Volume 40 - Number 1 - 1999 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.1999.01057



The purpose of this study was to compare college of agriculture teachingfaculty members' perceptions of the academic rigor of on-campus and off-campus courses. The population included 262 faculty members with teaching responsibilities or with teaching experience in the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University. All members of the population were surveyed and the response rate was 54.2%. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify factors underlying college of agriculture teaching faculty members, perceptions of the academic rigor of on-campus and off-campus courses. Ultimately, three factors were identified including (I) active learning, (2) effort, and (3) high cognitive levels. The factors were useful in explaining academic rigor in on-campus and off-campus courses. College of agriculture teaching faculty perceived off-campus courses to be less rigorous than on-campus courses. Notably, faculty perceptions of the academic rigor of on- and off-campus courses were independent of their participation in faculty development programs related to distance education and their experience with distance teaching. Further research is needed to determine if off-campus courses do infactprovide less opportunityfor active learning, require students to expend less effort, and result in lower level cognitive outcomes.

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