A Look Inside the e-Review Process
Our very first e-Review session was released for Exam 5 only, and was something Rich had been working on before I was brought on board with ALL 10. The concept was simple; a final comprehensive review before an exam that covers a massive amount of content. But just covering the content was not enough, it needed to be done in a way that engages candidates, promotes active learning, and all of this needed to be done in a way that didn’t take up too much time. Candidates are extremely busy in the final weeks before an exam, and, at this point, nobody has time to sit down and watch a 40 minute video that covers a single subject. We believe that by this time, you will have become familiar with the readings, and really just need a little fine tuning. With e-Review, we try to hit every article on the syllabus, and cover all of the CAS’ Learning Objectives and Knowledge Statements, and, of course, more frequently tested subjects pop up more frequently in e-Review. It’s like a review seminar that you can do at home.
This Ain’t Our First Rodeo
As mentioned, this is not our first year for e-Review. It will however be our first year doing e-Review for exams 7 and 9. We started with exam 5, then moved to doing 5, 6, and 8 for the most recent sittings. e-Review was the like the icing on the cake of our already robust e-Learning Center. Now that we have incorporated R.A.C.E. into the Online Review Course, candidates have several ways of studying. During the first twelve weeks, candidates can go through syllabus readings with the help of our Study Manuals (printed and electronic!), and Article Summary videos. When they need some practice with calculations and formulas, there are Problem Solving videos, and when they need help with short-answer questions, they can turn to R.A.C.E. We liked the concept, and we liked the feedback we got from our customers, so we decided to do a third round of e-Review. We also wanted to give our customers a peek at what goes into our e-Review sessions and how they came about.
The most basic concept of e-Review has been the same since the first session. Download questions, solve them on your own, then watch the video to compare your answers and learn more about tough subjects. The presentation, though, has changed as e-Review has evolved. With our newest iterations of e-Review, we analyze the question before even solving it. We never want to waste your time, so we are very judicious in our question selection. In the videos, each question appears before the solution, and we provide our justification for using the question. Obviously, past CAS questions are valuable, but there are also those that are outdated or those that could be better phrased. Many questions appearing in e-Review are original or are reworked past CAS questions. We tell you up front why you should work this question, as well as showing you the CAS Learning Objectives and Knowledge Statements with which the question aligns. We’ve spent an enormous amount of time sifting through questions and articles, so that you don’t have to.
What Does it Take to Make an e-Review Session?
My main job here at ALL 10 is to oversee design and production aspects. I have a hand in most of the recent videos, including RACE and e-Review, keep the site up to date, and even designed our new logo. We learned a lot producing the first incarnations of RACE and e-Review, and we’ve come up with a product that will help candidates prepare for what’s coming. With plenty of practice constructing the technical aspects of the videos, we’ll be able to focus even more on question selection and creation. But the technical aspects are why I’m here, so we wanted to share with our customers a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes.
e-Review production is very similar to what we do for R.A.C.E., but a little more sophisticated. We still use screen capture software to produce and edit content, but this time we’ve involved layers. With my experience in the Adobe suite, I started out with Photoshop and built a frame for the questions to go into. Inside that frame, we label things like syllabus section, Learning Objectives and Knowledge Statements, point values, and other relevant question information. So we have a layer for the question, a layer for the e-Review title, a background layer, and if there’s room, we’ll fit the ALL 10 logo in there. Then, we’ll bring in a capture of the specific Learning Objective from the CAS. All this work goes into creating just a screen for us to explain the question before solving it. After that, we can start the process of preparing our solutions for screen capture. When I composited our first e-Review session for 2014, I brought it in and Rich showed it to the actuarial interns, who liked the look, but were extremely confused looking at the project timeline in the screen capture software. Layers in a project like this can be intimidating, but are necessary to provide a clean, organized look to the videos.
Production for e-Review lasts a few months at a time, and that’s just the production. Question selection and creation is an ongoing process here; something we’re always working on. We are excited to present our newest round of e-Review this spring, starting at the end of March and hope to see you there!
More info on e-Review