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Monash University

FIT3044 Advanced website authoring - Semester 1, 2012

This unit extends the website authoring concepts taught in FIT1012 by looking at more advanced techniques which are available to web site developers in publishing rich media/multimedia content. The structure of an XML document is investigated and the manner in which such a document can be converted to HTML or other formats. Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL), a form of XML, will be investigated as a technique for authoring interactive audiovisual presentations. In addition the unit introduces Macromedia Flash remoting as a client for web services, phps multimedia capabilities and the requirements/standards for web audio/video streaming.

Mode of Delivery

Berwick (Day)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs tutorials/wk


Students will be expected to spend a total of 12 hours per week during semester on this unit as follows:

For on campus students, the weekly workload commitments are:

  • two hours of lectures,
  • two hours of laboratory (requiring advance preparation), and
  • eight hours of self directed study - this will include reading and computer based activities.

Unit Relationships


CPE3002, CSE2030, GCO2811, GCO3823, MMS2802



Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Lindsay Smith

Academic Overview


At the completion of this unit students will have -
A theoretical and conceptual understanding of:
  • the fundamental elements of an XML documents structure and the processes involved in reading and handling such a document;
  • the advantages and limitations of XML in comparison to other formats such as HTML, EDI, Flat files etc;
  • the role of the XML Schema Definition Language and its relationship to Document Type Definitions (DTDs);
  • the role of XML Stylesheet Language (XSL) in document publishing;
  • the role of XML in rich media/multimedia presentations through the use of Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL);
  • the issues involved with audio/video streaming on the web.
Developed attitudes that enable them to:
  • adopt a flexible approach towards application development by consideration of the wide range of XML approaches available;
  • appreciate the importance of systematic and structured approaches to program development.
Developed the skills to:
  • create an XML document and its associated Document Type Definition (DTD);
  • create an XSL style sheet and use it to convert XML into HTML or other XML formats;
  • use Synchronised Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) to author interactive audiovisual presentations;
  • write Macromedia Flash applications which access web services via Flash remoting;
  • use a scripting (php) approach for manipulating images, creating PDFs, and creating Flash content;
  • setup and configure a basic web streaming server.
Demonstrated the teamwork skills necessary to:
  • work as a member of a project team.

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

Practical and theory Examinations (3 and 1 hours) : 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 Creation and Manipulation of Static XML documents 12% Thursday 19 April 2012
Assignment 2 Database-linked website using Adobe Flash Builder 16% Thursday 24 May 2012
Lab Exercises 12% One week after the lab in which the exercise content is covered.
Examination 1 15% To be advised
Examination 2 45% 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:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with 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

This unit has consistently ranked in the top 10% of units in the faculty (see http://infotech.monash.edu.au/units/archive/top-units.html). Previous feedback has highlighted the following strengths of the unit:

  • the unit is stimulating and provides an excellent basis for knowledge in XML 
  • the unit allows students to appreciate how powerful XML is, and it's role in the IT industry
  • the weekly exercises relate closely to the assignment tasks and provide an excellent stepping stone to the actual tasks...
  • the unit is "fun and interesting"

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

Required Resources

Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library, and prescribed software is available in student labs.

The software required will be available in the university on-campus labs. Some items of software will be available from Moodle for student download.

The unit will make extensive use of the oXygen XML Editor:

  • http://www.oxygenxml.com/

and Adobe Flash Builder:

  • http://www.adobe.com/products/flash-builder.html

Prescribed text(s)

Prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library.

Carey, P. (2006). New Perspectives on XML, Second Edition - Comprehensive. (Second Edition) Thomson - Course Technology (ISBN: 1-4188-6064-6).

Examination material or equipment

The practical examination is open book, students are permitted to make use of any resourcesthey wish (including the internet). The theory exam is closed book, no material may be taken into this exam.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0 Check the Moodle site for activity details No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Fundamentals of XML  
2 XML Namespaces  
3 Document Type Definitions (DTDs)  
4 XML Schemas  
5 Formatting XML for the web with CSS  
6 Transforming XML via eXtensible Stylesheet Language (XSL)  
7 XML applications: SMIL, SVG, DocBook, XHTML, WAP and SOAP Assignment 1 due Thursday 19 April 2012
8 Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) - Flex and MXML introduction  
9 Flex UI, Events and Intro to Data Retrieval  
10 Flex and PHP  
11 Flex States  
12 Revision and completion of Ass2 Assignment 2 due Thursday 24 May 2012
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken 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

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Assignment 1 Creation and Manipulation of Static XML documents
    A case study will be supplied from which students will be required to complete a series of tasks related to creating appropriate XML documents and schema/DTD's. Students will also create CSS and XSLT stylesheets to allow their XML documents to be displayed in a web browser.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Task Criteria

    • the XML documents created must include all relevant data from the case study in an optimal structure and be well formed
    • Schema's and DTD's must manage all components of the XML document and successfully validate the XML documents
    • Stylesheets must be valid and must display all required data correctly in a web browser.
    Due date:
    Thursday 19 April 2012
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2 Database-linked website using Adobe Flash Builder
    Students will be supplied with a case study which requires them to create a Flash Builder application. The application will consist of a Flex front end which reads and writes data to an Oracle or MySQL database.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Task Criteria

    • The Flash Builder application must meet the specified brief and must compile without any errors or warnings 
    • The Flash Builder applcation must successfully connect to a user selected backend database, using user supplied login credentials
    Due date:
    Thursday 24 May 2012
  • Assessment task 3
    Lab Exercises
    A series of lab exercises will be set based on the weekly lab activities:
    • one exercise per week for weeks 1 to 6 covering the application of XML (total of 8 mks), and
    • three exercises during week 7 to 11 covering DocBook and FlashBuilder (total of 4 mks).
    Criteria for assessment:

    Completed exercise must provide the output specified in the exercise brief and make optimal use of coding.

    Due date:
    One week after the lab in which the exercise content is covered.


  • Examination 1
    1 hour
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
    Theory examination.
  • Examination 2
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Open book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
    University computers will be supplied (the exam is run in a Berwick lab). Students may choose to use their own laptop computer.
    Practical examination.

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).

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the VLE site for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Resubmission of assignments

At the Chief Examiners discretion, students may be permitted to resubmit assignments where serious medical issues or problems have impacted a students work.

Referencing requirements

For referencing requirements please see: http://www.lib.monash.edu.au/tutorials/citing/apa.html

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. For Sunway see http://www.monash.edu.my/Student-services, and for South Africa see http://www.monash.ac.za/current/

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. At Sunway, visit the Library and Learning Commons at http://www.lib.monash.edu.my/. At South Africa visit http://www.lib.monash.ac.za/.

Academic support services may be available for students who have a disability or medical condition. Registration with the Disability Liaison Unit is required. Further information is available as follows:

  • Website: http://monash.edu/equity-diversity/disability/index.html;
  • Email: dlu@monash.edu
  • Drop In: Equity and Diversity Centre, Level 1 Gallery Building (Building 55), Monash University, Clayton Campus, or Student Community Services Department, Level 2, Building 2, Monash University, Sunway Campus
  • Telephone: 03 9905 5704, or contact the Student Advisor, Student Commuity Services at 03 55146018 at Sunway


Other Information

Details available from the Unit website.

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