MMS9401 Creating Digital Content , Unit Information Guide (Semester 1, 2006)

Chief Examiner Matthew Coller
Caulfield : Matthew Coller

This unit will develop the basic concepts of website development and standards, especially usability. It will also introduce website design/maintenance and graphic design software and its appropriate applications. The use of images, sound and animation within a web site will be investigated.

Objectives Knowledge and Understanding

  • the characteristics of a range of software which are used in the development of websites
  • the characteristics of commercial web sites and the tasks and management issues associated with them
  • internet standards and protocols related to web site creation
  • appropriate use of software applications in relation to web design concepts and standards
  • the options available within current multimedia delivery platforms and future directions
  • the need for the management and control of the multimedia development process
  • commercial website usability issues

Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

  • recognition and respect for copyright
  • constructively deal with clients in a range of situations encountered in the tendering process
  • critically assess the success of commercial websites
  • recognise the strengths and weaknesses of information technology in the context of the development and use of multimedia systems

Practical Skills

  • produce design specification documentation for a website
  • design and build a simple commercial website
  • create and manipulate digital content for websites
  • create and integrate basic audio and animation into websites

Relationships, Communication and TeamWork

  • develop skills to allow students to work as part of a project team

Prerequisites There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Unit relationships

MMS9401 is a core subject for the course Master of Multimedia. It is a prerequisite for MMS9402 Digital Media Authoring, and VCM4501 Multimedia Studio.

You may not study this unit and CPE1003, FIT1011, IMS1402 or MMS1402 in your degree.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

To be advised.

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:

All software will be provided in computer laboratories. Alternatively, students may use their home computer with their own copies of the software installed.

Hardware requirements:

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 8 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

  • Mumaw, S., Simple Web Sites: Organizing content-rich sites into simple structures, Rockport Press, 2002, ISBN 1-59253-130-X
  • Lynch, P., Web Style Guide: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites, 2nd Ed, Yale University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-300-08898-1

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 MMS9401 are:

The FIT1012 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary material will be posted.

Structure and organisation



Study Guide

Key Dates

1 Introduction to Subject, How the Web Works
2 Compatibility & Bandwidth, Bitmap & vector Graphics, Photoshop Basics, Flash Basics
3 Colour Theory, Flash Animation, HTML Basics, reamweaver, Intellectual Property Assignment 1 due (website analysis)
4 Website construction, Tabled Layouts - problems, Text & Typography, Search Engines, Basic CSS Work Requirement 1 due (Photoshop/Flash)
5 History of the Web - W3C , Standards: XHTML/CSS, CSS for layout, Browser Issues
6 Visual Design Principles, Usability, CSS Design, Site architecture Work Requirement 2 due (CSS)
7 New Media Democracy, OO Programming, Document Object Model, Javascript, Actionscript - Hierarchy
8 Dynamic HTML, Sound on the Web, Accessibility issues Assignment 2 due 5pm Thursday (individual website)
9 Servers, hosting, domains, Server-side processes, Cold Fusion Intro
10 Web development practice, HTML Forms, Databases Work Requirement 3 due
11 Web business models, Testing & monitoring, Search Engine Optimisation Work Requirement 4 due
12 Design Spec & Contracts, Tendering Process
13 Exam Revision Assignment 3 due (group website)

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


Assessment for the unit consists of three assignments with a weighting of 60% and an examination with a weighting of 40%.

In addition, there are four work requirements, which are not graded but are compulsory. You must complete each work requirement to a satisfactory level and show it to your tutor during your class (Weeks 4, 6, 10 and 11). You will be penalised 10% for each of the requirements you fail to complete.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

Attend 80% of the tutorials (or have a medical certificate to excuse further absence). Achieve an overall mark of 50% or above.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Final grade = (R*A*E)/(((R-1)*A)+E) Where A = overall assignment percentage E = examination percentage R = 100/assignment weighting (100/40 = 2.5)

Assessment Requirements


Due Date


Website Analysis 13th March 10 %
Individual Website 27th April 30 %
Group Website 29th May 20 %
Examination 2 hour(s), closed book Exam period starts 5th June. 40 %

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

Assignment Submission Methods

Assignments must be submitted by the due date, in person to your tutor during your tutorial time, or to a specific location as advised by your lecturer or tutor.

All assignments must be accompanied by a Berwick School of Information Technology 'Assignment Cover Sheet' with appropriate signatures. To download cover sheets go to: and click either 'Individual Assignment cover sheet' or 'Group Assignment cover sheet'. No assignment will be graded until the signed cover sheet is received.

Note that the cover sheet is a legal document in which you make the statement that you have not participated in plagiarism or unauthorised collusion. You should not sign this document unless you are certain that this is a true statement. If in doubt, discuss with your tutor. Plagiarism and collusion are very serious matters, which will be referred to the dean of the faculty.

Assignments may not be emailed except by prior arrangement. Websites may be uploaded to the web for viewing online, but a CD containing the website files should also be submitted to your tutor, along with a note of the URL. Make sure that you check your CD in another computer before submission. Assignments containing viruses will not be marked. The assignment will not be graded until a clean copy is submitted and penalties do apply.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Penalties are incurred from the due date at the rate of a 10% reduction in grade for each day (including weekends) if the assignment is late.

Students should note that they are, at all times responsible for their work. All relevant data should be backed up on a regular basis. The university has the CD burners in the computer labs and blank CDs may be purchased through ITS.

Loss of project work through hardware failure, virus, or any other reason is not accepted as an excuse for late or non-submission of work.

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. 

Students requesting an extension must apply to their unit adviser prior to the due date, using the Berwick School of Information Technology 'Extension request form'. Extensions may be granted for medical or personal reasons supported by appropriate documentary evidence. Students will be provided with a reply documenting the extension, a copy of which should be submitted with the assignment.

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. Your mark and feedback will be emailed to your monash student email address. Websites on CD will not be returned unless a request is made, so keep a backup copy of your assignments.

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.


Communication between the lecturer/tutor and class will be sent to your Monash student email address. You should check this address often for specific information about lectures, tutes and assignment dates.

Outside of class, email is the preferred method of communication. When emailing your lecturer/tutor, begin the subject line with the subject code (FIT1012 or MMS9401) for easy identification.


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

To be advised.

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 Matthew Coller
Phone +61 3 990 47216

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 27, 2006