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FIT9008 Computer programming 1 - Semester 1 , 2008

Unit leader :

Shane Moore

Lecturer(s) :


  • Shane Moore


Welcome to FIT9008 Computer Programming 1, for semester 1, 2008. This 6 point unit is a core unit in the Master of Applied IT program in the Faculty of Information Technology (FIT). It is also core for the Graduate Certificate in Computing and Graduate Diploma in Computing. he unit has been designed to provide you with an overview of programming, problem solving, testing and debugging. It explores many fundamental programming concepts with emphasis on applying theoretical knowledge to a practical situation.

Unit synopsis

ASCED Discipline Group classification: 020103 Programming.

This unit will provide students with an overview of programming and its role in problem-solving and strategies for meeting user requirements and for designing solutions to programming problems. The fundamental programming concepts of the memory model, data types, declarations, expressions and statements, control structures, block structure, modules, parameters and input and output will be applied within the context of objects, attributes, methods, re-use, information-hiding, encapsulation, event-handling and message-passing. Software engineering topics include maintainability, readability, testing, documentation and modularisation.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • The relationship between a problem description and program design;
  • The semantics of imperative programs;
  • The object oriented paradigm as represented by Java;
  • The sequence of steps that a computer takes to translate source code into executable code;
  • Primitive data types and basic data structures.
Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

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

  • Adopt a problem-solving approach;
  • Recognise the importance of programming and documentation conventions;
  • Accept the code of professional conduct and practice;
  • Act in accordance with best practice, industry standards and professional ethics.
Practical Skills

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

  • Use diagrams to design solutions for programming problems;
  • Apply problem solving strategies;
  • Design algorithms;
  • Design object oriented solutions to simple problems using multiple user-defined classes;
  • Create and test programming solutions to problems using the Java programming language;
  • Edit, compile and execute a computer program;
  • Analyse and debug existing programs;
  • Write a test plan.
Relationships, Communication and Team Work

At the completion of this unit students will demonstrate the communication skills necessary to:

  • Produce formal documentation for a program;
  • Explain an existing program.
This unit is being co-taught with FIT1002, the undergraduate equivalent unit. However, there may be slight differences in assessment tasks to account for the different levels at which this unit is offered. Please be sure to check for announcements in the Notices Discussion Board.


As this unit is a 6-point unit, this means Monash University expects an average student to spend up to 12 hours per week for each week of the semester. The study guide modules each commence by show a potential configuration of use of that week's 12 hours.

In all cases you will need to ensure that you spend time equivalent to the on-campus students doing the lab and tute tasks. Additionally, you must perform the prescribed readings, and should be actively participating in the online discussion forum on a weekly basis.

Unit relationships


There are no prerequisites for this unit.


FIT9008 is a core unit in the Master of Applied Information Technology.

It is a prerequisite for FIT9013 and a co-requisite for FIT9014.

You may not study this unit if you have studied GCO9805 or equivalent during 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

Improvements to this unit

Improvements which have been made to this unit compared to the previous offering include:

  • Reduction in the breadth of topics covered, so as to ensure that a more solid foundation in programming is developed in students
  • Change of textbook to one which presents content in a clearer manner.
  • Redevelopment of Monash-provided learning resources (lecture slides, tutorials, lab tasks).
  • The study guides have been revised and in some cases completely re-written to be support off-campus self-directed study.
  • Introducing classes and objects earlier in the semester to reduce the amount of new and perhaps more complex material that was covered in the later part of the semester

Unit staff - contact details

Unit leader

Mr Shane Moore
Phone +61 3 990 26716

Lecturer(s) :

Mr Shane Moore
Phone +61 3 990 26716

Teaching and learning method

On-Campus students will attend 3 types of classes: a 2 hour lecture, a 1 hour tutorial/discussion class, and a 2 hour practical lab session. Materials used in these classes will be available for download from the Blackboard site.

Off-Campus students should treat the Study Guide Book (consisting of 11 modules) as their primary source of self-directed study. The modules contain text which is directed to leading you through the learning for each week. Please read the welcome message in the Study Guide Book.

In tutorials students will revise and discuss in-depth fundamental and interesting aspects about programming which will help them complete their practical work. The tutorials are particularly useful in helping students consolidate concepts and practise their problem solving skills.

Laboratories will be devoted to giving students hands-on experience in implementing a programming solution to practical problems.

Sample Solutions will be made available for the lab and tutorial tasks approximately 2 weeks after the module is begun (see Unit Schedule).

The Gippsland campus lectures will be recorded to audio and be available for download to all students from http://mulo.monash.edu.au/fit1002/

Timetable information

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

Off-Campus students who are near the Gippsland campus are allowed to attend the classes. It may also be possible to attend classes at the Melbourne campuses, but beware that there are sometimes limited spaces in tutorials and lab classes to accommodate people.

Students in Hong Kong should consult their local enquiry desk for class times.

Tutorial allocation

If you are enrolled on campus, then please register for the tutorial and lab sessions using Allocate+ (http://allocate.cc.monash.edu.au/)

Off-campus distributed learning or flexible delivery

Online Discussion Forums are provided for the primary purpose of enabling off-campus students (including students studying at SPACE in Hong Kong) to engage with each other and the lecturer in Australia. The lecturer will expect all students to read these forums at least twice per week. In the forums, you may ask questions about the topics or exercises of each module, or to clarify interpretation of assignment tasks and marking criteria.

