Skip to the content | Change text size
PDF unit guide

FIT3124 Professional practice - Semester 2, 2011

This unit prepares students for the professional workplace, through a professional placement in a library, archives, registry or other information agency; and a lecture/seminar series on professional issues within the information industry. The placement enables students to link theory with professional practice, and develops understanding of the role of information agencies within their environment. Lectures/seminars draw on current professional literature and key players in the field to explore a range of topical issues within the profession, the role of professional ethics and professional associations, and career opportunities within the industry.

Mode of Delivery

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

Contact Hours

3 hrs lecture/wk


For on-campus students, workload commitments per week are:

  • three-hour seminar (requiring advance preparation)
  • a minimum of 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 assessed tasks in newsgroups/discussion groups.

Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorial sessions, however, you should plan to spend equivalent time working through the relevant resources and participating in discussion groups each week.

Unit Relationships


LAR3654, LAR3634, IMS3615, FIT5104, IMS5015


FIT3122 or FIT3123 or equivalent
Only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Information Systems, or the IM major of the Bachelor of Information Technology & Systems.

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Sue McKemmish

Contact hours: Available by appointment only. Email to arrange a meeting or a time to talk via telephone or skype

Joanne Evans

Contact hours: Available by appointment only. Email to arrange a meeting or a time to talk via telephone or skype



Rebecca French

Contact hours: Available by appointment only. Email to arrange a meeting or a time to talk via telephone or skype

Academic Overview

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • evaluate professional literature and knowledge in relation to practice;
  • analyse current issues relating to the information industry;
  • apply theories and practice of their selected specialisation to the workplace;
  • demonstrate practical skills at a professional level in an information agency or information-related functional area, as well as an ability to interact effectively with work colleagues and clients;
  • assess career opportunities within the information industry and develop a personal career plan;
  • evaluate the role in professional practice of ethical codes, professional literature, professional networks and professional associations.

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%
Supervised professional placement and host supervisors report (PGO)

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1: Professional Placement Presentation 25% 6 December 2011, date to be confirmed.
Assignment 2: Participation in Seminars and Discussion Forum 25% Weekly according to timetable advised on Unit Moodle website.
Professional Placement PGO As arranged for individual placements.
Examination 1 50% To be advised

Teaching Approach

  • Seminars
    Seminars will involve presentations by unit lecturers, guest speakers and students. Students will be actively involved in the seminars which will address a range of professional issues.

    All students undertake professional placements (see below). A one-day seminar will be held in early December for students to discuss their placement experiences and identify related professional issues. This seminar will replace two of the usual weekly seminars. Special arrangements will be made for off campus students if they are unable to attend the December seminar. More information on this seminar will be circulated at the start of the semester.
  • Work-integrated learning or industry-based learning
    This teaching approach is experiential learning with active learner involvement in a practical environment. Reflection is used to conceptualise the experience.

    Professional placement

    This unit involves a 15 day placement supervised by an information professional in a library, archive, records or information management and systems workplace. This teaching approach involves experiential learning with active learner involvement in a practical environment. Reflection and reporting back to a one-day seminar in early December (see above) are used to conceptualise the experience. Off campus students are encouraged to attend this seminar if they live locally. If this is not possible, they will develop presentations about their professional placement which will be presented to the seminar on their behalf.

    Setting up placements

    Placements are made following negotiations between Monash staff and appropriate institutions with qualified supervisors. They also depend on the availability of placements at the times required (see below) with due consideration of the student’s interest and level of study achieved at the time of placement. Students can discuss possible placements with host organisations, but the final arrangements must be made by Monash staff.


    The aim of the placement is to provide an opportunity for students to gain a broad knowledge of the organisation, systems and services of an institution and to gain general work experience. In addition, in some instances, students undertake specific tasks or projects.


    The placement usually occurs in the two periods between: June and July, or at the end of Semester Two, i.e., late November- early December. Placements can be deferred until January-February 2011, if necessary, but this delays assessment. Part-time students may have a special need for a different schedule, e.g., during school holidays, but they must try to work within these broad dates. Flexible arrangements involving part-time work to make up the 15 days are possible if host organisations can accommodate this.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Other: Informal feedback on progress in seminars and via email for OCL students.

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

Recommended Resources

Herman Tavani, Professional ethics, 2006, 2nd edition.

Current journals, newsletters, professional listservs and websites appropriate to the student's professional specialisation.

Examination material or equipment

Details will be provided via the Unit Moodle website.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction to FIT5104/3124 Professional Practice and the seminar program. Discussion re professional placement options and requirements. Discussion on reflective practice. Details of Assignments 1 & 2 provided.
2 Career planning and professional development workshop  
3 Organisational and community contexts of information work  
4 Organisational and community contexts of information work  
5 Role of professional associations  
6 Professional eduation and training; inclusive education; diversifying the profession  
7 No Seminar  
8 Professional ethics  
9 No Seminar  
10 Digital information divide  
11 Politics of information  
12 Information access, social justice and human rights  
  SWOT VAC; Please note there will be a one-day Seminar on 6 December 2011 (Professional Placement Debrief), date to be confirmed. No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy:

*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
    Assignment 1: Professional Placement Presentation
    Students will report and reflect on their  professional placement in the form of a presentation. You should provide a brief overview of the role of your host organisation, the services it provides, its organisational structure, staff numbers (including type of staff), style of management, and opportunities for professional development. You should also provide a brief overview of the various activities and projects that you were engaged in. The main focus of your presentation should be on identifying 3-4 core professional contemporary issues, based on your observations and work experience. Presentations will be made during the end of year one-day seminar, which will be no later than 13 December 2011. Alternative arrangements will be made for off campus students where necessary. Note that the host supervisor also completes a report on the professional placement – PGO (Pass Grade Only).
    Criteria for assessment:

    Assessment will be based on how well information is presented and the professional placement is reflected upon.

    More details will be provided via the Unit Moodle website.

    Due date:
    6 December 2011, date to be confirmed.
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2: Participation in Seminars and Discussion Forum
    Students will be expected to contribute to seminar and online discussions of the topics covered in the weekly seminars, including Q&A sessions with guest speakers. On campus students are expected to attend and partiipate in all seminars. Off campus students will contribute questions and commentaries online. A unit blog will be established to facilitate the discussions. More details will be provided on the Unit Moodle website. 
    Criteria for assessment:

    Assessment will be based on how well students contribute to discussions.

    More details will be provided via the Unit Moodle website.

    Due date:
    Weekly according to timetable advised on Unit Moodle website.
  • Assessment task 3
    Professional Placement
    This unit involves a professional placement equivalent to 15 working days, supervised by an information professional in a host organisation. It is assessed at Pass Grade Only (PGO) and is a required component of the unit. The basis of the assessment is a report by the host organisation. Details of placement requirements and the report pro-forma are available via the Unit Moodle website.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Assessment is based on completion of the placement, undertaking the work progam negotiated by Monash staff with the host organisation, and the host organisation's report. Monash staff monitor the placement, including site visits as needed.

    Due date:
    As arranged for individual placements.


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

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement ( for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at 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

Referencing requirements

Referencing requirements will be advised via the Unit Moodle website.

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 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 or the library tab in 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