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FIT3098 Social informatics - Semester 1, 2011

This unit provides students with a critical understanding of the impact of information technology (IT) within contemporary social relations. Using case studies drawn from different social spheres, the unit explores the ways in which the diffusion of IT has reshaped thinking and practice concerning social collaboration, the production of knowledge and community building. Particular attention is paid to the emerging field of community informatics, and the implications that this field holds for the work of information and knowledge management professionals

Mode of Delivery

  • Caulfield (Day)
  • Caulfield (Off-campus)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 1 hr laboratory/wk

Workload

For FIT3098 on campus students, weekly workload commitments are:

  • two-hour lecture and
  • one-hour lab (requiring advance preparation)
  • a minimum of 3-4 hours of personal study per one hour of contact time inorder 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.

Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorial sessions (although they are welcome). However, you should plan to spend equivalent time working through the relevant resources and participating in discussion groups each week, as well as regular chatroom sessions. Audio recordings of lectures are accessible from the unit MUSO site.

Unit Relationships

Prohibitions

FIT5090, IMS3010, IMS3810, IMS5023

Prerequisites

Completion of 36 points at level 1 or equivalent

Chief Examiner

Steve Wright

Campus Lecturer

Caulfield

Steve Wright

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will:

  • understand the nature and operation of information communities within contemporary society;
  • have an understanding of community informatics as an emerging discipline and professional practice;
  • be familiar with contemporary debates concerning the social impact of information technology use;
  • gain understanding of the collaborative behaviours and interdependencies which contribute to notions of community;
  • demonstrate the ability to analyse and critique cases from the information industry.

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): 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%

    Assessment Task Value Due Date
    Assignment 1 5% Each Monday of weeks 2-11
    Assignment 2 25% weeks 3-12
    Assignment 3 20% week 11
    Examination 1 50% To be advised

    Teaching Approach

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

    Feedback

    Our feedback to You

    Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
    • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
    • Graded assignments with comments

    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:
    http://www.monash.edu.au/about/monash-directions/directions.html
    http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/quality/student-evaluation-policy.html

    Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

    If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to
    https://emuapps.monash.edu.au/unitevaluations/index.jsp

    Required Resources

    There is no textbook for this unit

    Recommended Resources

    There is no specific software requirement beyond access to word-processing and web browsing facilities.

    Field trips

    Not applicable

    Additional subject costs

    Not applicable

    Examination material or equipment

    Not applicable

    Unit Schedule

    Week Date* Activities Assessment
    0 21/02/11 Students will need to familiarise themselves with the information contained in this unit guide as well as materials on the unit website (eg lecture notes and tutorial activities) No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
    1 28/02/11 Introduction to social informatics  
    2 07/03/11 Communities & networks in society  
    3 14/03/11 Agency & structure in society  
    4 21/03/11 IT & social relations  
    5 28/03/11 The nature of information communities  
    6 04/04/11 Knowledge & knowledge workers  
    7 11/04/11 Memory  
    8 18/04/11 The challenge of peer-to-peer production  
    Mid semester break
    9 02/05/11 Web 2.0  
    10 09/05/11 Social informatics in a global context  
    11 16/05/11 Community Informatics Assignment 3
    12 23/05/11 Community Informatics and beyond  
      30/05/11 SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC

    *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

    Participation

    • Assessment task 1
      Title:
      Assignment 1
      Description:
      Assignment 1 consists of 10 short reflective pieces by individual students.

      For 10 successive semester weeks, starting in Week 2, you will be required to address a question posed at the end of the previous week’s lecture.

      Your weekly answer of 150-200 of your own words is due each Monday (Weeks 2 to 11).

      Upload each of your reflective pieces to the folder for your tutorial group.

      Label each piece ‘Exercise Week X’, and don’t forget to include your name.
      Weighting:
      5%
      Criteria for assessment:

      The criteria used to assess submissions are:

      1. Correctness and understanding - there may be more than one "right" answer in many cases. We will look for answers that reflect understanding of the underlying principles and theories.
      2. Completeness - that you have answered all parts of each question. Presentation - that you have presented your answers in a suitably formatted report style.
      3. Use of evidence and argument - you are able to explain your position by using logical argument drawing on the theory presented in the unit.

      Specific tasks and marking criteria will be distributed at the appropriate time during the semester.

      Due date:
      Each Monday of weeks 2-11
    • Assessment task 2
      Title:
      Assignment 2
      Description:
      Individual students will write a critical assessment of a text relevant to the field of social informatics. In the case of on-campus students, this exercise will include a class presentation worth 10%, while off campus students will instead supply relevant materials to support a presentation.
      Weighting:
      25%
      Criteria for assessment:

      The criteria used to assess submissions are:

      1. Correctness and understanding - there may be more than one "right" answer in many cases. We will look for answers that reflect understanding of the underlying principles and theories.
      2. Completeness - that you have answered all parts of each question. Presentation - that you have presented your answers in a suitably formatted report style.
      3. Use of evidence and argument - you are able to explain your position by using logical argument drawing on the theory presented in the unit.

      Specific tasks and marking criteria will be distributed at the appropriate time during the semester.

      Due date:
      weeks 3-12
    • Assessment task 3
      Title:
      Assignment 3
      Description:
      Individual students are required to provide a critical survey of sources relevant to the field of social informatics.
      Weighting:
      20%
      Criteria for assessment:

      The criteria used to assess submissions are:

      1. Correctness and understanding - there may be more than one "right" answer in many cases. We will look for answers that reflect understanding of the underlying principles and theories.
      2. Completeness - that you have answered all parts of each question. Presentation - that you have presented your answers in a suitably formatted report style.
      3. Use of evidence and argument - you are able to explain your position by using logical argument drawing on the theory presented in the unit.

      Specific tasks and marking criteria will be distributed at the appropriate time during the semester.

      Due date:
      week 11

    Examinations

    • Examination 1
      Weighting:
      50%
      Length:
      3 hours
      Type (open/closed book):
      Closed book
      Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
      None

    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

    Referencing requirements

    see http://www.lib.monash.edu.au/tutorials/citing/infotech.html

    Policies

    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:
    http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/academic/education/index.html

    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