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 Study guide Key dates
1 Introduction to Java 1 25/2
2 Algorithms, Variables and Data Types 2 3/3
3 Using objects and classes (Math Class, String Class, Random Class) and Input/Output Mechanisms 3 10/3
4 Control Structures 1: Selection 4 17/3
Mid semester break
5 Control Structures 2: Repetition 5 31/3
6 Classes and Objects 6 7/4
7 Class Anatomy; Constructors, mutators and accessors 7 14/4
8 Methods 8 21/4
9 Reference Types, Scope and Lifetime 9 28/4
10 Arrays: Part 1 10 5/5
11 Arrays: Part 2 11 12/5
12 Writing Multiple-Class programs 11 19/5
13 Revision All 26/5

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings


  • Lewis J., DePasquale P., and Chase J.,  JAVA Foundations., Pearson Education, 2008, ISBN 0-321-48678-1

    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

    Required software and/or hardware

    Java Software Development Kit: either Java 5 SDK or Java 6 SDK. This is available on the CD which comes with the textbook, and also on the GSIT Unit Software CD 2008.

    JCreator LE v4.0 - JCreator is a reasonable IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for Java development and is strongly recommended. The free 'LE' version can be downloaded from the Web Site: http://www.jcreator.com/ (it is only a few megabytes in size).

    Modern Web Browser - for example, Firefox or Intenet Explorer.

    All the above software is installed in the lab-rooms on all Australian campuses. Off-campus students may use the computing labs if needed and nearby. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

    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 9 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:

    Study resources we will provide for your study are:

    • Printed weekly detailed study guide modules outlining the learning objectives, discussion of the content, required readings and exercises;
    • Weekly lecture slides, and accompanying audio recordings;
    • Weekly tutorial and laboratory tasks and exercises with sample solutions provided two weeks later;
    • Assignment specifications (part of lab tasks) and sample solutions;
    • A sample examination and suggested solution
    • Access to past examination papers (look up code GCO9805);
    • Online discussion forums;
    • This Unit Guide outlining the administrative information for the unit;
    • The unit web site on Blackboard, 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. 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

    The unit is assessed by 3 assignments, a mid-semester test, and a three hour closed-book examination.

    To pass the unit you must pass all of these hurdles:

    • Obtain at least 40% of the 40 marks available for assignments and the mid-semester test.
    • Obtain at least 40% of the 60 marks available for the final exam
    • Achieve no less than 50% of the total possible marks.

    Failing to satisfy all hurdles will result in a mark no higher than 44 N being recorded for your attempt at this unit.

    Assignment tasks

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Assignment 1 - Lab tasks for module 3

      Description :

      Please refer to the Lab Tasks for module 3

      Weighting : 10%

      Criteria for assessment :

      These will be announced on the Notice Forum at least 4 weeks before the due date.

      Due date : 20 March 11:59PM

      Remarks ( optional - leave blank for none ) :

      The due date is the final day before the mid-semester break - the following day is 'Good Friday' in Australia and many other countries.

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Assignment 2 - Lab tasks for module 7

      Description :

      Please refer to the Lab Tasks for module 7

      Weighting : 10%

      Criteria for assessment :

      These will be announced on the Notice Forum at least 4 weeks before the due date.

      Due date : 27 April, 11:59PM

      Remarks ( optional - leave blank for none ) :

      This assignment is due on a long-weekend in Australia.

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Assignment 3 - Significant Programming Task

      Description :

      Students will be given a problem solving task which requires them to bring together what they have learned in the unit to write an operative program. Full details will be announced in a specification document on the Blackboard site.

      Weighting : 15%

      Criteria for assessment :

      Criteria will be announced in the Assignment Specification, which will be released at least 4 weeks prior to the due date.

      Due date : 25th May, 11:59PM

      Remarks ( optional - leave blank for none ) :

      This assignment is different to the third assignment that undergraduate students will do.

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Mid-semester Test

      Description :

      A test will be administered on-line. You will have 1 hour to do it, during the week 6 of semester. Further details as to how to complete this test will be announced in the notices forum closer to week 6.

      Weighting : 5%

      Criteria for assessment :

      Successful completion of a set of tasks.

      Due date : Week 6


    • Examination

      Weighting : 60%

      Length : 3 hours

      Type ( open/closed book ) : Closed book

    Assignment submission

    Assignments will be submitted electronically as a single zip file to Blackboard's Assignment Drop-Box. If you realise that you omitted something from your submission, you must take-back the assignment, and then re-submit, which can occur any time until the cut-off date.

    Assignment coversheets

    To satisfy the requirements of receiving a declaration from you that you have not colluded or plagiarised in the course of completing your assignment work, you will be required to answer an online-survey for each assignment, similar to the 'Accept/Decline' survey when you install licensed software.

    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.

    Late assignment

    Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 5% per day, including weekends. Assignments will not be received later than one week (seven days) after the due date (called the cutoff-date), as Blackboard will automatically mark you as having missed submitting.

    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/

    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.