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FIT1038 Introduction to information technology - Semester 1, 2012

This unit provides an introduction to information technology architecture. It gives broad coverage of a range of different devices used to build an IT infrastructure for an organisation. For each device, its usage, functionality, internal architecture and connectivity will be explored. The exploration will enable students to see the relevance of different devices to the overall solution provided by an ICT infrastructure.

Mode of Delivery

Caulfield (Day)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lecture/wk, 2 hrs studio/wk


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

This will include:

  • Lecture: 2 hours per week
  • Tutorial/Lab Sessions: 2 hours per week
  • Private study, revision, reading: 6 hours per week.
  • Working in a group outside tutorial classes to complete assessments : 2 hours per week

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Javier Candeira

Consultation hours: Wednesdays, 9 to 11h and Thursdays, 14h to 16h



Javier Candeira

Academic Overview


At the completion of this unit, student will be able to:
  • understand different components of a typical ICT infrastructure;
  • understand the different roles of devices in supporting human activities through exploration of ICT history;
  • identify different devices used in ICT, their usage, interfaces, operating systems and connectivity support;
  • understand the role of each device in building an ICT infrastructure;
  • design a basic ICT infrastructure for a given real world problem.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

In-semester assessment: 100%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Unit Test 1 10% Lecture Week 5
Unit Test 2 10% Lecture Week 7
Unit Test 3 10% Lecture Week 12
Project proposal 15% Week 4, Monday, 19th March. 4 PM
Project Final Presentation 10% Tutorial Week 11
Final Report and Video 30% Week 14, Monday, 4th June 2012. 4 PM
Small Laboratory Projects 5 x 3% = 15% Week 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 Tutorials

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
The two-hour lecture sessions in this unit aims to provide overview of the topic or topics for the week.

The two-hour tutorial/laboratory classes provides practical exercises and activities related to topic for the week. This unit aims to provide students with hands-on experience on the materials. Students are expected to actively participate in the class activities.

Students are also expected to do some independent reading on the topic provided for a given week. The reading will provide background information to the lecture materials and laboratory exercises. These readings  are examinable through the unit tests (theory questions).


Our 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
  • Quiz results

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

Previous feedback has highlighted the strengths in this unit. The following are comments by students in the previous semester:

  • "This unit has a fresh introduction to IT on every aspects. This is a good deployment for this unit".
  • "Learning different uses for what IT is all about gave us an insight into where our careers might take us
    and what really interests us".
  • "The tutorial room was by far the best environmental study location I've experienced at Monash."
  • "Field trips to the server room and a guest speaker provided a unique change of environment."
  • "The range of fun tutorial activities. I really learned a lot!."

However, not all feedback was good. The following are critical comments by students in the previous semester:

  • "I do not understand the structure of this Unit, as each week's topic is so random and some are too advanced for me as an intro unit, such as the VM topic."
  • "More modern day information."
  • "Need more hands on work."
  • "Shorter tutorial periods. Longer lecture hours. Lecture is too short for the lecturer to effectively go through enough materials for students to understand."
  • "The major project needs major improvement mainly because most of the material we learn throughout
    the semester really isn't related/being tested in the major assignment."

As a response to the above comments, we have made the following changes to the unit:

  • We have rewritten the course materials to underline the double importance of each topic, both to professional IT practice and to the unit's assessment project.
  • In the lectures, we devote more time to more modern, denser topics and immediately practical topics (virtualisation, cloud computing) at the expense of more theoretical and higher level topics (for instance, we now only deal with networking as a subsection of web computing, mobile computing, etc. and not as a topic in itself).
  • We have identified the tutorials that didn't work, and removed or shortened these activities. For instance, trying to do an introduction to iOS programming with Xcode was an exercise in frustration for both the tutor and the students. This year we have substituted a simpler programming exercises on iPads themselves.
  • The tutorial activities are now much more explicitly oriented towards the project. There are new exercises in information search and sourcing, and also in project structuring and budgeting. The project assignment notes are also clearer.
  • The weekly engagements are now a 2-hour lecture and a 2-hour tutorial instead of the previous 1-hour lecture and long, tiresome 3-hour tutorial.

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

Required Resources

Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library, and prescribed software is available in student labs.

Students will be given a DVD at the beginning of the year containing the software for some of the tutorials and labs. Students are expected to have a laptop they can use during those of the tutorials, but there will be a number of PCs available for students who can't bring a laptop to class.

In addition, the students will be using the equipment provided in the lab:

  • PC parts and peripherals for the hardware topic
  • Ubuntu install DVDs for the software and OS topic
  • iPads for the touch computing topic
  • arduino kits for the embedded topic

Field trips

During week 5 we will visit the computing cluster on floor 6 of building H at Monash Caulfield. Students will be able to see a server room from inside.

Additional subject costs

The students are not expected to incur any additional costs.

Examination material or equipment

This unit doesn't have a final exam. There are, however, three in-semester unit tests.  This is the only equipment allowed during these tests:

  • Pen or pencil
  • Eraser or liquid paper
  • Your Monash Student ID
  • An unlabeled container for water

