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Learning Objectives

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • understand basic computer structure and operation and demonstrate use of the associated vocabulary;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of data representation, computer arithmetic and Boolean algebra using appropriate methods of implementation;
  • demonstrate detailed knowledge of Internal bus and memory;
  • describe the internal operation of the CPU and explain how it is used to execute instructions;
  • differentiate between machine language and assembly language;
  • identify factors that affect computer performance;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the basics of operating systems and system software;
  • understand basic networking concepts;
  • discuss communication and networking models such as TCP/IP and OSI;
  • describe the concept of transport layer services and principle of congestion control;
  • describe routing strategies and commonly used LAN topologies, and
  • adopt a problem solving approach, accept the code of professional conduct and practice and act in accordance with best practice, industry standards and professional ethics.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

    Assessment Summary

    Examination (3 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

    Assessment Task Value Due Date
    (On-campus students(OCS) only): Four Tutorial Tests and Attendance at Tutorial Sessions. (Off-campus learning(OCL) only: OCL students will be asked to complete two assignments. 40% (OCS) Tutorial Tests in weeks 5, 7, 9 and 11. (OCL) Assignment 1: due Week 8; Assignment 2: due Week 12.
    Examination 1 60% To be advised

    Teaching Approach

    Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
    This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.


    Our feedback to You

    Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:

    Your feedback to Us

    Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

    For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

    Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

    If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

    Unit Schedule

    Week Date* Activities Assessment
    0 21/02/11 Orientation Week: Follow the Orientation Week program No formal activity
    1 28/02/11 Introduction and Basic Concepts of Computing Systems No Tutorial in Week 1
    2 07/03/11 Data Representation and Arithmetic Tutorial Session
    3 14/03/11 Data Representation and Arithmetic Tutorial Session
    4 21/03/11 Boolean algebra and Digital Logic Tutorial Session
    5 28/03/11 Computer Architecture (including Instruction Set Architecture) Tutorial Session plus Tutorial Test 1
    6 04/04/11 Memory Components - Organization, Primary Memory, Cache Memory, Virtual Memory Tutorial Session
    7 11/04/11 Operating Systems (OS) - Introduction to OS, Types and Activities of OS Tutorial Session plus Tutorial Test 2
    8 18/04/11 Networking Concepts Tutorial Session (For OCL students: Assignment 1 due)
    Mid semester break
    9 02/05/11 Models of Communications & Networking Tutorial Session plus Tutorial Test 3
    10 09/05/11 Transport Layer and TCP Tutorial Session
    11 16/05/11 Addressing Mechanism/Routing Strategies and LAN Tutorial Session plus Tutorial Test 4
    12 23/05/11 Revision Tutorial Session (For OCL students: Assignment 2 due)
      30/05/11 SWOT VAC No formal activity for the unit

    *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.

    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

    Assessment Tasks


    • Assessment task 1
      (On-campus students(OCS) only): Four Tutorial Tests and Attendance at Tutorial Sessions. (Off-campus learning(OCL) only: OCL students will be asked to complete two assignments.
      (OCS) Closed-book tests held during four selected tutorial sessions, 1 hour duration, contribution 9% each test. Attendance taken at each tutorial session, contribution 4%.

      (OCL) Two assignments, Assignment 1 and Assignment 2, contribution 20% each assignment.
      Criteria for assessment:

      (OCS) Tutorial test hurdle: 40% of the total tutorial test marks of 36, that is, minimum 14.4 out of 36.

      Attendance hurdle: 40% of the total attendance marks of 4, that is, minimum 1.6 out of 4.

      Note: Marks for attendance will be calculated as follows:

      minimum [10, number of sessions attended] * 0.4. This means, a student will get full marks of 4 if he/she  attends at least 10 tutorial sessions. On the otherhand, s/he will fail the unit FIT1031 if his/her tutorial attendance falls below four sessions.

      (OCL) The Assignment hurdle is 40% of total marks, that, minimum of 16 out of 40.

      Due date:
      (OCS) Tutorial Tests in weeks 5, 7, 9 and 11. (OCL) Assignment 1: due Week 8; Assignment 2: due Week 12.


    • Examination 1
      3 hours
      Type (open/closed book):
      Closed book
      Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
      Exam hurdle: 40% of exam marks, that is, minimum 24 out of 60.

    Assignment submission

    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.

    Extensions and penalties

    Returning assignments


    Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University's academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash's Education Policies at:

    Key educational policies include:

    Student services

    The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis


    Prescribed text(s) and readings

    Linda Null and Julia Lobur, Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture, Second Edition, Jones and Bartlett (2006), ISBN 0-7637-3769-0.

    Recommended text(s) and reading

    James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross, Computer Networks: A Top-Down Approach, Fifth Edition, Pearson (2010), ISBN 0-13-136548-7.

    Jerry Fitzgerald and Alan Dennis, Business Data Communications and Networking, Tenth Edition, John Wiley and Sons (2009), ISBN 978-0470-05575-5.  

    Douglas E. Comer, Internetworking with TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols, and Architecture, Volume I, Fifth Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall (2006), ISBN 0-13-198069-6.

    Behrouz A. Forouzan, Data Communications and Networking, Fourth Edition, McGraw Hill, (2007), ISBN 0-07-296775-7.

    Note: In lecture notes further references will be listed.

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