or knowledges, or outcomes, without providing a premise for a train of reasoning.

Standard specific comments

Candidates who had a rich understanding of the topic were able to answer the questions to a higher standard. It is essential that students understand the concepts and are able to relate their answers back to those underlying computer science concepts. Many candidates appeared to only have superficial understanding which impacted their opportunities to achieve at the higher levels. 

Although the paper requires understanding of human interaction, perspectives, and conclusions, it is about the computer science areas first and foremost. Candidates who had an incomplete understanding of the computer science concepts struggled.

Some candidates put most of their time into answering the Achieved Criteria and did not provide in-depth, quality answers for the Merit and Excellence criteria, thus impacting on their success. 

91909: Present a reflective analysis of developing a digital outcome

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • presented a reflective analysis of developing a digital outcome.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • submitted a partial or incomplete report
  • gave no reflective analysis
  • did not discuss tools and techniques
  • left out ways to address implications.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • presented in-depth reports that reflected on developing a digital outcome development
  • explained how new skills were needed to complete a digital outcome.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • presented an insightful reflective analysis
  • gave clear, concise answers, with multiple reflections on choices made in the development of their digitaloutcome
  • showed understanding of cultural implications and intellectual property that moved beyond the development process and outcome.

Standard specific comments

Candidates should not copy-and-paste the same answers for different questions

Candidates need to reflect on digital outcome processes and why decisions were made. Physical outcomes by themselves are not within the scope of this standard.

Relevant implications, especially cultural and intellectual property, were a common weak point.


Digital Technologies subject page 

Previous years' reports


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