The concept of cause and effect is a central component of digital technologies design and use. When we interact with a device or with an online resource, we create action and expect a certain outcome.
To engage effectively with technologies design and use, students need to develop a critical approach to evaluating a technology. Students need to understand the causes and effects at play within a technology or system.
In computer terminology, causal explanations are phrased as 'If this …, then that …'. This basic causal sentence structure underpins all computer programming and is a fundamental concept within the Digital Technologies curriculum.
Teachers can support students' understanding of cause and effect in digital technologies through joint construction of cause and effect tables.
- The teacher demonstrates the game
Minecraft (or similar online game) to the class.
- With the students, the teacher explores the concepts of input and output as they are represented in the game. Both keyboard and mouse inputs can be explained. For example:
|Move mouse||Character moves in the direction of mouse movement |
|W||Character moves forward|
- The students will work in small groups to design their own online game, using a cause and effect table as a design tool:
|I click the start button on the screen||a character appears on the screen|
|I click the UP key||The character moves towards the top of the screen and stops|
|I click the SPACE key||The character jumps in the air|
|I click the DELETE key||The character becomes invisible for 3 seconds|
Content description for the above example: