Course Title: Customise a complex IT content management system

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: COSC6119C

Course Title: Customise a complex IT content management system

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

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


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


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


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

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.  You should attend all sessions.

You will also be expected to undertake work on a small IT project 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

The Teaching Schedule for this course is as follows:

Induction Session

Prior to training commencement a program level induction session will be conducted that comprises the following:

  • Program overview and requirements
  • MyRMIT/Blackboard
  • Overview of assessment requirements
  • Pre-Training Review including:
    • Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers
    • Assessment of current skills and knowledge
  • Competency/Grading Criteria
  • Plagiarism
  • Appeals
  • Extensions
  • Feedback
  • Privacy
  • Submission requirements
  • Resubmission policy
  • Where to get support
  • Student responsibilities

The nominal hours associated with this are a guide only and represent the total teaching time and student effort required to successfully complete the course.  This may include not only scheduled classes but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Week Week Commencing Topics Assessment
1 9th Feb 2015

Introduction to the course including:
• Course requirements
• Course support documents
• Course Blackboard access
• Accuracy of enrolment
• Assessment requirements/Cover Sheets
• Reminder re Plagiarism
• Reminder re Appeals
• Extensions/Resubmissions
• Feedback in this courser
• Reminder re submission requirements
• Getting help

Introduction to CMS Websites:
• Course introduction & overview
• Content management systems & WordPress. Hosting.
• Installing WordPress on a commercial host & jacob server

2 16th Feb 2015

Hosting options. Subdomains.
DBMS’s for MySQL.
The WP Dashboard.
Adding Posts. Categories & tags

3 23rd Feb 2015 Adding new Pages. Page templates & comments. Sidebars & widgets. 
Managing plugins. Images, galleries & videos
4 2nd Mar 2015 Managing menus & sub-menu items. Reading settings
Creating your own themes: PHP templates & CSS styling
 ASSESSMENT 1 - Project Specs issued
5 9th Mar 2015
(Labour Day PH Mon 9th Mar)
Managing users & comments.
Adding widgets, RSS feeds & Google maps.
Creating FTP accounts & simple child themes
6 16th Mar 2015 Useful plugins. Gallery plugins & contact forms.
Creating a new page template using PHP & CSS coding
7 23rd Mar 2015

Permalinks. Optimising pages using the WP SEO plugin.
Database & content backups.
Adding new users

ASSESSMENT 1 - Project Draft due 
8a 30th Mar 2015
(3 days)
Booking plugins & associated issues.
Adding new themes & issues with menus etc.
Theme options & customisations
ASSESSMENT 1 - Project Draft feedback
MID-SEMESTER BREAK (Thu 2nd Apr to Wed 8th Apr 2015 inclusive)
8b Thur 9th Apr 2015
(2 days)
Thurs 9/04 & Fri 10/04
Booking plugins & associated issues.
Adding new themes & issues with menus etc.
Theme options & customisations
ASSESSMENT 1 - Project Draft feedback
9 13th Apr 2015 Validation against standards & client requirements.
Testing in browsers & devices.
Final class work on project including customisations & documentation
ASSESSMENT 1 - Final Project due (end of week)
10 20th Apr 2015 Client requirements for TASK 2 (e-commerce Website project)
Fresh installation of WP. Key plugins eg caching
ASSESSMENT 2 - Project Specs issued
11 27th Apr 2015 Introduction to WooCommerce including pages & settings.
Adding new products.
Searching for themes
12 4th May 2015 Product categories & variations.
Attractive, compatible & responsive themes.
More key plugins eg Google Analytics
ASSESSMENT 2 - Project Draft due 
13 11th May 2015 Validation against standards & client requirements.
Testing in browsers & devices.
Class work on project
ASSESSMENT 2 - Project Draft feedback
14 18th May 2015 Final class work on e-commerce Website project ASSESSMENT 2 - Final Project due (end of week)
15 25th May 2015

Project demonstrations (to visiting IT staff & clients in class)

ASSESSMENT 2 - Project Documentationdue
 16 1st Jun 2015 Course & assessment feedback.
Re-assessment if required

You will receive feedback two weeks from the due date of each task.  If required, resubmissions are due by the end of the following week.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Plumley, R. (2nd edn, 2011), WordPress 24-hour Trainer, Wiley Publishing (Wrox), e-ISBN: 978-1-118-15294-2

This text is available free of charge as an e-book via the RMIT Library Website. It will be particularly useful for the first half of the course.

Please note that the new third edition of this text (ISBN: 978-1-118-99560-0) will be available in March 2015.


Sabin-Wilson, L (2nd edn, 2013), WordPress Web Design For Dummies, Wiley Publishing (For Dummies), e-ISBN-13 978-1-118-54637-6. 
This text is available free of charge as an e-book via the RMIT Library Website.  It will be useful for the middle part of the course, particularly for methods of customisation.

Other Resources

Students may also refer to various Websites, 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

Critical aspects of assessment

Evidence of the ability to:

•  create a CMS-powered website using an open source with additional custom functionality that is not available ‘out of the box’ that meets client requirements.
You are required to complete 2 assessments.  You must successfully complete all sections of each task to be deemed competent in this unit.

NOTE:  Details about specific tasks and assessment criteria will be included in the Cover Sheet(s) for each task.

ASSESSMENT 1 - Travel Website Project

For this assessment task you will be required to create a fully customised Website for a travel agency 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:

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

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

Please note that all students will be expected to develop customisations towards the end of this project.  These will include choosing an attractive and responsive theme.  This may involve changes to the site menu.

You will also be expected to develop some customisations which involve HTML, CSS and PHP coding, such as page templates and theme customisations.

