AEFIS Onboarding Guide

Prepared by: AEFIS, INC
Last Modified: September 2021
CONFIDENTIALITY: The material contained in this information packet represents proprietary and confidential information pertaining to AEFIS, INC. products, services, and methodologies. By accepting this document, you agree that the information in this document shall not be used for any purpose other than to evaluate the programs, products, and services.

A Letter from our VP Client Success

Dear Colleague,

On behalf of the entire AEFIS Team, we are truly excited to welcome you to our family of partners.

Here at AEFIS, our mission and passion are to create meaningful value from the assessment of learning to enhance student and faculty experience. Our assessment management platform provides user-friendly solutions that work together to improve the curriculum while engaging students and faculty campus-wide.

We look forward to a productive dialogue and collaboration as we explore how we can put AEFIS in your service and learn from your valuable experience.

Throughout the onboarding process, our Client Success Team will work with you to ensure your success and meet the unique needs of your institution. Use this guide as a reference, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

We are only as successful as the partners we serve and to that end, we believe institutions have a unique opportunity and responsibility in defining and improving the effectiveness of higher education. Thus, we are committed to providing partners with the most efficient ways to set up and use AEFIS, so that your institutional stakeholders can make the best decisions aligned to institutional strategic initiatives.  By combining our mutual mission and passion to provide a greater value to your institution, we are confident we can assist in moving ever closer to meeting outcomes for student success and institutional effectiveness.

Please feel free to reach out to my team or me personally regarding questions, requests, and concerns regarding this documentation. I can be reached at [email protected] or 877-674-3122 x 2032.

I look forward to building a great partnership with you… Let’s get to work!

Best,

Caitlin Meehan
VP Client Success, AEFIS

Onboarding At-A-Glance

Onboarding in One Word

Onboarding Client Management

Client Success Management Cycle

Onboarding Overview

StepDescriptionKey Deliverables
1. Kick-Off
The Kick-Off Meeting is the first step of AEFIS onboarding. During this meeting, we will do introductions, provide you with a high-level overview of the onboarding process, and discuss teams, roles, and responsibilities.
~First week of Onboarding
Meet & Greet,Teams, Roles & Responsibilities,
Overview
2. Technical Implementation
During the Technical Implementation step, our Onboarding Team will work with your Technical Team to accomplish technical set up including authentication (SSO), SIS integration, LMS Integration, and configuration of your AEFIS platform. Completion of the Technical Implementation will be necessary before we begin Discovery.
~4-8 Weeks
Platform URL, Platform Setup,
SiS Integration,
SSO Integration,
Optional LMS Integration, Email Relay, Special Projects
3. Discovery
The Discovery step allows our Client Management Team to get to know your institution and assist you in the development of a Success Plan and timeline that supports your goals and requirements. During this phase, we will work with you to perform a gap-fit analysis and you will sign off on the Success Plan as a deliverable.
~2-4 Weeks
Discovery, Gap-Fit Analysis, Success Plan, Sign-Off
4. Success Plan
During the Success Plan step, we will work together to help you execute your Success Plan and support you with training of the University Team as you begin learning the ins and outs of AEFIS. We will connect with you regularly during this period to ensure you are staying on track with your Success Plan.
Ongoing process throughout onboarding and beyond
Execution of Success Plan, Training of the University Team
5. Adoption
 
In the Adoption step, you will be transitioned to the Client Support Team for day-to-day support and AEFIS Academy, your help, and training resources. Our Client Management Team will continue to periodically connect with you to review and update your Success Plan and continue our collaboration.Launch, Client Support, Ongoing Collaboration

AEFIS Onboarding Team

Caitlin Meehan, VP, Client Success, AEFIS

As the Vice President of Client Success at AEFIS, I am passionate about creating partnerships with potential and current AEFIS Partners (clients). I lead our Client Success Department to ensure customer engagement and support while maintaining efficient team structure and performance through analytics, processes, and tools to maximize new client engagement.

Dan Saltzman, Customer Support Manager, AEFIS

As the Client Support Manager, I am most excited and happy when seeing our AEFIS Partners thrive and their issues resolved. I graduated from Drexel University with a Mathematics degree, giving me my natural inclination towards approaching issues analytically with a mind to optimize solutions. I pride myself on my ability to quickly learn new skills, and get a twinkle in my eye whenever I can explain/educate new findings or solutions to others. A lot of my interests outside AEFIS are directly influenced by my in AEFIS mindsets; I am a big fan of fantasy stories as, much like my Math background, lessons learned from unlikely sources can provide unexpected insights. My life motto: Be Intentional.

