FIT1021 Information use and management - Semester 1 , 2007 unit guide

Semester 1, 2007

Chief Examiner

Steve Wright


Caulfield : Steve Wright


Through a critical examination of documentary forms and information seeking behaviour, this unit explores fundamental concepts of information in the context of identifying stakeholder needs and expectations at individual, collective, organisational and societal levels. It introduces students to the way information is managed to meet user needs and the role of ICT in IM.

Topics under the themes information concepts, contexts, tools and technologies, and information issues include:

  • What is information?
  • What role does it play in society?
  • Basics of information management
  • How do we manage information?
  • Identifying, analysing and responding to user needs
  • Layers of information use
  • Using ICTs to create, represent, store, access, retrieve and use information
  • The organisational and social contexts in which information is managed and used
  • Objectives

    At the completion of this unit students will have a theoretical and conceptual understanding of:

    C1. fundamental concepts of information, and its use by individuals, organisations and societies

    C2. information creation, representation, storage, access, retrieval, and use

    C3. the impact of organisational and social contexts upon information needs and uses

    C4. basic ICTs and IM tools developed to manage information and meet user needs

    C5. the information-seeking behaviour of users

    C6. the range of information sources

    C7. the forms that information can take

    C8. human computer interfaces to information

    At the completion of this unit students will have developed attitudes that enable them to:

    A1. Be aware of the role and responsibilities of information professionals

    A2. Be aware of the role of ICTs and IM in human activity

    At the completion of this unit students will have the skills to:

    P1. Evaluate information and its sources critically

    P2. Identify particular information needs

    P3. Evaluate ICTs and IM tools in terms of meeting user needs

    P4. Use basic ICTs and IM tools to create, represent, store, access, retrieve and use information

    At the completion of this unit students will have developed the teamwork skills needed to:

    S1. Be able to work as part of a team capable of managing information in a range of social environments


    There are no prerequisites for this unit.

    Unit relationships

    FIT1021 is a core unit in the Information Management major of the BITS.

    There are no prerequisites for this unit.

    You may not study this unit and IMS1102, IMS1603 in your degree.

    Texts and software

    Required text(s)


    Textbook availability

    No textbook is required for this unit.

    Software requirements

    Lab work will utilise a range of installed software.

    Home equipment requirements:

    • Microsoft Word or similar word processing program
    • Firefox or similar browser (eg IE/Opera/Mozilla)

    Hardware requirements

    Students 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 10 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

    Recommended reading

    M. Buckland (1991b) 'Information as Thing', Journal of the American Society of Information Science 42(5), June,, accessed 8 March 2005.

    E. Grassian (2000) 'Thinking Critically about World Wide Web Resources',, accessed 5 March 2005.

    D. Blair (1984a) The Management of Information: Basic Distinctions. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Business School. accessed 7 March 2005.

    M. Castells (2000) 'Introduction to the information age', in H. McKay & T. Sullivan (eds.) Media reader: continuity and transformation. London: Sage,, accessed 22 March 2005.

    R. Hartland, S. McKemmish & F. Upward (2005) 'Documents', in S. McKemmish et al. (eds.) Archives: Recordkeeping in Society. Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University,, accessed 12 April 2005.

    M. McAdams (1994) 'Driving a Newspaper on the Data Highway',, accessed 25 March 2004.

    D. Nichols & M. Twidale (2003) 'The Usability of Open Source Software', First Monday 8(1), issues/issue8_1/nichols/.

    J. Nielsen (1997) 'How Users Read on the Web',, accessed 24 December 2002.

    S. Toub (2000) Evaluating Information Architecture, http://argus-, accessed 23 April 2004.

    E. Hunter (2000) 'Do we still need classification?', in R. Marcella & A. Maitby (eds.) The Future of Classification. Aldershot: Gower.

    Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (2003) 'Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Overview',, accessed 16 August 2003.

    The Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia (EPIC) 'Online Survey of College Students: Executive Summary',, accessed 16 May 2005.

    M. Taylor & E. Moynihan (2002). 'Analysing IT Ethics', Systems Research and Behavioral Science 19.

    The following journals will be useful throughout the unit; other relevant online journals may be found at ‘Information Technology electronic journals’, Monash University Library,

    Access to electronic versions is available via the Monash Voyager catalogue .

    Hard copies of most of these journals may also be found in the Caulfield library (CA).

    Information, communication & society (CA)

    Information Management Journal (CA)

    Students are also expected to familiarise themselves with the materials on information seeking available at the Monash Library ‘Virtual Librarian’ web site Today
    Library philosophy and practice
    Records Management Quarterly (CA)

    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 FIT1021 are:

    provided at the unit website, or through lab/tutorial sessions. These include lecture notes and tutorial/lab exercises.

    To access the unit website, log into MUSO -

    Unit website

    Structure and organisation

    Week Topics Key Dates
    1 Introduction and overview
    2 Why information management matters
    3 What are documents?
    4 The documentary web
    5 Documentary form and analysis
    6 Documentary form and ICT
    Non teaching week
    7 User needs and behaviour Assignment 1: Due 5 April
    8 Matching documents to user needs
    9 Promotional documents
    10 Classifying information
    11 Document management and records
    12 Information management issues
    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 combined weighting of 50%, and an examination with a weighting of 50%. Read this section VERY carefully.

    Assessment Policy

    To pass this unit you must:

    gain all of the following:

    • at least 40% of the marks available for the examination component: i.e. the final examination and any tests performed under exam conditions, taken as a whole
    • at least 40% of the marks available for the assignment component: i.e. the assignments and any other assessment tasks (such as presentations) taken as a whole 
    • at least 50% of the total marks for the unit

    Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

    adding your assignment component (15% + 35%) and examination component (50%). Where a student gains less than 40% for either the examination or assignment component, the final result for the unit will be no greater than ‘44-N’.

    Assessment Requirements

    Assessment Due Date Weighting
    The documentary web 5 April 15%
    Matching documents to user needs 16 May 35 %
    The exam is 3 hours long and is closed book. Exam period (S1/07) starts on 07/06/07 50 %

    Assignment specifications will be made available on the unit website assignment page..

    Assignment Submission

    Assignments will be submitted by paper to your tutor's pigeon hole in Building H, with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out, signed and attached.

    Extensions and late submissions

    Late submission of assignments

    If you believe that your assignment will be delayed because of circumstances beyond your control such as illness, you should apply for an extension prior to the due date. All applications for extensions must be made in writing to your lecturer. Medical certificates or other supporting documentation will be required.

    Late assignments submitted without an approved extension may be accepted (up to one week late) at the discretion of your lecturer, but will be penalised at the rate of 10% of total assignment marks per day (including weekends). Example:
    Total marks available for the assignment = 100 marks
    Marks received for the assignment = 70 marks
    Marks deducted for 2 days late submission (20% of 100) = 20 marks
    Final mark received for assignment = 50 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 one day 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:

    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

    Normal methods of communication for students with teaching staff are during class times (in tutorials, labs, and at the end of lectures), consultation times, or through email.


    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

    The unit lecturer will normally be available to see students during the semester weeks at the following times: Mondays and Thursdays 1-2pm, and Fridays 10-11am. Other times are available by appointment only.

    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:

    Dr Steven Wright
    Phone +61 3 990 32994

    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 16, 2007