FIT2012 Digital media authoring - Semester 2 , 2007

Unit leader :

Cheryl Howard

Lecturer(s) :


  • Cheryl Howard


  • William Lay

Tutors(s) :


  • Cheryl Howard
  • William Lay


Welcome to FIT2012 Digital Media Authoring for semester 2, 2007. This 6 point unit is part of the Multmedia Applications major of the Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems degree. The unit has been designed to provide you with an understanding of the principles and practices of programming within a multimedia authoring environment. It explores developing a web-based application using Flash and a CD-ROM game-based application using Director.

Unit synopsis

The unit will develop further the basic concepts of information technology and the hardware and software tools and will focus mainly on specialist tools which are used in multimedia systems. In particular attention will be given to the tools available to support linear and non-linear methods of integrating sound and video; the use of multimedia authoring tools to create and edit training and other interactive multimedia presentations; tools and programming techniques for multimedia interactivity; design techniques for interactive multimedia; and technologies such as CD-Rom and DVD.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • information technology and the software tools as they relate to (and are used in) multimedia systems;
  • the Macromedia Flash and Macromedia Director authoring environments for CD-ROM, DVD-ROM and web based systems development;
  • codecs and compression techniques associated with digital video, images and sound and the appropriate application of these for use in ROM development;
  • the formal process undertaken for preparing and documenting the various development stages of a multimedia system;
  • how to achieve a range of special effects which are commonly required for advanced interactive design in multimedia systems;
  • fundamental programming techniques and how to carry this knowledge across multiple languages.
Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

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

  • outline strengths and weaknesses of information technology in the context of the development and use of multimedia systems;
  • make informed decisions on the most appropriate blend of tools and technologies to support a given multimedia system requirement;
  • formulate constructive criticism within the construct of critical analysis.
Practical Skills

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

  • apply advanced interactive design techniques to a multimedia system using time/frame based authoring environments;
  • use a blend of industry standard multimedia tools and products.
  • write code to assist in advanced system interaction with the programming languages Lingo & ActionScript;
  • further enhance and refine user interface and navigational design and creativity skills in multimedia systems;
  • specify an appropriate toolset for developing and supporting advanced features/functionality in a multimedia system.
Relationships, Communication and TeamWork

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

  • build confidence in formal presentation techniques presenting personal ideas, research concepts and developmental progress;
  • discuss and share developmental processes and techniques within an informal populated environment.


Broadly the time required to complete this topic is shown in the following table, but note this is just a rough indication. You may need to spend more time on some activities depending on your background and knowledge. In addition, you need to spend extra time on assignments and review.

Attending lectures and reviewing notes   4 hours
Doing activities in lab classes                   2 hours
Readings                                                   2 hours
Contact (e-mail, consultation, etc.)         30 minutes
Total                                                          8 hours 30 minutes

Unit relationships


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed FIT1012, or equivalent. Students should have a basic knowledge of Multimedia fundamentals such as appropriate file formats, file sizes, basic multimedia authoring principles, digital imaging skills and an adequate skill level in several fundamental multimedia applications.


FIT2012 Digital Media Authoring is a core unit in the Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems - Major in Multimedia. It is a prerequisite for FIT2016 Human Computer Interaction for Multimedia, FIT3039 Studio 1, FIT3033 Principles of Educational Multimedia.

Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed FIT1012 Web Site Authoring, or equivalent.
Students should have basic knowledge of Multimedia fundamentals such as appropriate file formats, file sizes, basic multimedia authoring principles, digital imaging skills and an adequate skill level in several fundamental multimedia applications.

Continuous improvement

Monash is committed to ‘Excellence in education' and strives for the highest possible quality in teaching and learning. To monitor how successful we are in providing quality teaching and learning Monash regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. Two of the formal ways that you are invited to provide feedback are through Unit Evaluations and through Monquest Teaching Evaluations.

One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through Unit Evaluation Surveys. It is Monash policy for every unit offered to be evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys as they are an important avenue for students to "have their say". The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

Student Evaluations

The Faculty of IT administers the Unit Evaluation surveys online through the portal, although for some smaller classes there may be alternative evaluations conducted in class.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Over the past few years the Faculty of Information Technology has made a number of improvements to its courses as a result of unit evaluation feedback. Some of these include systematic analysis and planning of unit improvements, and consistent assignment return guidelines.

Monquest Teaching Evaluation surveys may be used by some of your academic staff this semester. They are administered by the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ) and may be completed in class with a facilitator or on-line through the portal. The data provided to lecturers is completely anonymous. Monquest surveys provide academic staff with evidence of the effectiveness of their teaching and identify areas for improvement. Individual Monquest reports are confidential, however, you can see the summary results of Monquest evaluations for 2006 at

Unit staff - contact details

Unit leader

Ms Cheryl Howard
Phone +61 3 990 47158

Lecturer(s) :

Ms Cheryl Howard
Phone +61 3 990 47158
Mr William Lay

Tutor(s) :

Ms Cheryl Howard
Phone +61 3 990 47158
Mr William Lay

Teaching and learning method

This unit will be delivered via a 2 hour lecture and a 2 hour laboratory class each week.