Ms. Kallie Rogers, Sr. Associate of Sales and Marketing Ops, HelioCampus

Kallie leads the Client Development Process and helps to build and manage AEFIS partnerships. She is passionate about supporting and collaborating with colleagues to determine their assessment needs and goals to achieve their vision of success. Kallie received her undergraduate degree from Drexel University in 2019 with majors in Marketing and Organizational Management. Since joining the AEFIS Team in 2019, Kallie has led over a dozen institutions through the Client Development Process, including Northeastern University, Southern Methodist University, and Saint Leo University, and serves as an account representative for current partners. Kallie also successfully managed and completed five Sandbox Experience Cohorts. In addition to leading the Client Development Team, Kallie supports ongoing marketing redesign efforts and community success initiatives like AEFIS Makerspace as part of AEFIS Academy.

Suzanne Carbonaro, Director of Academic Partnerships, AEFIS

Suzanne Carbonaro, M.Ed, MS, CE School Administrator, is the Director of Academic Partnerships at AEFIS. Suzanne has 27 years experience in higher education teaching, curriculum design, assessment and leadership. Most recently, Suzanne served as the Director of Assessment at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences where she designed the real-time assessment process for the newly implemented competency-driven doctor of pharmacy curriculum. She came to USciences from Rider University where she served as Director of Assessment and Strategic Partnerships at the College of Education. Here she redesigned their assessment process and managed over a million dollars in grants. Suzanne has led successful self-studies and re-accreditation efforts for the doctor of pharmacy and teacher and leader education programs. She is a proud member of the team who successfully received the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) 2019 Award for Excellence in Assessment. Suzanne was invited to present her research and development of Comprehensive Learner Records (CLRs) to IMS Global at the 2018 Learning Analytics Summit, 2019 IMS Global Digital Credentials Summit and was a finalist for Learning Impact Awards at the Leadership Institute in May 2019. She received the USciences 2018 Founder’s Day Award for Innovation and has presented at AALHE (2018, 2019, 2020), Drexel Assessment Conference (2018, 2019, 2020), IUPUI (2018, 2019, 2020), AACP (2019) as well as regional assessment conferences, and the Competency-Based Education Network (2019, 2020).

University Onboarding Team

Project Manager
The University Team Project Manager is responsible for the overall project and serves as the main point of contact for conversations between the AEFIS Team and the University Team.

Technical Lead
Technical Lead is responsible for coordinating technical implementation and systems integration for the University.

Assessment Lead
Assessment Lead is responsible for planning and coordination of assessment across campus.

AEFIS Administrator
AEFIS Administrator (aka AEFIS Guru) is responsible for training, coordination of support, and ongoing operations of AEFIS.

Billing Contact
Billing Contact is responsible for receiving and processing invoices, and main contact for contracts, billing, and administrative matters.

Kick-Off

Overview
The Kick-Off Meeting is the first step of AEFIS onboarding. During this meeting, we will do introductions, provide you with a high-level overview of the onboarding process, and discuss teams, roles, and responsibilities.

Goals for Kick-Off

  • Discuss teams, roles, and responsibilities
  • Determine key contacts
  • Meet your Client Management and Technical Implementation Teams
  • Discuss main goals, timeline and onboarding strategy
  • Gain a general understanding of processes and what to expect during onboarding

Questions to Consider

  • What are your three top priorities in the short term?
  • What are your success goals for the upcoming year(s)?
  • Who will be using AEFIS and why?
  • Who will oversee the launch and adoption of these solutions on your campus?
  • Who will be the primary contact overseeing the launch and adoption of the different AEFIS Solutions?

Useful Documents to Provide the Client Management Team

Your Team Organization Chart
Preferred campus logo

Deliverables
Meet & Greet
Teams, Roles & Responsibilities

Technical Implementation

Overview

The Technical Implementation begins with a kick-off call to discuss the data import specifications, authentication, email, LMS integration, and more. This phase typically takes about 6 – 8 weeks, depending on university resource availability. During this phase, our Technical Implementation Team will set up your AEFIS platform in collaboration with your technical resources.

Questions to Consider

  • What URL would you like to use?
  • Who is your authentication service provider?
  • Would you like AEFIS to send emails using our email server or use your email servers?
  • Will you be integrating AEFIS with your LMS?

