Abstract

Part I of this project (Johnson, Weidner, Jones, & Manwell, 2018) confirmed the definition of course rigor, as well as the development of questions used to assess rigor. This paper, part II of this project, assessed the student ratings rigor questions to investigate course rigor relative to instructor ratings, course ratings, course grades, enrollment, and course level. A total of 203 courses (2,720 students) participated during a three-year period. Results indicated that course rigor is strongly related to instructor and course ratings, but minimally to course grades. Lower-level courses also were found to have significantly lower rigor than upper-level courses. These results contradict the theory of retributional bias and suggest that faculty are more likely to receive high student ratings if perceived rigor is high. This study also provides a foundation from which course rigor can be further evaluated in different academic contexts.

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