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FIT5090 Social informatics - Semester 1, 2013

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

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs tutorial/wk

Workload requirements

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 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.

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 Moodle site.

Unit Relationships

Prohibitions

IMS5023

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer

Caulfield

Steve Wright

South Africa

Sheelagh Walton

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:
  • analyse the nature and operation of information communities within contemporary society;
  • evaluate community informatics as an emerging discipline and professional practice;
assess contemporary debates concerning the social impact of information technology use;
  • distinguish the collaborative behaviours and interdependencies which contribute to notions of community;
  • analyse and critique cases from the information industry.

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 between 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 due
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 learning system.

Assessment Summary

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

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Assignment 1 - Reflective pieces 5% Each Monday of Weeks 2 to 11
Assignment 2 - Class paper 25% Between Weeks 3 to 12
Assignment 3 - Reflective essay 20% Week 11
Examination 1 50% To be advised

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
The teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning, equipping you with the ability to apply skills upon completion.

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 - Reflective pieces
    Description:
    Assignment 1 consists of 10 short reflective pieces by individual students.

    For 10 successive semester weeks, starting in Week 1, you will be required to address a question posed at the end of that week’s lecture.

    Your weekly answer of no less than 150 of your own words is due each Monday of the following week (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.
    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:
    Each Monday of Weeks 2 to 11
  • 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.

    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 (PowerPoint or equivalent slides, including explanatory notes) 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.
    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 - Reflective essay
    Description:
    Individual students are required to provide a reflective piece 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.
    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.
    5. Evidence of reflection - you are able to review in a critical manner the materials and points of view presented in the unit, drawing where appropriate upon your own experience and knowledge.

    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

Pen and pencil.

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

Previous feedback has highlighted the following strength(s) in this unit: its intellectually stimulating nature; its encouragement of student participation.

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

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