Whats New in E-Learning 2008?
Since the launch of Society of Actuaries' e–Learning program, we have received approximately 8,000 registrations for e–Learning programs, including the Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice (FAP) course, FSA modules and the CERA Operational Risk module.
e–Learning represents a significant change to the SOA's education and examination system—a change that is perceived positively by key stakeholders including the Board of Directors, the Education and Examination Executive Group and SOA committees, employers and candidates. The introduction of e–Learning requires commitment to ongoing evaluation and continuous improvement. e–Learning changes at the SOA in 2008 reflects various changes and enhancements in response to the voices of our stakeholders, to be more transparent and to maintain the integrity of the program.
Integrity of the e–Learning Program
Like other professions, the actuarial profession demands integrity and ethical behavior. The SOA has a responsibility to maintain high standards in support of the profession and for the majority of candidates whose conduct is of the highest caliber. The e–Learning program includes rules (see Terms and Conditions Agreement*) to ensure one candidate does not gain an unfair advantage over another candidate and the individuals who complete the requirements for one of our credentials is worthy of that distinction. Adherence to the e–Learning rules, terms and conditions is central to maintaining the integrity of the entire education and examination system and to preserving the value of the credentials.
Cheating and other actions that negatively affect the integrity of the e–Learning program are not tolerated. The SOA actively checks for violations of e–Learning rules, terms and conditions using various mechanisms. These include, but are not limited to, the use of anti–plagiarism software to review submissions against model solutions and other candidate submissions, grader scrutiny and administrative review of each e–Learning–related submission (exercises, assessments, projects). Disciplinary action has been taken. Most recently, two life–time bans were imposed on candidates for rule violations.
The SOA has also implemented a process to report rules infractions. An infraction report may be submitted to the SOA, if you believe a candidate has violated the exam rules and regulations or the FAP/FSA/CERA module terms and conditions. The report and the name of the individual making the report will be kept confidential during the investigation process and assessment of discipline (if any).
- *The SOA retains the right to modify the rules and/or Terms and Conditions Agreements at any time without notice. All candidates and non–candidates registering for the modules are required to comply with the most recently posted version of the participation rules, terms and conditions.
FAP Interim Assessment
FAP Interim Assessment registration opened on March 10, 2008. The assessment will be accessible to eligible and registered candidates on March 31, 2008. The assessment replaces the Module 5 End–of–Module Exercise and FAP Exam 1. Candidates accessing the Interim Assessment must agree to the Terms and Conditions of the FAP course and must complete and submit the assessment within 30 days of download.
Candidates may NOT discuss the assessment with others. They must attest the work they submit is their own and they did not distribute any of the related materials. See the Interim Assessment FAQs for more information. Candidate submissions will be graded within approximately seven weeks following submission. All failing candidates will receive grader feedback. We anticipate that passing percentages will be relatively high or at least consistent with the overall 77.2 percent pass rate related to FAP Exam 1.
The SOA will post quarterly updates of passing candidate statistics for the FAP Interim (and Final) Assessments on the e–Learning Web site.
FAP Final Assessment Feedback
Upon request and as a courtesy, candidates with two unsuccessful Final Assessment attempts were able to receive detailed feedback. Detailed feedback will still be provided, but there will now be a $150 charge due to the time–intensive nature of this process. Eligible candidates may request assessment feedback by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAP Assessment Grading
The SOA continues to monitor the Final Assessment grading process and work towards a consistent turnaround time of approximately seven weeks. The ability to access education and assessments on demand presents some challenges different from traditional grading processes. Consequently, continuous efforts are underway to meet demand through increased volunteer recruitment.
The e–Learning volunteer teams have been working through a review and revision cycle for each of the eight FAP modules. The version 2.0 rollout schedule is phased throughout 2008. Candidates currently in progress will receive the updates automatically and will not be adversely affected by the revisions. The FAP required books remain the same in 2008. Module 1 and Module 2 revisions will be released by March 31, 2008. Changes include editing and clarifying, deleting redundant or outdated readings, adding relevant readings, correcting errors and adjusting the overall size and length of the modules as appropriate. Also, effective March 31, FAP forum postings older than 90 days will be archived on the e–Learning system.
The 2.0 versions of Modules 3 through Module 8 will be released by the end of the fourth quarter.
Expanding FAP Access
Beginning March 31, 2008, interested parties may register for the FAP course on a noncredit basis for a one–year subscription fee of $100. Interested parties might include college students, academics, FSAs who mentor and coach FAP candidates, pre–2006 ASAs and others in the actuarial or nonactuarial community. Access is provided to all modules and functionality with the exception of the end–of–module exercises and the FAP discussion forums. Click here for registration information.
FAP Fee Structure Revised (FAP for ASA/FSA Requirements)
To further expand access and reduce the fee barrier for college students, a new FAP fee structure is effective March 31, 2008 for new registrants. The full course fee remains at $2,100 with individual component fee changes as follows:
|FAP Fee Structure
(prior to March 31, 2008)
|New FAP Fee Structure*
(effective March 31, 2008)
|Modules 1 through 8 (for two–year access)–$700||Modules 1 through 8 (for two–year access)–$300|
|Interim Assessment –$700||Interim Assessment –$600|
|Final Assessment–$700||Final Assessment–$1,200|
|Assessment Retakes–$500||Assessment Retakes–$500|
*Candidates currently in progress who have not yet purchased each of the three components of the total course (Modules, Interim Assessment and Final Assessment) are subject to a different fee schedule. A detailed fee structure can be found in the FAP FAQs. Questions about fees may be directed to email@example.com.
**Access to FAP modules for credit expires two years from the date of purchase. Candidates needing additional time to complete the course may purchase an extension offered in the form of a one–time, one–year extension.
FAP Discount Program
Effective March 31, 2008, discounts for FAP, offered under the international discount program, will be discontinued.
The FSA modules will undergo a content review and revision in late 2008 and early 2009, similar to the FAP review and revision cycle. Candidates enrolled in the FSA modules at that time will not be adversely affected by the revised modules. Continue to send suggestions for changes or corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members will be able to earn Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit for the FSA modules. More information will be provided later in the year.
FSA Module Registration by Track
Effective March 31, 2008, the SOA will no longer offer FSA module purchases by track. FSA modules will only be available for single purchases at $200 per module. This change allows candidates greater flexibility to change tracks as appropriate. However, to meet the requirements for FSA, candidates must complete the FSA exams and modules within a single specialty track of their choosing. Candidates interested in completing modules outside of their track for purposes such as continuing education are able to register for such modules.
Decision Making and Communication (DMAC) Module
The eligibility requirements for DMAC module registration have been revised as part of our continuing efforts to better meet candidate needs and to foster smooth transition from one educational requirement to another. These changes are effective March 31, 2008. A candidate will be eligible to register for the DMAC module upon becoming an Associate of the SOA (ASA). We do encourage candidates to read the full details of this change in eligibility requirements for DMAC; the full text of the new requirements.
CERA Operational Risk Module
The Operational Risk (CERA) module will be expanded and enhanced in 2008.
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