Course Title: Produce complex desktop published documents

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2016

Course Code: COSC6084C

Course Title: Produce complex desktop published documents

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5314 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact: Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925-4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Dzintra Boyd
Phone: 9925 4269


Nominal Hours: 50

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 course is designed to give you the skills and knowledge required to design and produce complex, desktop published documents.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

BSBITU404A Produce complex desktop published documents


1. Prepare to produce desktop published documents

Performance Criteria:


1.1.            Use safe work practices including addressing ergonomic requirements and using work organisation strategies

1.2.            Use energy and resource conservation techniques

1.3.            Identify document purpose, audience, presentation and final output requirements, and clarify with relevant personnel as required

1.4.            Identify organisational and task requirements for desktop published documents to ensure consistency of style and image


2. Design desktop published documents

Performance Criteria:


2.1.            Design document to enhance readability and appearance, according to organisational and task requirements

2.2.            Determine document type and assess production and design requirements

2.3.            Set up and use master pages, templates and styles to ensure consistency of design and layout

2.4.            Set up colour palettes according to organisational and task requirements


3. Create desktop published documents

Performance Criteria:


3.1.            Prepare, format and enter required text

3.2.            Import text from other applications and resolve any formatting issues

3.3.            Scan or import graphics from other applications and resolve any formatting issues

3.4.            Use complex software functions to arrange text and graphics on page, according to organisational and task requirements


4. Finalise desktop published documents

Performance Criteria:


4.1.            Ensure pages. and combined graphics and text are composed correctly, to suit organisational and task requirements

4.2.            Check that numerical sequencing and laydown of document is correct, to meet binding and finishing requirements

4.3.            Incorporate bleed allowance in margins and borders


5. Produce desktop published documents

Performance Criteria:


5.1.            Review text for possible errors and omissions, and resolve any issues

5.2.            Produce completed document in line with required final output

5.3.            Name and store text documents, in accordance with organisational requirements and exit the application without information loss/damage

5.4.            Prepare text documents within designated time lines and organisational requirements for speed and accuracy

5.5.            Use manuals, user documentation and online help to overcome problems with document design and production

Learning Outcomes

You will be able to apply current document design and layout principles and use industry standard software to produce complex desktop published documents.

Details of Learning Activities

This course is co-delivered and assessed with CUIFDIG303A Produce and prepare photo images. 

In this course, you learn through -

1. In-class activities:
• lab-based lectures
• guest speaker
• teacher-directed group activities/projects
• peer teaching
• group discussion
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• workshopping of students’ own projects
• analysis/critique of work

2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent project based work
• online and other research
• independent study

Teaching Schedule

 WeekClass ContentActivitiesAssessment Due

BSBITU404A Produce complex desktop published documents


CUIFDIG303A Produce and prepare photo images


Week 1

Think visually


  • Welcome/housekeeping
  • Intro to Blackboard
  • Think visually
  • Journaling/Mood boards
  • How to create a simple mood board using PowerPoint


Activity: Create a simple mood board.    

Activity: Create a simple mood board.    


 1.1, 1.3, 2.4    


Week 2

Design basics


  • Design fundamentals
  • Elements of Design
  • Principles of Design
  • Typography
Activity:Elements of Design group research activity  
 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.4    
 1.1, 1.2    

Week 3

The designer’s toolkit

  • Why design?
  • Design briefs and Style Guides
  • Design cheats & shortcuts
  • Preparation and organisation
  • Ergonomics and conservation

  Activity: Revise for quiz.  


 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 5.5    
 4.3, 4.4    

Week 4

Poster Design    


  • Use scanner to capture photo images
  • Design and layout of a poster
  • Create and finalise poster
  • Colour palettes
  • Typography
  • Planning a design project


Activity: Design & create poster.    
  Assessment 1 DUE (online quiz)     3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 5.2, 5.3      1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6    

Week 5

On screen editing    


  • Intro to Word
  • Word as an editing tool
  • On screen editing functions
  • Styles/tables/track changes etc


 Activity: Edit and proofread copy.    


Assessment 2 DUE (completed during class)



 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5     


Week 6

Represent information visually

  • Tables and charts
  • Illustrations and comics
  • Infographics


Activity: Create an infographic / Newsletter planning documentation.  


