Course Equivalency Rules

The Course Equivalency feature allows Portal Administrators to build a set of eligibility rules that determine which LMS users should be granted credit for a course. This tool helps to eliminate the need for manual transcript administration, repetitive/unnecessary training exercises, or reconfiguration of Certification programs by developing a process to automatically grant students who fulfill all eligibility criteria credit for “equivalent” coursework.

How Equivalency Credit is Calculated, Granted, and Revoked

Equivalency rules can apply to all users who complete a course, be restricted by a user’s assigned position, or can be set at the Certification/Curriculum program level. Eligibility rules are strictly enforced, but can be adjusted at any time. 

Once an equivalency rule is established, course credit is granted to users retroactively, with a process that takes 10 - 30 minutes (depending on number of user transcripts being generated). It is important to note that the equivalency process runs on a continuous cycle. So any time an equivalency rule is updated, a user’s position changes, or a course transcript expires, training credit can be revoked from those learners who used to but no longer meet the eligibility criteria. 

To create Equivalency Rules, follow this two-step process:

STEP ONE: Select Rule Entities

After searching and selecting the course you want to edit, click the Equivalencies tab. First, you must define the “Rule Entities” to be used in the automated credit eligibility formula. These can be based on Course completion, user Position assignment, or Certification/Curriculum completion, if enabled for your portal. 

To create an entity, click the appropriate link to launch a Picker and select a value. 

 Screenshot of Course Equivalency tab with Position Picker open.

STEP TWO: Define the Rule

Once you have created a collection of rule entities, they must be applied with “Operators” to define equivalency eligibility. Select an entity by clicking on the associated letter (A - Z) in the Label column, then click on the relevant operator. The operators function as follows:

&            AND
|             OR
( )           Used for creating groups of entities
BKSP      Backspace button to remove the last symbol entered
CLEAR    Clears all rule setup

You can also type the letters and symbols into the Rule text box, if preferred. Continue to build rules in algebraic expression to complete the desired set of course prerequisites. Click Submit to save changes.

Note: If you create an Entity that is not used as part of the Rule, that entity will be removed from the requisite list when you click Submit.

Example of missing rule.

Examples of Equivalency Rule Setup and Functionality

In the example below, just one entity -- a single course -- was selected to ensure that all students who have completed course A will be granted credit for the example course. Qualify the type of course completion requirement by how the required credit was achieved.

  • Course – Any completed transcript meets the rule, whether achieved by the student or granted by administrative override
  • Course by Exact Match – Course completion was achieved by student 
  • Course by Equivalency – Student received equivalent credit for the required course

Example of simple rule setup.

In this more complex example, the administrator has defined one Course and two Position Codes as rule Entities. He then built the Rule to state that any student who has completed Course A AND is assigned Position (Code B OR Code C) will be granted credit for the course. 

Example of more complex rule setup.

The Student Experience - Receiving Equivalent Course Credit

Once a course equivalency has been established, all LMS users who fit the rule will receive appropriate course credit. Because this is an automated process, students will not receive email confirmation as they would with a normal course completion. However, they will find a new completed transcript for the equivalent course listed under their History tab, using the search filter “Equivalency only”.

Note: The “Course Display Date” controls when credit can be applied to a user’s training history. Therefore, the completion date of an equivalency transcript will reflect either the display date of the course being granted, or the date that the student passed the equivalent course, whichever is later. For example, Course B was created with Display Date 04/01/2016 and an equivalency rule of Course A:

  • Sally completed Course A on 01/01/2015. Her equivalent transcript score date on Course B will be 04/01/2016.
  • John completed Course A on 05/02/2016. His equivalent transcript score date on Course B will be 05/02/2016.