FIT5203 - Community informatics - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Information Technology

Not offered in 2017


This unit introduces students to the field of Community Informatics and provides them with the theoretical and practical foundations required to understand, assess and implement digital and information technologies, IKM, recordkeeping and archival systems, and social media in community settings. Students will learn how to assist communities to develop information and IT policy and strategy frameworks, to build community IT and IKM capacity, and to engage with processes that determine policy development and service delivery. The unit will focus on how community informatics expertise can support communities to achieve better and more sustainable health, education and environmental outcomes, make more effective use of community and government services, and overcome physical, mental, cultural, or social disadvantage. Topics include: theoretical frameworks; community knowledge production and sharing; information access; and the use of information technologies and IKM systems in community settings; community archiving; participatory methods and working with communities; underlying values of projects, ethical approaches and ethical dilemmas; and project design and development.


On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. describe and critically evaluate the main theoretical frameworks within which community informatics operates;
  2. explain the nature and purpose of participatory methods in community informatics projects;
  3. critically evaluate and apply understandings of the values and ethical issues that arise in the design and implementation of community informatics projects;
  4. design and deliver community informatics projects across a broad spectrum of IKM practise and systems, including community archiving, data archiving, data management, information systems and knowledge management;
  5. evaluate community informatics projects.


In-semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester comprising:

Winter semester delivery in block mode at Monash Prato Centre (3 weeks):

  • 36 hrs lectures and discussions
  • 24 hrs organised field trips and excursions
  • 84 hrs of independent study

Delivery at Caulfield on campus:

  • Two hours lectures, two hours laboratories per week
  • A minimum of 8 hours of personal study per week for completing lab/tutorial activities, assignments, private study and revision.

Study schedule for off-campus students:

  • Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture, tutorial and laboratory sessions, however should plan to spend equivalent time working through resources and participating in discussions.
  • A minimum of 8 hours of personal study per week for completing lab/tutorial activities, assignments, private study and revision.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: