Becoming an Assessment Champion—What Skills Do You Need to Lead Digital Transformation at Your Institution!

Usher in change with AEFIS as Your Partner!

Digital Transformation (DX), is certainly not a new term but rather, a process that has been evolving for many years. Higher education continues to seek more meaningful data to support student success initiatives which include the design and redesign of programs that enable employability and a clear return on investment for learners.

Executing DX in higher education requires leadership and patience. Leaders first and foremost need to set timelines that are attainable and meaningful while they manage change and support their institutional culture—with faculty and students as key stakeholders.

Change Paradigm at University of Kentucky

Dr. John Kotter, leadership professor, and Harvard faculty emeritus conducted decades of research on change leadership. This research has led to numerous publications and books that provide an outline for how to move change at your institution.


  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Build a guiding coalition
  • Form a strategic vision and initiatives
  • Enlist a volunteer army
  • Enable action by removing barriers
  • Generate short-term wins
  • Sustain acceleration
  • Institute change

In alignment with Kotter’s “Enlist a volunteer army”, DX includes a search and discovery of institutional advocates for technologies that align with strategic goals and needs for data for improvement.

Dr. Mike Rudolph, Director of Institutional Effectiveness at the University of Kentucky employed Kotter’s methodology as he led change at his institution. You can watch his Lightning Talk “Addressing Problems of Practice: Collaborating with Your Community to Establish a Foundation to Collect Meaningful Data on-demand here.

Introducing technological change into an organization presents a different set of challenges to management than does the work of competent project administration. Frequently, however, the managers responsible for shepherding a technical innovation into routine use are much better equipped by education and experience to guide that innovation’s development than to manage its implementation.

Harvard Business Review

There are a number of essential skills that leaders and advocates for ed-tech need to employ in order to ensure the implementation of technologies that support DX is a big win for all involved. At the highest level these include:

Leaders will need to practice strategic innovation focused on key institutional goals and ambitions.

Decision-makers will need to become adept at change management and risk management, with a shift away from risk aversion.

Institutional leaders and boards will need to consider new strategic directions to meet 21st-century challenges and opportunities.

Leaders will need to define transformation goals and then set up matrixed response teams to execute on the transformations.

Getting Ready for Digital Transformation: Change Your Culture, Workforce, and Technology
(Grajek, S. & Reinitz, B., EDUCAUSE, 2011)

How Can AEFIS Help?

AEFIS opens up the ability to what we can assess which I think really broadens how we can look at assessment.”

Robert Lucio, Associate Professor of Social Work, St. Leo University

As your technology partner, AEFIS supports you in the quest to ensure that your new platform can efficiently support your assessment efforts which include a digital transformation linked to your institutional effectiveness and the ability for your users to easily access and contribute to this important work.

As a modern educational technology platform, AEFIS is committed to providing you solutions, that support the needs of your students and campus personnel. And by giving learners and instructors the resources they need to visualize their strengths and areas for growth at a click of a button, you can lead your institution to better prepare your students for the global workforce of tomorrow.

University of Kentucky Use Case

Overall Usability and User Experience

For student and faculty-facing features and functionality, AEFIS is completely compliant with up-to-date standards and models for the accessibility of all users. Using individualized dashboards and the AEFIS Action Items panel, students and faculty can see what tasks they need to complete and when.

Syllabus 3.0

Faculty and students don’t need to leave their LMS to contribute to institutional and program assessment. They can log in to AEFIS and use it right from their LMS course section. This means that syllabi and other essential course materials are available within the LMS and can easily provide visibility into standards and skills embedded into courses and co-curricular experiences.

Automate Assessment Collections Institution-wide

Faculty and staff can contribute to the institution-wide collection of data, assessment plans, promotion and tenure, and course approval processes right from their devices. AEFIS Data Collection forms and workflows help you transform paper into digital collections, enabling stakeholders to contribute to key initiatives and goals easily and efficiently.

Visible Learning

AEFIS displays student learning achievement on individual dashboards with easy navigation. Skills earned as a result of their achievements are clearly evident on their Comprehensive Learner Record which they can pack into a portfolio to share with employers.

Accessible Feedback

Students and faculty can complete all of their course evaluations on devices that they are used and comfortable with. Faculty can view their results right from their dashboard with one command.

Provosts, directors, deans, and other administrators along with instructors can access reports assigned to them by permission for easy analysis or download for further synthesis. Robust reports provide key information for accreditation reporting, continuous improvement, and institutional growth and effectiveness.

How to get started—Next Steps in your DX Journey!

At the highest level, AEFIS is committed to empowering your institution to demonstrate educational impact through a unified platform for assessment management, learner success, and continuous improvement to help activate authentic lifelong learning.

Once you have made the decision to partner with AEFIS and move your DX initiative forward, our Client Success Team will suggest key solutions where you can ignite change and begin your transformation!

Three solutions to start with include:

  1. Data Collection and Workflow Engine: automate your academic processes and create dynamic forms, pragmatic workflows and enable your users to collaborate on institutional initiatives by completing those forms with any type of information necessary to support your continuous improvement and institutional effectiveness efforts.
  2. LMS Integration Solution: tap into your learning management system data to enrich the information it holds and convert it into a time-based assessment and analysis dataset increasing the value your institution and your learners get from the LMS system.
  3. Curriculum Mapping and Outcomes Alignment: digitize your curriculum and create mappings between courses and co-curricular activities and the outcomes of their programs. Align curriculum to outcome sets including institutional outcomes and goal, employer and competency sets such as NACE, and accreditation standards including all regional and programmatic accreditors.

See how leaders across the country are taking the leap into DX at their campus! Visit the Your Planning and Improvement Hub and Assessment Professionals Hub for case studies, events, and more to support DX at your institution!

How can AEFIS help you? Let's explore!

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