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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. If you are confused about which course to put the equivalency on, on the course for which you want to give the student credit, add the course entity for the alternative course that they have credit for or could take as an alternative and get credit for in the future. Then if they take the course listed as an equivalent, they will automatically get credit for the course on which you placed it.
Example: If you want to give them credit for "Course B" IF they have credit for "Course A", on "Course B" put "Course A" as the equivalent. For instance, if completing a classroom course "COURSETAKEN" should give them equivalent credit for a similar eLearning "COURSEGRANTED", you would list COURSETAKEN as the equivalent on the Equivalencies tab of COURSEGRANTED.
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. NOTE: You are allowed to grant equivalency credit for courses that are not active and are hidden from the Course Search for users.
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:
( ) 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.
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.
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.
- Course – Any completed transcript meets the rule, whether achieved by the student or granted by administrative override. This is the most flexible option for those who sometimes have to grant credit manually by editing a transcript status or other manual intervention.
- Course by Exact Match – Course completion must be achieved by student
- Course by Equivalency – Student received equivalent credit for the required course
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 Training History. It is displayed with the Transcript Status "Attend No Bill (Pass)" and the audit trail will show it was done by LMS Automated Processing.
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 04/01/2022 and an equivalency rule of Course A:
- Sally completed Course A on 01/01/2021. Her equivalent transcript score date on Course B will be 04/01/2022.
- John completed Course A on 05/02/2022. His equivalent transcript score date on Course B will be 05/02/2022.
Considerations for Managers and Administrators
Because Equivalency-based transcripts will have the Transcript Status "Attend No Bill (Pass)", when filtering to include these equivalent records in reporting or other places where transcript completion status is being considered, anyone using filters in audiences, announcements, batch enrollment, or in the Report Writer will need to include "Attend No Bill (Pass)" status to get a full view of transcripts for which students have completion credit.