Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Be In Charge of your Learning!

As a college student, it never really occurred to me just how vital it is for each and every higher education institution to uphold specific academic standards which ensure quality and relevance of their techniques. Academic assessment is a central element in the overall quality of teaching and learning in higher education. Working at AEFIS has given me more insight as to exactly how this procedure ensures that students are in fact the central gear in their learning experience. Assessment is the student’s ability to evaluate and reflect on their own learning, making a judgment as to their progress and how they could improve.

One of the most significant services the AEFIS platform offers students is access to course details and evaluation results for previous terms. With course details pre-listed, AEFIS gives students the chance to critic a class prior to registration from a professional environment as opposed to the numerous ‘Rate a Professor’ websites which may falsely bias their judgment. With access to the pre-listed course objectives, students can identify from the get-go which instructors are project-oriented, test-oriented or intensive-writing oriented and thus enroll into apposite classes. This in turn facilitates students to gain necessary skills based on their individual strengths and weaknesses.

AEFIS provides students with a thorough, reliable and steadfast course catalog which contains all the details of a course. (All the data is imported directly from institutional data feeds adjusted by administrators). The syllabi details are clearly specified therefore students know exactly what is expected of them prior to enrolling for a course. Personally, I can attest to studying more effectively and in turn getting better grades when I know exactly what it is I’m working towards. The best part is just how easy it is to access all this information. All you need is a basic mobile device with internet capability. AEFIS realized that college students are always on the go and in turn found a way to accommodate this. This shows just how much AEFIS strives to improve student performance.

Throughout our college experience, I feel as though it’s safe to say that there’s always at least one professor whose teaching we absolutely delight in. In most cases, students tend to have professors for only one semester/quarter. AEFIS gives us the chance to commend extraordinary skills where deserved. There’s only so much we can do, so why not express gratitude by taking a few minutes to fill out a survey at the end of a course with warranted positive feedback. It’s always a good feeling to give credit where it’s due. However, it goes both ways given that students also have the right to state whether a course met their expectations or otherwise.

Not only does AEFIS improve student performance but also faculty productivity and administrative efficiency. It keeps syllabi centralized, making assessment and accreditation more efficient. Academic assessment is by no means a piece of cake. It is quite a challenging process because, to some extent, it should be consistent across all departments in a college but yet again allow flexibility, considering each department has its own distinctive goals and expectations. Being at AEFIS has given me the chance to be right in the loop of the academic assessment development. I now know just how fundamental it is to fill out those surveys, review courses prior to enrolling for them and have all my syllabi centralized, which is just a sample of what AEFIS offers. All this for my benefit; higher GPA, convenient access to course details, self-assessment at the end of a course, etc.

Get the best out of your college experience by being in charge of your learning!

                                                                                                                                                Raisa Ochola, AEFIS Team

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