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Academic Overview

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will have -

A knowledge and understanding of:

  • the principles and practice of the emergent field of web content management;
  • the relative roles and responsibilities of webmasters and other professionals in a web or intranet development project;
  • user information needs and information seeking behaviours within the web environment.
  • information retrieval principles (eg precision, recall, relevance, specificity) and their application in the web environment;
  • issues and challenges in organising information for effective retrieval on web sites and intranets;
  • organisation systems, schemes and structures for web/ intranet content management, and how these organisation systems are represented in the key components of web information architecture;
  • the application of information design and usability principles to labelling, navigation and search functions on a web site or intranet;
  • commonalities and differences in information architectures in public web, intranet and extranet environments;
  • phases and processes in planning and implementing a web content management project or program;
  • tools, techniques, and software that are commonly used for web content management.

Developed attitudes that enable them to appreciate:
  • the range of specialist expertise amongst professionals involved in a web site/ intranet development project, and the importance of effective communication and collaboration amongst these groups;
  • the centrality of the user in defining an information architecture for a web site or intranet and the difficulties users experience in finding relevant information on the web;
  • that business imperatives and user requirements are the key drivers of web content management, but that reconciling the two may be no easy task;
  • that findability is a critical factor in determining web usability, and the role effective organisation systems play in this process;
  • that effective organisation systems tend to be largely invisible to web or intranet users.
  • their own growing confidence in their information retrieval skills.

Developed skills in:
  • conducting a business requirements analysis and a user needs analysis, in connection with developing an information architecture for a web site or intranet;
  • developing an effective information architecture for a web site or intranet, taking into consideration unique business and user information requirements, and information retrieval, information design and usability principles and guidelines;
  • constructing a taxonomy; applying facet analysis to thesaurus construction; and designing a metadata schema for a web site or intranet;
  • planning, designing, documenting, testing and evaluating labelling, navigation and search systems for a web site or intranet;
  • utilising a range of tools and techniques (eg blueprints, wireframes, card sorting, affinity diagrams, content maps, personas), and software in the process of developing the information architecture for a web site or intranet;
  • undertaking usability/findability testing of users using prototypes and a range of evaluation techniques and interpreting findings;
  • evaluating information architectures, and software products for web content management.

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
Unit Website 25% Week 6 for the site, Week 8 for the final site taxonomy
Website experience review 10% Week 11
Project Plan 15% Week 12
Examination 1 50% To be advised

Teaching Approach

This lecture and practical lab 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:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments without comments
  • Quiz results
  • Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

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

Required Resources

Access to the unit website
Access to the computer labs or computing resources in the standard configuration.

Students will use the following software during the course of this unit. This software will be provided in the labs and is freely available from the following web sites:

  • Drupal - http://drupal.org/
  • Joomla - http://www.joomla.org/
  • Tematres - http://www.vocabularyserver.com/
  • FreeMind - http://www.edrawsoft.com/freemind.php

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment is undertaken in week 0
1 Overview  
2 Web content: Creation and management  
3 Information literacy: Metadata  
4 Information literacy: Information retrieval principles  
5 Web content: Tagging, search-engine optimisation  
6 Information literacy: Controlled vocabularies Assignment 1 due: Unit website
7 User Centered Design: Controlled vocabularies  
8 User Centered Design: Evaluation techniques Assignment 1 due: Taxonomy website
9 User Centered Design: Accessibility  
10 User Centered Design: Project management  
11 Enterprise information management: Microsoft sharepoint Assignment 2 due: Website experience reviews
12 Professional and policy issues Assignment 3 due: Project plan
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

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
    Unit Website
    Creation of a managed website using the unit study guides and materials, in groups of 2 or 3 people.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Assessment will be primarily on the coverage of the site, access structures, and clarity of the mindmap/sitemap. Since this will be a group project, a link to a log of individual work on the project is a required element of the site.

    Due date:
    Week 6 for the site, Week 8 for the final site taxonomy
  • Assessment task 2
    Website experience review
    This assignment involves a critical evaluation of website usability and search capabilities.
    Criteria for assessment:
    1. Are all of the assignment specifications addressed by the student?
    2. Are the key concepts understood?
    3. Are all the relevant sources of knowledge used and understood?
    4. Are there elements that are special or original, i.e., is there more than just the basic requirements?
    5. Have up-to-date sources of information been used, and acknowledged fully and correctly?
    Due date:
    Week 11
  • Assessment task 3
    Project Plan
    This assignment is to formulate a preliminary, informal plan for a web content management implementation project that emphasises tasks to be achieved, people to be involved in each task, the sequence of tasks, and quality criteria.
    Criteria for assessment:
    1. Granularity and completeness of the task list
    2. Concurrency of tasks
    3. Identification of appropriate people and skills for each task
    4. Statement of goals or acceptance criteria for each task
    Due date:
    Week 12


  • Examination 1
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Other Information


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

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