Lectures will be used to present and explain programming principles and practices within the context of the authoring environments of Flash and Director.

Laboratories will be used for practical experience in the development, coding, testing and debugging of the functions specific to the authoring environment.

Communication, participation and feedback

Monash aims to provide a learning environment in which students receive a range of ongoing feedback throughout their studies. You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This may take the form of group feedback, individual feedback, peer feedback, self-comparison, verbal and written feedback, discussions (on line and in class) as well as more formal feedback related to assignment marks and grades. You are encouraged to draw on a variety of feedback to enhance your learning.

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem that is affecting your study. Semesters are 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 Schedule

Week Topic Key dates
1 Unit Introduction and Overview of the Flash Authoring Environment  
2 Introduction to ActionScript  
3 OO Design and ActionScript  
4 Implementing Externally Loaded Content  
5 Extending Flash using Forms and Buillt-in Components  
6 Publishing for CD-Rom and the Web Assignment 1 Due
7 Organisation, Preparation and Overview of the Director Authoring Environment  
8 Game Design Principles and an Introduction to Animation  
9 Introduction to Lingo Programming  
10 Advanced Programming Techniques  
Mid semester break
11 Implementing Audio, Video and Real-time 3d in Director  
12 Documentation Assignment 2 Due
13 Revision  

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

Flash 8 Projects for Learning Animation and Interactivity (approx $65)
by Rich Shupe & Robert Hoekman, Jr.
Publisher: O'Reilly (2006)
ISBN: 0-596-10223-2

Object-Oriented ActionScript for Flash 8 (approx $80)
By Peter Elst & Todd Yard
Publisher: Friends of ED (2006)
ISBN: 1590596196

See also: "Recommended Reading" below for a list of recommended references.

Will be available through the University Bookshop and can also be purchased online via the publishers' websites.

Recommended text(s) and readings

Macromedia Flash 8: Training from the Source by James English
Publisher: Macromedia Press; Bk&CD-Rom edition (October 18, 2005)
ISBN: 0321336291

Macromedia Director MX 2004: Training from the Source by Dave Mennenoh
Publisher: Macromedia Press (November 5, 2004)
ISBN: 0321223659

Digital Multimedia by Nigel Chapman, Jenny Chapman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2nd edition (March 26, 2004)
ISBN: 0470858907

Required software and/or hardware

All software required for use in this unit can be accessed from allocated campus laboraties/tutorial rooms.

The software used in this unit consists of:

  • Adobe (formerly Macromedia) Flash 8 (Basic / Professional)
  • Adobe (formerly Macromedia) Director MX 2004
  • Adobe Photoshop CS2
  • Adobe Illustrator CS2

30 Day Trial/Evaluation versions of the named software can be dowloaded for personal use if neccessary from the following websites:


Equipment and consumables required or provided

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

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

available on the FIT2012 web site on MUSO. It will host lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements and assignment specifications. In addition, supplementary resources may also be posted.

Library access

The Monash University Library site contains details about borrowing rights and catalogue searching. To learn more about the library and the various resources available, please go to  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)

All unit and lecture materials are available through the MUSO (Monash University Studies Online) site. You can access this site by going to:

  1. a) or
  2. b) via the portal (

Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then the MUSO hyperlink.

In order for your MUSO unit(s) to function correctly, your computer needs to be correctly configured.

For example :

  • MUSO supported browser
  • Supported Java runtime environment

For more information, please visit

You can contact the MUSO Support by: Phone: (+61 3) 9903 1268

For further contact information including operational hours, please visit

Further information can be obtained from the MUSO support site:


Unit assessment policy

The unit is assessed with two assignments and a three hour closed book examination. To pass the unit you must:

  • achieve no less than 40% of the possible marks in the exam
  • achieve no less than 40% of the possible total marks for the assignments
  • achieve no less than 50% of possible marks

Assignment tasks

  • Assignment Task
    Title :
    Assignment 1: Flash Web-based Folio
    Description :

    Students will use various techniques covered in the weekly tutorials todevelop a web-based folio. Relevant skills will be covered in lectures and tutorials on a weekly basis. Itis important that students complete each week's tutorial exercise.

    The folio interface must give the user non-linear access to the various content sections. The folio's visual and technical design components must make use of a variety of Flash skills. In addition any personal folio categories, the following pages must be included as a bare minimum:

    * Home page introducting your portfolio, etc.
    * About page with details of yourself
    * Contact page with a functional e-mail link
    * Any original short video using the *.flv format (funny home video, past assignment, anything as long as it is original)

    Weekly tasks will be available to download from MUSO. It is expected that students will download the materials relevant to each week's activity. Working through each activity will give students an understanding of various techniques and their suggested application, however it will be up the each individual student to determine how to best implement these techniques to best suit their needs. 

    Weighting :
    Criteria for assessment :
    From the application of various techniques learned, present the completed folio project for marking by the following criteria:

    20 - Interface design and brand development including the overall look-and-feel of the folio's graphics/interface, consistency of layout and design, and presentation and readability of content.

