GCO1811 Object-oriented programming 1 , Unit Information Guide (Semester 1, 2006)

Gippsland : Dr. Madhu Chetty

Various stages of object-oriented program development starting with problem definition, then algorithm construction, and finally coding, testing and debugging a program. The lexical elements and syntax of the Java programming language and the nature of compilation, interpretation and execution. Computer programs with elements such as simple data types, variables, constants, declarations, one and two-dimensional arrays, block structures, expressions, statements, compound statements and selection and repetition control structures. Programs are also organised into classes of variables and methods that communicate by passing parameters and returning values. Instantiation and use of objects achieved by invoking methods. The programs process input and output, including strings and characters.

Handbook Description:

Object-oriented concepts and design techniques will be presented together with techniques for developing object-oriented solutions to programming problems; pseudocode; objects, classes, encapsulation, reuse, information hiding, instantiation, references; packages, program documentation, data types, operators, expressions, selection and repetition control structures, object communication, methods, message passing, constructors, mutators, accessors; collection of objects, scope and lifetime, visibility; class and instance methods and variables; string processing; programming in various Java environments; Documentation, testing and debugging techniques will be applied throughout the unit.

Objectives Knowledge and Understanding

This unit aims to develop sound object-oriented computer program design and construction practices and to provide a solid foundation for further programming units.

On completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • understand the principles and processes of object-oriented software design;
  • understand the principles and processes of simple object-oriented software development using Java;
  • solve simple algorithmic design problems using representational notations;
  • understand the need for and techniques of object communication;
  • design and write single and multiple class object-oriented solutions to programming problems;
  • understand how to translate user needs into object-oriented computer programs;
  • understand simple data structures such as arrays.


Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

On completion of the unit students will:


  • Appreciate the need for effective design strategies in software development.


Practical Skills

Students will be able to:


  • display skills in problem solving and algorithmic design using representational forms such as pseudocode;
  • apply strategies to translate users' needs into object-oriented computer programs;
  • use appropriate techniques for communicating program data between objects;


Prerequisites There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Unit relationships GCO1811 is a core unit in the Sysem development/ Network Technology major of the Bachelor of Information Technology. It is a [prerequisite for GCO 1812. There are no prerequisites for this unit. You may not study this unit and CSE 1301, CSE1202, CPE1001, MMS1802, GCO9805, FIT1002 in your degree.
Texts and software

Required text(s)

  • Horstmann C: Big Java 2 ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2006 
  • Robertson LA: Simple Program Design, 4 ed., Thomson/Nelson, 2003

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements:

All software ( except JCreator) listed below is provided to you on a CD labelled GSIT Unit Software.

BlueJ, Version 2.1.2 Programming Development Environment. Although available on CD, it can be downloaded from


Java Development Kit, Version j2sdk-1_5_0_06 or later, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Jcreator - jcreator LE v3.5 is a powerful IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for Java and is strongly recommended. It can be downloaded from the Web Site:


You should download the freeware version. You have no need for the fuller facilities provided in JcreatorPro, and would have to pay for it as well.

Hardware requirements:

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 12 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

Savitch W. : Absolute Java 2nd Ed., Addison Wesley 2006

Library access You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.
Study resources

Study resources for GCO1811 are:

  • A printed Unit Book containing 12 Study Guides (The last two modules are not yet ready).
  • This Unit Information outlining the administrative information for the unit
  • A CD-ROM sent at the start of the year, with software required for the unit
  • The unit web site (location to be updated soon), where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary material will be posted.
  • Newsgroups/discussion groups that can be linked to from the Unit Homepage

Structure and organisation



Study Guide

1 Introduction and basics of programming B-1,B-2, T-1,T-3
2 Introduction to Objects D-1, E-2, E-4
3 Variables, operators and expressions D-1, E-2, E-4
4 Selection control structures L-1, E-2, E-4
5 Repetition control structures L-3, L-4,L-5,L-6
6 Anatomy of method and class E-3, O-2
7 Data validation and exceptions T-6
8 1D arrays D-2
9 2D arrays D-3, D-4
10 Inheritence O-3
11 Testing and Debugging T-4, T-5
12 GUIs and event handling O-4
13 Revision

The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment for the unit consists of 3 assignments with a weighting of 40% and an examination with a weighting of 60%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

To pass this unit you must:

  • attempt all assignments and the examination
  • score at least 50% of the possible marks for the unit
  • achieve no less than 50% of the total available marks for the assignments overall, and the examination.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

The relevant formula (if any) will  be announced soon.

Assessment Requirements


Due Date


Assignment 0: A first Java program 14 March 2006 5 %
Assignment 1: Algorithm design and first object oriented program 3 April 2006 15 %
Assignment 2: A multiple class object oriented program 8 May 2006 20 %

Assignment specifications will be made available FIT1002 (for Gippsland Campus) unit web site. Information about assignments will be published on the Unit's Notices Newsgroup.

Assignment Submission Methods

Assignments will be submitted by electronically to webface assignment submission system. The URL for webface system is:



Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be allotted a penalty of 5% per day or part thereof up to one week late. Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment.


This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by email at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Contact the Unit Adviser by email to request extensions.


Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass - acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory -  failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

Feedback Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


I expect you to maintain the following sequence while facing any problem related to this unit:

  1. Always post your problems in the appropriate newsgroup first. You must also provide your own views regarding the problems so that others can join the discussion at least by commenting on your views. 
    • To encourage peer discussion, I prefer not to answer your newsgroup postings immediately unless situation demands.
    • I shall be attending the newsgroups only on Tuesday and Friday.
  2. If you are unhappy with the responses from the newsgroups or in case of emergency, e-mail to me at  madhu.chetty@infotech.monash.edu.au.
  3. If you are unhappy still, you may contact me at my following office address (preferably with prior appointment):

    Room No. 4N-260
    GSIT, Monash University
    Churchill Vic 3842, Australia
    Tel: +61-3-9902-6962
    Fax: +61-3-9902-6842


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

Friday: 2:00PM till 3:00PM

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

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All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Feb 27, 2006