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IMS2501 Studio 3: systems development 1 - Semester 1 , 2008

Unit leader :

Chris Gonsalvez

Lecturer(s) :


  • David Grant
  • Chris Gonsalvez

Tutors(s) :


  • David Grant


Welcome to IMS2501 Studio 3 - Systems Development 1 for semester 1, 2008. This 6-point unit is core to the BIS and BIMS degree programs in the Faculty of IT. The unit has been designed to introduce you to the nature of IT projects and provide you with an understanding of working in small teams in the development of information systems. The unit explores many aspects of system development and and provides you with the opportunity to practice, apply and develop the skills and knowledge you have gained by developing a small case study based system.

Unit synopsis

The subject is designed to revisit skills gained in the course so far and provide students with an opportunity to consolidate and reinforce these skills. This unit will introduce students to the practical aspects of systems development and the nature of the environment in which development takes place. A case study will be used based on a simple organizational scenario and students will be expected to develop a set of deliverables and provide a simple web-based application that addresses some of the case study's core requirements. This solution will be used as the basis for the development of a more complete and modular working system in second semester.

Topics include:

  • Project Management techniques
  • Quality Issues
  • Professional Practice and Communication
  • Organisational Environment for Practice
  • Information Management
  • Career Development
  • Skills Development

    Learning outcomes

    Knowledge and Understanding

    Students will gain knowledge and understanding of:

    • The tasks necessary to complete the analysis phase of systems development and produce accurate sets of system specifications that can be used as the basis for further development
    • The nature and contents of the initial project planning documentation and how project management is an essential controlling mechanism for systems development
    • The issues surrounding systems development that can both positively and negatively affect the development process
    • The nature of integration and modularity in systems development and how they can be achieved
    • The nature, processes and dynamics of working in teams and how to resolve conflicts
    Attitudes, Values and Beliefs
    • Students will develop professional attitudes towards development tasks and activities and an appreciation of the value of these attitudes
    • Students will begin to develop an appreciation of the value of group work, and its fundamental contribution to the systems process
    • Students will develop healthy attitudes towards critical self-assessment and gain an appreciation of its importance to professional practice
    • Students will gain an appreciation of the importance of good project management practices
    Practical Skills
    • Further development of analysis skills in the areas of requirements definition and specification
    • Development of project management skills in the areas of feasibility assessment, task scheduling and resource allocation
    • Development of skills that enable students to conduct critical examinations of themselves, their teams and their team processes
    • Development of skills in the use of software necessary to produce system specifications for analysis and project planning documentation particularly in the areas of report writing, modeling and project planning.
    • Further development of their written and oral interpersonal communication skills while working in teams to produce accurate and complete project documentation
    Relationships, Communication and TeamWork
    • Students will further develop team skills and gain an appreciation of the skills and dynamics conducive to synergistic teamwork
    • Students will have the opportunity to develop meaningful working relationships and gain an appreciation of their importance to a constructive development environment


    This is a 6-point unit so the expected workload is 12 hours per week consisting of the following:

    • 1 hour seminar
    • 2 hours studio work
    • 9 hours of preparation and project-based work
    Students should attend all seminar and studio sessions.

    Unit relationships


    Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed IMS1502, IMS1805, IMS1906, IMS1907 or equivalent. Knowledge of systems analysis techniques, programming and database implementation are viewed as prerequisites for this unit. The project-based environment provides students with the opportunity to practice and build on these skills, and integrate them in the development of a working application.


    IMS2501 is a core unit in the Bachelor of Information Systems degree. You should be studying (have studied) IMS2805 and IMS2906 while you are taking this unit. You may not study this unit and IMS2000 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

    Ms Chris Gonsalvez
    Associate Head of School
    Phone +61 3 990 32554

    Contact hours : Appontment by email

    Lecturer(s) :

    Mr David Grant
    Sessional Academic Staff Member
    Phone +61 3 990 34326

    Contact hours : Appointment by email

    Ms Chris Gonsalvez
    Associate Head of School
    Phone +61 3 990 32554

    Contact hours : Appontment by email

    Tutor(s) :

    Mr David Grant
    Sessional Academic Staff Member
    Phone +61 3 990 34326

    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 to 2nd Year Studio  
    2 The Nature of IT Projects  
    3 Working In and Managing Effective Teams  
    4 IT Project Management  
    Mid semester break
    5 Governance and Standards in IT Projects  
    6 Managing Risk in IT Projects  
    7 Tools and Tips for IT Projects  
    8 Writing Effective Reports and Project Documentation  
    9 Gathering Requirements  
    10 Using Prototypes to Refine Requirements  
    11 Designing and Building Effective Databases  
    12 Effectively Presenting Your Project  
    13 Unit Review and Wrap Up  

    Unit Resources

    Prescribed text(s) and readings

    There are no specific prescribed textbooks for this unit, however the prescribed textbooks for other core course units will be useful as reference.

    Recommended text(s) and readings

    There are no specific recommended textbooks for this unit, however the prescribed textbooks for other core course units will be useful as reference. Other readings will be made available to students during semester.

    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:

    Study resources we will provide for your study include:

    • Weekly seminar notes outlining learning objectives for each topic
    • Discussion of the seminar content
    • Additional reading material
    • Weekly Studio tasks and exercises
    • Unit Guide outlining the administrative information for the unit
    • The unit website 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. 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

    This unit will be assessed by a combination of assessable project-based deliverables and performance/attendance marks. To pass the unit you must:

    • attend all seminars and studio sessions
    • attempt all individual assessment
    • contribute to all team-based assessment
    • achieve no less than 40% of the possible marks for assessable deliverables
    • achieve no less than 40% of the possible marks for performance/attendance
    • achieve no less than 50% of the total possible marks
    Team-based deliverables will have a peer assessment component.Students will be advised of the assessment tasks and deliverables during the semester.

    Assignment tasks

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Project Documentation Portfolio

      Description :

      A portfolio of project documentation describing and supporting a case study-based project. Specific details will be made available during semester.

      Weighting : 80%

      Criteria for assessment :

      Documantation will be assessed based on the following criteria:

      • completeness
      • accuracy
      • appropriateness to project context
      • effectiveness and professionalism of presentation
      Details of these criteria will be made available to students during semester. 

      Due date : Dates for submission of specific project portfolio items will be advised during the semester. The entire project portfolio must be submitted no later than the end of week 12. Submissions must be made by 5pm on the Friday of week 12.

    • Assignment Task

      Title : Performance/Attendance component

      Description :

      Students will be marked based on their attendance at seminar and studio classes. Students will be expected to participate in and contribute to

      • seminars, where asked
      • discussions and exercises in studio classes
      • assessable deliverables
      • team-based activities
      Students will be asked to conduct peer-based assessment within their teams.

      Weighting : 20%

      Criteria for assessment :

      This component will be assessed by the following criteria:

      • actual attendance at seminars and studio classes
      • quality of participation in studio classes
      • extent of participation in studio classes
      • contribution to team and team based assessable deliverables
      • peer-based assessment

      Due date : N/A - Assessed over semester


    • Examination

      Weighting :

      Length :

      Type ( open/closed book ) :

    Assignment submission

    Assignments will be submitted by paper submission at a time and location to be advised by the lecturer at the start of and during the semester. On-campus Students should submit the assignment to their tutor either in the studio classes or in their pigeonhole by the due date, with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached Off Campus (OCL) students [OCL only] Mail your assignment to the Off-Campus Learning Centre with the cover sheet attached. Singapore and Hong Kong Students [Gippsland only] Mail your assignment to the Distance Education Centre with the cover sheet attached. Do not email submissions unless advided by the lecturer. The due date is the date by which the submission must be received/the date by which the the submission is to be posted.

    Assignment coversheets

    All assignments must be submitted with a completed and signed Assignment Coversheet. Assignments submitted without coversheets will be returned unmarked to the students. Individual and Group Assignment Coversheets can be found:

    • via the "Student assignment coversheets" link on the faculty website at http://infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/assignments
    • from the 6th floor of H-block adjacent to the CASIT reception area.

    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 least two days before the due date. You may be asked to provide original medical certificates in case of illness, and other forms of documentation as evidence where necessary.

    Late assignment

    Assignments received after the due date may be subject to a penalty as advised by the lecturer.

    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 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 (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.