Volume 41 - Number 2 - 2000 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2000.02065



The purpose of this study was to describe and compare perceptions of academic rigor in on-campus and off-campus courses held by off-campus students (N = I 73) and college of agriculture teaching faculty (N = 262) at Iowa State University. Students andfaculty agreed that on-campus courses are rigorous and that they require students to be active in the learning process, expend effort, and achieve high-level cognitive outcomes. The same can be said for rigor and factors underlying rigor in the off-campus context. In addition, students and faculty were consistent in indicating that off-campus students contribute less to class discussion than on-campus students. Off-campus students perceived that on- and off- campus courses are near parity in terms of academic rigor. Faculty, on the other hand, perceived on-campus courses as superior to off-campus courses. Whose perceptions are more accurate? Because of the disparity between student andfaculty perceptions, agricultural educators should conduct research that more directly measures the extent to which on- and off-campus courses actually require active learning, effort, and high cognitive levels. This line of research will provide a basis for developing new teaching and learning strategies that contribute toward the realization of truly equivalent outcomes for on- and off- campus courses.

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