GCO3812 Data communications and networks I , Unit Information Guide (Semester 1, 2006)

Chief Examiner Joarder Kamruzzaman
Gippsland : Joarder Kamruzzaman
  • Introduction to a layered approach to communications systems; properties of various transmission media; calculation of channel capacity; modulation techniques and modems; multiplexers and concentrators, public services;circuit and packet switching facilities; error detection methods; local area networks; internetworking. Access to the university's computer systems through an internet service provider is compulsory for distance education students.
Objectives Knowledge and Understanding


  • Discuss network architecture standards for open systems.
  • Describe ISO reference and Internet models.
  • Explain fundamentals and technologies of physical, data-link and network layers
  • Understand the functions and architectures of LAN and WAN.
  • Analyse and design LAN architecture for organisational requirements.


Attitudes, Values and Beliefs


  • Adopt a problem solving approach
  • Accept the code of professional conduct and practice
  • Act in accordance with best practice, industry standards and professional ethics

Practical Skills

Students will gain practical skills to analyse data communication networks

Relationships, Communication and TeamWork

Cooperate effectively within small groups

Present their work in various forms






Prerequisites Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed

GCO9802 (or GCO2812 as a corequisite) or equivalent.

Unit relationships GCO3812 is a core unit for students in the Bachelor of Information Technology major in Network Technology. Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed GCO9802 (or GCO2812 as a corequisite) or equivalent.
Texts and software

Required text(s)

Prescribed Text

  • Stalling, W., "Data & Computer Communications", 7th edition, Prentice Hall, 2004.


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:


OPNET IT Guru Academic Edition

Software may be:

  • downloaded from http://www.opnet.com/services/university/itguru_academic_edition.html

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 n hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

Reference Texts

  • Forouzam, B., "Data Communication & Networking", 2nd edition, McGraw Hill, 2001
  • Tannenbaum.A.S.,"Computer Networks", 3rd Ed., Prentice Hall, 1996.
  • Stamper, D.A.,"Business Data Communications", 4th Ed., Benjamin Cummings, 1994.
  • Silver, G.A. and Silver, M.L. Data Communications for Business, 3rd Ed., Boyd and Fraser, 1994


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 GCO3812 are:

A printed Unit Information

A printed Study Guide for 12 weeks

Lecture slides, tutorial and lab materials, assignment specification and sample solution, sample exam paper (online at the unit web site); Lecture notes and tutorial materials will be provided on weekly basis.

Structure and organisation



Study Guide

Key Dates

1 Introduction to Communication Systems SG 1 Week 1
2 Network Models - OSI Model and TCP/IP Model SG 3
3 Data and Signals - Theoretical Concepts SG 3 Week 3
4 Data Encoding and Modulation SG 4 Week 4
5 Data Link Layer SG 5 Week 5
6 Data Link Layer SG 6 Week 6
7 Data Link Layer SG 7 Week 7
8 Local Area Networks Fundamentals SG 8 Week 8
9 Local Area Networks Developments SG 9 Week 9
10 Internet Protocols SG 10 Week 10
11 Internetworking: Switching and Routing SG 11 Week 11
12 WAN Technologies SG 12 Week 12

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


  • Two assignments - 40% (assignment 1 - 15%; assignment 2 - 25%)
  • Final Examination - 60%

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

To pass this unit students must attain at least 40% both in final exam and assignment component.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:


The final grade is determined by the following weighted formula adopted by GSCIT.

Final grade = min(A+10, E+10, E*R+A*(1-R))

where A = overall assignment percentage, E = exam percentage, R = exam weighting.



Assessment Requirements


Due Date


Assignmnet 1 15 %
Assignment 2 25 %

Assignment specifications will be made available . Information about assignments will be published on the Unit's Notices Newsgroup.

Assignment Submission Methods

Assignmnets must be submitted electronically through Webface (http://wfsubmit.its.monash.edu.au/) submission. See details on assignmnet specification when released.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 1 mark for every day that they are 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. 


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 to the lecture by email at least two days before the due date. Extensions will be granted for valid reasons only. 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.

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.


Outside consultation hours, student can contact directly through email, telephone or fax. Students are highly encouraged to partcipate in newsgroup discussion groups. Please follow the links on unit web site for newsgroups.


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


Thursday 11:00 am -2:00pm.

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:

Dr Joarder Kamruzzaman
Senior Lecturer
Phone +61 3 990 26665

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