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Professor David Arnott
Phone: +61 3 990 32693
Fax: +61 3 9903 1204

Lecturer(s) / Leader(s):


Professor David Arnott
Phone: +61 3 990 32693
Fax: +61 3 9903 1204


Welcome to FIT2011 Decision support systems fundamentals for semester 2, 2009. 

Unit synopsis

FIT2011 is the foundation unit for the Decision Making/Decision Support sequence of units. The unit will introduce the history of decision support systems (DSS), the types of decision support systems, the ideas of normative and descriptive models for decision making and management. Descriptive models of decision making will be based on behavioral decision theory and cognitive biases. Evolutionary systems development methods for DSS will be discussed in detail. Current practice in personal DSS, data warehousing, and business intelligence will be the underlying focus of the unit.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of FIT2011 students will:
  1. Understand the major approaches to using IT to support management decision making;
  2. Understand the nature of managerial work to a level required for DSS systems analysis;
  3. Understand how managers make decisions and what processes can be followed to improve managerial decision making;
  4. Have a working knowledge of a systems development methodology for personal DSS;
  5. Have a general understanding of data warehousing and business intelligence;
  6. Understand the principles of DSS strategy and governance.

Contact hours

4 x contact hrs/week


This is a six-point unit that requires you to spend 12 hours per week (a total of at least 156 hours per semester). It is anticipated that, on average, you will spend, per week:

  • 2 hours in the lecture,
  • 2 hours in a tutorial or lab session,
  • 3 hours preparing for the tutorial or lab,
  • 5 hours of your own reading and assignment work.

Unit relationships


Completion of 12 points at 1st year level from FIT or BusEco.


The unit is a second year core unit in the Bachelor of Business Information Systems. It may be taken as an elective in other programs where you have satisfied the prerequisites and course rules permit.

You may not study this unit if you have studied IMS3001 in your degree. 

Teaching and learning method

The main teaching method is a weekly two-hour lecture. This is complemented by a two-hour weekly tutorial or laboratory session. Students are encouraged to form informal study groups to regularly discuss the unit materials. The main source of information for the unit is the FIT2011 Moodle site.

Timetable information

For information on timetabling for on-campus classes please refer to MUTTS, http://mutts.monash.edu.au/MUTTS/

Tutorial allocation

On-campus students should register for tutorials/laboratories using the Allocate+ system: http://allocate.cc.monash.edu.au/

Unit Schedule

Week Topic Key dates
1 Overview: IT for managerial decision making 21 July
2 DSS Users: Managers 28 July
3 Normative and Descriptive Decision Theories 4 August
4 Behavioural Decision Theory 1 11 August
5 Behavioural Decision Theory 2 18 August
6 DSS Development Methods 1 25 August
7 DSS Development Methods 2 1 September
8 Systems Dynamics 8 September
9 Personal Decision Support Systems 15 September
10 Data Warehousing 22 September
Mid semester break
11 Business Intelligence 6 October
12 DSS Applications and Strategy 13 October
13 Review 20 October

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

There are no required textbooks for FIT2011.

Recommended text(s) and readings

Recommended reading:

A list of readings will be provided on the FIT2011 Moodle site. In addition, the textbook used in previous years covers around half the unit's topics.

Turban, E., Aronson, J.F., Liang, T-P., & Sharda, R. (2007). Decision Support and Business Intelligence Systems (8th Edn), New York: Pearson-Prentice Hall.

This book is useful but not essential. Copies are avilable in the Library.

Required software and/or hardware

You will need access to:

  • iThink simulation software
  • Firefox or Internet Explorer browser
  • Word processor
  • Spreadsheet

Students may use this software which is installed in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook.

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

  • Weekly detailed lecture slides, required readings;
  • Weekly tutorial or laboratory tasks and exercises;
  • Assignment specifications and marking guides;
  • Access to past examination papers;
  • Discussion groups;
  • This Unit Guide outlining the administrative information for the unit;
  • The unit web site on MUSO/Moodle, where resources outlined above will be made available.



Examination (3 hours): 50%; Assignments: 50%.

Faculty assessment policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 44% then a mark of no greater than 44-N will be recorded for the unit.

Assignment tasks

Assignment coversheets

Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/
You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

Assignment submission and return procedures, and assessment criteria will be specified with each assignment.

  • Assignment task 1
    Assignment 1
    The objective of this assignment is to analyse a decision process and to identify ways of improving the process. Mastery of this task is essential for systems analysts working in a decision support role.

    Details are available on the FIT2011 Moodle site.
    25% of the unit
    Due date:
    Friday 28 August 2009
  • Assignment task 2
    Assignment 2
    The objective of this assignment is to gain a critical understanding of a software application for personal decision support. A key aspect of the assignment is an insight into the role of a systems analyst in a DSS engagement.

    Details are available on the FIT2011 Moodle site.
    25% of the unit
    Due date:
    Monday 5 October 2009
    The assessment of this assignment will take place in a simulated work environment. Students are required to attend an assessment session (15 to 30 minutes) allocated to them in the period Tuesday 6 October to Friday 16 October 2009.


  • Weighting: 50% of the unit
    Length: 3 hours
    Type (open/closed book): Closed book

See Appendix for End of semester special consideration / deferred exams process.

Due dates and extensions

Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. 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 not regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

Students requesting an extension for any assessment during semester (eg. Assignments, tests or presentations) are required to submit a Special Consideration application form (in-semester exam/assessment task), along with original copies of supporting documentation, directly to their lecturer within two working days before the assessment submission deadline. Lecturers will provide specific outcomes directly to students via email within 2 working days. The lecturer reserves the right to refuse late applications.

A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Refer to the Faculty Special consideration webpage or further details and to access application forms: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/equity/special-consideration.html

Late assignment

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 5% per day, including weekends. Assignments received later than one week (seven days) 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.

Return dates

Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.


Please visit the following URL: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/units/appendix.html for further information about:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Unit evaluations
  • Communication, participation and feedback
  • Library access
  • Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)
  • Plagiarism, cheating and collusion
  • Register of counselling about plagiarism
  • Non-discriminatory language
  • Students with disability
  • End of semester special consideration / deferred exams
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