  1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4    


Week 7

Newsletter Design

  • Design and layout of a newsletter
  • Create and finalise newsletter
 Activity: Create newsletter.    

 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4    

Week 8

Photography for writers


  • Photography Session
  • Photoshop basics
  • Inside/outside shots

 Activity: Inside/outside photography / Real estate flyer planning documentation.    

  Assessment 3.1 & 3.2 (Submit poster and newsletter)    

  2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5    

Week 9

Real Estate Flyer Design


  • Design and layout of a flyer
  • Create and finalise flyer

Activity: Create newsletter.


 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 5.2, 5.3    
4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4    

Week 10

Planning your publication

  • Short film – inside Vogue magazine
  • Magazine purpose
  • Target audience
  • Competitor analysis
  • Storyboarding

 Activity: Planning documentation.       1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.4    

Week 11

Content creation

  • News vs feature articles
  • Types of feature articles
  • Selecting your images

 Activity: Pitch your story.    

Assessment 3.3 (Submit Flyer)    

 3.1, 5.1    3.2, 3.3, 3.4    


 Semester break: 19–30 September

Week 12

Anatomy of a magazine


  • Intro to InDesign
  • Setting up your Magazine Shell in InDesign
  • Place content
  • Place images
  • Glossary of terms
  • Cover Design
  • Layout/Design
Create magazine shell.


 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3    

 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4    

Week 13

Using InDesign    

Applying InDesign skills and knowledge and to final assessment

One on one coaching with teacher.    
Insert content into magazine shell. 


 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5    

Week 14

Using InDesign    


Applying InDesign skills and knowledge and to final assessment

One on one coaching with teacher.     
Edit and format publication. 
  3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5    



Week 15

Using InDesign    


Applying InDesign skills and knowledge and to final assessment

One on one coaching with teacher.   
Finalise publication. 

Assessment 3 DUE (Design portfolio)

5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5    

Week 16

Semester review     

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Recommended Texts
Peach Pit Books for - InDesign and Photoshop


You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

  • Web-based material via electronic blackboard, work sheets, and handouts are made available as required.
  • Students will require a USB flash drive on which to backup their work. 
  • Students are advised to bring a journal or notebook each week for note taking and sketching design ideas.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is on-going throughout the course. Assessment will incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of knowledge and skills and will include:

  • participation in written exercises, in class and online
  • research activities
  • the application of learned skills, formats  and insights to your writing tasks.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment and where indicated, you will receive a grade. Graded assessment tasks are weighted and will determine your final result for this course.

Assessment Task 1: Desktop publishing quiz

You will complete an online quiz that will cover desktop publishing preparation, safety and organisation skills and knowledge.

Due: Week 4 (Sunday 31 July)

Assessment 2: Onscreen editing assignment

You will be given text and asked to proofread, format and edit the content and layout using onscreen editing functions. 

Due: Week 5 (Sunday 7 August)

Assessment Task 3: Desktop publishing portfolio (graded)

You will create a portfolio of desktop publishing documents. These will include documents for both the print and digital platform.

Your desktop publishing portfolio will include:

  • Writers Festival Poster (20%)
  • Retro Cycles Newsletter (20%)
  • Real Estate Flyer (20%)
  • Magazine Publication (40%)

Due: Week 15 (Sunday 30 October)

(See schedule for staggered submission dates for individual portfolio pieces)


Graded assesment in this course uses the following grades:

  • 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

Grading criteria for this assessment can be found on the course Blackboard site.

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrated alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:   

Submission of work
You must submit your work electronically to your teacher. Your assessment briefs will specify whether this be by email, Google docs or Blackboard.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete and sign a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work. This should be submitted electronically with your assessment items.;ID=x3ddsmsrwa1hz   

Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises. It is strongly advised that you attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.   

Assessment Feedback
You will receive spoken and written feedback on all your work.  Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.;ID=qwxbqbg739rl1   

Academic Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy designed to assist you in achieving your learning potential.   

Adjustments to Assessment 
If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment satisfactorily by the due date, you can choose to apply for an adjustment to your assessment. RMIT University offers a range of adjustments designed to support you in your studies, including an extension of time to complete the assessment.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.   

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning 
Credit transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification). Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) RCC applies only if you have previously successfully demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.   

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL, or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course. 

Course Overview: Access Course Overview