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 Lecture: Introduction and what is IT. Tutorial: The Assesment Project.  
2 Lecture: History of Computing. -- Tutorial: museum visit and estimation exercises. Project groups formed, project topic picked. Try not to miss this tutorial.
3 Lecture: Hardware and Peripherals. -- Tutorial: PC building and power estimation exercises. Marked laboratory exercises during tutorial add up to 3% of final grade.Marked laboratory exercises during tutorial add up to 3% of final grade.
4 Lecture: Software and Virtualization. -- Tutorial: Virtualization. Marked laboratory exercises during tutorial add up to 3% of final grade. -- Project proposal due at start of tutorial, it adds up to 15% of final grade.
5 Lecture: Parallell and Cluster computing. -- Tutorial: visit to Monash Cluster. Unit Test 1 during lecture time, adds up to 10% of final grade. -- Project proposal feedback due in tutorial.
6 Lecture: Web computing, Cloud computing. -- Tutorial: Cloud computing and software as a service. Marked laboratory exercises during tutorial add up to 3% of final grade.
7 Lecture: Embedded computing. -- Tutorial: Project structure, budget, progress report. Unit Test 2 during lecture time, adds up to 10% of final grade.
8 Lecture: Cryptography -- Tutorial: Embedded computing with Arduino. -- Note: No Wednesday class this week (Anzac Day), tutorials will be rescheduled. Marked laboratory exercises during tutorial add up to 3% of final grade. Lecture: Cryptography -- Tutorial: Embedded computing with Arduino. -- Note: No Wednesday class this week (Anzac Day), Wednesday tutorials will be rescheduled, though Tursday tutorials will go on as usual..
9 Lecture: Touch and Mobile computing. -- Tutorial: Wireframing, touch and mobile computing. Marked laboratory exercises during tutorial add up to 3% of final grade.
10 Lecture: Legal aspects of software (copyright, patents, privacy) -- Tutorial: Legal aspects workshop, project report.  
11 Lecture: Green computing and the digital divide. -- Tutorial: Project presentation. Project final presentation due in Week 11 Tutorial. It's worth up to 10% of final grade.
12 Lecture: Unit Recap. Unit Test 3 during lecture time, adds up to 10% of final grade.
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC -- Final Report and Video due Week 14, Monday, 4th June 2012. 4 PM. The final report and video are collectively worth up to 30% of final grade.
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy:

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (

Assessment Tasks

Hurdle Requirements

The assesment activities can be divided into individual activities and group activities. Students must achieve at least 50% on each type of activities in order to pass the unit.

Individual assesments:

  • Unit Tests:  3 x 10% = 30% (weeks 5, 7, 12)
  • Participation:  5 x 3% = 15% (class projects, weeks 3,4, 6, 8, 9)
  • Project presentation: 10% (week 11)

Group assesments:

  • Project proposal:   15% (week 4)
  • Final report/video:    30% (week 1 of examination period)


  • Assessment task 1
    Unit Test 1
    Test on week 1-4 materials.
    Multiple Choice and Short Answers Questions.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Correct answers to questions (demonstrates understanding of the material learned)

    Due date:
    Lecture Week 5
  • Assessment task 2
    Unit Test 2
    Test on week 5 and 6 materials.
    Multiple Choice and Short Answers Questions.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Correct answers to questions (demonstrates understanding of the material learned)

    Due date:
    Lecture Week 7
  • Assessment task 3
    Unit Test 3
    Test on week 7-11 materials.
    Multiple Choice and Short Answers Questions.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Correct answers to questions (demonstrates understanding of the material learned)

    Due date:
    Lecture Week 12
  • Assessment task 4
    Project proposal
    It is a group-based assignment. The proposal contains description of real-life problem that the group will try to find solution using information technology.
    Criteria for assessment:

    The proposal will be assessed on its:

    • clarity in describing the problem and the justification of selecting the problem.
    • creativity in identifying problem that may be novel but unique.
    • clarity in describing how finding the solution to this problem impact individual or society.
    • ability to show quantitative data showing the size of the problem and the scope of the required solution.
    • ability to describe the problem in terms of the goals, actions and outcomes for the different users of the required  solution.
    Due date:
    Week 4, Monday, 19th March. 4 PM
  • Assessment task 5
    Project Final Presentation
    20 minutes presentation on the proposed solution for the problem defined in the proposal. It is a group presentation, but the activity will be graded individually.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Each student will be graded on their own performance during the presentation.

    Detailed criteria for assessment will be given with the project assignment description.

    Due date:
    Tutorial Week 11
  • Assessment task 6
    Final Report and Video
    Written report on the proposed solution, accompanying by a video produced by the group promoting their proposed solution.
    Criteria for assessment:

    This is a group assesment.

    Project will be assessed on the following criteria:

    • does the proposed solution fit the scope of the probem described in the proposal?
    • does the budget follow the guidelines given in week 7?
    • is the report clearly written and structured?

    More detailed criteria will be given with the project assignment description.

    Due date:
    Week 14, Monday, 4th June 2012. 4 PM
  • Assessment task 7
    Small Laboratory Projects
    Three different projects to be completed during laboratory sessions.
    5 x 3% = 15%
    Criteria for assessment:

    Completion of the project tasks given during the selected laboratory sessions.

    Due date:
    Week 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 Tutorials


Assignment submission

It is a University requirement ( for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at 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 VLE site for this unit, which you can access via links in the portal.

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at For Sunway see, and for South Africa see

The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to or the library tab in portal for more information. At Sunway, visit the Library and Learning Commons at At South Africa visit

Academic support services may be available for students who have a disability or medical condition. Registration with the Disability Liaison Unit is required. Further information is available as follows:

  • Website:;
  • Email:
  • Drop In: Equity and Diversity Centre, Level 1 Gallery Building (Building 55), Monash University, Clayton Campus, or Student Community Services Department, Level 2, Building 2, Monash University, Sunway Campus
  • Telephone: 03 9905 5704, or contact the Student Advisor, Student Commuity Services at 03 55146018 at Sunway


Lecturer and Tutor for this unit is Javier Candeira. (

He will be receiving FIT 1038 students on Wednesdays from 9 to 11 (before the lecture), and Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm (after the last tutorial). Please make an appointment at least 12h in advance.