In addition to the above a variety of plugins will be required in order to implement image galleries, contact forms, bookings and SEO etc.

Please also note that once your Website has been completed and validated, any major customisations will need to be documented for assessment purposes. Guidelines will be provided in class.

Please note that a draft version of the project is required, so that all students can receive ample feedback:

•  Project Draft  (Due Week 7)

   o Implementation of basic requirements & customisations in WordPress as required
   o Draft versions of individual Web pages & posts as per client requirements
      e.g. home page, contact form, gallery pages & blog posts
   o Comments & widgets displayed as per client requirements with a simple theme

•  Final Project  (Due Week 9)

   o Final version of the Website, including all required plugins & a fully customised theme
   o Validation of Website against W3C standards, browsers & client requirements
   o Basic documentation highlighting any major customisations

ASSESSMENT 2 - E-commerce Website Project

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is the term given to an activity which integrates academic learning with its application in the workplace.  This semester, as part of RMIT’s focus on innovation and WIL projects in 2015, you are asked to develop IT infrastructure for a local small business.

For this assessment task in this course you will be required to create a fully-functional customised Website incorporating a shopping cart for a small online business, in consultation with key stakeholders, such as your teacher and a real client.

Key stages in the project will include planning, configuring, developing and testing the site using WordPress.  You will work in pairs on this project.  You will be expected to maintain a simple team diary of tasks performed.

You will expected to use SEO techniques to improve Google rankings and test your pages in a variety of browsers and devices. You will also be required to research a suitable hosting plan, and write clear instructions for the client. Finally you will need to explain how to transfer and how to maintain the site.

Please note that a draft version of the project is required, so that all students can receive ample feedback:

•  Project Draft  (Due Week 12):

   o  Implementation of basic requirements & customisations in WordPress as required
   o  Draft versions of individual Web pages as per client requirements
       e.g. home page, contact form, product pages & shopping cart etc
   o  An attractive e-commerce-friendly responsive theme (to be customised)

•  Final Project  (Due Week 14):

    o  Final version of the Website, including all key pages, products & plugins & a fully customised theme
    o  Validation of Website against W3C standards, browsers & client requirements

•  Project Documentation  (Website Proposal - Due Week 15):
   o  The purpose & scope of Website project as per client requirements
   o  Any recommendations for suitable domain names & hosting etc
   o  Any functionalities beyond the basics which cannot be handled ’out of the box’
   o  Any of restraints encountered in developing the Website
   o  Any basic requirements for the Website eg home page, contact form
   o  Any key customisations such as the shopping cart and a compatible theme
   o  Any changes made to default colour schemes, page layout etc in the selected theme.
   o  How the site was validated against Web standards, client requirements etc
   o  How the site was optimised and tested in various browsers and devices
   o  Any instructions for the user eg transferring the site & site maintenance in general
   o  Any screenshots as required for clarity of presentation

Detailed documentation guidelines will be available midway through the project.  It is recommended that each team uses Google Docs for the proposal document.  A simple team diary will also be required to ensure a fair distribution of workload.  It is also important that all team members review one another’s work and learn important concepts and techniques.

Each time you demonstrate your Website you will be questioned on key concepts and techniques in using WordPress.  You will of course also 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.

Teams are likely to be requested to submit a draft version of their documentation in printout form, and submit their final project document on Blackboard.

General Points

  • Each team must maintain a Website, such as a Google Sites Website, with all the relevant material available for the team for the duration of the project.
  • All documents are to be presented in portfolio form ie. a folder of documents submitted on Blackboard.
  • Each document should include a header (eg with the name of the document and team members’ names) and a footer (eg with the date and page number).
  • All team members must sign the assessment cover sheet(s).
  • Soft copies are to be retained by all team members as backups. Google Docs is preferred.
  • RMIT academic discipline procedures will apply in cases of plagiarism. Students should use Turnitin to avoid plagiarism.

Please Note:

To be deemed competent in this course you will be expected to successfully complete all aspects of each of the two assessment tasks (Website projects).

Late submissions of work required for any stage of these assessment tasks will be eligible for grading at CAG (Competency Achieved) level only.

Assessment Matrix


The Assessment Matrix that maps all assessments to the critical aspects of evidence, skills, knowledge and elements is available from the teacher.

Other Information

Submission Requirements

Assessment tasks need to be submitted via the Learning Hub (Blackboard).

You should:

  • Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. 
  • 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.

Late Submission Procedures

You are required to submit assessment items and/or ensure performance based assessment is completed by the due dates.

If you are prevented from submitting an assessment item on time, by circumstances outside your control, you may apply in advance to your teacher for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days.

More Information:

Form to use:

Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for special consideration.  Applications for special consideration must be submitted no later than two working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination.

More Information:;ID=g43abm17hc9w

Form to use:

Resubmissions (VET Programs):

If you are found to be unsuccessful in a Course Assessment Task you will be allowed one resubmission only.  Your teacher will provide feedback regarding what you need to do to improve and will set a new deadline for the resubmission.  The highest grade you will receive if your resubmission is successful is "CAG".

If you are still not meeting the assessment requirements you must apply to your Program Manager in writing outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in your course.  Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible.

Adjustments to Assessment

In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment.  For more information about the circumstances under which the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following Website:

More Information:;ID=7usdbki1fjf31

Marking Guide (Competency):

You must demonstrate that you have all the required skills/knowledge/elements in the unit of competency you are studying.

You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you about your progress and how well you are performing.

Marking Guide (Grading)

After achieving competency we then grade your performance in the unit and you will achieve one of the following grades:

Final Grades Table:

CHD      Competent with High Distinction
CDI        Competent with Distinction
CC         Competent with Credit
CAG      Competency Achieved – Graded
NYC      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