New ! Search
Full Menu and site Navigation
A better world through a systems approach

It's not what you teach, it's what you assess

Courtney Wright

Jan 21, 2022
The title of this blog is a statement I make to every professor who asks me about Academic Equivalency. Unlike the dean, your colleagues, your students, and their future employers, I don't care what you lecture about. I don't need to know if you explain the difference between verification and validation, or if you expect your students to know that already. What I care about is whether you assess their knowledge.

I also don't have a strong preference on how you verify their knowledge. I hope you verify their knowledge in a way that is customized to their domain knowledge, giving them project assignments relevant to their past or future work. I hope you assess them in a language used commonly in their community, not necessarily English. We already have a generic, English-language assessment of systems engineers' general knowledge of the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook. That assessment is our INCOSE knowledge exam. We created the Academic Equivalency (AcEq) Program so that you can bring us alternate assessment methods. 

The process of a university professor applying for AcEq is that he or she starts with our INCOSE list of learning objects used for our knowledge exam. The professor then tells us which class activities assess against those same objectives. If we agree that the classroom assessments are sufficient, we approve the equivalency. 

There are some administrative hoops to jump through, too. We give more details and a link to the application form at the main page describing Academic Equivalencies: https://www.incose.org/systems-engineering-certification/certification-agreements/equivalency-programs

Leave a comment