GCO1810 Business programming - Semester 1 , 2007 unit guide

Semester 1, 2007

Chief Examiner

Shyh Wei Teng


Gippsland : Shyh Wei Teng


This unit provides an introduction to the principles and practice of programming for business applications. This includes an overview of spreadsheet modelling and a detailed introduction to programming with Excel including general programming concepts, the syntax and semantics of a current business programming language, design and development of graphical user interfaces.


On completion of this subject students will:

  • Have a knowledge of the fundamentals of spreadsheets which will provide them with an understanding of spreadsheet modelling presentation and analysis using Excel.
  • Have learnt the fundamentals of OO concepts.
  • Have learnt the basics of programming including variables, data types, control structures, subroutines and functions.
  • Have learnt to create custom dialog boxes and custom forms using VBA.
  • Have the ability to create non-trivial applications using Visual Basic for Applications.
  • Have an understanding of the Internet and XHTML.


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Unit relationships

This introductory unit supports many of the undergraduate units in the Faculty including those units which include programming and spreadsheet modelling.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

Duane Birnbaum, Microsoft Excel VBA Professional Projects, Premier Press, Thomson Learning, 2003, ISBN 1-59200-065-7

Textbook availability

Monash library and bookshop.

Software requirements

Microsoft Office, 2003

Hardware requirements

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the school,
(http://www.gscit.monash.edu.au/current_students/helpdesks/technical/hardware.html) 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 PC labs.

Recommended reading

These are not required, but may be of use. Sometimes a different perspective can help in understanding.

  • Zak, Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications, 0-619-00020-1

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 GCO1810 are:

  • Study guides
  • Weekly Exercises
  • Newsgroups

Note: As the syllabus of this unit is currently being revised, the soft-copies of the study materials are only available on the unit MUSO website.

Unit website


Structure and organisation

Week Topics Study Guide Key Dates
1 Spreadsheets 0 & 1
2 Introduction to Visual Basic for Application & Variables and Data Types 2
3 VBA’s Built-in Functions & Procedure 3
4 Decision Structures, Loops & Arrays 4
5 VBA Objects, File I/O & Error Handling 5
6 Custom Menus, Toolbars & Excel Charts 6 Assn 1 due
Non teaching week
7 Data I/O Between Excel & Access 7
8 Data Analyses using VBA 8
9 Business Analyses using VBA 9
10 Business Analyses using VBA 10
11 Making Web Pages using HTML 11 Assn 2 due
12 Making Web Pages using HTML 11
13 Revision


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


Assessment weighting

40% practical assignments, 60% formal examination.


Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

Students must pass each of the assignment and examination components in order to pass the unit. All work submitted by you for marking must be your own work.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

40% of Assignments,60% of Examination

Students must pass each of the assignment and examination components in order to pass the unit.


Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Assignment 1 6/4/07 20%
Assignment 2 18/5/07 20 %
Examination Exam period (S1/07) starts on 07/06/07 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available on the GCO1810 MUSO web site.

Assignment Submission

To be specified in the assignment specifications.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

To be specified in the assignment specifications.

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 three 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. If you are required to be away on national service, you should tell me before you leave.

Contact the Unit Advisor by email Shyh.Wei.Teng@infotech.monash.edu.au to request for extensions.

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 due date.


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

When/when not to contact me personally

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.

Some students understandably feel a little uncertain about their assignment submissions, and ask if I can look over assignments prior to submission. Unfortunately this is not possible. Use the assignment newsgroup to place a general question related to your area of uncertainty rather than sending code or questions to our email. Make sure you read the "Guidelines for students on seeking assistance with assessment preparation" which explains how you may and may not seek help.


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

Consultation Times

To be specified in unit MUSO website.

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 Shyh Teng
Phone +61 3 990 26851

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