• Class Number 3284
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Robert Ackland
    • Dr Jamsheed Shorish
    • Dr Robert Ackland
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
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 mid-semester and final examinations will be open book and delivered via Wattle.

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to course; Overview of the digital economy (Ackland)
2 Digital platforms (Ackland)
3 Comparing, recommending and rating online (Ackland)
4 Price discrimination (Ackland) A1.1 (1 of 2)
5 Internet auctions (Shorish) A2.1 (1 of 2) A1.1 feedback provided
6 Online reputation (Shorish) A3 (either W6 or W7, date TBA) A2.1 feedback provided
7 Internet advertising (Ackland) A3 (either W6 or W7, date TBA)
8 Peer production (Ackland)
9 Decentralised ledger technologies and cryptocurrencies (Shorish) A2.2 (2 of 2) A3 feedback provided
10 Economics of online social networks (Shorish) A2.2 feedback provided
11 Threats from digitisation and the Internet (Ackland) A1.2 (2 of 2)
12 Emerging issues in the digital economy; Revision (Ackland) A1.2 feedback provided

Tutorial Registration

Tutorials this semester will be delivered both remotely (via Zoom) and on-campus. You are expected to attend one tutorial each week from Week 2 onwards. A selection of tutorials will be open for enrolment in O-week - the remaining tutorials will be open in week 1 of Semester. When tutorials are available for enrolment, follow these steps:

1.   Log on to Wattle, and go to the course site

2.   Click on the link “Workshop enrolment”

3.   On the right of the screen, click on the tab “Become Member of…..” for the tutorial class you wish to enter

4.   Confirm your choice

If you need to change your enrolment, you will be able to do so by clicking on the tab “Leave group….” and then re-enrol in another group. You will not be able to enrol in groups that have reached their maximum number. Please note that enrolment in ISIS must be finalised for you to have access to Wattle.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Tutorial problem sets 10 % 1,2,3,4
Online quizzes 10 % 1,2,3,4
Mid-semester examination 30 % 1,2,3,4
Final examination 50 % 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 course is being delivered in both on-campus and remote modes. In 7 of the 12 teaching weeks, it is planned that the lecture will be delivered live on-campus in a dual-delivery lecture room (remote students will be able to participate live via zoom), while in other weeks the lecture will be pre-recorded. There will be both an on-campus and an online live (via zoom) tutorial available.

For those students who are able to attend campus, attendance at all teaching events (lectures and tutorials), while not compulsory, is expected in line with “Code of Practice for Teaching and Learning”, clause 2 paragraph (b). For both on-campus and remote students: your active participation and engagement in the course will assist you in learning the material and thus enhance both your enjoyment of the course and your ability to achieve a high grade.

Tutorials are a discussion-based class. Providing worked solutions would not effectively compensate for missing a tutorial. Students who, through unavoidable and unplanned occurrences, are unable to attend a tutorial class one week are encouraged to work through the problems and attend a consultation session for discussion and solutions.


See Assessment Tasks 3 and 4.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Tutorial problem sets

Two tutorial problem sets (involving numerical and short-answer questions) will test your understanding of the relevant lecture material and help you to prepare for the style of questions on the mid-semester and final examinations. Your highest-graded problem set will count towards 10% of the final grade for the course. The tutorial problem set will be available at least one week before the submission date (which will be one day before the first tutorial of the relevant week), with problem sets being submitted via Wattle Turnitin. If you miss a tutorial problem set for a legitimate reason, you will be given a chance to submit a make-up tutorial problem set at the end of the semester.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Online quizzes

Two 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 is held and the quiz will be available for two days. You will have one hour (60 minutes) to complete each quiz and you can only attempt each quiz once. Your highest-graded quiz out of the 2 will count for 10% towards your final grade. If you miss an online quiz for a legitimate reason, you will be given an opportunity to take a make-up quiz at the end of the semester.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Mid-semester examination

A mid-semester examination (2 hours duration) covering material from the first part of the course will be held during the ANU mid-semester exam period (time and date to be determined), delivered via Wattle. The mid-semester examination will count 30% towards your final grade. The mid-semester examination will be a mixture of multiple choice, numerical, short answer and essay questions. Further information on the content/structure of the examination will be provided. Past examination papers are not available to students, but some example questions will be provided. More information on the mid-semester examination will be provided by Week 4.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Final examination

A final examination (3 hours duration) covering material from the entire course will be held during the ANU final exam period (time and date to be determined), delivered via Wattle. The final examination will count 50% towards your final grade. The mid-semester examination will be a mixture of multiple choice, numerical, short answer and essay questions. Further information on the content/structure of the examination will be provided. Past examination papers are not available to students, but some example questions will be provided. More information on the final examination will be provided by Week 10.

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 (or completion) is not possible for Assessment Task 1 (tutorial problem sets) nor Assessment Task 2 (online quizzes). Students who, for legitimate reasons, are not able to submit a tutorial problem set or complete an online quiz will be given the opportunity to submit a make-up tutorial problem set or complete a make-up online quiz at the end of semester. We will follow standard ANU practice/policy regarding completion of the mid-semester examination (Assessment Task 3) and final examination (Assessment Task 4).

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 for the tutorial problem sets (Assessment Task 1) will be available the week after the relevant tutorial, with general feedback being provided in the relevant tutorial.

Grades and feedback for online quizzes (Assessment Task 2) will be available the week after when the quiz was undertaken.

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

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