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FIT3121 Archival systems - Semester 1, 2012

This unit relates to the fundamental role of recordkeeping professionals in society to provide access to recorded information in the form of essential evidence of social and organisational activity for business, commercial, governmental, social, and cultural purposes. It covers the role of recordkeeping in society and organisations, functional requirements for evidence, the formulation of recordkeeping policy, strategies and tactics, the establishment of recordkeeping regimes, business functional analysis, appraisal and disposal, the development of metadata schemas and their implementation in recordkeeping systems.

Mode of Delivery

Caulfield (Day)

Contact Hours

2 hr lecture/wk, 2 hr tutorial/laboratory/wk


Workload commitments are:

For on-campus students:
Lectures: 2 hours per week
Tutorials/Lab Sessions: 2 hours per week per tutorial.

Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorial sessions, however, you should plan to spend equivalent time listening to lectures online via MULO and undertaking tutorial exercises.

All students spend an additional 8 hours per week engaging in discussion forms, completing lab and project work, undertaking assignments, private study and revision.

Unit Relationships


FIT5087, IMS3610, IMS5010, LAR3631


One of FIT2054, IMS2102 or IMS2603 and 12 points of FIT level 2 units or equivalent

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Sue McKemmish

Consultation hours: Appointments arranged by email

Joanne Evans

Consultation hours: Appointments arranged by email

Leisa Gibbons

Consultation hours: Appointments arranged by email

Academic Overview


At the completion of this unit students will:
  • understand the role of records and archives in organisations and society;
  • understand and apply theories and models relating to recordkeeping and archiving;
  • be able to specify recordkeeping requirements relating to the creation, management, and accessibility of records as evidence of social and organisational activity in a range of business and social contexts;
  • have the skills to develop appraisal and metadata management programs in relation to contemporary and historical recordkeeping systems, including electronic recordkeeping systems; and
  • be able to formulate appraisal and metadata management policies, strategies, tactics and tools with reference to international and national standards and best practice.

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 (2 hours): 45%; In-semester assessment: 55%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 Discussion Tasks 1-4 25%: note up to 20% of this mark (5 marks) will be deducted for non-participation in related tutorials by on-campus students. Task 1: 15 March 2012; Task 2: 22 March 2012; Task 3: 29 March 2012; Task 4: 5 April 2012
Assignment 2 Appraisal Assignment 30%: note up to 20% of this mark (6 marks) will be deducted for non-participation in related tutorials by on-campus students, non-completion of tutorial exercises by off-campus students; and non-participation in discussion forum. 14 May 2012
Examination 1 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. Tutorials/problem classes are studio-style enabling hands-on learning where you interact with fellow students in a laboratory workroom.


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:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

In response to student feedback and staff review of this unit, 2-hour studio-style tutorials held in laboratory workrooms have been introduced to enable hands-on learning and peer interaction.

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.

No specific software is required for this unit. You will need a browser to access the study materials on MULO, use electronic resources in the library, and to read and send email.

Prescribed text(s)

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

Sue McKemmish et al. (2005). Archives: Recordkeeping in Society. (First) CIS, CSU, Wagga Wagga.

Recommended Resources

Note re prescribed text:

Purchase of the prescribed text Archives: Recordkeeping in Society is strongly recommended. It is available from the CITSU Bookshop, Monash University. You can order via post (28 Sir John Monash Drive, Caulfield East, Vic 3145), telephone (9571 3277), fax (9563 5948) or email (

Other references:
Electronically delivered course notes, resource material and internet references will be provided during the course, available from the unit website.
Books and electronic material available through the Caulfield campus library will be made available from a unit reading list.
Articles from the following journals are frequently cited:

  • Archival Science
  • Archivaria (journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists)
  • Archives and Manuscripts (journal of the Australian Society of Archivists)
  • iQ: the RMAA Quarterly (previously called Informaa] (journal of the Records and Information Management Association of Australasia)
  • The American Archivist (journal of the Society of American Archivists).

Keeping up to date with the professional literature is an essential component of working in any field. It is recommended that you check on the availability of the key journals listed above via the Monash Library or at a library in your area. It is also recommended that you consider subscribing to Archives and Manuscripts. It will be assumed throughout FIT3121 that you have access to at least Archives and Manuscripts.

Recommended text(s)

Jackie Bettington et al. (2008). Keeping Archives. (3rd) Australian Society of Archivists, Canberra.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction to FIT3121 Archival Systems, Evidence and Metadata: Key Concepts Tutorial: Assignment 1 Task 1
2 Recordkeeping Contexts: Cultural, Social, Legal, Organisational Part 1 Tutorial: Assignment 1 Task 2
3 Recordkeeping Contexts: Cultural, Social, Legal, Organisational Part 2 Tutorial: Assignment 1 Task 3; Assignment 1 Task 1 due
4 Professional Frameworks: The Records Continuum Model; Archives in Australia Tutorial: Assignment 1 Task 4; Assignment 1 Task 2 due
5 Archival Processes: Functional Analysis Tutorial: Assignment 2; Assignment 1 Task 3 due
6 Archival Processes: Appraisal Tutorial: Assignment 2; Assignment 1 Task 4 due
7 Archival Processes: Appraisal; Retention and Disposal Authorities Part 1 Tutorial: Assignment 2
8 Archival Processes: Appraisal; Retention and Disposal Authorities Part 2 Tutorial: Assignment 2
9 Archival Processes: Metadata Part 1 Tutorial: Assignment 3
10 Archival Processes: Metadata Part 2 Tutorial: Assignment 3
11 Archival Processes: Metadata, Access and Use Part 1 Tutorial: Assignment 3; Assignment 2 due
12 Archival Processes: Metadata, Access and Use Part 2 Tutorial: Assignment 3
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC; Assignment 3 will be due on 11 June 2012
  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

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (

Assessment Tasks


On-campus students are expected to participate in all tutorials; all students are expected to complete tutorial exercises and related discussion forums. The activities in these sessions are directly related to the Assignments. Up to 20% of the marks for each assignment may be deducted if students do not meet this requirement.

  • Assessment task 1
    Assignment 1 Discussion Tasks 1-4
    There are four discussion topics, worth 6.25% each. A detailed assignment specification will be provided.
    25%: note up to 20% of this mark (5 marks) will be deducted for non-participation in related tutorials by on-campus students.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Criteria for assessment:

    1. Degree to which postings demonstrate understanding of recordkeeping concepts.

    2. Participation in discussions of postings with other students.

    3. Participation in class exercises.

    Due date:
    Task 1: 15 March 2012; Task 2: 22 March 2012; Task 3: 29 March 2012; Task 4: 5 April 2012
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2 Appraisal Assignment
    Details will be provided in the assignment specification. Tutorial exercises and related discussion postings will accumulate to form the assignment. Feedback and opportunity for revision will be provided.
    30%: note up to 20% of this mark (6 marks) will be deducted for non-participation in related tutorials by on-campus students, non-completion of tutorial exercises by off-campus students; and non-participation in discussion forum.
    Criteria for assessment:

    You will be assessed on the basis of:

    1. Understanding, analysis and articulation of the project components.

    2. Research and investigative effort.

    3. Identification, coverage and use of relevant sources.

    4. Presentation of findings, including citations and bibliography.

    5. Participation in related tutorial exercises and discussion forum.

    Further detailed guidelines will be provided.

    Due date:
    14 May 2012


  • Examination 1
    2 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Open 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).

Online submission

All assignments and related tutorial exercises will be submitted online via the Moodle site.

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Referencing requirements

Students are required to cite their sources and provide reference lists using a published standard for referencing academic papers.

See the Library Guides for Citing and Referencing at

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 For Sunway see, and for South Africa see

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. At Sunway, visit the Library and Learning Commons at At South Africa visit

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:;
  • Email:
  • 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