Useful Documents to Provide the Technical Implementation Team
Academic Calendar
Academic Structure (Colleges/Schools, Departments/Units)

Acceptance Testing

  • How do I know Technical Implementation is done and successful?
  • Access your AEFIS Platform through the agreed-upon URL
  • Login to your AEFIS Platform using university Single Sign-On Account
  • Verify university data availability in your AEFIS Production Instance

Deliverables

  • Platform URL
  • Platform Setup
  • SiS Integration
  • SSO Integration

Optional
LMS Integration
Email Relay
Special Projects* (i.e. One-time Data Import from Legacy Systems)
*May require additional fees.

Campus Systems Integration Overview

AEFIS strongly believes in interoperability and plays nicely with other systems on your campus.


AEFIS plays nicely with other systems on your campus and provides great flexibility to move your data from, and back-to, your campus.

AEFIS Makes it easy for you to share your academic data:

  • AEFIS Data Connector provides automated ongoing data stream operations to bring in key academic data or other data feed from your systems. Example, from your SiS.
  • Standards-based integrations provide plug-and-play connectivity with solutions on your campus that support interoperability standards. Example, using LTI, AEFIS “clicks” into your LMS to make things super easy for your faculty and students.
  • AEFIS API provides flexible, robust means for data or application integration. You can pull-or-push data into AEFIS platform from any application on your campus or you can create dynamic integrations with your applications.
  • AEFIS also provides some easy-to-use, User Interface-UI based tools inside certain features for the upload of specific data. Example, external assessors list using an Excel template.
  • We can also offer a custom data migration project for your unstructured or unorganized data, to help you make a successful transition. Our team will be happy to work with you on the requirements analysis and cost.

AEFIS makes it easy for you to get your academic data back to your campus:

  • AEFIS API provides flexible, robust means to pull data from your AEFIS platform and make it available to other systems on your campus.
  • Using AEFIS DW Connector, you can pull your data into your local data warehouse.

Your Unique AEFIS Platform URL

AEFIS is a web-based SaaS solution with a single-tenant architecture. Once your AEFIS Environment is set up, it will be available at a URL similar to this:

OR if you prefer https://aefis.university.edu
OR if you prefer https://assessment.university.edu

SIS Integration

AEFIS receives data from your Student Information System (SiS) and other key campus systems according to the AEFIS Data Integration Specification.

AEFIS Data Connector (ADC)

AEFIS Data Connector (ADC) supports multiple methods to receive that data from remote campus systems, including Student Information System (SiS). Transfer methods supported are:

  1. Secured Batch File Transfer via SFTP
  2. Rest API Calls
  3. Web Services Calls

In our past implementations, we have used all these methods successfully. Typically, the method of implementation is decided during the Technical Implementation project planning process through discussions with your technical team. Data is typically sent or pulled every night and automatically uploaded into AEFIS. The most common transfer method is Secured Batch Transfer via SFTP.

Data Feeds

AEFIS uses the following categories of data depending on your onboarding plan and academic needs:

  • Organizational Hierarchy and Structure Information
  • Course Information
  • Course Section Information
  • Staff Information
  • Faculty Information
  • Student Information
  • Registration Information
  • Program and Degree Information
  • Student Degree Information

SSO Integration

Our team will work with you to set up one of the two types of Single Sign On (SSO) authentication integrations we offer. We can integrate using SAML via Shibboleth SP to SAML providers such as Shibboleth IdP, Office 365, OneLogin, and the like. Also, we are a member of the InCommon Federation. The other authentication integration available to you is CAS.

LMS Integration

AEFIS seamlessly integrates with Canvas, Blackboard, Brightspace and other modern LMSs through Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) and API. Your AEFIS instance can support multiple LMS integrations simultaneously. Based on which LMS that your campus uses our team will provide the proper documentation to complete the integration with AEFIS. Some examples are provided below for reference:

Email Service

AEFIS sends various email notifications to students, faculty and administrators concerning actions they need to take in the various solutions of AEFIS.  We will work with you to decide if it is best for us to send the notifications via AEFIS email servers or to send them via email servers on your campus.

Discovery 

Overview

The Discovery phase allows our Client Management Team to get to know your campus and assist you in the design of an onboarding timeline and plan that supports your needs. The discovery, requirements, and gap fit analysis usually take about two to four weeks. During this phase, we will work with you to perform gap-fit analysis and after which you will be asked to sign off on the project plan before we begin onboarding.

Goals for Discovery

  • Perform Gap-Fit Analysis
  • Review capabilities and best practices of each of the AEFIS Solutions
  • Create a detailed onboarding plan based on your expectations and timelines
  • Learn more about current assessment practices 
  • Determine any special projects (i.e. custom development, custom data imports)

Questions to Consider

  • What is your “improvement lifecycle”?
  • What programs and services are currently in place to collect assessment data? 
  • How familiar is the campus with assessment? 
  • Who is responsible for doing assessment? 
  • Does your campus already have data it might want to upload into the platform right away? 
  • Do you use an assessment plan, framework, or reporting structure? 
  • Which individuals will be key to achieving a successful onboarding? 
  • Which AEFIS Solutions would you prefer to focus on for the first semester? 

