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IMS5048: Information Continuum

School of Information Management and Systems
Master of Information Management

Welcome to IMS 5048 The Information Continuum.

Put simply, a continuum suggests continual communciation of information. This subject will provide you with a broad conceptual framework for the practice of information management in a range of contexts. It examines how human knowledge and skills are developed through the building of theories and models, and the relationship between theory, research and professional practice. Particular attention is given to a theory developed at Monash University, the Information Continuum theory, and the relationship between the profession of information professional and related occupations such as knowledge manager, authoring, recordkeeping, librarianship, publishing, and others. The subject examines the nature of information and the role of information management in our organisations and society.

Through various flexible delivery techniques we will be striving to share information and resources with each other. This will occur through the communication tutorials explained in this site. The subject Discussion Database, for example, will draw together on-campus and distance education students into a virtual information community whenever possible. A varying program of activities will be introduced throughout the topics to assist and consolidate your learning.

The subject runs over a semester of 13 weeks. We estimate that you will need to set aside about 12 hours per week for reading, research, participation in activities, electronic discussions and completion of assignments. For on-campus students these activities include about 2 hours of classes each week on Monday mornings from 10 - 12 noon. We encourage you to plan carefully and to pace your work over the semester, allowing sufficient time each week for your study. Distance students are welcome to attend if they want to, and can when it suits.

A Word version of the Subject Outline is available.

If you have not already done so, please complete a copy of the Biodata questionaire and email it to Tom Denison.

Teaching Staff

The subject has been developed by several senior staff over the years.

Graeme Johanson will co-ordinate the subject and provide ongoing liaison.
Email: graeme.johanson@sims.monash.edu.au.

Tom Denison will be tutor and work with off-campus students.
Email: tom.denison@sims.monash.edu.au

Professors Sue McKemmish and Don Schauder, and Frank Upward and Dr Livia Iacovino, were instrumental in the original development and adoption of this subject and materials have been further developed by Dr Graeme Johanson.

Guest experts will present seminars on occasion, and seminars and forums will be suggested that on-campus students can attend.

The School (S.I.M.S.) is part of the Faculty of Information Technology (F.I.T.). To find out a lot more about the School, the whole course or other individual subjects available, visit our web site at: http://www.sims.monash.edu.au/

Studying by computer

Participation in this course requires access to communication and computing technology. You will need access to a computer with a network connection or a modem. Using these tools, you will be able to access the Internet, participate in group discussions, chat with fellow students, and contact School staff. In addition to scheduled discussions, you are encouraged to make informal contact with other students to form chat and study groups, exchange work, and form teams for assigned projects.

NOTE: Classes will be made available via audio at http://audio.monash.edu.au/mlo/Infotech.html. If you are not a distance student, you are strongly encouraged to attend classes so that learnings can be shared.

Joining the IMS5048 Discussion Database

An electronic mail distribution list will be set up so that staff and students can communicate with each other, and participate in electronic discussions and activities continually. Participation in the list is required and your participation (quality, not neccessarily quantity, will be asssessed). You can access the IMS5048 Discussion Forum by logging onto your MOnash myPortal and selecting IMS5048 from the myUnits section.

Delivery of teaching materials

Teaching materials for IMS5048 will be available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.sims.monash.edu.au/subjects/ims5048

Topic related information will be put on the web site regularly. Once on the site, they will be available for the duration of the semester.


Unless specifically stated, all material for this unit will be available online. A current reading guide is available. All Monash library services are available to all students.

Subject objectives

At the completion of this subject you will be able to:

•  analyse the socio-legal, cultural and technological environment in which information is created, stored, recalled and disseminated.
•  articulate the relationship between information management and other professions concerned with communication and information.
•  demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of relevant theories and models.
•  articulate information continuum theory and models, including the relationship between society and business, technology, knowledge categorisation and metadata, and individual, group and collective memory.
•  explain how information science theory in general and information continuum theory in particular applies to the practice of information management and specialised librarianship and recordkeeping professional roles.
explain the relationship of theory building to research in general and the discipline of information science and information practice.


You will participate in the following activities:

For more information about assessable activities, turn to the assignments and assessment section.

Assessment -- see webpage.

Assignments -- see webpage.

Postal address is:

School of Information Management and Systems,
Faculty of Information Technology.
P.O. Box 197, Caulfield East, Victoria 3145.

You can fax assignments to Graeme Johanson on (03) 9903 2005. If you hand-deliver an assignment, you should leave it at the School's Office on the 7th floor of the Chisholm Tower (the tallest building) at Caulfield campus.