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Dr Steve Wright
Senior Lecturer
Phone: +61 3 990 32994
Fax: +61 3 990 31077

Lecturer(s) / Leader(s):


Dr Tom Denison
Fax: +61 3 990 31077


Welcome to FIT1021 Information use and management. This 6 point unit is core to the Information Management (IM) major of the BITS degree in the Faculty of IT, and an elective for other majors in that degree. The unit has been designed to provide you with an understanding of how people seek information in their daily lives, as well as the nature of some of the common documentary forms we encounter when using information.

Unit synopsis

Through a critical examination of document forms and information seeking behaviour, this unit explores fundamental concepts of information in the context of identifying stakeholder needs and expectations at individual, collective, organisational and societal levels. It introduces students to the way information is managed to meet user needs and the role of ICT in Information Management.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will have -
A theoretical and conceptual understanding of:
  • fundamental concepts of information, and its use by individuals, organisations and societies;
  • information creation, representation, storage, access, retrieval, and use;
  • the impact of organisational and social contexts upon information needs and uses;
  • basic ICTs and IM tools developed to manage information and meet user needs;
  • the information-seeking behaviour of users;
  • the range of information sources;
  • the forms that information can take;
  • human computer interfaces to information.
Developed attitudes that enable them to:
  • be aware of the role and responsibilities of information professionals;
  • be aware of the role of ICTs and IM in human activity.
Developed the skills to:
  • evaluate information and its sources critically;
  • identify particular information needs;
  • evaluate ICTs and IM tools in terms of meeting user needs;
  • use basic ICTs and IM tools to create, represent, store, access, retrieve and use information.
Developed the teamwork skills needed to:
  • be able to work as part of a team capable of managing information in a range of social environments.

Contact hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 1 hr laboratory/wk, 1 hr tutorial/wk


For on campus students, workload commitments are:

* two-hour lecture and
* two-hour laboratory/tutorial (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 use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Unit relationships


IMS1102, IMS1603

Teaching and learning method

Teaching approach

Emphasis in lectures will be given to providing examples of key concepts in the use and management of information, and discussing some of the debates that these ideas provoke.

Emphasis in laboratories/tutorials will be given to exploring how information is sought, organised and used.

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.its.monash.edu.au/

Unit Schedule

Week Date* Topic Key dates
1 01/03/10 Introduction and overview  
2 08/03/10 Why information management matters  
3 15/03/10 What are documents?  
4 22/03/10 The documentary web  
5 29/03/10 Documentary form and analysis  
Mid semester break
6 12/04/10 Documentary form and ICT Assignment 1 due in tute
7 19/04/10 User needs and behaviour  
8 26/04/10 Matching documents to user needs  
9 03/05/10 Promotional documents/Assignment 2  
10 10/05/10 Classifying information  
11 17/05/10 Document management and records Assignment 2 report due in tute
12 24/05/10 Information management issues Assignment 2 presentation due in tute
13 31/05/10 Revision  

*Please note that these dates may only apply to Australian campuses of Monash University. Off-shore students need to check the dates with their unit leader.

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

None. No textbook is required for this unit.

Recommended text(s) and readings

M. Buckland (1991b) 'Information as Thing', Journal of the American Society of Information Science 42(5), June, http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/~buckland/thing.html, accessed 8 March 2005.

E. Grassian (2000) 'Thinking Critically about World Wide Web Resources', http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/college/help/critical/, accessed 5 March 2005.

D. Blair (1984) The Management of Information: Basic Distinctions. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Business School. http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/ accessed 7 March 2005.

M. Castells (2000) 'Introduction to the information age', in H. McKay & T. Sullivan (eds.) Media reader: continuity and transformation. London: Sage, http://images.lib.monash.edu.au/com4421/04118199.pdf, accessed 22 March 2005.

R. Hartland, S. McKemmish & F. Upward (2005) 'Documents', in S. McKemmish et al. (eds.) Archives: Recordkeeping in Society. Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, http://images.lib.monash.edu.au/ims1603/04119312.pdf, accessed 12 April 2005.

M. McAdams (1994) 'Driving a Newspaper on the Data Highway', http://www.well.com/user/mmcadams/online.newspapers.html, accessed 25 March 2004.

D. Nichols & M. Twidale (2003) 'The Usability of Open Source Software', First Monday 8(1), http://www.firstmonday.dk/ issues/issue8_1/nichols/.

J. Nielsen (1997) 'How Users Read on the Web', http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9710a.html, accessed 24 December 2002.

S. Toub (2000) Evaluating Information Architecture, http://argus- acia.com/white_papers/evaluating_ia.html, accessed 23 April 2004.

E. Hunter (2000) 'Do we still need classification?', in R. Marcella & A. Maitby (eds.) The Future of Classification. Aldershot: Gower.

The Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia (EPIC) 'Online Survey of College Students: Executive Summary', http://www.epic.columbia.edu/eval/find09/find09.html, accessed 16 May 2005.

M. Taylor & E. Moynihan (2002). 'Analysing IT Ethics', Systems Research and Behavioral Science 19.

The following journals will be useful throughout the unit; other relevant online journals may be found at ‘Information Technology electronic journals’, Monash University Library, http://www.lib.monash.edu.au/ejournals/infotech/index.html

Access to electronic versions is available via the Monash Voyager catalogue http://library.monash.edu.au/ .

Hard copies of most of these journals may also be found in the Caulfield library (CA).

Information, communication & society (CA)

Information Management Journal (CA)

Information Today

Library philosophy and practice

Records Management Quarterly (CA)

Students are also expected to familiarise themselves with the materialson information seeking available at the Monash Library ‘VirtualLibrarian’ web site http://www.lib.monash.edu.au/vl/

Required software and/or hardware

Lab work will utilise a range of installed software.

Home equipment requirements:

  • Microsoft Word or similar word processing program
  • Firefox or similar browser

Equipment and consumables required or provided

Students 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 10 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:

provided at the unit website, or through lab/tutorial sessions. These include lecture notes and tutorial/lab exercises.

To access the unit website, log into MUSO - http://muso.monash.edu.au



Examination (3 hours): 50%; In-semester assessment: 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 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit.

To pass this unit a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination and
  • 40% or more in the unit's non-examination assessment (assignments 1 and 2) 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 assessment 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
    Assignment 1 - The documentary web
    Very few documents exist in isolation. They might depend on other documents for their content, or to provide suitable context, or they might themselves cause or allow other documents to be created. This assignment requires you to examine critically the document provided, as well as the documentary evidence advanced in a number of associated documents.
    Due date:
    hand in at tute in week 6
  • Assignment task 2
    Assignment 2 - Matching documents to user needs
    Working in small groups allocated by tutors, students are required to compile and present a list of relevant resources that can used as part of a resource kit. The aim of the resource kit is to introduce other undergraduate students to a particular topic area of general interest and relevance. The topic area in question will be selected by students in consultation with their tutor.
    Due date:
    hand in report at tute in week 11; make group presentation during tute in week 12


  • 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

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 in writing to your lecturer. 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 5% of total assignment marks per day (including weekends). Example:
Total marks available for the assignment = 100 marks
Marks received for the assignment = 70 marks
Marks deducted for 2 days late submission (10% of 100) = 10 marks
Final mark received for assignment = 60 marks

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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