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CSE1720 Business information technology and systems - Summer semester , 2007

Unit leader :

Wojtek Goscinski

Lecturer(s) :


  • Wojtek Goscinski

Tutors(s) :


  • Tim HO
  • Eddie Leung


Welcome to CSE1720 Business Information Technology and Systems for Summer semester, 2007. This unit is intended for non-IT students. It provides students with a basic introduction to computing technology, including hardware, applications software, operating systems, system development, e-commerce, databases, communications and other aspects of commercial computing including ethics and security. This knowlege is focused on the way these technologies are applied to create business information systems. It provides an introduction into how information technology is used to turn data into information. Students learn how to use common business systems, such as spreadsheets and databases, to create information applications.

Unit synopsis

Computer hardware and software, data storage retrieval and processing facilities, directories, Windows 95/98/NT and UNIX operating systems, Modelling, decision analysis, spreadsheet concepts and design, database functions. Structured and non-structured databases, retrieval systems. Management information systems, system development lifecycle, communications, distributed processing. Banking, finance, e-commerce, marketing and accounting applications. Professionalism and social implications of information technology. Developments in technology, including the Internet.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this unit, students will have:

Knowledge of:
    1. Technology, software and hardware of computing and of the uses of computing in the business environment.
    2. Awareness of the dimensions and scope of Information Technology and integrated business applications.
    3. Awareness of the change from an industrial to a knowledge driven society.
    4. Awarenes of the change to a connected and Internet based society and the effect of this change on business information systems.

Understanding of:
    5. The nature, role, technology and functions of various types of hardware and software which form a computer system.

Skills in:
    6. Using common desktop packages in developing business information systems. This includes development of spreadsheet modelling systems and development of small database models.
    7. Practical experience in analyzing, formatting and presenting business information. Using information technology to turn data into information.

Attitudes of:
    8. Appreciation of the wide variety of skills required in analysis, design, implementation, maintenance and management of computer systems. A professional attitude to aspects of ethics and standards.


For on campus students, daily workload commitments are:
* two and a half hour lecture; and
* two-hour laboratory (requiring advance preparation); and
* a minimum of 1-2 hours of personal study per one hour of contact time in order to satisfy the reading and assignment expectations.

Unit relationships


There are no prerequisites for this unit.


CSE1720 is a elective unit offered by the Caulfield School of IT, for non-IT students.

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

You may not study this unit and CSE1200, CSE1201, BUS1010, COT1130, COT1140 or COT1720, in your degree.

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 my.monash 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 http://www.monash.edu.au/unit-evaluation-reports/

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 my.monash 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 http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/cheq/evaluations/monquest/profiles/index.html

Unit staff - contact details

Unit leader

Failed to retrieve details for Wojtek Goscinski

Lecturer(s) :

Failed to retrieve details for Wojtek Goscinski

Tutor(s) :

Mr Eddie Leung
Mr Tim Ho

Teaching and learning method

Students are provided with both a theory component, which is presented during daily lectures, and a practical component, which is completed during laboratory sessions. Much of the time spent in laboratory sessions is specific to the assignments. This provides students with time to commence assignments and an occasion to communicate with the tutor. However, students will need to devote additional time outiside of laboratory sessions to adequately complete assessment tasks. Because of the tight summer schedule, students should endevour to ask questions early. Tasks set for the laboratory sessions are assessable as part of the overall assignment mark. Additional tasks and reading will be set and these must be finished outside of laboratory times.

Timetable information

For information on timetabling for on-campus classes at all Australian campuses please refer to MUTTS, http://mutts.monash.edu.au/MUTTS/

Students must register for a laboratory session using MUTTS (http://mutts.monash.edu.au/MUTTS/). Students must attend their scheduled laboratory session.

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.

Summer semester dates

Key dates for units offered over the summer period vary widely. Please note the following important information with respect to the dates applying to this unit offering.

19th November 2007 to 7th December 2007
Exam on the 12 December 2007

Unit Schedule

Week Topic Key dates
1 19/11/2007: Introduction to Computing, 20/11/2007: What is a Computer? 22/11/2007: Introduction to Software, 23/11/2007: Application Software 22/11/2007: Assignment 1 due
2 26/11/2007: Information and Systems, 27/11/2007: What is a Database? 29/11/2007: Communications, 30/11/2007: E-Business 28/11/2007: Assignment 2 due
3 3/12/2007: Business Intelligence and Decision Making, 3/11/2007: Project Management, 6/11/2007: The Internet as a Database, 7/11/2007: Future Directions 5/12/2007: Assignment 3 due
4   12/12/2007: Exam

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

Essential Reading:

Morley, D and Parker, C (2006), Understanding computers : today and tomorrow, 10th ed enhanced, Thomson Course Technology, Boston, Mass.


Morley, D and Parker, C (2004), Understanding computers : today and tomorrow, 10th ed comprehensive, Thomson Course Technology, Boston, Mass.

A number of copies of this text book have been reserved in the library on short term and 2 hour loan.

