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Understand the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies

Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum:

Algorithms

The precise sequence of steps and decisions needed to solve a problem. They often involve iterative (repeated) processes.

Algorithms
F-2 Unpack > 3-4 Unpack > 5-6 Unpack > 7-8 Unpack > 9-10 Unpack >

F-2

Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

3-4

Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)

5-6

Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)

7-8

Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English, and trace algorithms to predict output for a given input and to identify errors (ACTDIP029)

9-10

Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in structured English and validate algorithms and programs through tracing and test cases (ACTDIP040)

Follow algorithms

Follow algorithms is the process of performing the steps required to solve a problem.

F-2

Follow algorithms

Follow an ordered sequence of steps to solve a simple problem or complete a task.

Students follow a short ordered sequence of steps and make decisions to solve a simple problem (e.g follow a recipe or directions to reach a location).

Represent algorithms

Represent a clear, ordered sequence of steps and decisions using words and images.

Students describe the steps and decisions (in the correct order) required to solve a simple problem (e.g. write, say, draw, or photograph the steps needed to make a sandwich).

3-4

Follow algorithms

Follow an ordered sequence of steps to solve a simple problem or complete a task.

Students follow the steps and decisions of algorithms (e.g. follow rules to form progressive verbs such as eat to eating, run to running, make to making), and know what step they are up to (e.g. checking off items on a list as they are completed).

Represent algorithms

Represent a clear, ordered sequence of steps and decisions using words and images.

Students describe algorithms using representations such as a list of steps or a diagram (e.g. drawing a diagram of a recipe involving decisions).

5-6

Represent algorithms

Represent a clear, ordered sequence of steps and decisions using words and images.

Students describe algorithms using procedural language (e.g. repeat until all items are scanned, or if it is hot then wear a hat, otherwise wear a jumper) and flowcharts (e.g. rectangles for steps and diamonds for decisions).

Follow algorithms

Follow an ordered sequence of steps to solve a simple problem or complete a task.

Students follow the steps, decisions, and loops in algorithms (e.g. repeating the steps to add two digits for each column in multi-digit addition), and know what step they are up to (e.g. know which column they are adding and when to stop).

7-8

Trace algorithms

Desk check (track the state of) an algorithm to predict output and identify errors.

Students follow an algorithm precisely (e.g. desk check with a table of variables and output) to confirm it produces the expected output for the given input.

Represent algorithms

Represent a clear, ordered sequence of steps and decisions using words and images.

Students describe algorithms precisely in written form or with flowcharts for each part of the problem (e.g. separate flowcharts to describe the purchase of an item, and the giving of change during the purchase).

9-10

Trace algorithms

Desk check (track the state of) an algorithm to predict output and identify errors.

Students design and use test cases (e.g. input and expected output) to validate the correctness of an algorithm.

Represent algorithms

Represent a clear, ordered sequence of steps and decisions using words and images.

Students describe algorithms precisely and succinctly using pseudocode (e.g. short, unambiguous statements such as while the number is prime or if length of word is greater than 4 and first letter is a vowel) and appropriate diagrams for each part of the solution (e.g. a decision-tree for classifying an animal based on physical characteristics).

Design algorithms

Design algorithms captures the solution design we undertake to develop an automated solution to a problem.

F-2

The content descriptions do not explicitly address Design algorithms in band F-2.

3-4

The content descriptions do not explicitly address Design algorithms in band 3-4.

5-6

Design and modify algorithms

Design an algorithm, or modify an existing one, to fix an error or change functionality.

Design an algorithm (e.g. to decide when to water a garden) or understand and modify an existing algorithm to fix an error (e.g. watering when the soil is too wet) or change functionality (e.g. taking into account humidity as well as soil moisture level).

7-8

Test algorithms and programs

Define the expected output for a given input and check their implementation against it

Students can identify test cases (i.e. input and expected output) and use these to determine where errors are in their programs.

Design and modify algorithms

Design an algorithm, or modify an existing one, to fix an error or change functionality.

Design an algorithm (e.g. to calculate the coins and notes needed for an amount of money) or understand and modify an existing algorithm to fix an error (e.g. rounding amounts smaller than the minimum denomination) or change functionality (e.g. changing the denominations used).

9-10

Test algorithms and programs

Define the expected output for a given input and check their implementation against it

Students can identify edge cases and design tests for these to ensure the implementation of their algorithms is correct.

Design and modify algorithms

Design an algorithm, or modify an existing one, to fix an error or change functionality.

Design an algorithm (e.g. to detect if two shapes intersect) or understand and modify an existing algorithm to fix an error (e.g. not detecting when shapes just touch), extend functionality (e.g. support a new shape), or improve the algorithm (e.g. make it more efficient or elegant).

Algorithm constructs

Algorithm constructs are the building blocks we use to define our algorithms in a form digital systems can execute.

F-2

Sequence of steps

An sequence of steps (instructions) where order might or might not matter.

Students identify the steps needed to solve a problem, and understand when their order is important (e.g. socks must go on before shoes) or when they can be reordered (e.g. jumper can go on before or after shoes).

Branching (decisions)

Branching involves following different steps based on a yes/no decision.

Students identify the decisions needed to solve a problem and the next steps to follow in each case (e.g. if it is raining, take a raincoat, otherwise take a hat).

3-4

Sequence of steps

An sequence of steps (instructions) where order might or might not matter.

Students understand there can be more than one sequence of steps to solve a problem, some are better than others, and the steps should be unambiguous (e.g. describing two different ways to get to the same location).

Branching (decisions)

Branching involves following different steps based on a yes/no decision.

Students determine the decisions required to solve a problem. Decisions should include numerical and text comparisons (e.g. if the UV index is above 3, wear sunscreen and a hat).

5-6

Sequence of steps

An sequence of steps (instructions) where order might or might not matter.

Students describe more than one sequence of steps that solve the same problem (e.g. specifyting the exact route through a maze vs. using the right-hand rule) , and can explain why one is better than the other (e.g. although the right-hand rule takes longer, you do not need to know the path before you start).

Branching (decisions)

Branching involves following different steps based on a yes/no decision.

Students describe branching logic that involves multiple decisions (e.g. what transport do I use depending on travel distance, weather and time to appointment) to come to a conclusion.

Iteration

Iteration involves repeating a sequence of steps until a condition is met.

Students can describe algorithms in greater detail by using iteration (doing things multiple times) to ensure that a task is complete before moving onto the next task. For example, keep spreading the butter until the whole piece of bread is covered.

7-8

The content descriptions do not explicitly address Algorithm constructs in band 7-8.

9-10

The content descriptions do not explicitly address Algorithm constructs in band 9-10.