MMS1002 - Semester 2 , 2006 unit guide

Semester 2, 2006

Chief Examiner

Marian Quigley


Berwick : Marian Quigley


The unit focuses on ethical issues pertaining to the uses and practices of multimedia. Ethical theories, their relevance to electronic societies and their applications in individual and professional practices will be debated and discussed. Major areas of study include: foundations of ethics; theories of ethics and their individual, societal and professional applications; intellectual property and copyright issues; computer crime; and the societal implications of computer technologies.


Knowledge and Understanding

  • Knowledge of historical and contemporary ethical theories
  • Understanding of their relevance to contemporary multimedia
  • Knowledge of computer crimes, their generation and attempts at resolution
  • Understanding of the concept of intellectual property and its applications
  • Understanding of the impact of multimedia technologies on the individual and society

Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

  • Understanding of general ethical values relating to the area of multimedia
  • Understanding of the existence of a diversity of moral codes and value systems
  • Ability to critically evaluate these
  • Understanding of differences of equity and access
  • Ability to differentiate between moral codes and legal practices
  • Ability to appropriately evaluate and apply an ethical system
  • Development of personal ethics and attitudes and the ability to put these into practice

Practical Skills

  • Locate and analyse appropriate resources from a range of sources relating to ethical issues in multimedia
  • Make oral presentations to a group based on multimedia ethics
  • Participate in group debates on topics of relevance to a variety of ethical issues
  • Produce an essay which analyses an ethical issue from one of the major areas of study
  • Produce written responses to examination questions on topics of relevance to a variety of ethical issues

Relationships, Communication and TeamWork

  • Ability to work within a team and discuss ethical issues objectively
  • Development of group building roles
  • Development of leadership and management skills


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Unit relationships

MMS1002 is an elective unit in the Bachelor of Multimedia Systems degree.

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Texts and software

Required text(s)

Edgar, Stacey, L. (2003) Morality and Machines: Perspectives on Computer Ethics, Second Edition, Jones and Bartlett, Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Textbook availability

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

There is no software requirement.

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.

Recommended reading

To be advised

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 MMS1002 are:

This unit information outlining the administrative information for the unit.

The MMS1002 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, assignment specifications and supplementary material will be posted.

Structure and organisation

Week Topics References/Readings Key Dates
1 Introduction: What is Ethics? Professional Codes. Introduction & Ch.1
2 Foundations of Ethics Ch. 3 & Baird, R.M. et al (2000) Cyberethics pp34-40
3 Globalisation TBA
4 Digital Divide TBA
5 Computer Crime Ch.5 Group Debate
6 Cyber Terrorism Ch. 6; pp.170-171 Group Debate
7 Cyber Pornography and Censorship Ch.7 & 11 Group Debate
8 Intellectual Property Plagiarism &Piracy Ch. 4 Group Debate
9 Intellectual Property- Copyright Ch. 4 Essay
10 Issues of Privacy and Surveillance Ch. 7
Non teaching week
11 Morality and Machines Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence Ch. 12
12 Revision
13 Revision


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


Assessment weighting

Assessment for the unit consists of 2 assignments with a weighting of 50% and an examination with a weighting of 30%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Group Debate 20%

Essay 30%

Exam 30%

Tutorial Participation 20%

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

Attain a minimum of 50% of total assessment for this unit.

Attend 80% of tutorials.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

Group Debate 20%

Essay 30%

Exam 30%

Tutorial Participation 20%

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Due Date Weighting
Group Debate Weeks 5-8 20%
Essay Week 9 30 %
Exam From Week 14 30 %
Tutorial participation Weeks 2- 13 20 %
The exam is 2 hours long and is closed book. Exam period (S2/06) starts on 23/10/06 30 %

Assignment specifications will be made available On MMS1002 Unit MUSO Assignment page.

Assignment Submission

Submit the assignment to the MMS1002 Assignment box by September 13, with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of a 10 % reduction in grade for each day (including weekends) the assignment is late.

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. 

Students requesting an extension must apply to the unit lecturer, using the standard BSIT 'Extension Request', to their unit adviser prior to the due date. Extensions may be granted for medical or personal reasons supported by appropriate documentary evidence. Students will be provided with a reply slip documenting the extension, a copy of which should be submitted with the assignment.

Grading of assessment

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

Grade Percentage/description
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%.

Assignment return

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


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.


Communication methods

Consultation - Unit Adviser: Dr Marian Quigley, Room 1116, Building 930, Berwick campus. Phone: 99047159. Email:


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 9am-12pm

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 Marian Quigley
Director of Research
Phone +61 3 990 47159
Fax +61 3 990 47037

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: Jun 27, 2006