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Monash University

FIT9027 Website authoring - Semester 1, 2013

This unit will develop the basic concepts of website authoring, from design to implementation. Students will develop skills in creating digital content which is authored to deal with the particular issues of web publishing. The unit will examine HTML/XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the W3C Document Object Model (DOM) and JavaScript as the fundamental website authoring suite. In addition HTML embedded script languages will be used to create dynamic database driven content. The unit will also introduce wider W3C standards, web usability and web design specification.

Mode of Delivery

Caulfield (Day)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk

Workload requirements

Students will be expected to spend a total of 12 hours per week during semester on this unit as follows:

  • a 2-hour lecture
  • a 2-hour tutorial
  • a recommended minimum  of 6-8 hours of private study per week

Unit Relationships


FIT1012, MMS1402, MMS9401

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Lindsay Smith



William Lay

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will have -A theoretical and conceptual understanding of:
  • the characteristics of commercial web sites and the authoring/management issues associated with them;
  • the features and applicability of a range of software tools which are used in the development of websites;
  • internet standards and protocols, in particular the impact of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards in this area;
  • a web based document as an instance of the W3C Document Object Model;
  • website usability issues;
  • the role that products such as Macromedia Flash can play in web authoring;
  • copyright related issues as they apply to web authoring.
Developed attitudes that enable them to:
  • appreciate the flexibility required in dealing with clients in a variety of situations encountered in the tendering/authoring process;
  • demonstrate a critical attitude towards assessing the success of websites;
  • demonstrate a recognition of the strengths and weaknesses of information technology in the context of the development and use of web based multimedia systems.
Developed the skills to:
  • create and manipulate digital content for websites, including basic audio and animation;
  • code web pages using standard HTML/XHTML, including tables and forms;
  • make use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to add style to web documents;
  • use JavaScript to add interactivity to HTML pages;
  • access and manipulate DOM objects in a web document;
  • write HTML embedded script code to produce dynamic database driven web documents;
  • produce design specification documents applicable to a web site authoring task.
Demonstrated the teamwork skills necessary to:
  • work as a member of a project team.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Unit Introduction & Key Concepts  
2 HTML & Web Standards Concept Diary is assessed weekly - weeks 2-11
3 CSS Formatting Work Requirement 1 due Week 3
4 Working with Colour, Images & Typography  
5 CSS Layout & Rich Media Work Requirement 2 due Week 5
6 Website Testing, Forms & JavaScript Basics Assignment 1: HTML/CSS Website due Week 6 (Friday 6pm)
7 Browser Scripting with JavaScript  
8 Document Object Model & Web Servers  
9 Server-side Scripting with ColdFusion Work Requirement 3 due Week 9
10 Structured Query Language & Forms Data  
11 Form Validation, File Manipulation & AJAX Work Requirement 4 due week 11
12 Web Hosting, Search Engine Optimisation & Publishing Assignment 2: Group Project due week 12 (Friday 6pm)
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in 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 learning system.

Assessment Summary

In-semester assessment: 100%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
HTML/CSS Website 20% Week 6 (Friday 6pm)
Group Project 20% Week 12 (Friday 6pm)
Work Requirements 40% (5%, 10%, 15%, 10%) Weeks 3, 5, 9 and 11
Concept Diary 20% (10 x 2%) Weeks 2-11

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


Assignment 2 and Work Requirement 3 are conducted as group assessment tasks.

Due to the nature of group work in this subject, students are expected to attend at least 80% of classes.