Useful Documents to Provide to the Client Management Team

  • Current syllabus templates, survey templates, curriculum maps, assessment plans/reports, strategic plans etc.

Deliverables

  • Gap-Fit Analysis 
  • Success Plan
  • Sign-Off

Success Plan

Overview

Every new AEFIS partner will take part in a Success Planning and training process which will include a series of customized remote training sessions based on your success plan. During each training session, a member of the Client Management Team will teach you about the features and functionality of each AEFIS Solution. Each training session is approximately an hour and will also be recorded so you can review the training sessions as needed.

Goals for Success Planning

  • Execution of Success Plan
  • Training of the Trainer

Questions to Consider

  • Who will be part of each AEFIS Solution training?
  • What other aspects of your improvement process are “#aefisable”?

Deliverables

  • Execution of Success Plan
  • Training of the University Team
  • Special Training Optional

Adoption

Overview

In the Adoption phase, you will be transitioned to Client Support Team and AEFIS Academy, your help, and training resources. Our Client Management Team will continue to periodically connect with you to review and update your Success Plan and continue our collaboration.  We will stay by your side every step to ensure your success with AEFIS! 

AEFIS Instruction Guides

Continue to learn how to use AEFIS through our comprehensive instruction guides, resources, and release notes, and more. AEFIS Academy is continually updated for all users and includes “Getting Started” instruction guides for first-time users. 

Visit AEFIS Academy

Annual Success Planning

Each year leading up to our partnership anniversary date, the AEFIS Client Management Team will schedule a meeting with your team to discuss your goals and priorities for the following year. Based upon that conversation, the AEFIS Client Management Team will help you prepare a new or revised Success Plan, which can include new best practices, training, and adoption of additional solutions, expansion of use across your institution, and the like.

Deliverables

  • Launch
  • Client Support
  • Ongoing Collaboration and Partnership
  • Your assessment management nirvana!
  • Site-Visit (Optional)

Training & Support

We pride ourselves on our responsiveness evidenced by repeated high praises we continuously receive from our academic partners.

Training

Your subscription includes remote training of the University Team.

Training & Support Portal

AEFIS Academy, our training and support portal, is available 24/7 to all your users with resources such as comprehensive instruction guides, training materials, FAQs, release notes and more. AEFIS Academy is continually updated for all users and includes “Getting Started” instruction guides for first-time users.

Visit AEFIS Academy

First-Level Support

Direct support to your End-Users will be provided by your university’s internal help desk. AEFIS will provide application support services solely to your internal help desk and the University Team.

Second-Level of Support

AEFIS provides support for the University Team and designated University Helpdesk Personnel via its AEFIS Issue Management System (AIMS). Support issues or questions (“Tickets”) that are created in the AIMS will be routed to an appropriate AEFIS support representative. A response will be posted in the AIMS and you will receive an email notification indicating its availability. If the support representative is unable to reproduce or understand the issue or question, he or she will request additional information from you.

Web: https://www.aefisacademy.org
Email: [email protected] 
Phone: 877-674-3122 option 1

Support is available by web, email, and phone. Web and email-based support is available 24/7. Standard telephone support is provided during AEFIS’s Regular Business Hours defined as 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM EST/EDT, Monday through Friday, with the exception of the following holidays: New Year’s Day (January 1st), Martin Luther King Day (Third Monday in January), Memorial Day (Last Monday in May), AEFIS Team Appreciation Day (July 3rd), Independence Day (July 4th), Labor Day (First Monday in September), Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday and Friday in November), Christmas (December 24th and 25th).

Ongoing Maintenance & Upgrades

To maximize optimal performance and business continuity, AEFIS provides 24/7 system backup and up-time monitoring of your AEFIS Sites. AEFIS will perform routine maintenance on and apply standard updates to the Platform. AEFIS and your Institution acknowledge that upgrades and certain maintenance tasks may require the SAAS environment hosted by AEFIS (the “SAAS Environment”) to be taken off-line. In these situations, whenever possible, AEFIS will provide you with a minimum of 48 hours advance notice prior to any planned downtime of the SAAS Environment. Whenever reasonably practical, scheduled downtime will occur on weekends or during the week between 8 p.m. Eastern Time and 8 a.m. Eastern Time. AEFIS will make reasonable efforts to keep scheduled downtimes as short as possible during this window. The parties recognize that from time to time urgent upgrades or maintenance may be required for the SAAS Environment. On such occasions, AEFIS will notify you of any downtime required as soon as possible.