    20 - The implementation of Flash features including animation, appropriate use of different symbol types, application of different types of media (image/audio), Flash components and the compulsory short video (as detailed above).

    10 - The final product is fully functional and works without error. Items presented within the folio must also function correctly. Internal and external assets must be organised in a logical structure, with appropriate navigation structures implemented.

    10 - Publishing as a website and presentation of final product. This may include integrating CSS, HTML, and other scripted functionalities you may require.

    25 - The 5 additional enhancements will be marked using the common criteria as described above.

    15 - Weekly tutorial tasks will be marked using the common criteria as described above.

    Due date :
    Week 6 by 3pm Friday
  • Assignment Task
    Title :
    Assignment 2: Director CD-ROM Game
    Description :

    It is anticipated that the learning of the various skills, strategies and techniques covered within the tutorials will be enhanced through the development of a game. The objective is to create an enjoyable learning environment while covering a number of essential, and often, abstract concepts that will aid the developer in future development projects. The task will be broken into weekly project milestones that the students will be expected to reach through attendance at lectures, tutorials and home study (see also on MUSO: Course Outline).

    he development process for this project is clearly defined in the targetMX2004.doc available on MUSO. It is expected that students will download this document and work steadily through the sections, in accordance with the course outline above. The structure and game play are clearly described within the document - including explanations of additional programming concepts that may not be covered during the tutorial sessions.

    However, the student has total control of the graphical elements of the game design. It is expected that the interface design will reflect students' graphical and design skills and use appropriate imagery for the selected theme or metaphor of the game. The inclusion of appropriate animations and sounds will also enhance the final project presentation, although these are optional and will not adversely affect the overall mark if they are absent.

    Weighting :
    Criteria for assessment :
    From the application of various techniques learned, present the completed game development project for marking by the following criteria:

    20 - Interface design and visual appearance including the overall look-and-feel of the game graphics/interface, consistency of layout and design, and the suitability of elements of the game's theme.

    20 - The game theme implementation including the appropriate use of sound effects and/or music, animations, player feedback and status displays, background story (ie: help modified to suit), game components (ie: wall, panel, etc.), and navigation buttons.

    10 - The game is fully functional and works without error, all game conditions can be met, cast organisation for resources, appropriate navigation structures implemented and score is colour-coded to identify individual sprite types at a glance.

    10 - Packaging and presentation of final product - CD cover and case, autorun and executable files, etc.

    25 - The 5 additional enhancements will be marked using the common criteria as described above.

    15 - Weekly tutorial tasks will be marked using the common criteria as described above.
    Due date :
    Week 12 by 3pm Friday


  • Examination
    Weighting :
    Length :
    3 hours
    Type ( open/closed book ) :
    closed book
    Remarks ( optional - leave blank for none ) :
    The end-of-unit examination will be a test of knowledge on all aspects of the unit from conceptual theories, practical development, interactive design principals and practical developmental tools and techniques.

Assignment submission

Assignments 1 & 2 will be submitted by 3pm Friday of the week that they are due to the designated submission box on a CD-ROM and with the appropriate paper Asignment Cover Sheet correctly filled out and attached.

These are available from the Caulfield School of Information Technology office on level 6 of building H. Further instructions will be provided with the assignment specifications.

Assignment coversheets

University and Faculty policy on assessment

Due dates and extensions

The due dates for the submission of assignments are given in the previous section. Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. 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 are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

Late assignment

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 10% per day (including weekend days).

Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not be accepted for assessment unless prior (alternate) arrangements have been made with the unit Lecturer due to special circumstances.

Return dates

Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.

Assessment for the unit as a whole is in accordance with the provisions of the Monash University Education Policy at:

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

Plagiarism, cheating and collusion

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.

Register of counselling about plagiarism

The university requires faculties to keep a simple and confidential register to record counselling to students about plagiarism (e.g. warnings). The register is accessible to Associate Deans Teaching (or nominees) and, where requested, students concerned have access to their own details in the register. The register is to serve as a record of counselling about the nature of plagiarism, not as a record of allegations; and no provision of appeals in relation to the register is necessary or applicable.

Non-discriminatory language

The Faculty of Information Technology is committed to the use of non-discriminatory language in all forms of communication. Discriminatory language is that which refers in abusive terms to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or nationality, ethnic or language background, physical or mental ability, or political or religious views, or which stereotypes groups in an adverse manner. This is not meant to preclude or inhibit legitimate academic debate on any issue; however, the language used in such debate should be non-discriminatory and sensitive to these matters. It is important to avoid the use of discriminatory language in your communications and written work. The most common form of discriminatory language in academic work tends to be in the area of gender inclusiveness. You are, therefore, requested to check for this and to ensure your work and communications are non-discriminatory in all respects.

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities that may disadvantage them in assessment should seek advice from one of the following before completing assessment tasks and examinations:

Deferred assessment and special consideration

Deferred assessment (not to be confused with an extension for submission of an assignment) may be granted in cases of extenuating personal circumstances such as serious personal illness or bereavement. Special consideration in the awarding of grades is also possible in some circumstances. Information and forms for Special Consideration and deferred assessment applications are available at Contact the Faculty's Student Services staff at your campus for further information and advice.