  • Assessment task 1
    HTML/CSS Website
    A 5-page informational website designed to W3C standards.  To be undertaken individually.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Site aims

    • Definition of target audience
    • Statement of site and user goals
    • Suitability to target audience

    Technical criteria

    • XHTML validation using the W3C validator
    • Appropriateness of XHTML structure
    • Application of CSS
    • Degradability of CSS
    • File naming and arrangement
    • Adaptability to various screen sizes
    • Cross-browser compatibility

    Visual design

    • Overall visual concept
    • Appropriate use of images in design
    • Layout of page elements
    • Use of conventions and metaphors
    • Branding (colours, logos, look & feel)

    Information architecture

    • Overall site structure
    • Clear content hierarchy
    • Accessibility of navigation
    • Readability of content
    • Search engine optimisation
    Due date:
    Week 6 (Friday 6pm)
    Submission by online upload.
  • Assessment task 2
    Group Project
    A website for a fictional retail company, using server-side scripting to display products information stored in a database.To be undertaken in a groups of two students, with each member taking a specific role in development.
    Criteria for assessment:

    The final mark you receive will consist of:

    • An overall shared group mark (50%)
    • An individual mark based on your assigned development roles (50%)

    Business management

    • Overall information structure
    • Organisation of files
    • Text content accuracy and proof-reading
    • Image content quality and suitability
    • Overall site accessibility

    Graphic design

    • Overall design concept
    • Company branding and logo design
    • Page layout design
    • Formatting using CSS
    • Typography design

    IT management

    • Retrieval and display of products table
    • Additional ColdFusion functionality
    • Application of JavaScript functionality
    • User input validation for forms
    • HTML validation to W3C standards
    Due date:
    Week 12 (Friday 6pm)
    Submission by online upload.
  • Assessment task 3
    Work Requirements
    There will be 4 minor work requirement tasks, due at various times throughout the semester.
    40% (5%, 10%, 15%, 10%)
    Criteria for assessment:

    Regular work requirement tasks will be used to test students' understanding of concepts throughout the semester:

    • Correct application of semantic HTML structure
    • Application of CSS and images
    • Website planning documentation (group work - a shared group mark will be awarded for this requirement)
    • Application of client-side and server-side scripting
    Due date:
    Weeks 3, 5, 9 and 11
    Some tasks will be submitted by demonstration during tutorial sessions. Failure to demonstrate your work during the timetabled tutorial sessions may incur a penalty for late submission.
  • Assessment task 4
    Concept Diary
    Each week students will complete an online diary entry relevant to the current topic.

    Entries may be in the form of:
    • Short research reports
    • Analysis of specific websites
    • Online quizzes
    20% (10 x 2%)
    Criteria for assessment:

    Each diary entry will be assessed for:

    • Relevance of research
    • Ability to express concepts
    • Correctness of quiz responses
    • Timely submission of each week's entry
    Due date:
    Weeks 2-11

Learning resources

Monash Library Unit Reading List

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
  • Other: Solutions to work requirement tasks

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Referencing requirements

For all assessment in this unit, any material that is not the student's own original work must be referenced. This includes (but is not limited to) use of the following:

  • Text content
  • Image, audio, video or other rich-media content
  • Scripting code and document markup
  • Template resources for content, code or other media

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.

The unit covers the following software:

  • Adobe Dreamweaver CS4/CS5.5
  • Adobe Photoshop CS4/CS5.5

All software will be provided in computer laboratories (if you wish to have after-hours access, this can be arranged with ITS). Alternatively, students may use their own computer with their own copies of the software installed.

Software may be:

  • Purchased at academic price at good software retailers
  • Trial versions of software are available from publishers' websites

Recommended text(s)

Joel Sklar. (2011). Principles of Web Design. (5th Edition) Course Technology (ISBN: 1111528705).

Jonathan Lane, Meitar Moscovitz, Joseph R. Lewis. (2008). Foundation Website Creation with CSS, XHTML, and JavaScript. () Apress (ISBN: 1430209917).

Matthew MacDonald. (2011). Creating a Website: The Missing Manual. (Third Edition) O'Reilly Media (ISBN: 144930172X).

Other Information


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 strengths in this unit:

  • A broad range of practical techniques are covered
  • Opportunity for creative application of skills

As a result of student feedback and unit review, improvements have been made to this offering:

  • More coverage of upcoming standards
  • Adjustments to length of tutorial exercises
  • Adjustments to assessment to focus more on correct application of HTML structure
  • Adjustments to weighting of marks in group assessment
  • Increased focus on encouraging good programming practices

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

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