GCO8019 - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

Adrien Driver


Gippsland : Adrien Driver


Computer technology, computer systems, input and output devices, processing, primary and secondary storage, system controls, telecommunications. Applications of information systems in business; business information systems, operations information systems, management information systems. Information systems for strategic advantage in business; electronic trading; managing information systems and their resources; security and control of information systems. Spreadsheet design and development; introduction to databases.


The subject aims to ensure that students understand the relationship between successful business functioning and information technology, including being able to analyse the types of systems which will best suit the needs of different business functions, and identify and analyse related information technology management issues. Students use spreadsheet and database packages to model and solve a range of typical business problems.


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Unit relationships

This unit is available for students enrolled in courses in the Faculty of Business and Economics. It is also offered as an elective to student enrolled from other faculties except those enrolled in Faculty of Information Technology awards.


Texts and software

Required text(s)

Turban, Leidner, McLean and Weatherbe, Information Technology for Management – Transforming Business in the Digital Economy, 5tg Edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2005, ISBN 0-471-70522-5

Parsons, Oja, Ageloff and Carey, New Perspectives Microsoft Excel 2003 Second Edition – Comprehensive, Thomson Learning, 2005, ISBN 0-619-26815-8.

Textbook availability

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

You will need either the Mozilla or Internet Explorer Web browser as well as newsgroup facilities (built into Mozilla or Microsoft Outlook Express or similar). Microsoft Office 2000 / XP or 2003 or at least Microsoft Excel 2000 / XP or 2003 and Microsoft Access 2000 / XP or 2003. General software required will be a file compression program such WinZip or 7-Zip and Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 5, 6 or 7). Acrobat Reader, WinZip and current web browser versions are also available on CDs and DVDs provided with computer magazines and similar publications.

Recommended Platforms

In conjunction with the required software the following operating systems are recommended for this unit; Windows 98, Me, 2000 and XP. Windows 95, NT, flavours of Linux and other operating systems are not recommended.

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

Recommended reading



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 GCO8019 are:

  • The printed Unit Book provided
  • The unit website containing the weekly session notes, tutorials, web references, additional supporting information, assignment specifications and sample solutions
  • This Unit Information outlining the administrative information for the unit
  • Newsgroups that can be accessed from the Unit website

Unit website


Structure and organisation

Week Topics Study Guide Key Dates
1 Introduction to Information Systems / Introduction to File Management and Spreadsheets Study Guide 1
2 Information Technologies / Formulas, Functions and Cell References Study Guide 2
3 Software for Information Systems / Enhancing and Printing a Spreadsheet Study Guide 3
4 Telecommunications / Managing Data in a Spreadsheet Study Guide 4
5 Communications and Information Systems / Multiple Spreadsheets and lookup Functions Study Guide 5
6 Electronic Commerce / Electronic Business Study Guide 6
7 Supporting Management and Decision Making / Developing Applications Study Guide 7 1st Sept: Assignment 1 Due
8 Information Systems for Strategic Advantage / Data Tables and Scenario Management Study Guide 8
9 Data Managament / Introduction to Microsoft Access Study Guide 9
10 IT Economics / Tables and Forms Study Guide 10
Non teaching week
11 Procuring IT Applications and Infrastructure Study Guide 11 5th Oct: Assignment 2 Due
12 Security Control of Information Study Guide 12
13 Revision


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


Assessment weighting

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, tasks and the examination
  • Score at least 50% of the possible marks for the unit
  • Achieve no less than 40% of the total available marks for the assignments overall, and the examination

Nominally, the assignments will have a weighting of 40% and the exam a weighting of 60%. Your final mark cannot be more than 10 marks higher than your assignment work percentage. Also, since assignment work is not completed in a controlled environment, your final mark cannot be more than 10 marks higher than your exam percentage.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Grade = min (A+10, E+10, E*R+A*(1-R))

  • A = overall assignment percentage
  • E = examination percentage
  • R = exam weighting (60% = 0.6)

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Assignment 1 Friday September 1st 20%
Assignment 2 Thursday October 5th 20 %
The exam is 3 hours long and is closed book. Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available The GCO8019 unit site on MUSO..

Assignment Submission

Assignments will be submitted via the WebFace Assignment Submission System. Assignments will be graded and returned electronically via WebFace to the email address that you have registered with WebFace.

Some students may feel a little uncertain about their assignment submissions and request if the assignment can be looked over prior to submission. Unfortunately this is not possible (and disadvantages other students). Use the assignment newsgroup to place a question related to your area of uncertainty.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date without an extension will incur a penalty of 10% reduction in grade for each day late (inclusive of weekends). Assignments received later than one week 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 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.

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.


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 methods

Any unit material or assignment query must be posted to the relevant newsgroup. Any email sent that relates to the content of the unit will be answered via the relevant newsgroups.

Personal queries, which include include requests for assignment extensions, special consideration requests, or the need to discuss your personal progress can be directed to the campus lecturer or tutor via email.

You are not asked to put anything of a personal nature into your newsgroup postings. You can discuss matters over the phone but email is the preferred method of contact.



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

Tuesday 2-4

Thursday 2-4


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 Adrien Driver
Phone +61 3 990 26856
Fax +61 3 990 26879

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 3, 2006