HelioCampus Assessment (AEFIS) Onboarding Guide

Prepared by: HelioCampus Assessment
Last Modified: September 2022
CONFIDENTIALITY: The material contained in this information packet represents proprietary and confidential information pertaining to HelioCampus Assessment (AEFIS). 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 Client Success

Dear Colleague,

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

Here at HelioCampus Assessment, 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 HelioCampus Assessment 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 HelioCampus Assessment, 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]

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


Carey Smouse
Senior Director, Assessment Services

Onboarding At-A-Glance

Onboarding Client Management

Client Success Management Cycle

Onboarding Overview

StepDescriptionKey Deliverables
1. Kick-Off
The Kick-Off Meeting is the first step of 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,
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 platform. Completion of the Technical Implementation will be necessary before we begin Discovery.
~6-8 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 the platform. 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

Onboarding Team

Carey Smouse, Senior Director, Assessment Services, HelioCampus

Mr. Kyle Richardson, Senior Manager, DevOps, HelioCampus

Susie Liebschner, Client Success Manager, HelioCampus

Francesca Yackso, Client Services Manager, Helio Campus

Dan Saltzman, Client Support Manager, HelioCampus

University Onboarding Team

Project Manager
Responsible for the overall project and serves as the primary point of contact to interface with the HelioCampus Team.

Technical Lead
Coordinates the technical implementation and systems integrations process. Serves as the main point of contact for any changes to Data Files, SSO, SFTP or LMS Integration.

Assessment Lead
Responsible for planning and coordination of assessment processes on campus.

Assessment Management Platform Administrator
Expert on the functionality of the product and which solutions are adopted at the institution. Responsible for internal training, coordination of support and ongoing operations of the platform..

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


The Kick-Off Meeting is the first step of 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 the platform 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 the solutions?

Useful Documents to Provide the Client Management Team

Your Team Organization Chart
Preferred campus logo
Your Program Learning Outcomes, Course Learning Outcomes and curriculum design needs

Meet & Greet
Teams, Roles & Responsibilities

Technical Implementation


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 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 the platform to send emails using our email server or use your email servers?
  • Will you be integrating the platform 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 platform through the agreed-upon URL
  • Login to your platform using university Single Sign-On Account
  • Verify university data availability in your HelioCampus Production Instance


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

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

Campus Systems Integration Overview

HelioCampus strongly believes in interoperability and plays nicely with other systems on your campus and provides great flexibility to move your data from, and back-to, your institution.

HelioCampus Assessment makes it easy for you to share your academic data:

  • “AEFIS Data Connector” (ADC) provides an 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, the platform “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 the platform from any application on your campus or you can create dynamic integrations with your applications.
  • HelioCampus 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.

HelioCampus Assessment 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 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 Platform URL

HelioCampus Assessment is a web-based SaaS solution with a single-tenant architecture. Once your platform 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

HelioCampus Assessment 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 the platform. The most common transfer method is Secured Batch Transfer via SFTP.

Data Feeds

HelioCampus Assessment 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

HelioCampus Assessment seamlessly integrates with Canvas, Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L and other modern LMSs through Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) and API. Your platform instance can support multiple LMS integrations simultaneously. Based on which LMS your campus uses, our team will provide the proper documentation to complete the integration with HelioCampus Assessment. Some examples are provided below for reference:

Email Service

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



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 platform 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 platform 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.


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

Success Plan


Every new partner will take part in a Success Planning and training process for your designated university team 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 platform 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
  • Train the Trainer


  • Execution of Success Plan
  • Training of the University Team
  • Special Training Optional (beyond your designated university team and could be considered an additional cost)



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 the platform! 

Instruction Guides

Continue to learn how to use the platform 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 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 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.


  • 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.


Your subscription includes remote training of your designated 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. HelioCampus Assessment will provide application support services solely to your internal help desk and the University Team.

Second-Level of Support

HelioCampus Assessment 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 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 protected]

Both our client success and support teams are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM EST to 5:30 PM EST, excluding HelioCampus holidays. HelioCampus observes the following Holidays: New Year’s Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and occasional summer Fridays. Summer Fridays are announced in advance and will be communicated to partners accordingly.

Our support team provides multi-tiered, email-based ticketing support for issues you may encounter while using the HelioCampus Assessment platform. Tickets can be submitted 24 hours a day and are responded to within 1 business day for minor issues, 4 hours for major issues, and 2 hours for critical issues. (In practice, we typically respond more quickly than this.)

Ongoing Maintenance & Upgrades

To maximize optimal performance and business continuity, HelioCampus Assessment provides 24/7 system backup and up-time monitoring of your Sites. HelioCampus Assessment will perform routine maintenance on and apply standard updates to the Platform. HelioCampus Assessment and your Institution acknowledge that upgrades and certain maintenance tasks may require the SAAS environment hosted by HelioCampus Assessment (the “SAAS Environment”) to be taken off-line. In these situations, whenever possible, HelioCampus Assessment 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. HelioCampus Assessment 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, HelioCampus Assessment will notify you of any downtime required as soon as possible.

Production & Training Sites

Included in your 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 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.

Software Updates & Monthly Release Cycle

Updates and new releases to the Platform are provided at no additional charge as they become commercially available after having been tested by the 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. The platform has a monthly application release cycle that follows the 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 implemented no-downtime deployments in 2020, thereby eliminating the need for a regularly scheduled maintenance window for new releases.

Appendix: References and Documentation

Onboarding Resources Hub
Software Technical Documentation Hub

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