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Understanding and Managing Perceptions of Academic Rigor

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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