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FIT3084 Multimedia programming and the world wide web - Semester 1 , 2008

Unit leader :

Alan Dorin

Lecturer(s) :


  • Alan Dorin

Tutors(s) :


  • Alan Dorin


FIT3084 is one of the most exciting units you can study at university. It covers a wide range of material on information presentation using digital media that will be applicable in many different fields. The more work you put into this unit, the more rewarding it will be. Be prepared to work hard if you wish to gain the maximum benefit from your studies.

Unit synopsis

This course is aimed at those students wishing to produce innovative web-based multimedia. The World Wide Web provides an international audience for multimedia developers and has become a vital global resource.

Practical assignments and exercises provide ample scope for creative expression and utilization of the theory presented in lectures. Students will be assessed on their ability to think and design innovatively, as well as on their understanding of the theoretical issues presented in lectures.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the principles of design and how they might be applied in the context of website development, interactive software and visualisation.


Students will learn to approach artefacts with a critical eye and willingness to question the authority of those who designed them. 

Values and beliefs

Students will emerge with a belief that correct principles of design are (i) not easy to master (ii) variable depending on context. 

Practical Skills

Students will develop practical skills for interactive software development, design and apply this knowledge to the design of an interactive website. 

Relationships, communication and teamwork

Students will learn to work in teams of developers to solve problems. 

Students successfully completing this course will have an understanding of the practical and theoretical issues relevant to web site design and the online presentation of information using multiple media.


This is a standard 6 point unit. Every week includes:

  • 2 hours of lectures
  • 2 hours of (optional) tutorial and consultation
  • a minium of 2-3 hours of personal study, time spent working on exercises and the two components of the unit group assignment

Unit relationships


Pre-requisite: FIT1001 and FIT1002 or equivalent
Assumed knowledge includes: (i) programming to first year Computer Science level in an object-oriented programming language such as C++ or Java (ii) programming within a UNIX environment (iii) effective use of FTP, telnet/rlogin/ssh under UNIX.


FIT3084/3325 is a core unit in the Bachelor of Software Engineering Degree.

FIT3084/3325 is an elective unit in the Bachelor of Computer Science Degree.

Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed fit1001 and fit1002 or equivalent.

You may not study this unit and cse3325, sft2200 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

Dr Alan Dorin
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 53576
Fax +61 3 990 31077

Lecturer(s) :

Dr Alan Dorin
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 53576
Fax +61 3 990 31077

Tutor(s) :

Dr Alan Dorin
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 53576
Fax +61 3 990 31077

Teaching and learning method

  • Lectures
  • Discussions / Tutorial classes
  • Group assignment work
  • Online peer-assessment and critiquing of classmates' work
  • Exercises and research to be completed in the student's own time
  • Extra readings on the material covered in lectures

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, Behind the WWW  
2 Basic XHTML, Intro. to HCI  
3 Intro. to Interactivity, Info. Design  
4 Info. Architecture, Organisation and Navigation  
Mid semester break
5 Labelling, Writing Style  
6 Site and Page Design Assignment 1 - Design Document
7 Javascript Review task 1
8 Forms, CGI Programming and Perl  
9 Perl, Digital Audio  
10 DHTML, Cascading Style Sheets, Document Object Model, Typography  
11 Colour and Imagery  
12 Animation and Interactive Virtual Worlds Assignment 2 - Implementation
13 Revision Review task 2

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings



Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Recommended text(s) and readings

Lynch, P.J. Horton, S., "Web Style Guide: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites", Yale University Press, 1999 (now available in 2nd edition)

Sebasta, Robert W., Programming the World Wide Web, third edition, Addison Wesley, 2006. ISBN: 0-321-30332-6


Required software and/or hardware

Please consult the course outline and lecture notes for software requirements. There are different requirements for different elements of multimedia design and WWW programming including: text editing, image editing, image-map editing, typography, code compilation etc.

Equipment and consumables required or provided

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the Faculty 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 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 n* 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:

The FIT3084/3325 web site, where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions 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 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. Some units will be piloted in Moodle.

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:


If your unit is piloted in Moodle, you will see a link from your Blackboard unit to Moodle at http://moodle.med.monash.edu.au.
From the Faculty of Information Technology category, click on the link for your unit.


Unit assessment policy

A pass grade in each of: the examination and assignment exercises and peer-assessment task is a hurdle requirement for successful completion of this unit.

Assignment tasks

  • Assignment Task

    Title : Assignment 1

    Description :

    Using JavaScript, and CGI scripts (in any appropriate language) design an interactive online map that runs in the Firefox Internet web browser.

    Please consult the unit notes for a detailed description of this exercise.

    Weighting : 15%

    Criteria for assessment :

    An appropriate and well-targetted design must be presented using effective communication skills (written and visual). Your presentation of the design must appeal to your peers as it will be, in part, assessed by them.

    Please consult the unit notes for a detailed description of this exercise.

    Due date : 5pm, 11 April 2008

  • Assignment Task

    Title : Peer assessment 1 (hurdle requirement)

    Description :

    Students must login to the online peer-assessment software and critique the work of their peers, ranking assignments against one another using a number of specified criteria.

    Please consult the unit notes for a detailed description of this exercise.

    Weighting : hurdle requirement

    Criteria for assessment :

    Careful assessment and considered feedback must be given regarding the reasons for the rankings you have given your peers.

    Please consult the unit notes for a detailed description of this exercise.

    Due date : 14 April - 12 midnight, 18 April 2008

  • Assignment Task

    Title : Assignment 2

    Description :

    Using JavaScript, and CGI scripts (in any appropriate language) implement the interactive online map that runs in the Firefox Internet web browser that you designed for Assignment 1

    Please consult the unit notes for a detailed description of this exercise.

    Weighting : 15%

    Criteria for assessment :

    Correct functioning, bug-free design, clear english expression, good visual design and appropriate systems for navigation are all significant. Above all, your work must appeal to your peers as it will be, in part, assessed by them.

    Please consult the unit notes for a detailed description of this exercise.

    Due date : 5pm, 23 May 2008

  • Assignment Task

    Title : Peer assessment 2 (hurdle requirement)

    Description :

    Students must login to the online peer-assessment software and critique the work of their peers, ranking assignments against one another using a number of specified criteria. 

    Please consult the unit notes for a detailed description of this exercise.

    Weighting : hurdle requirement

    Criteria for assessment :

    Careful assessment and considered feedback must be given regarding the reasons for the rankings you have given your peers.

    Please consult the unit notes for a detailed description of this exercise.

    Due date : 26 May - 12 midnight, 30 May 2008


  • Examination

    Weighting : 70%

    Length : 3 hours

    Type ( open/closed book ) : Closed book

Assignment submission

Assignments will be submitted by electronic submission as detailed on the unit web pages. The due date is the date by which the submission must be received/the date by which the the submission is to be posted online.

Assignment coversheets

A "splash" page is required for each assignment group's submission. This is to be constructed as detailed in the unit materials. It needs to be posted online for each assignment group as directed in the detailed assignment instructions.

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.

Assignments are performed in groups of 4 students. Illness or other issues impacting on the work of 1 group member will not be sufficient to permit late submission of assignments.

Assignments are partly peer-assessed (by your classmates) and therefore any assignments that are not submitted by the deadline risk missing out on participation in the peer assessment process. This may jeopardise the rating late assignments receive.

Late assignment

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty: late assignments will not be assessed by your peers and risk receiving a result of zero. Due to the "peer-assessment" system, there can be little flexibility in this regard.

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/

Assignment results will be made available to you online after the completion of the "peer assessment" by all students.

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. 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.