Active learning reaps its rewards

Active learning is the key to success in the Actuary and Fellowship program.

Merely listening and absorbing the content is not enough to pass the subject, as students are expected to demonstrate actuarial judgement. This involves applying their knowledge in a variety of scenarios and contexts, reflecting on the situation, articulating the considerations and issues, followed by making recommendations.

A great analogy to successfully completing a subject in the Actuary and Fellowship program is to run a marathon.

Pace yourself: Work through the materials steadily. Don’t burn yourself out too earlier and don’t rely on cramming just before exams.

Practice, practice, practice: You don’t prepare for a marathon by watching others run nor do you prepare by reading about people running. The only way to prepare is to practice. This means reflecting on the material you’ve been given, developing your writing skills and fine-tuning your articulation abilities to demonstrate your reasoning, completing the exercises and as many past exam questions (under exam conditions) as you can.

Ensuring that you’re race fit: Take care of your mental and physical health by taking breaks, exercising and eating right.

Be race ready: Complete ALL registration requirements and ensure your notes and equipment is ready for the exam.

One of the key principles for Actuary and Fellowship professional education is that the formal assessments must provide an expectation that a well-prepared student will reach the pass standard.

This means a student that has read and understood the subject materials engages with the discussion forums and tutorials and sufficiently practiced past exams will be able to communicate their understanding and pass the subject.

To support student success, the Institute has structured the delivery of the Actuary and Fellowship subjects through a mixture of online readings, video resources (topical deep-dives and industry-relevant talks), weekly in-depth tutorials with invited industry specialists, and discussion forums to share further questions and insights.

As the Education Team works to improve content and delivery continuously, one of the aspects we monitor is student engagement. Analysis of the General Insurance & Health Pricing and Portfolio Analytics (GIHPPA) Fellowship subject over 2022 Semester 2 has revealed the value of active student participation.

This subject has one of the largest student cohorts amongst the Actuary and Fellowship programs, with 170 students enrolled in the most recent semester. Analysis has shown:

  • Student engagement was high over the semester with;
    • almost 500 posts and 10,000 page views of the discussion forum
    • over 80% of students viewing majority of the tutorial content.

  • Students accessed a combination of live and offline tutorials.

  • Analysis of the student engagement with video content made available via the Learning Management System shows:
    • Students who were attempting the subject for the first time and had consumed a high portion of the videos exhibited a 10% higher average pass rate than students who did not.
    • Students who were repeating the subject exhibited a materially higher average pass rate than first-time students. This is likely due to improved content familiarity, and more practiced assessment experience.
    • However, repeating students who also invested their time to review significant portions of the video content to consolidate and test their knowledge exhibited a 30% higher average pass rate than those who did not.

The Institute Team is working to continuously improve the education program to meet the changing needs of our clients and our communities while placing an emphasis on the student’s learning journey.

If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to the Education Team.

CPD: Actuaries Institute Members can claim two CPD points for every hour of reading articles on Actuaries Digital.

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