Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

The Desirable Features

What are the Desirable Features?

The Desirable Features include detailed advice on how schools can satisfy the requirements of the Levels of Progression. We have designed them to support you in your planning and assessment of Using ICT.

There are 17 sets of Desirable Features. Each set:

  • gives examples of the characteristics pupils might typically demonstrate in a Using ICT activity;
  • applies to a range of software applications, allowing you to make the best use of the resources available in your school;
  • includes characteristics aligned to Levels 1 to 7 in the Levels of Progression;
  • contains bullet points typical of each level of competence in a particular activity (not all of these will be appropriate in every activity, but it is likely that pupils will demonstrate most of the points at a level when they carry out an assessment task); and
  • has bullet points that are colour-coded with the Levels of Progression, allowing you to see quickly which aspects of the 5 ‘E’s an activity covers.

The Desirable Features are non-statutory, so you do not have to provide opportunities for pupils to cover all the activities. However, the greater the variety of experiences in Using ICT your school can offer, the better. The Desirable Features were produced to illustrate the type of approaches that might typically be seen when using particular types of software. They are not exhaustive, and the activity you plan might make use of alternative software and approaches. In either case you can refer to the Levels of Progression and associated materials on the standards to get a clear sense of the level of demand at which your planned activity is pitched.

When you design classroom activities that include a Using ICT focus, the Desirable Features can be your starting point for considering exactly what your pupils will do. They can form the basis of the success criteria for your task, and you can customise them to your own context.

Range of Areas and Software
The Desirable Features reflect the range of many Using ICT activities typically available in post-primary schools.


  Some Relevant Software Applications Desirable Features Gnéithe Inmhianaithe
2D CAD TechSoft 2D Design, AutoCAD LT, DraftSight, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, SketchUp 2D CadPDF, 159 KB DRC 2TPDF, 269 KB
3D CAD AutoCAD, Autodesk, Solidworks, ProDesktop, Google Sketchup, Techsoft 3D CadPDF, 158 KB DRC 3TPDF, 185 KB
Data Handling Microsoft Access, Openoffice, Information Workshop Data HandlingPDF, 159 KB Láimhseáil SonraíPDF, 184 KB
DTP Microsoft Publisher, Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Word Desktop PublishingPDF, 157 KB Foilsitheoireacht DeiscePDF, 158 KB
Exploring Programming Logo, Scratch, Gamemaker, html, Mediator, Logicator, PIK Logicator, Lego Mindstorms Exploring ProgrammingPDF, 159 KB Ríomhchlárú a FhiosrúPDF, 190 KB
Game Making Scratch, GameMaker, Mediator Game MakingPDF, 157 KB Cluichí a chruthúPDF, 149 KB
Measurement and Datalogging Proprietary software bundled with dataloggers, Microsoft Excel, DataHarvest, XLogger, Easy Sense Measurement and DataloggingPDF, 159 KB Tomhas agus Logáil SonraíPDF, 151 KB
Music Technology GarageGand, Mixcraft, Project 5, Sony Acid, Logic, Audacity, EJay Music TechnologyPDF, 154 KB Teicneolaíocht an CheoilPDF, 160 KB
Online Collaboration VLE such as Moodle, LNI, Google Docs, WordPress, Fronter, Weebly, Blackboard, StudyWiz Online CollaborationPDF, 173 KB Comhoibriú ar LínePDF, 172 KB
Presentation PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, PhotoStory, Moviemaker PresentationPDF, 170 KB LáithreoireachtPDF, 166 KB
Researching Search Engines ResearchingPDF, 158 KB Taighde a DhéanamhPDF, 175 KB
Simulation Flowcharting, Logicator, Genie, Yenka Technology, Genie Circuit Wizard SimulationPDF, 173 KB IonsamhluPDF, 270 KB
Using Modelling Microsoft Excel, Apple iWork Numbers, Google Docs Using ModellingPDF, 160 KB Samhaltú a ÚsáidPDF, 202 KB
Web Design FrontPage, Dreamweaver, Kompozer, Publisher (at lower levels) Web DesignPDF, 158 KB Dearadh GréasáinPDF, 183 KB
Working with Images Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, The Gimp,, ComicLife, CrazyTalk Working with ImagesPDF, 157 KB Ag Obair le hÍomhánnaPDF, 170 KB
Working with Moving Images/Animation iMovie, Moviemaker, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere, iStopMotion, I Can Animate, Helium Frog, Crazy Talk/Crazy Talk Pro, 2simple2animate Working with Moving Images/AnimationPDF, 173 KB Beochaintí Íomhá ar Íomhá (Beochaintí Íomhá ar Íomhá agus ag Obair le hÍomhánna Gluaisteacha)PDF, 171 KB
Working with Sound Audacity, GarageBand Working with SoundPDF, 155 KB Ag Obair le FuaimPDF, 169 KB

Please note that this is not a definitive list: the types of activity may change over time, and other available software applications may work equally well.

Whatever software or tablet devices and apps you plan to use in an assessment activity, make sure that you can assess the outcomes in terms of the Levels of Progression. Check also that you can save the resulting material in formats suitable for sharing so that they can be easily opened by standard software applications or media players. Note especially that some native formats need to be exported from the software in which work has been made. This is true for many instances of work produced using tablet devices and for applications such as Audacity, SolidWorks, GarageBand, Photoshop etc. where the native version is not readable outside of the software environment in which it was created. Where that is the case it will be necessary to transfer the outcome into a format suitable for sharing such as .mp3, .wav, .jpeg, .rtf etc.