FIT4007 Advanced topics in information systems - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

David Arnott


Clayton : David Arnott, Graeme Shanks, Ron Weber


This seminar-based unit will use research literature to address the critical debates and issues involved with IT-based information systems in organizations. The seminar will be organized around four thematic areas: investigating and understanding the IS research literature, governance and management of IT, effective development of IS, and delivery of business benefits through IT. The detailed topics covered in seminars will vary from offering to offering.

Each week a topic will be addressed through a critical discussion of one or more journal papers. Each discussion will be led by a class member.


At the completion of this unit students will:

1. Understand the general history of IS research,

2. Have knowledge of key issues and controversies of IS research and practice,

3. Be able to contribute to a structured discussion of key IS issues,

4. Understand the relevance of various research methods to major IS research problems,

5. Be able to critically analyse a IS journal paper.


Students must have completed or be concurrently studying FIT4005 IT Research Methods.

Unit relationships

FIT4007 is a core unit in the Bachelor of Business Information Systems (Honours).

It is also available for other information systems oriented honours students in FIT.


Texts and software

Required text(s)

A reading list is available on the FIT4007 website.

Textbook availability

There is no text book for FIT4007.

Software requirements

There are no software requirements for FIT4007.

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.

Recommended reading

A reading list is available on the FIT4007 website.

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 FIT4007 are:

The FIT4007 website on MUSO where weekly requirements including readings, assignment specifications, and supplementary materials will be posted.

Structure and organisation

Week Topics
1 Introduction
2 The Nature of the IS Discipline
3 Rigor and Relevance of IS Research
4 The Technology Acceptance Model
5 The Dependent Variable in IS Research
6 Design Science in IS Research
7 The IT Artifact in IS Research
8 IT Benefits
9 Strategic Alignment of IT
10 IT Doesn’t Matter
Non teaching week
11 Sourcing IT
12 IT Governance
13 Review


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


Assessment weighting

Assessment for the unit consists of one assignment with a weighting of 30%, seminar participation with a weighting of 20%, and an examination with a weighting of 50%.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

obtain at least 40% in your examination, at least 40% of the available marks in your assignment work and seminar participation, and achieve at least 50% overall.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

the weighted combination of examination mark (weight 50%), assignment (weight 30%) and seminar participation (weight 20%).

Where a student obtains less than 40% in either the exam or the assignment and seminar participation taken together, a mark of no greater than 44-N will be recorded.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Critical analysis of an agreed IS topic 13/10/06 30%
Seminar participation 20 %
The exam is 2 hours long and is closed book. Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 50 %

Assignment specifications will be made available on the FIT4007 website.

Assignment Submission

Assignments will be submitted by paper submission to the Chief Examiner at the week 12 class or to Gemma Dodson, Room H7.36, Building H, Caulfield Campus by 5pm 13 October 2006.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 10% per working day. Assignments received later than five working days after the due date will not normally be accepted.

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 Chief Examiner 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 from the Chief Examiner 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:

Grade Percentage/description
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%.

Assignment return

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt. Assignments can be collected from Gemma Dodson, Room H7.36, Building H, Caulfield Campus after the notification of their availability on the FIT4007 website.


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.

Unit improvements

This is first time that this unit has been offered. The unit will be evaluated during this offering and improvements made for 2007.

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 methods

As this is a discussion or seminar based unit the principal vehicle for communication will be the class sessions. There will be a discussion group on the FIT4007 website.


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

As the lecturers are the Dean and Associate Deans of FIT no regular consultation times are possible. Students can make appointments to talk to the lecturers through their respective offices: for Professor Weber contact Lyn Williams, 9903 1100,; for Professor Arnott contact Gemma Dodson, 9903 1314,; for Professor Graeme Shanks contact

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:

Professor David Arnott
Professor, Associate Dean Education
Phone +61 3 990 32693
Fax +61 3 9903 1204

Professor Graeme Shanks
Associate Dean, Research
Phone +61 3 990 52421
Fax =^! 3 9905 9422

Professor Ron Weber
Phone +61 3 990 32406
Fax +61 3 990 31102

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: Jul 7, 2006