Software Development SAT


An abbreviated guide for students

Based on the VCAA publication.

My unofficial additions are in italics.

The Software Development (SD) School Assessed Task (SAT) is composed of two outcomes: U3O2 and U4O1.

The SAT contributes 30% to your total SD study score.


“Analyse and document a need or opportunity, generate alternative design ideas, represent the preferred solution design and formulate a project plan for creating the solution.”

You need to create:

  1. An analysis that defines the requirements, constraints and scope of a solution in the form of a software requirements specification  (SRS)
    • First you need to identify a need or opportunity for a software solution created through the use of a programming language.
    • It needs to be a real-world problem or opportunity
    • It is not a hypothetical or imaginary problem.
    • It should not be determined by your teacher.
    • Carry out the activities of the Analysis stage of the PSM. (Determine requirements, scope, constraints)
    • Have your need/opportunity approved by your teacher before starting the in-depth analysis for the SRS.
    • Create a formal SRS document that includes:
      • the purpose of the software solution
      • the environment (audience and technical
        characteristics) of the software solution
      • details of the solution requirements, including
        constraints and scope
      • analysis tools (UCD, CD, DFD) would form an appendix to the SRS
      • There is no prescribed template for the SRS so flexibility exists in its presentation.
  2. A folio of two to three alternative design ideas and the detailed design specifications of the preferred design.
    • The folio will comprise two or three design ideas, student-generated evaluation criteria and the detailed specifications of the preferred design.
    • Design ideas do not have to be detailed – they represent broad ideas of key features and functions of possible solutions. 
    • Apply your evaluation criteria to select the one design idea that will be
      developed into a detailed design of the solution.
    • The design should be able to meet the functionality and user requirements
      stated in the SRS.
  3. A project plan (Gantt chart) indicating times, resources and tasks.
    • Prepare a project plan (Gantt chart) covering the full implementation of
      the PSM (analysis, design, development and evaluation)
    • This means the Gantt will encompass all tasks in both U3O2 and U4O1.
    • You only be assessed on your ability to document the key concepts and processes relevant to your project; not on your skills with Gantt chart software.
    • You should take account of any assessment dates and other deadlines provided by the teacher; however all other scheduling must be determined by you.
    • As the project progresses in Unit 3, record any adjustments to your original plan.
    • Since you are assessed on the Gantt chart at the end of U3O2, you may still adjust the plan during U4O1 for your own benefit, but such changes will not be assessed again.


“Apply stages of the problem-solving methodology to create a solution using a programming language that fulfils identified requirements and assess the effectiveness of the project plan in monitoring progress.”

You need to create:

  1. A software solution that meets the SRS, and passes a useability test.
    • Use your detailed design produced in U3O2 to develop a software
    • Apply the necessary features of the programming language published in the VCAA Bulletin
    • If the detailed design generated and assessed in U3O2 is incomplete or contains significant errors and would prevent demonstration of the highest
      level of achievement on the relevant criteria, you will have the opportunity to make adjustments to your design.
    • Your teacher can provide feedback on the quality of the designs but
      any design adjustments in U4O1 must be created by you, not your teacher.
    • If your design is modified, it will not be reassessed, but at least you can recover from a bad design and develop a successful solution.
    • Design a useability test to prove the success of your solution. The
      test should address the core features of the solution as defined in the SRS. 
    • Why you are still designing things during development is a mystery that VCAA is unlikely ever to explain.
    • Conduct the useability test with two or more other people (not including you).
    • Document the results of the useability testing. 
    • Use the results of testing to make any necessary adjustments to your solution.
    • Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of your solution based on the evaluation criteria you generated in U3O2.
  2. An assessment of how well your Gantt chart helped to monitor project progress. The format of the assessment should be either a written report or an annotated visual plan.
    • Explain, either through annotations or a report, how your plan helped you monitor the progress of the project.
    • Show evidence of your plan being adjusted as the project proceeded. There is a variety of ways of showing adjustments on your plan.
    • Explain the usefulness of the plan in monitoring your progress through the stages of the PSM. 



The rubric for Unit 4 Outcome 1 will be published in May 2016.

Criterion Description High performance
1 Skills in using analytical tools to depict relationships between data, users and networks
Note: analytical tools include use case diagrams, data flow diagrams and context diagrams

Identifies a complete and relevant set of data for analysis and uses a wide range of appropriate collection methods and techniques.

Identifies accurately all features of the selected analytical tools.

Depicts accurately all of the relationships between the data, users and the network in each analytical tool.

Applies all techniques correctly and consistently in all analytical tools.

2 Interpretation of data to identify and document the software requirements specification

Draws a complete set of conclusions that are connected to, and consistent with, the data represented in the analytical tools.

Describes specifically and accurately all the functional and non-functional solution requirements, relevant constraints and the scope of the solution.

Using study-specific language, describes precisely and accurately all relevant aspects of the technical and organisational environment of the solution.

Assembles all the documentation clearly, accurately and logically. It is fit for purpose.

3 Skills in generating design ideas and designing preferred solutions

Specifies a comprehensive set of criteria for evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of alternative design ideas and solutions.

Generates two or three distinctive design ideas that are feasible and original representations of the solution’s functionality and appearance.

Selects a preferred design idea for further development based on a complete set of criteria.

Expresses accurately and completely preferred design using appropriate methods. Designs are detailed and fully demonstrate consideration of relevant design factors.

4 Depth of understanding of project management concepts and processes

Prepares a Gantt chart using software that identifies all relevant project management concepts and processes.

Documents all stages of the problem-solving methodology in the chart, identifying conclusively all activities required for both parts of the project.

The accuracy, completeness and coherence of the chart contribute to an effective project management plan to monitor progress.


Skills in organising and managing data and files

 Available May 2016
 6  Skills in using a programming language to develop a software solution that meets specific needs or opportunities  
 7 Skills for testing and strategies for evaluating a software solution  
8 Understanding of strategies for assessing the effectiveness of the project plan in monitoring progress