Recommended text(s) and readings

Supplementary Reading:

Capron, H. (2004), Computers : Tools For An Information Age , 8th ed, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J.

Turban, E., (et al) (2003), Introduction to information technology, 1st ed, John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Benson, S. and Standing, C. (2002), Information Systems : A Business Approach, John Wiley & Sons, AustraliaMilton, Qld.

Englander, I. (2003), The Architecture of Computer Hardware and Systems Software : An Information Technology Approach, John Wiley and Sons, New York

Guerrero, F. and Rojas, C. (2001), Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Programming by Example, Que, Indianapolis, IN.

Parker, C. (2003), Understanding Computers : Today and Tomorrow, Course Technology, London, Cambridge, Mass.

Shelly, G.B. et al. (2002), Microsoft Office XP: Post Advanced Concepts and Techniques, Course Technology, London, Cambridge, Mass.

Required software and/or hardware

Students will need access to the following software:

- Microsoft Office 2003, incuding Word, Excel and Access

Equipment and consumables required or provided

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 up to 28 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:

* Daily detailed lecture notes outlining the learning objectives, discussion of the content, required readings and exercises;

* Daily tutorial or laboratory tasks and exercises;
* Assignment specifications accompanied by a detailed explanation in the lectures;
* A sample examination and suggested solution
* Discussion groups;
* This Unit Guide outlining the administrative information for the unit;
* The unit web site on MUSO, where resources outlined above will be made available.

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 http://www.lib.monash.edu.au.  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 MUSO (Monash University Studies Online). Blackboard is the primary application used to deliver your unit resources.

You can access MUSO and Blackboard via the portal (http://my.monash.edu.au).

Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then Blackboard under the MUSO learning systems.

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

For example :

  • Blackboard 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 three assignments and a three hour closed book examination. To pass the unit you must:

    * attempt all assignments and the examination
    * achieve no less that 50% of the possible marks in the assignments
    * achieve no less than 50% of possible marks

Assignment tasks

  • Assignment Task
    Title :
    Assignment 1: Introduction to IT
    Description :
    This assignment will introduce students to a specific information technology topic and methods of locating information. Students should pick one topic from a given list. This report should introduce the topic and discuss its relevance, background, necessary technical information and its future. The report can be technical in nature, focus on the business aspects, or somewhere in between. However, students should demonstrate an understanding of the technical aspects of the chosen topic.
    Weighting :
    Criteria for assessment :
    The assignment will be marked on the basis of correctness of information, knowledge of the subject matter, and insight into the effects and future of the subject matter. The student is required to research the topic widely and this should be demonstrated by a range of good sources of information. The structure, language and formatting of the report are also important to conveying the authors knowledge.
    Due date :
  • Assignment Task
    Title :
    Assignment 2: Introduction to Spreadsheets and Turning Data into Information
    Description :
    This assignment has two parts, both using Microsoft Excel. Part 1 requires students to develop a decision support and reporting system. Part 2 requires students to choose an element of tabular data from the Australian Census and produce summarised, tabular and graphical information. Examples of good spreadsheet tools and techniques, and good information presentation will be provided to students. Students will be required to apply these techniques to their own assignment.
    Weighting :
    Criteria for assessment :
    Assessment will be split equally between technical Excel skills demonstrated and the information presented. Students are expected to demonstrate a range of spreadsheet tools and techniques. Information presented should be relevant, readable, presentable and interesting to the given audience. Both parts of the assignment will be presented to the class before assessment, which will provide an opportunity for the tutor to critique the submission. This will provide students  with an opportunity to improve the assignment submission based on tutor comments.
    Due date :
  • Assignment Task
    Title :
    Assignment 3: Introduction to Structured Data and Databases
    Description :
    Students will be required to develop a small database using Microsoft Access. This will require them to create structured data tables, data entry forms and reports. It will also require them to consider the requirements of the database users and implement the system accordingly. A detailed list of technical and system requirements will be provided.
    Weighting :
    Criteria for assessment :
    Assessment will be based on the database skills demonstrated. Detailed technical requirements will be provided with the assignment specification. A breakdown of the database concepts which must be demonstrated for the range of possible grades, will be provided with the assignment specification.
    Due date :


  • Examination
    Weighting :
    Length :
    2.5 hours
    Type ( open/closed book ) :
    Closed book

Assignment submission

Assignments will be submitted by electronic submission through either the online unit portal or directly through plagiarism detection software. The due date is the date by which the submission must be received.

Assignment coversheets

Assignment cover sheets must be filled in for each assignment. They can be downloaded from the following website: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/assignments/.

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.

Requests for extensions must be made to the unit lecturer at your campus 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. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Late assignment

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of one grade per day, including weekends. Assignments received later than five days after the due date will not normally be accepted. In some cases, this period may be shorter if there is a need to release sample solutions.

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.

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 http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/assessment/

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within one week 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 (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/about/committees-groups/facboard/policies/studrights.html) 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 http://www.monash.edu.au/exams/special-consideration.html. Contact the Faculty's Student Services staff at your campus for further information and advice.