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FIT3098 Social informatics - Semester 1, 2012

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)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 1 hr laboratory/wk

Workload

This unit encompasses two cohorts:

  • postgraduates enrolled in FIT5090
  • undegraduates enrolled in FIT3098.

While lectures are held in common, each cohort will have its own tutorials and face different expectations in terms of performance in assessment tasks.

For FIT5090 on campus students, weekly workload commitments are:

  • two-hour lecture and
  • two-hour tutorial (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.

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.

Unit Relationships

Prohibitions

FIT5090, IMS3010, IMS3810, IMS5023

Prerequisites

Completion of 36 points of study

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer

Caulfield

Steve Wright

South Africa

Jacques Steyn

Sheelagh Walton

Academic Overview

Outcomes

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

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.

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 Activities Assessment
0 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 Introduction to social informatics  
2 Communities & networks in society Assignment 1 - due each Monday of weeks 2 to 11
3 Agency & structure in society Assignment 2 - due weeks 3 to 12
4 IT & social relations  
5 The nature of information communities  
6 Knowledge & knowledge workers  
7 Memory  
8 The challenge of peer-to-peer production  
9 Web 2.0  
10 Community informatics  
11 Social informatics in a global context Assignment 3
12 Emerging issues  
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/
academic/education/assessment/
assessment-in-coursework-policy.html

*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

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 no less than 150 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

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

Referencing requirements

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

Other Information

Policies

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