• Class Number 4942
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Robert Ackland
    • Dr Jamsheed Shorish
    • Dr Robert Ackland
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
SELT Survey Results

The Internet is transforming many aspects of economic life, from the online purchasing and selling of goods and services, to new ways of (peer) producing information goods such as open source software, currencies (e.g. Bitcoin) and user-generated content in online social networks. This course shows how the tools of economics can further our understanding of online behaviour, and also how economics can contribute to the future development of the Internet. The course also demonstrates how data from the Internet are being used to answer important long-standing research questions in economics.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Use basic tools of economics to analyse online economic behaviour (buying, selling and producing).
2. Identify which assumptions, theory and methods used by economists to study the offline world can also be used to study online behaviour.
3. Understand the sources and use of data for empirical analysis of online economic behaviour.
4. Recognise challenges of the Digital Age and the contribution of economics to the future development of the Internet.

Research-Led Teaching

Course content is derived from research in the field of economics. The lecturers have been conducting research into the digital economy and society for the past 15 years, and this experience has informed the design of the course.

Examination Material or equipment

The examination is closed book: only non-programmable calculators can be brought into the examination.

Course notes and additional readings will be provided.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

This is an online version of the course, created in response to the current travel restrictions.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to course; Overview of the digital economy
2 Digital platforms
3 Comparing, recommending and rating online A1 (1 of 4)
4 Price discrimination
5 Internet auctions A1 (2 of 4)
6 Online reputation
7 Internet advertising A1 (3 of 4)
8 Peer production A2 submission
9 Decentralised ledger technologies and cryptocurrencies
10 Economics of online social networks A2 return
11 Threats from digitisation and the Internet
12 The Internet and economic development; Revision A1 (4 of 4)

Tutorial Registration

Via Wattle

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Online quizzes 20 % 24/02/2020 05/06/2020 1,2,3,4
Assignment 30 % 27/04/2020 15/05/2020 1,2,3,4
Final examination 50 % 04/06/2020 02/07/2020 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


This is an online version of the course which has been established for students affected by the travel restrictions. Students who are not able to be on campus due to the travel restrictions or self-isolation will be able to participate in this course via resources available on the Wattle site. In the event that affected students are able to return to campus during semester, it is our hope and intention that such students will be able to participate in-person in teaching events (lectures and tutorials).

To students who are affected by the travel restrictions and who choose to enroll in this online course: We (the lecturers) are committed to giving you the best possible learning opportunities. We will do our best to ensure your engagement, enjoyment and what you gain from the course (in terms of knowledge and skills) are just the same as if you were on campus right from the first week of semester.


See Assessment Task 3. Please note that while Assessment Tasks 1 and 2 can be completed off campus, the final examination (Assessment Task 3) must be completed on campus.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 24/02/2020
Return of Assessment: 05/06/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Online quizzes

Four (4) times during the semester there will be an online quiz (via Wattle) testing your understanding of material covered in lectures and/or tutorials in preceding weeks. You will be given at least two days notice before a quiz and the quiz will be available for four days. You will have one hour (60 minutes) to complete each quiz and you can only attempt each quiz once. The top-3 out of 4 graded quizzes will collectively count for 20% towards your final grade. If you miss an online quiz for a legitimate reason, you will either be given an opportunity to take a make-up quiz or else your remaining quizzes will be re-weighted.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 27/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 15/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4


A written assignment (30% of final grade) will assess your understanding of course material as well as your ability to independently identify and use relevant information and resources relating to the digital economy. Students are to work on the assignment by themselves (it is not a group project). The assignment is designed to allow you to explore an aspect of the digital economy that interests you (within reason). Further information on the assignment will be provided at least 4 weeks before the due date.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 04/06/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Final examination

A final examination (3 hours duration) covering material presented throughout the entire course will be held on campus during the ANU final exam period. The final examination will count 50% towards your final grade. The final examination will be a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and essay questions. Further information on the content/structure of the final examination will be provided by Week 12. Past examination papers are not available to students, but some example questions will be provided.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin. It is your responsibility to check that your assignment has been correctly submitted (e.g. no missing pages or graphics).

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission is permitted for Assessment Task 2 (written assignment) only. Late submission of Assessment Task 2 without an extension will be penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission will not be accepted after 10 working days after the due date.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Grades and feedback for online quizzes (Assessment Task 1) will be available the week after when the quiz was undertaken.

Assignments (Assessment Task 2) will be returned within two weeks of submission.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments


Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Robert Ackland
02 6125 0312

Research Interests




Dr Robert Ackland

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Jamsheed Shorish
6125 0312

Research Interests

Dr Jamsheed Shorish

By Appointment
Dr Robert Ackland
6125 0312

Research Interests

Dr Robert Ackland

By Appointment
By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions