Course Title: Customise a complex IT content management system

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: COSC6119C

Course Title: Customise a complex IT content management system

School: 650T TAFE Business

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5300 - Diploma of Information Technology

Course Contact : Paul Lewis

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 1615

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Richard Stevens:               

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to customise an IT content management system (CMS). Students will work in teams to plan, develop, customise and test small business Websites.

This unit is delivered using a blend of classroom based and self-paced learning activities.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

ICAWEB507A Customise a complex IT content management system


3. Create CMS powered website

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Install and configure chosen content management system
3.2 Install and integrate new CMS functionality


4. Validate and evaluate

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Validate final website markup against current website standards
4.2 Validate CMS performance in different browsers, checking compatibility and core CMS functionality
4.3 Validate the developed additional functionality against client requirements


1. Analyse specifications and requirements

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Determine the required functionality of the website as per client requirements
1.2 Determine the appropriate server-side language and hosting environment
1.3 Determine additional functionality that the CMS will not be able to handle ‘out of the box’
1.4 Determine how client’s additional functionality is required to function
1.5 Determine any pre-existing restraints that need to be considered when developing the website solution


2. Develop customisation

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Plan and outline requirements of the additional functionality
2.2 Create and develop plug-in, extension or new functionality to the CMS to meet client requirements

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

A range of learning activities are planned for this course including self-paced and collaborative classroom based activities.

Learning activities will include laboratory-based sessions on a variety of topics as shown in the weekly breakdown. Learning activities will generally consist of practical computer exercises based on teacher handouts. Students should attend all sessions.

Students will also be expected to undertake work on Websites and other activities for homework.

The collaborative classroom based activities will include group discussion, group problem solving activities and opportunities to practice your skills in a simulated/real workplace environment.

We expect you to participate and contribute in all scheduled learning activities.

Teaching Schedule

WeekWeek CommencingTopicsAssessment
18th Jul 2013

Pre-training review:
• LLN as required

Familiarisation with:
• Program
• Services/facilities
• Other students
• Teacher(s)
• Where to get support
• Student responsibilities
• Course requirements
• Course support documents
• Pre-reading
• Blackboard

Overview of assessment requirements:
• Grading
• Plagiarism
• Appeals
• Extensions
• Feedback
• Privacy
• Submission requirements
• Resubmission policy

Introduction to CMS Websites:
• Course introduction & overview
• Content management systems & WordPress
• Hosting options

215th Jul 2013

Installing WordPress on RMIT’s jacob server or on a local host. FTP tools and DBMS for MySQL.

322nd Jul 2013The Dashboard. Customising Admin settings. Adding new Posts. Tags & categories. Updating plugins etc 
429th Jul 2013Adding new Pages & images. Page templates. Sidebars & widgets. Activating Akismet 
55th Aug 2013Adding image galleries, audio & video 
612th Aug 2013Managing menus, users & comments. Adding widgets & RSS feedsTASK 1 - Project Specs issued 
719th Aug 2013Adding new themes. Customising themes. Useful plugins. Backups. SEO & permalinks 
826th Aug 2013Final class work on Project 1. Validation & browsersTASK 1 - Project Draft feedback
MID-SEMESTER BREAK (2nd Sep - 6th Sep 2013 inclusive)
99th Sep 2013Child themes. Customising CSS in themes. Page templates. Project 1 demonstrations (in class)TASK 1 - Final Project due
1016th Sep 2013Installing WordPress on a commercial host. Subdomains & FTP accounts. Creating page templates with PHP. Useful plugins 
1123rd Sep 2013Important plugins: SEO, backups & forums. Creating your own theme. Searching for themes. Client requirements for Project 2TASK 2 - Project Specs issued
1230th Sep 2013Security & Akismet. WooCommerce & WooThemes.
Class work on Project 2
137th Oct 2013Statistics & caching. Google Analytics & W3 Total Cache.
Class work on Project 2
TASK 2 - Project Draft feedback
1414th Oct 2013Validation: browsers & client requirements.
Final class work on Project 2
TASK 2 - Final Project due (end of week)
1521st Oct 2013Final Project 2 demonstrations (to teacher/client in class)TASK 2 - Project Documentation due
1628th Oct 2013Course & assessment feedback. Re-assessment if required 

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Plumley, R. (2nd edn, 2011), WordPress 24-hour Trainer, Wiley Publishing (Wrox), Print ISBN: 978-1-118-06690-4
This text is available free of charge as an e-book via the RMIT Library Website, but with a different ISBN. It will be particularly useful for the first half of the course.


Sabin-Wilson, L (2011), WordPress Web Design For Dummies, Wiley Publishing (For Dummies), Print ISBN: 978-0-470-93503-3

This text is also available free of charge as e-books via the RMIT Library Website, but with a different ISBN. It will be particularly useful for the second half of the course, particularly for the major project and methods of customisation.

Other Resources

Students may also refer to various Websites, magazines, textbooks and e-books as indicated their teacher.

Overview of Assessment

Students must demonstrate an understanding of all elements of competency to be deemed competent.

A range of assessment methods are used to assess practical skills and knowledge, for example:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate
  • review of authenticated documents from the workplace or training environment
  • demonstration of techniques

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.

Assessment Tasks

You are required to complete 2 assessment tasks. You must successfully complete each task to be deemed competent in this unit.

 TASK 1 - Website Project 1 (Due Date: Refer to Teaching Schedule)

For this preliminary assessment task you will be required to create a small customised business Website in consultation with a client, in this case your teacher. In particular you will learn some of the key features of WordPress and how a simple site can be planned, configured, developed and tested. You will work individually on this project.

