Skip to the content | Change text size
PDF unit guide

FIT3098 Social informatics - Semester 1, 2013

This unit introduces students to a critical understanding of the impact of information and communications technology (ICT) within contemporary social relations. In particular, the unit explores the ways in which the diffusion of ICT has reshaped thinking and practice within the workplace, communities, and society more broadly. Particular emphasis is placed upon the relationship between human activity and technology, the various ways in which the latter might replace or augment the former, and the consequences that might follow from such changes.

Mode of Delivery

Caulfield (Day)

Contact Hours

3 hr seminar/wk

Workload requirements

For FIT3098, weekly workload commitments are:

  • one-hour lecture and
  • two-hour lab (requiring advance preparation) combined into a three-hour studio
  • a minimum of 3-4 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 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

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this unit, students should be able to:
  • understand the social impact of information and communications technology (ICT) upon activities in the workplace, communities, and society;
  • demonstrate a familiarity with contemporary debates concerning the changing role of ICT within the workplace, communities, and society;
  • identify social informatics as a problem-oriented discipline;
  • differentiate community informatics as an emerging discipline and professional practice;
  • analyse and critique discussions of the social impact of ICT.

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 What is technology?  
3 Agency & structure in society Assignments 1 and 2 due between Weeks 3 to 12
4 How does technology change how we do things?  
5 IT and the social sphere  
6 IT in organisations  
7 Knowledge & knowledge workers  
8 Memory & archives  
9 The challenge of peer-to-peer production  
10 Web 2.0  
11 Community informatics Assignment 3 due
12 Social informatics in a global context  
  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 learning system.

Assessment Summary

Examination (3 hours): 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 - Studio participation exercises 10% Weeks 3 to 12
Assignment 2 - Class paper 20% Between Weeks 3 to 12
Assignment 3 - Community informatics website 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.

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

Participation

  • Assessment task 1
    Title:
    Assignment 1 - Studio participation exercises
    Description:
    Studio participation exercises will be based around the weekly studio activities.
    Weighting:
    10%
    Criteria for assessment:

    Criteria for assessment will depend on the nature of the work being carried out during the studio. In general, students will be expected both to prepare adequately for the studio by reading the material provided in advance, and to participate actively in the discussions and other tasks that they are asked to perform.

    Detailed criteria will be provided to students as appropriate before the studio work is done.

    Due date:
    Weeks 3 to 12
  • Assessment task 2
    Title:
    Assignment 2 - Class paper
    Description:
    Each student will choose one of the 20 readings for the assignment, and make a presentation and write a follow up critical assessment of that reading at one point between Weeks 3 to 12.

    Each student will write a critical assessment of one text relevant to the field of social informatics. This exercise will include a class presentation worth 10%.


    FIT3098 undergraduate students will not be marked with the same expectations as for postgraduates in FIT5090.
    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.
    3. Presentation - that you have presented your answers in a suitably formatted report style.
    4. 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:
    Between Weeks 3 to 12
  • Assessment task 3
    Title:
    Assignment 3 - Community informatics website
    Description:
    Individual students are required to provide a report offering suggestions for how a community group might better use ICT in pursuit of its objectives.
    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.
    3. Presentation - that you have presented your answers in a suitably formatted report style.
    4. 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

Learning resources

Monash Library Unit Reading List
http://readinglists.lib.monash.edu/index.html

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

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Referencing requirements

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

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 learning system for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Required Resources

Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Limited copies of 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. Readings required for Assignment 2 will be accessible through the unit reading list.

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.

Other Information

Policies

Graduate Attributes Policy

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

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.

Your feedback to Us

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

Student feedback from last year requested that the tutorial time be increased from one to two hours. As a consequence, there is now a two hour tutorial component within the weekly three hour seminar.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to
https://emuapps.monash.edu.au/unitevaluations/index.jsp