The Digital Economy - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Availability for 2018: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Essay (35%) , Planning Assessment - Project Plan (10%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit was previously known as Internet Commerce and Consumers.

To be an internet user is, essentially, to be part of the economics of the internet, through innumerable commercial transactions and by being part of audiences sold for advertising. In this unit, you will come to understand the dynamics of internet commerce, including the 'free' services that are part of the attention economy; you will also analyse the importance for the internet of alternative economic forms, for example - the gift economy. Ultimately, you will understand how the internet might, within capitalism, be associated with economic rewards and risks; and how developments on the internet have altered business practices and approaches.

Further Information: List of topics is indicative and subject to minor change prior to the start of each Study Period.

Please Note:  If it’s your first time studying a Curtin University unit you’ll need to complete their compulsory ‘Academic Integrity Program’. It only takes two hours to complete online, and provides you with vital information about studying with Curtin University. The Academic Integrity Program is compulsory, so if it’s not completed your unit grades will be withheld.

Find out more about the Academic Integrity module.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate understanding of the principles and practices which sustain internet commerce
  2. analyse specific commercial events and occurrences to explain the nature of internet economics
  3. demonstrate understanding of the way in which capitalism pervades the social and technological workings of the internet in global society
  4. assess critically the culture and practices of 'free' online labour, goods and services associated with internet.
  • Essay (35%)
  • Planning Assessment — Project Plan (10%)
  • Quiz — Short Questions & Answers (20%)
  • Report — and Project Diary (35%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • NET25 — The Internet - Media Business

Recommended prerequisites

You are recommended to have completed the following unit(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

NET12 is the same as NET102 and NET11 is the same as WEB101.

This unit addresses the following topics.

2Internet business basics
3Online collaboration
4Network economy: it's all about networking
5Attention economy: getting eyeballs the online shopping mall
7eBay: everything has a price
8Google: don't be evil
9Facebook: owning people
10Reviewing the work of others
11Digital capitalism
12Free economy
13Gift economy

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Audio/Video conferencing
  • Chat rooms
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Web links
  • Wikis

Print based materials

  • Welcome Letter

Online materials

  • Audio/Video - Streaming
  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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