In order to be deemed competent in this task you will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of areas including the following key areas:

  • Analysing specifications & requirements for a Website
  • Customising WordPress to further its functionality
  • Creating a WordPress powered Website as per requirements
  • Validating a Website against current standards, browsers & client requirements

TASK 2 - Website Project 2 (Due Dates: Refer to Teaching Schedule)

For this major assessment task you will be required to create a fully functional customised Website for a small business from scratch in consultation with key stakeholders, such as your teacher or client. Key stages will include planning, configuring, developing and testing the site using WordPress. You will work individually on this project.

Knowledge and skills will be required in key areas of Web hosting, HTML, CSS, PHP and WordPress in order to develop customised functionality for the Website.

In order to be deemed competent in this task you will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of areas including all key stages outlined below

Work for each stage of the project (outlined below) should be demonstrated on the due date, as per the Teaching Schedule. In addition to hosting your Website as specified by the client, you will be expected to submit and retain soft copies of any documentation required. In some cases printouts may also be required.

Project Documentation (Proposal or Plan) including:

  • Summary of business operations as well as purpose & scope of Website project
  • Any domain, hosting & CMS requirements
  • Any business constraints & other limitations on developer
  • Key functional requirements for Website eg image gallery, contact form, shopping cart etc.
  • Any additional specifications such as content, navigation, page layout, colours schemes etc.
  • A simple sitemap and wireframes for key Web pages
  • Requests related to caching, SEO, spam control, security etc.
  • Any issues requiring further clarification from the client
  • Outline of timeline for project stages, including simple Gantt chart
  • Screenshots as required for clarity of presentation

Project Draft Stage:

  • Configuration of WordPress & customised functional elements as required
  • Draft versions of individual Web pages as per client requirements e.g. home page, image gallery, contact form
  • Attractive theme to be customised by the developer

Final Project Version:

  • Final version of Website, including all key plugins & fully customised theme
  • Validation of Website against W3C standards, browsers & client requirements

Each time you demonstrate your Website you will be questioned on key concepts and techniques in using WordPress. You will of course receive feedback in relation to the appearance and functionality of the site, particularly in relation to the initial client requirements. Timely completion of each stage is therefore essential.

Late submissions of work required for developmental stages of the project will be eligible for grading at pass level only.

Assessment Matrix


Other Information

Submission Requirements

Assessment tasks need to be submitted via Blackboard.

You should:

  • Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. If your performance in the assessment is affected by unexpected circumstances, you should consider applying for Special Consideration. Information on the process and application forms is available at;ID=ls0ydfokry9rz website.
  • Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks (hard copy and soft copy).
  • When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of work for assessment is available on blackboard.
  • Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers. For example, Julie Macpherson, 324567, Task 2, OHS2345C Ensure safe workplace, Page 1 of 10.

Resubmission Guide:

Once a student has submitted an assessment task, a resubmission may be granted if deemed NYC. On resubmission, a student will not receive a grade higher than CAG (Competency achieved).

Marking Guide (Competency):

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is based on current industry needs and the focus on preparing you for the workplace. Because VET courses are informed by practical application of knowledge and skills, they are based on a system known as ‘competency based training’ (CBT).

So when you are assessed in VET it is about whether you are competent to do the job, as well as having a firm grasp on the knowledge and skills required to do that job, as opposed to traditional curriculum based education settings that are often based on knowledge retention.

You need to demonstrate you are competent in each element of the unit of competency you are studying.

You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you whether you are competent or not and how well you are performing. Once competent in all elements of the unit you receive a competency grading.

Please refer to the Final Grades table below.

Marking Guide (Grading):

After achieving competency we then grade your performance in the unit; this gives you the opportunity to have the level of your performance formally recognized against industry standards and employability skills.

The grading will include the following criteria:


We are looking for a high level of ability to complete all tasks independently as per the specifications given to in class. You should endeavour to demonstrate a high level of initiative in your approach to planning and developing viable and feasible Websites for the various business scenarios investigated.


We are looking for depth of understanding of the key concepts and knowledge required in planning and developing a variety of business Websites. You should be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the techniques and concepts you have learnt in all assessment tasks.


We are looking for appropriate use of a modern CMS to produce effective business Websites as per client requirements. You should aim to consistently demonstrate your skills in each assessment task.

You also need to be able to overcome the various problems which that can arise in developing a business Website. You will need to demonstrate a degree of perseverance, and be able research possible solutions via the Web.


You should aim to attend all class sessions and save your solutions to all exercises and assessment tasks you have completed, for example on your home drive or USB device. An organised folder structure is highly recommended.

It will be very advantageous to prepare for and review class materials using suggested resources, such as the recommended textbook or Websites indicated by your teacher.

We also expect to see ongoing progress your portfolio of documents for the project, full utilisation of Blackboard as per course guidelines and timely submission of all assessment tasks.


We expect to see contributions to relevant discussions in class and with your team members. For the projects in particular you will need to work effectively in a team, and manage your work to ensure timely completion and client approval. You should therefore also liaise with your client on a regular basis throughout the project.

Final Grades Table:

CHD      Competent with High Distinction
CDI       Competent with Distinction
CC        Competent with Credit
CAG      Competency Achieved – Graded
NYC      Not Yet Competent
DNS      Did Not Submit for assessment

Further information regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.



Course Overview: Access Course Overview