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Dr Tom Denison

Lecturer(s) / Leader(s):


Dr Tom Denison

Contact hours: Tuesdays 2-3pm, Thursdays 3-5pm

Additional communication information:

Lecturer    Dr. Tom Denison
Room    H644
Phone    9903 1801
E-mail    tom.denison@infotech.monash.edu.au
Tutor and Teaching Assistant     Rebecca French
E-mail    rebecca.french@infotech.monash.edu.au

Contacting staff:    

Outside the scheduled class contact hours, you can contact teaching staff by e-mail, or by making an appointment. If you need a staff member urgently and are unable to contact them, please contact the front desk on level 6 of building H.


This unit introduces the student to the practical environment in which the theory of information management and systems is applied, and helps prepare students for entry into the professional workplace. It links the theoretical concepts of information management, knowledge management and systems to professional practice in the workplace. Students will gain an awareness of the literature of their specialisation and an understanding of professional issues relating to that field, including the role of professional associations. The unit introduces the student to the world of work and career opportunities in the information market. Through the fieldwork placement, which is the major component of the unit, students gain a good understanding of the role of information agencies and the environment in which they operate. One further aim of this unit is to make students aware of the key issues in information management and information systems currently identified by practitioners, managers, researchers, organizations, and academics, as being of professional concern.

Unit synopsis

This unit prepares students for the professional workplace, through a professional placement in a library, archives, registry or other information agency; and a lecture/seminar series on professional issues within the information industry. The placement enables students to link theory with professional practice, and develops understanding of the role of information agencies within their environment. Lectures/seminars draw on current professional literature and key players in the field to explore a range of topical issues within the profession, the role of professional ethics and professional associations, and career opportunities within the industry.

Learning outcomes

At the conclusion of FIT3124, students will:
  1. Evaluate professional literature and knowledge in relation to practice;
  2. Analyse current issues relating to the information industry;
  3. Apply theories and practice of their selected specialisation to the workplace;
  4. Demonstrate practical skills at a professional level in an information agency or information-related functional area, as well as an ability to interact effectively with work colleagues and clients;
  5. Assess career opportunities within the information industry and develop a personal career plan;
  6. Evaluate the role in professional practice of ethical codes, professional literature, professional networks and professional associations.

Contact hours

2 hour lecture & 1 hour seminar a week


For on campus students, workload commitments are:

  • three-hour seminar (requiring advance preparation)
  • a minimum of 2-3 hours of personal study per one hour 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 assessed tasks in newsgroups/discussion groups.

Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorial sessions, however, you should plan to spend equivalent time working through the relevant resources and participating in discussion groups each week.

Unit relationships


FIT3122 or FIT3123 or equivalent.
Only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Information Systems, or the IM major of the Bachelor of Information Technology & Systems.
Required Knowledge: Basic IT and communication competencies, tools for information seeking, storage, packaging and delivery


LAR3654, LAR3672, LAR4672, LAR4654, LAR4110, LAR4634, LAR3634, IMS3615, FIT5104, IMS5015


FIT3124 is a unit in the Information Management stream of the BITS degree.

Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed most other elective units.

You may not study this unit and

IMS3615 (translation set IMS5015)

in your degree.

Teaching and learning method

Lectures and seminars, and online discussion will cover a range of professional issues.

All students undertake one or more placements.

Setting up placements

Placements are made following negotiations between Monash staff and appropriate institutions with qualified supervisors. They also depend on the availability of placements at the times required (see below) with due consideration of the student’s interest and level of study achieved at the time of placement. Students can find their own placements, but must keep the co-ordinator informed.


The aim of the placement is to provide an opportunity for students to gain a broad knowledge of the organisation, systems and services of an institution and to gain general work experience and, in addition, in some instances to undertake specific tasks or projects.

The placement usually occurs in the two periods between: June and July, or at the end of Semester Two, i.e., late November- early December. Placements can be deferred until February 2009, if necessary, but this delays assessment. (Part-time students may have special need for a different schedule, e.g., during school holidays, but they must try to work within these broad dates).

Timetable information

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

Tutorial allocation

On-campus students should register for tutorials/laboratories using the Allocate+ system: http://allocate.cc.monash.edu.au/

Off-Campus Learning or flexible delivery

All students will engage in regular assessed online discussion on MUSO

Unit Schedule

Week Topic References/Readings Key dates
1 Introduction see unit reading list  
2 Role of professional associations see unit reading list  
3 Role of employment agents. Student presentation about previous year experience see unit reading list  
4 Privacy, security see unit reading list  
5 Professional negligence see unit reading list  
6 Politics and information see unit reading list  
7 Measuring the value of information see unit reading list  
8 Student presentations; national information policy see unit reading list  
9 Student presentations; employer expectations of graduates see unit reading list  
10 Student presentations see unit reading list  
Mid semester break
11 Professional ethics see unit reading list  
12 Student presentations see unit reading list October 16. Final date for online discussion.
13 Revise and review see unit reading list  

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings


Recommended text(s) and readings

Herman Tavani, Professional ethics, 2006, 2nd edition.

