Accreditation and Certification for System Dynamics: Meeting

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Etiënne Rouwette
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:59 am

Accreditation and Certification for System Dynamics: Meeting

Post by Etiënne Rouwette » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:35 am

Accreditation and Certification for System Dynamics: Meeting 20-July-2016 at Delft conference

This is a summary of a meeting held at the Delft 2016 System Dynamics Conference concerning whether the Society should seek to develop an Accreditation service for University and other teaching bodies and a Certification service for new and developing practitioners. Parties present included the President and others with an interest in the topic, but the meeting’s purpose was to understand and share the issues involved - it had no decision-making status.

Speakers provided insight from involvement in other professional societies and from experience of using other professional accreditation systems in Universities. Further key inputs were [a] the work of Martin Schaffernicht and Stefan Grosser on a schema of capability-levels in system dynamics, to be published in August 2016 in System Dynamics Review, and Len Malczynski’s efforts to review and compare the content of existing SD courses.

The conclusions of the discussion were ...

•that a full accreditation/certification scheme is a big undertaking, and probably beyond our Society just now
•... but that Schaffernicht/Grosser's work on SD capabilities could provide the skeleton for a body of knowledge for the field, onto which teaching rubrics could be added
•... informed by Len Malczynski's survey of the SD syllabi being taught
•that a standards committee or technical committee to guide this process would be advisable
•such a BoK would then provide a reference for teachers and trainers to check the coverage and standards of their teaching
•... which might enable peer-review of any instructional programs
•... which may then enable Accreditation and Certification

Please share any ideas or suggestions you might have.


Etiënne Rouwette

Leonard Malczynski
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:12 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA

Re: Accreditation and Certification for System Dynamics: Mee

Post by Leonard Malczynski » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:07 am

Thank you for the update.

This is the list of topics from participants at the Common Body of Knowledge session.
It has been sent to the 100+ instructors and I have received many comment back that still need to be considered.

I asked that the participants give suggestions on core topics for a first class in system dynamics.
The responses follow (not in any particular order):

Definition and discussion of feedback
Definition and discussion of cause and effect
Definition and discussion of stock versus flow
Definition and discussion of accumulation
Definition and discussion of delay and types of delay
Definition and discussion of causality versus correlation
Behavior over time graphs (reference modes)
Why is system dynamics and/or system thinking relevant
Appropriateness of SD, when should it be used and when not
A comparison of SD with other methods, e.g. econometrics, optimization, etc.
Definition and discussion of iterative modeling
Definition and discussion of policy decision making
Definition and discussion of communicating model insights
Definition and discussion of variables and relationships
Using an example model and analyzing it
Definition and discussion of scale, scope, and hierarchy in modeling

I welcome comments,
Len Malczynski

Karim Chichakly
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:52 am

Re: Accreditation and Certification for System Dynamics: Mee

Post by Karim Chichakly » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:57 am

Thanks Etiënne.

I will add that isee systems is looking at adding a Certification program to fill this void and have been in talks both with earlier incarnations of your committee and WPI around this idea. We are starting with a Systems Thinking certificate this fall, but plan to add SD soon.


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