AEFIS Production & Training Sites

Included in your AEFIS subscription are two (2) sites: Production and Training. These sites are dedicated to your institution only. As part of our monthly release cycle, each month we copy your Production Site data to your Training Site to provide you comparable data in both environments. Training Site is mainly used for training and release management. It also provides your key users a great no-risk place to test new ideas and strategies and allows convenient means of widening adoption across campus. On the first Monday of each month the latest AEFIS release becomes available on your training site. You then have a chance to review and can choose when you would like to have the new version released to your Production Site.

AEFIS Software Updates & Monthly Release Cycle

Updates and new releases to the AEFIS Platform are provided at no additional charge as they become commercially available after having been tested by the AEFIS Team prior to installation on Client Sites. Updates and new releases mean updates to existing base capabilities of the Software, including, without limitation, additional functionality to such base capabilities, program logic and documentation changes, new reports, corrections, and improvements that maintain the operational quality of the Software but do not include new Software functionality. AEFIS has a monthly application release cycle that follows the AEFIS Product Roadmap (“Roadmap”). 

We believe monthly releases ensure rapid continual improvements ensuring the proper amount of development and QA. According to the Roadmap, each monthly release has an overall goal as well as a list of client requests and feature improvements. On the first Monday of each month, the latest release becomes available on Training Sites. You will have a chance to review the newly released version and choose when they would like to have the new version released to their Production Site within ninety (90) days. Client sites that are more than three (3) release versions behind are required to update. We are implementing no-downtime deployments in 2020, thereby eliminating the need for a regularly scheduled maintenance window for new releases.

Appendix A:
Reference
Information & Documents

Info/DocumentDescriptionTiny URL Link
AEFIS AcademyTraining and support portal, which contains instructional guides, videos and FAQs http://academy.aefis.com
AEFIS 101:
Introduction
to AEFIS
Provides an overview of the AEFIS platform, its benefits and key features, partners, integrations, reporting, and onboarding processes https://tinyurl.com/uk5m4zb
AEFIS 102:
AEFIS Solutions Overview
Takes a deeper dive into the integrated solutions, highlighting key benefits and partner success storieshttps://tinyurl.com/s6mg7kb
AEFIS 103:
AEFIS Onboarding Overview
Provides a continuum of partner success and project management from new partner paperwork to adoption https://tinyurl.com/s6mg7kb
AEFIS 104:
AEFIS Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR)
Unpacks components of AEFIS Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) to reveal its Academic Value Chain of Student Success linked to outcomes and elements of lifelong learninghttps://tinyurl.com/vwn44tj
AEFIS 105: Analytics & ReportingProvides a directory of reporting capabilities and examples to support data driven decision makinghttps://tinyurl.com/thpdwnj
AEFIS Data Integration SpecificationMenu of institutional data requirements and optional fields to enable preemptive and proactive decision makinghttps://tinyurl.com/uc9jzou 
AEFISTechnical ImplementationGuidesAEFIS Technical Implementation guides, including LMS, SSO and other integrations

https://tinyurl.com/rk56ay9
AEFIS VPATVoluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).https://tinyurl.com/yx5y9cku
AEFIS WCAG 2.1Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.https://tinyurl.com/rv2bzvm
AEFIS VPAT2.3Rev WCAG Accessibility Conformance Report.https://tinyurl.com/sjm2x6y
AEFIS APIAEFIS Application Programming Interface (API) guide.https://tinyurl.com/wtblslx
AEFIS DW InterfaceAEFIS Datawarehouse (DW) Interface guide.https://tinyurl.com/yaddr2uy 
AEFIS HECVATThe Higher Education Community Vendor Assessment Tool (HECVAT) by Educausehttps://tinyurl.com/whu3qx2
AEFIS Support Services Level Agreement (SLA)The AEFIS SLA is a commitment between the service provider (AEFIS) and a client. This control includes quality, availability, responsibilities that are agreed upon between the service provider (AEFIS) and the service user in terms of the Quality of Serviceprovided while handling support incidents.https://tinyurl.com/442hcwne
AEFIS IMS Global CertificationsThe AEFIS certifications by the IMS Global Learning Consortium.https://tinyurl.com/rvpvwdv
Academic Research Reimbursement ProgramSupports communities of practice and academic research and collaboration in assessment https://tinyurl.com/v42zb93

“AEFIS Partner Artwork”


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