Current journals, newsletters, professional listservs and websites appropriate to the student's professional specialisation.

Required software and/or hardware

Internet access

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 5 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:

  • Weekly detailed lecture notes outlining the learning objectives, discussion of the content, required readings and  exercises;
  • Weekly tutorial or laboratory tasks and exercises with sample solutions provided one to two weeks later;
  • Assignment specifications;
  • A sample examination;
  • 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;
  • Reading list in library;
  • MULO



Supervised professional placement and host supervisor's report (PGO)
Practical elements: 50%, Exam (3 hours): 50%

Faculty assessment policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 44% then a mark of no greater than 44-N will be recorded for the unit.

Assignment tasks

Assignment coversheets

Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/
You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

Assignment submission and return procedures, and assessment criteria will be specified with each assignment.

  • Assignment task 1
    Fieldwork Placement Report and Presentation
    The Fieldwork Placement Report comprises two separate tasks: a presentation to the class (worth 10%)  about their work placement, and a written report (worth 20%) of 2,500 words about it, for submission no later than 3 weeks after completion of the placement. The presentation is to be made during the end of year seminar, which will be no later than December 14. The due date for the written report will vary according to the timing of the student's placement. Note that the host supervisor must also complete a report on the work placement – PGO (Pass Grade Only)
    Fieldwork placement report (20%) and presentation (10%).
    Due date:
    December 14
    In your report (max. 2,500 words), which is due within 3 weeks of completing your placement, you should cover the role of the information agency in the environment in which it operates, the services it provides, its organisational structure, staff numbers (including type of staff), style of management, and opportunities for professional development. Obviously, you will also provide an overview of the various activities and projects that you were engaged in. A discussion of what you observed about professional issues in your worksite is required in the presentation.

    The main aims of the presentation are different and separate from the report: to show that you are capable of communicating to peers effectively, and that you are able to identify core professional contemporary issues based on your observations of work. Your presentation will only contain a small amount of what is in your report about your host organization.

    Off-campus alternative.

    Students enrolled at a distance can undertake this element if they want to come to class, or if they want instead they can send a presentation to the lecturer and tutor via e-mail. They can also attend a one-day presentation on a day to be fixed in December, after the exam period. The aim of this day is to allow all students to present who undertake a November placement. Everyone (including distance students) can come to this event to contribute to discussion.

    Off-campus students can submit presentations at the same time as their written reports.

    Students who complete their work placements during semester may be able to make their presentations in the regular weekly seminars. 

    The day-long seminar will be held in the week beginning 7 December 2009, after the exam period. Everyone is welcome to attend.
  • Assignment task 2
    Presentation on current professional issues
    In addition to the lecture, and seminar – which requires advance preparation -- some hours of personal study per week will be set aside for presentations and reactions to the MUSO discussion group for this unit. The unit tutor, Rebecca French, will co-ordinate, moderate, and mark this discussion.
    Due date:
    October 16


  • Weighting: 50%
    Length: 3 hours
    Type (open/closed book): Closed book

See Appendix for End of semester special consideration / deferred exams process.

Due dates and extensions

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 not regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

Students requesting an extension for any assessment during semester (eg. Assignments, tests or presentations) are required to submit a Special Consideration application form (in-semester exam/assessment task), along with original copies of supporting documentation, directly to their lecturer within two working days before the assessment submission deadline. Lecturers will provide specific outcomes directly to students via email within 2 working days. The lecturer reserves the right to refuse late applications.

A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Refer to the Faculty Special consideration webpage or further details and to access application forms: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/equity/special-consideration.html

Late assignment


Students who claim an extension are required to complete an 'Application for extension of time for submission of an assessment task' form located at: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/form/.

If you believe that your assignment will be delayed because of circumstances beyond your control such as illness, you should apply for an extension prior to the due date. All applications for extensions must be made on the form to your lecturer, and a response to your request will be communicated back to you. No extensions are automatic. Everyone will be dealt with individually. Rebecca French will refer requests to Tom Denison, the unit co-ordinator. Medical certificates or other supporting documentation will be required.

Late assignments submitted without an approved extension may be accepted up to one week late, at the discretion of your lecturer, but will be penalised at the rate of 10% of total assignment marks per day(including weekends).
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.  
After one week, the assignment will score zero.

It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors suchas normal work pressures, vacations are not regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions.

Return dates

Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.


Please visit the following URL: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/units/appendix.html for further information about:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Unit evaluations
  • Communication, participation and feedback
  • Library access
  • Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)
  • Plagiarism, cheating and collusion
  • Register of counselling about plagiarism
  • Non-discriminatory language
  • Students with disability
  • End of semester special consideration / deferred exams
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