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FIT4007 Advanced topics in information systems - Semester 2, 2009

Chief Examiner:

Professor Ron Weber
Dean
Phone: +61 3 990 32406
Fax: +61 3 990 31102

Contact hours: By appointment

Lecturer(s) / Leader(s):

Clayton

Professor Ron Weber
Dean
Phone: +61 3 990 32406
Fax: +61 3 990 31102

South Africa

Mr Jan Meyer
Senior Lecturer
Phone: +27 11 950 4131
Fax: +27 11 950 4033

Introduction

Welcome to FIT4007:  Advanced Topics in Information Systems.  This six-point unit will develop your capabilities to undertake research in the information systems field.  You will learn various research methods and study published research papers in which these research methods have been used.  As a class, we will evaluate how well the research methods have been used in the published research papers we study.  You will also develop an understanding of some of the exciting, leading-edge research in the information systems field.  This understanding may enable you to identify research topics that you would like to pursue, perhaps in an honours, masters, or PhD thesis.

Unit synopsis

This unit will develop students' capabilities to undertake research in the information systems field. Students will learn various research methods and study published research papers in which these research methods have been used. Students will learn to evaluate how well the research methods have been used in published research papers. Students will also develop an understanding of some of the exciting, leading-edge research in the information systems field. This understanding may enable
students to identify research topics that they would like to pursue, perhaps in an honours, masters, or PhD thesis.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will:

  1. have developed capabilities to undertake research in the information systems field;
  2. learn various research methods and study published research papers in which these research methods have been used;
  3. learn to evaluate how well the research methods have been used in published research papers.

Contact hours

2 hrs/week

Workload

Workload commitments are:

  • weekly two-hour seminar;
  • on average, a minimum of ten hours of personal study each week to complete reading assignments, prepare for the weekly seminar, and complete assessment material.

Unit relationships

Co-requisites

FIT4005

Relationships

FIT4007 is a core unit in the Bachelor of Business Information Systems (Honours).

It is also available for other information systems-oriented honours students in FIT.

Teaching and learning method

The basic approach we will use to learning in this unit is to first study the nature of and procedures involved in a particular research method and then to evaluate how well it has been used in some published piece of research.  Our understanding of each research method will be enhanced if we examine how it has been used in published research.  We will also develop our critical abilities as researchers when we examine how well the research method has been used in published research.

You must do the assigned reading before coming to class.  During each class meeting, one or two members of the class will lead the class discussion on the readings.  All members of the class are expected to contribute actively to the class discussion.  By engaging with the class discussion, you will develop your communication skills.  You will also reach a deeper understanding of the research methods we study and their application in the field of information systems.

You must also keep a reflective diary, which can be an exercise book.  After each class, you should reflect on fundamental principles you have learned from the readings for the week and the class discussion for the week.  During the class discussion on the following week, you should be prepared to share your learnings with other members of the class.

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/

Unit Schedule

Week Topic Key dates
1 Introduction 23 July 2009
2 Choosing the Research Problem 30 July 2009
3 Theory Building - I 6 August 2009
4 Theory Building - II 13 August 2009
5 Experiments - I 20 August 2009
6 Experiments - II 27 August 2009
7 Case Study Research - I 3 September 2009
8 Case Study Research - II 10 September 2009 (Assignment 1 due 11 September 2009)
9 Design Science Research - I 17 September 2009
10 Design Science Research - II 24 September 2009
Mid semester break
11 Action Learning - I 8 October 2009
12 Action Learning - II 15 October 2009
13 Review 22 October 2009

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

A reading list is available on the FIT4007 web site.  Copies of papers to be read are also on the FIT4007 web site.

There is no textbook for FIT4007.

Recommended text(s) and readings

Required software and/or hardware

There are no software requirements for FIT4007.

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.

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

The FIT4007 website on Moodle where weekly requirements including readings, assignment specifications, and supplementary materials will be posted.

Assessment

Overview

Examination (3 hours): 50%; Seminar Participation: 15%; Assignments: 35%

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.

The unit is assessed with via weekly performance in class, one assignment, and one two-hour open-book examination.  To pass the unit you must
  • achieve no less than 50 percent in class performance
  • achieve no less than 40 percent on the assignment
  • achieve no less than 40 percent on the examination

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
    Title:
    Critical evaluation of a published paper in an information systems journal
    Description:
    The specific task will be distributed at the appropriate time in the semester.
    Weighting:
    35%
    Due date:
    11 September 2009, 5 pm
    Remarks:
    Assignment must be submitted electronically via the MUSO web site for FIT4007.
  • Assignment task 2
    Title:
    Seminar participation
    Description:
    Students are expected to actively participate in and from time to time lead the class discussion.  When students are responsible for leading the class discussion, they should prepare a brief handout (maximum one page) identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the paper to be read by the class.  They should make sufficient copies of this handout to give to each member of the class at the start of the discussion on the paper.
    Weighting:
    15%
    Due date:
    At the beginning of each week's class.

Examination

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

    Critical evaluation of a paper published in an information systems journal.

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

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 10% per working day. Assignments received later than five working days after the due date will not normally be accepted.

Return dates

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

Appendix

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