GCO9806 Information systems design , Unit Information Guide (Semester 1, 2006)

Chief Examiner Shane Moore
Gippsland : Shane Moore

ASCED Discipline Group classification: 020305 Systems Analysis and Design

Review of the systems development life cycle; tools, approaches and role of design; structured-systems design; static and dynamic aspects of object-oriented design: statechart diagrams, activity diagrams, collaboration and sequence diagrams, package diagrams, design class diagrams; architectural design; file and data base design; user and system interface design; designing for security and access control; design documentation and report structure; overview of implementation and maintenance phase, training and planning for implementation evaluation; overview of current trends in system design; challenges facing IT managers.


Objectives Knowledge and Understanding

On successful completion of this unit students will:

  • understand the principles of systems design and its relationship to and place within the systems development life cycle.
  • understand the difference and relationship between static and dynamic modelling
  • understand the construction and application of logical and physical system designs
  • know the syntax and semantics of the Unified Modelling Language with respect to modelling class diagrams, interaction diagrams, statechart diagrams, package diagrams, and deployment diagrams.
  • know the syntax and semantics of some of the common diagramming models for Structured Systems Design with respect to structure charts and system flowcharts
  • be able to analyse a given system design and be able to explain the strengths and weaknesses of the system design models.
  • be able to present the system design as a proper collated design document/report.
  • have acquired an understanding of the tasks performed by systems analysts during the design phase.
  • be aware of emerging technologies and techniques for systems design.
  • be aware of the tasks of later phases in the systems development life cycle, and be able to describe how the design phase impacts on the later phases.
  • appreciate which problem solving techniques apply at different levels of abstraction and understand the effect this may have on a system specification.
  • appreciate the suitability and limitations of applying particular approaches and techniques to specific problem areas.
Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

On sucessful completion of this unit students will

  • conform to industry agreed standards of representing models of system design by using the Unified Modelling Language
  • appreciate that there is a diversity of possible different models of a system that could satisfy the requirements for a given system.
  • be able to justify why they chose one model over other possible models in designing a system by evaluating the models' quality, limitations, scope for future extension.
  • appreciate that organisations often institute standards to be followed in conducting a systems development project or for presenting a systems design report.
  • appreciate that in real-world systems development projects deliverables must meet agreed deadlines to minimise impact on later phases of the systems development life cycle or project costs.
Practical Skills

On sucessful completion of this unit students will be able to

  • follow a suitable sequence of steps to produce UML models and associated supporting documentation that represents a design for a small system, when performing the design phase of the software development life cycle.
  • follow a suitable sequence of steps to product Structured Design models and associated supporting documentation that represents a design for a small system, when performing the design phase of the software development life cycle.
  • prepare and present a design specification for a system.
  • complete tasks necessary to make a set of design models complete by identifying aspects of models which are only partially present, for example ensuring that a method appearing on a sequence diagram appears also in the class diagram.
  • apply problem solving techniques at different levels of abstraction to develop a system's design.
  • apply an iterative process of refining system design models to ensure consistency between components.
  • utilise IT practioner tools to support the process and documentation of systems design.
  • construct a system design consisting of object design, system architecture design, user and system interface design, system security and access control design, by using as inputs the outputs from the analysis phase.
Relationships, Communication and TeamWork

On successful completion of this unit student will

  • be able to present written/printed design-phase deliverables that are usable by other people for implementation of a system.


Prerequisites Before attempting GCO9806 you must have satisfactorily completed GCO9803, or equivalent.

Unit relationships GCO9806 is an elective in the Graduate Diploma of Computing and in the Masters of Applied Information Technology at Gippsland. It is a pre-requisite for GCO3811. Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed GCO9803, or equivalent. You may not study this unit if you have studied or intend to study any of the following units in your lifetime: GCO2813, FIT2005, SYS7510, CFR7212.
Texts and software

Required text(s)

Required textbook:

Satzinger, J., Jackson, R. & Burd, S. Systems Analysis & Design in a Changing World, 3rd ed., Course Technology (Thomson), 2004. ISBN: 061921371X

(You may have kept the second edition from previous years - however, that will not be sufficient because there are several new chapters in the third edition which we will be covering)

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements:

There is no prescribed software for this unit. However, use of a modelling tool, such as Microsoft Visio, or Enterprise Architect, or Rational Rose, would be useful. Assignment 1 will require you to draw UML diagrams, which can be hand-drawn or drawn on a computer.

Hardware requirements:

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

You will need to allocate up to 12 hours per week for use of a computer, including time spent using the unit web site and the newsgroups.

