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Understanding and Managing Perceptions of Academic Rigor

Curriculum Planning & Development Faculty Development

Understanding and Managing Perceptions of Academic Rigor

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Faculty and students are not on the same page about what makes a course rigorous. Draeger, del Prado Hill, and Mahler (2015) find that “faculty perceived learning to be most rigorous when students are actively learning meaningful content with higher-order thinking at the appropriate level of expectation within a given context” (216). Interactive, collaborative, engaging, synthesizing, interpreting, predicting, and increasing levels of challenge are phrases faculty use to describe rigor. In contrast, “academic rigor” is an uncommon expression among students.

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Lolita Paff, PhD

Lolita Paff is associate professor of business and economics at Penn State Berks. She is an innovative teacher, with expertise in flipped instruction, blended course design, teaching with technology, interaction, and engagement. Her teaching experience includes face-to-face, hybrid/blended, and online formats. Administrative achievements include formation of an internship learning objectives-based assessment program, development of the business program’s vision and mission, and establishment of program-level outcomes-based assessment. In 2014, she received the MERLOT Classics Award in Business, a peer reviewed national honor, for authoring an exemplary online learning resource. She serves on the boards of national teaching and learning organizations, leads faculty development workshops, and has been recognized for excellence in teaching, advising and service.Updated: 7-25-17

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