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IMS5048: Information Continuum -- Seminars and Lectures

Please check this site frequently for updates

Last update: **18 July 2005**

Onsite classes will be run as lectures and/or seminars. Relevant course materials, diagrams etc. will be posted and added to the topic below . Onsite students are expected to contribute to the learning of offsite students through their comments on the discussion list.

There will also be a number of guest lectures/seminars, details of which will be announced later.

All lectures will be available via Monash Lectures Online.

All students are expected to closely cover readings, especially distance students, as key concepts are derived from a number of theorists whose work requires close reading. At the same time, you should find that you gain a new understanding about the social and institutional (re)production and management (eg archival management) of different forms of formal and informal /tacit/explicit/ information.

Unit structure and organisation

Topic 1: Introduction

What is the ‘Information continuum'?

How does it work?

What is its origin and purpose?

What is a useful model?

Notes for Topic 1 and in Word format

Topic 2: Information Management in the Continuum

Extends the exploration of the concept of information.

Relates this to the professional disciplines and practices of information science, information systems, and information management.

Describes the growth and scope of information work in recent decades and investigates professional roles and relationships.

Introduces the tripartite typology of recorded information as:

Notes for Topic 2 and in Word format

Topic 3: The Information Continuum Model

Explores what is meant by theories and models, and why these are important to practice in the information professions.

Introduces the Information Continuum Model and outlines how it draws on the writings of earlier theorists.

Explores the information purposes of accountability, knowledge‚ and infotainment, and their relationship to other factors in the model.

Frank Upward will be presenting a guest lecture this week. He has prepared some notes for A basic introduction to information continuum theory and and the following extract from an article on a Cultural Heritage Continuum model.

Graeme's Notes for Topic 3 are now available - also as a Word document.

Graeme's summary of Frank Upward's key points is also now available.

Topic 4: The Dimensions of the Information Continuum Model

Provides an overview of the complex, dynamic interplay between memory, actions/structures, the way we categorise knowledge, and technology.

Explores this interplay in the creation, capture, organise and pluralise dimensions of the Information Continuum Model.

Notes for Topic 4 and in Word format

Larry Stillman's slides that he used in his guest lecture on structuration (HTML version) in Week 4 are now available. A Powerpoint version - of that presentation Key concepts in structuration theory - is also now available. Be warned though - it is a 2.5MB file.

Larry Stillman's slides that he used in his guest lecture on structuration and his research involving community houses in Week 5 are now available, as is the structuration diagram he used based on one from Gregory's Dictionary of Human Geography. There is also a zipped version of the presentation that you can download however, be warned it is quite a large file (4.2MB).

Topic 5: Memory

Focuses on what constitutes memory in the information continuum.

Explores how stored memory is shaped by agreed data structures; by data entry actions; and by technologies that manage the re-presentation, recall and dissemination of various forms of recorded information.

Notes for Topic 5 and in Word format

Topic 6: Constructing Continuum-Based Information Management Frameworks

Explores evolving structures for action with particular reference to the deployment of technology and management of metadata

Notes for Topic 6 and in Word format

Topic 7: Technology

Focuses on the deployment of technology in the information continuum.

Notes for Topic 7 and in Word format

Topic 8: Action/Structure

Focuses on actions, structures and their interactions in the information continuum.

Note: there are no lecture notes for this topic - it is covered in the lecture notes for other topics.

Topic 9: Metadata

Focuses on managing metadata in the information continuum.

Notes for Topic 9 and in Word format

Slide pesentation on metadata prepared by Joanne Evans, PhD Candidate, Faculty Of Information Technology, Monash University.

Topic 10: Building Strategic Partnerships in the Information Continuum

Slide presentation prepared by Barbara Flett, Registrar of Titles and Director of Land Registry, Department of Sustainability and Environment (Note: this is a very large file - (9Mb)

Brendan Fitzgearald's presentation on VICNET.

Topic 10: Theory, Research and Professional Practice.

Notes for Topic 10 and in Word format

Important program dates


Dates, Wednesday




20 July

Information continuum models

‘Voyager' handed out.


27 July

Information Management


3 August

Alternative models


10 August


‘Voyager' due in.

Small assignment 2 handed out.


17 August



24 August

Constructing frameworks


31 August


Small assignment 2 due.

Assignment 3 handed out.


7 September



14 September



21 September

Strategic partnerships

Assignment 3 due.

Assignment 4 handed out.

Week of no class

28 September


5 October

Research and practice
Guest: Barbara Flett, Registrar of Land Titles (12 Noon)

Assignment 5 (now combined with Assignment 4).


12 October

Guest: Brendan Fitzgerald, Projects Manager, Vicnet. 12 Noon
Guest: Joanne Evans, PhD candidate, 1pm


19 October

Research and development of the ICM. Revision

Assignment 4 due October 21.


This is a six point unit which, according to University guidelines, requires you to spend an average of 12 hours per week (a total of at least 156 hours per semester). If the subject content is unfamiliar, you may need to spend more time.


The unit is delivered both on-campus and by flexible delivery. Off-campus students are welcome to attend classes if and when they can. Many do.

The primary method of instruction is a series of presentations, supplemented with discussion and debate on the chosen topics. The World Wide Web is the channel adopted for communicating, including procedural announcements, course materials, assessment requirements, subject schedule, and formalised discussion for both on-campus and distance education students. Important announcements will appear there often.

If your e-mail address has changed since you registered it with Monash, at enrolment, or later, then please let us know immediately. We rely on it for contact.

Distance education students please note that lectures and consequent group discussion can be heard online as sound files via Monash University Lectures Online. Access the url if you have not already, and listen regularly. The sound files are archived for your later use. The url is: http://www.mulo.monash.edu.au/ims5048/.

Lecture materials are on the unit website after each presentation is given – sometimes even before the presentation. Frequent online discussion, on the discussion forum, in which distance education students participate, follows the pattern of the tutorial topics set for each week. Tom Denison will moderate it.

All essential information for the unit is provided via the webpage and discussion forum -- do not expect to receive anything regularly through the post. The discussion forum can be found via ‘My Monash' and the unit code (IMS5048). Sign up now if you have not done so before.

Tom is the dedicated on-campus and online tutor, whom you can e-mail at any time, tom.denison@infotech.monash.edu.au, or contact me via graeme.johanson@sims.monash.edu.au.

You are strongly advised to contact Tom immediately, if she does not know that you are enrolled already, from previous contact. He has already e-mailed every enrolled student.

Tom will provide distance students with weekly updates of class discussions, either by audiofile, or by e-mail, or as text on the unit website. Distance students undertake identical assessment to on-campus students.


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SIMS is part of the Faculty of Information Technology - Last updated: 19 October 2005
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