Recommended reading

Recommended Reading:

Booch, G., Rumbaugh, J. & Jacobson, I., The Unified Modeling Language User Guide, 2nd ed., Addison Wesley Professional, 2005. ISBN: 0321267974

Rumbaugh, J., Jacobson, I. & Booch, G., The Unified Modeling Language Reference Manual, 2nd ed., Addison Wesley Professional, 2005. ISBN: 0321245628

Deacon, J. Object-Oriented Analysis and Design, Addison-Wesley, 2005. ISBN: 0321263170

Arlow, J. & Neustadt, I., UML 2 and the Unified Process, 2nd ed., Addison Wesley Professional, 2005. ISBN: 0321321278

Other possibly useful references:

Hoffer, J.A., George, J.F. & Valacich, J.S. Modern System Analysis and Design, 5th ed., Prentice-Hall, 2005. ISBN: 0131273914

Blaha, M. & Rumbaugh, J., Object-Oriented Modeling and Design with UML, 2nd ed., Prentice-Hall, 2005. ISBN: 0131968599

Pressman R.S., Software Engineering: A Practitioners Approach, 6th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2005. ISBN: 0072853182

Unhelkar, B., Practical Object Oriented Analysis, Thomson/Social Science Press, 2005. ISBN: 0170122980

Unhelkar, B., Practical Object Oriented Design, Thomson/Social Science Press, 2005. ISBN: 0170122999

Library access You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.
Study resources

Study resources for GCO9806 are:

An electronic Unit Book, containing 12 study guides (PDF files)

This unit information outlining the administrative information for the unit

The GCO2813/GCO9806/FIT2005 Unit Web Site (http://www.gscit.monash.edu.au/units/2006/sem1/gco2813/), where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary materials will be posted.

Newsgroups that are available through the My.Monash portal or through your email program via the collabra news-server (see unit web site for links).

Structure and organisation



Study Guide

Key Dates

1 Revision of Analysis 1
2 Overview of Design 2
3 Application Design using the Structured Approach 3
4 OO Application Design - Use Case Realization 4
5 OO Application Design - State Machines 5
6 Database Design 6 AA1 due - 5/4/06
7 User Interface Design 7
8 System Interface Design 8
9 Design of Controls and Security 9
10 The Design Specification Document 10 AA2 due - 12/5/06
11 Overview of Later Phases of the SDLC 11
12 Further Topics in Systems Design 12
13 Revision All

The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment for the unit consists of 2 assignments with a weighting of 40% and an examination with a weighting of 60%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

  • attempt all assignments and the examination
  • achieve no less than 40% of the marks for supervised assessment (the exam)
  • achieve no less than 40% of the marks for unsupervised assessment (the assignments)
  • obtain at least 50% of the possible marks for the unit after the 'formula' is applied to the supervised and unsupervised components.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Unit Result = Minimum [ S + 10, U + 10, (S * W + U * (1-W) ) ]

where S = supervised component (exam percentage)
U = unsupervised component (assignments percentage)
W = exam weighting (60%, or 0.6)

Assessment Requirements


Due Date


Assignment 1 Wednesday 5th April 20 %
Assignment 2 Friday 12th May 20 %
Examination 3 hour(s), closed book Exam period starts 5th June. 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available on the Unit Web Site. Information about assignments will be published on the Unit's Notices Newsgroup.

Assignment Submission Methods

As the assignments require much modelling to be done, it is preferable that they be submitted printed on paper.

On-campus Gippsland Students: Submit the assignment to the GSIT Student Services office by 6pm on the due date, with the appropriate Faculty cover sheet correctly filled out and attached.

Singapore and Hong Kong Students: submit your assignment to your provider's designated office, with the barcoded cover sheet attached to the front, and the Faculty cover sheet behind it.The due date is the date on which you must submit before close of business.

Other Off Campus (OCL) students: Mail your assignment to the Off-Campus Learning Centre with the barcoded cover sheet attached to the front, and the Faculty cover sheet behind it. The due date is the date on which you must post before daily collection by the postal company. Overseas students in this category may be permitted to use WebFace - contact your lecturer to discuss.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of a drop in grade compared to what the work is worth. Assignments sent after the cutoff date (1 week later than the due date) will receive 0 marks.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass - acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory -  failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt. Be aware that assignments from overseas locations often take 5 business days after the due date to arrive in Australia. It is likely that you will receivefeedback electronically via email.

Feedback Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Unless you have personal enquiries all communication related to the content of the unit must be via the newsgroups. If you do send me an email that relates to the content of the unit it will not be answered. Personal enquiries may include requests for assignment extensions, special consideration requests, or the need to discuss your personal progress. You are certainly not asked to put anything of a personal nature into your newsgroup postings. Personal matters can also be dealt with by telephone.

On-campus students, and off-campus students who live or work near the campus, may also visit the lecturer at their office.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

Shane is available most of the time, but it may be most convenient for him if you see him on Friday between 12 and 2pm.

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Mr Shane Moore
Phone +61 3 990 26716

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Feb 28, 2006