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Monash University

FIT5106 Information organisation - Semester 2, 2012

This unit develops understanding of the fundamental principles, concepts and standards that guide the development of information organisation and retrieval systems and web-based information architectures. It deals with standards governing description, distribution and access to information locally and globally cataloguing, indexing, thesaurus construction, classification and metadata for knowledge discovery. It examines the effects of economic, social and technological factors on the development of bibliographic networks and cataloguing operations. Practical sessions deal with the use of major bibliographic tools, schemes and systems for information organisation.

Mode of Delivery

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

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk


This is a 6-point unit which, according to University guidelines, requires students to spend 12 hours per week (a total of at least 144 hours per semester).

For on-campus students, typical weekly workload commitments are:
• 2 hours lecture
• 2 hours tutorial/laboratory (requiring advance preparation)
• 5 hours of practical work and assignment preparation
• 3 hours of assigned reading and reviewing weekly class materials.

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

Unit Relationships



Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Tom Denison

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

Academic Overview


At the completion of this unit students will:
  • understand the key principles, concepts and standards that guide the development of information organisation and retrieval systems and web-based information architectures;
  • have skills in applying standard cataloguing, classification, indexing, thesaurus construction, and knowledge discovery metadata schemes and tools;
  • have developed experience in interacting with selected bibliographic utilities/ networks, and in using bibliographic software; and
  • be able to develop systems for organising information and facilitating access to information resources in physical collections or digital/web-based repositories.

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 - Metadata Record 25% (includes 10% class participation) Week 7 Tutorial
Assignment 2 - Information Architecture 25% (includes 5% class participation) Week 11 Tutorial
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. 

Delivery of the unit involves two hours of lectures per week, covering the theory and practice of information organisation, and a two-hour tutorial/lab session where students undertake practical exercises. 

Off campus students can access the lecture recording (audio with synchronised slides) via Monash University Lectures Online (MULO), and will have special weekly activities and interactive sessions in lieu of the on campus tutorials.


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
  • 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

Previous feedback has highlighted the overall quality of the unit and that the assessment tasks, levels of engagement and feedback on performance are very good. Student feedback also identified some concern with the usefulness of the tutorial exercises and these have been revised to offer more direction and more choice of topic.

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

Recommended Resources

Students will be given access to online resources including the Library of Congress's The Cataloger's Desktop and Classification Web, and to WebDewey. Access to other resources will be provided as needed.

Hider, Philip, with Harvey, Ross. (2008). Organising knowledge in a global society. Rev. ed. Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. ISBN 978 1876938 67 3.

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 FIT5106 Information Organisation Details of Assignment 1 provided
2 Lecture: Introduction to the metadata frameworks, models and policies; Lab/Tute: Introduction to Case Study  
3 Lecture: Metadata schemes; Lab/Tute: Metadata model exercises  
4 Lecture: Metadata schemes; Lab/Tute: Metadata scheme exercises  
5 Lecture: Metadata encoding schemes and tools; Lab/Tute: Metadata scheme exercises  
6 Lecture: Metadata encoding schemes and tools; Lab/Tute: Metadata encoding scheme exercises  
7 Lecture: Information architecture; Lab/Tute: Metadata tools exercises Assignment 1 due during Week 7 Tutorial
8 Lecture: Resource description and access; Lab/Tute: Information architecture exercises Details of Assignment 2 provided
9 Lecture: Resource description and access. Applying rules for selecting access points. MARC records. Authority files; Lab/Tute: RDA and MARC exercises  
10 Lecture: Library schemas: Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC); Lab/Tute: RDA and MARC exercises. Selecting access points and authority files exercises  
11 Lecture: Library schemas: Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH); Lab/Tute: LCSH exercises Assignment 2 due during Week 11 Tutorial
12 Lecture: Managing information organisation processes (workflows; insourcing and outsourcing; the role of networks; economic considerations); Lab/Tute: The role of metadata  
  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)

Academic Integrity - Please see the Demystifying Citing and Referencing tutorial at http://lib.monash.edu/tutorials/citing/

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Assignment 1 - Metadata Record
    This assignment involves the development of a Metadata Record for a resource to be included in an Online Portal. Components of the Metadata Record will be developed in class exercises and combined together into the submitted assignment. The class exercises will be undertaken in the Tutorial/Laboratory by on-campus students, and via Moodle by off-campus students.
    25% (includes 10% class participation)
    Criteria for assessment:

    Class participation in exercises relating to the development of the Metadata Record (in Tutorials/Laboratories by on-campus students and via Moodle by off-campus students) is an assessable component of this Assignment.

    More details of assessment criteria will be advised in separate assignment handouts available via the Unit Moodle website.

    Due date:
    Week 7 Tutorial
  • Assessment task 2
    Assignment 2 - Information Architecture
    This assignment explores an information architecture related topic of the students' choice. It involves a presentation in class as well as a hard copy version of the presentation. Alternative guidelines will be provided for off-campus students.
    25% (includes 5% class participation)
    Criteria for assessment:

    Assessment will be based on how well the information explored is presented and documented.

    More details of assessment criteria will be advised in separate assignment handouts available via the Unit Moodle website.

    Due date:
    Week 11 Tutorial


  • 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).

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

More information about referencing will be provided in the detailed instructions relating to each assignment.

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
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