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Unit 16: Solution Thinking

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  • Creating Digital Solutions

    Define problems in terms of data and functional requirements, drawing on previously solved problems to identify similarities

    • Checking existing solutions to identify features that are transferable to new but similar digital solutions, for example identifying if there are any similarities, such as user age and special requirements, between an existing game and a new game to be created
    • Investigating characteristics of user interfaces that are common for particular types of problems, for example, touch screens encourage users to respond more intuitively than keyboards, or the consistent placement of symbols in games to speed up users’ responses
    • Using and interpreting data, establishing the root cause of a problem, for example using an annotated diagram to identify omissions, duplications or mismatches of data
    • Describing in simple terms the nature of a problem and what a solution needs to achieve, for example what need the problem is associated with, who the solution is needed for, what data are needed and what features the solution would need to include


    Design a user interface for a digital system, generating and considering alternative design ideas

    • Exploring different features of user interfaces that allow people from different cultures to access information irrespective of language background, for example using icons and consistently placing icons or symbols in games interfaces to reduce the frustrations of game players  Scratch
    • Applying the principles and elements of design to a set of requirements in order to produce a user interface for a system that addresses an identified need, for example to emphasise or highlight an area of the screen to draw the viewer’s attention to an event or action
    • Designing the user interface of a solution using different design tools, for example using a storyboard to outline the stages of a game or a mock-up to show the placement of icons
    • Generating alternative design ideas for a user interface, for example sketching different concepts for a splash screen of a game or interactive multimedia experience or designing different user interfaces for people with visibility loss, taking into account size of icons and responsive font size


    Design, modify and follow simple algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English, involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration

    • Following a diagram of a simple method of sorting numbers or words
    • Following, modifying and describing the design of a game involving simple algorithms represented diagrammatically or in English, for example creating a flowchart with software that uses symbols to show decisions, processes and inputs and outputs
    • Experimenting with different ways of representing an instruction to make a choice, for example branches in a tree diagram or using an ‘IF’ statement to indicate making a choice between two different circumstances using a spreadsheet or a visual program
    • Experimenting with different ways of representing an instruction to make a repetition, for example loops in a flowchart diagram or using a ‘REPEAT’ statement
    • Designing the instructions for a robot vacuum cleaner to clean a room
    • Using different design tools to record ways in which digital solutions will be developed, for example creating storyboards or flowcharts to record relationships or instructions about content or processes


    Develop digital solutions as simple visual programs

    • Experimenting with different options that involve repeat instructions, for example a continually repeating slideshow, a repeated movement in an animation, a repeated calculation in a spreadsheet
    • Planning and developing a solution using a visual programming language, for example designing and creating a simple computer game involving decisions and repetitions, suitable for younger children, requiring user input to make selections, taking into account user responses
    • Following a design and creating a solution that is interactive, using a visual programming language, for example creating a quiz that provides feedback on responses and allows the user to try again
    • Programming a robot to operate independently, for example to find its way out of a maze
    • Experimenting with different ways of instructing to make choices and repeat instructions, for example using ‘IF’ statements to allow for making choices and iterations (repeat instructions) until a goal is achieved


    Explain how student-developed solutions and existing information systems meet current and future community and sustainability needs

    • Using sustainability criteria to explain how well a student-developed solution meets its requirements, for example personal data are secured (social) and the solution can only be viewed on screen to avoid printing (environmental)
    • Explaining why people interact so readily with touch systems, for example touch input requires less dexterity to issue instructions and is designed to be accessible to users through the use of icons
    • Imagining how the functioning of one type of information system could be applied in a new way to meet a community need, for example considering how an electronic tracking system such as a global positioning system (GPS) could be used to find people who are lost
    • Comparing past and present information systems in terms of economic, environmental and social sustainability, for example comparing energy levels required to store data and purchase devices
    • Exploring the ethics and impact of management practices on the use of communication networks, for example internet censorship from a local, national and global perspective and the impact on freedom of access and expression
    • Considering practices to save energy and other resources when using information systems, for example switching off when not in use, ensuring electronic devices are in energy-saving mode