IMS5024 Information systems modelling - Semester 2 , 2007

Unit leader :

Helana Scheepers

Lecturer(s) :


  • Helana Scheepers


Welcome to IMS5024 Information systems modelling for semester 2, 2007. This 6 point unit is a core to all MIMS students specialising in Systems development. The unit is designed to help you critically evaluating different systems development methods used in practice.

Unit synopsis

This unit is designed to provide students with an understanding of the use of information systems modelling within information systems development. Critical comparisons are made of the various approaches to information systems modelling. Topics include philosophical foundations of information systems modelling; approaches to information systems modelling - data modelling, process modelling, event driven modelling, object-oriented modelling; information systems modelling in practice - the process of information systems modelling; quality in information systems modelling;

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this unit a student will

have Knowledge and Understanding of:


  • Abstraction techniques in information systems modelling
  • A range of information systems modelling techniques
  • The role of information systems modelling in information systems development
  • The strengths and weaknesses of particular information systems modelling techniques
  • Design and evaluation of alternative information systems

Have skill to:

  • Identify and perform abstraction techniques in information systems modelling
  • Perform a range of information modelling techniques
  • Use a range of information systems modelling approaches
Have developed attitudes which enable them to:

  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of particular information systems modelling techniques
  • Critique issues relevant to the practice of information systems modelling
  • recognise the applicability and limitations of using particular information systems modelling techniques.


Workload commitments for this unit are:

  • two-hour lecture and
  • one-hour tutorial
  • a minimum of 2-3 hours of personal study per one hur of contact time in order to satisfy the reading and assignment expectations.
  • You will need to allocate up to 5 hours per week in some weeks, for use of a computer.  

Unit relationships


Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed

IMS9001, IMS9003, IMS9049, or equivalent.


IMS5024 is a elective unit in the Systems development specialisation of the MIMS.

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

Dr Helana Scheepers
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 31066
Fax +61 3 990 44124

Lecturer(s) :

Dr Helana Scheepers
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 31066
Fax +61 3 990 44124

Teaching and learning method

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 Introduction. What is information modelling?  
2 Philosophical aspects of modelling information  
3 Argumentation  
4 The role of modelling techniques in systems development  
5 Object oriented modelling (1)  
6 Object oriented modelling (2) Due: Assignment 1
7 Process modelling  
8 Data modelling  
9 Event driven modelling  
10 Human Activity modelling  
Mid semester break
11 The role of modelling in systems development Due Assignment 2
12 The dangers in techniques  
13 Revision  

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

No single text is prescribed for this unit. A list of reading will be provided for each lecture.

Recommended text(s) and readings

A list of reading will be provided for each lecture. See the website for the list.

Required software and/or hardware

You will be required to complete two assignments, one using a word processing package and the othe using a graphics package of your choice (for example Visio or Rational Rose)

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

The IMS5024 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications and supplementary material will 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

Assessment for the unit consists of 2 assignments with a weighting of 50% and an examination with a weighting of 50%.

Assignment tasks

  • Assignment Task
    Title :
    Assignment 1: Modelling literature review
    Description :
    Weighting :
    Criteria for assessment :
    Due date :
    23 August 2007
  • Assignment Task
    Title :
    Assignment 2: Object oriented modelling
    Description :
    Weighting :
    Criteria for assessment :
    Due date :
    4 october 2007


  • Examination
    Weighting :
    Length :
    3 hours
    Type ( open/closed book ) :
    Open book

Assignment submission

Assignments will be submitted by paper submission during the tutorial. On-campus Students submit the assignment to the tutor by the due date, with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out . The due date is the date by which the submission must be received.

Assignment coversheets

The assignment coversheet is available from the faculty website.

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.

Students are required to complete an 'Application for extension of time for submission of an assessment task' form which is located at

You will be asked to forward orginal medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the e-mail or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assugnment submission. 

Late assignment

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 10 % per day of the 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

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:

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.