Date of Award


Degree Type

Education Specialist

Degree Name

Education Specialist


Education, Leadership and Public Service


Educational Administration: Administration and Supervision (MAE)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Christi U. Edge


As online course enrollments grow, overall perception of rigor still lags compared to that of traditional face-to-face education. The purpose of this research was to tie faculty and syllabi characteristics to the rigor of online courses. This study explored the relationship between faculty and syllabi characteristics and performance on an online entry-level course design quality assurance assessment (pass, pass with concern, or fail). A decision tree analysis was used to predict the relationship of the independent (faculty and syllabi characteristics) and the dependent (entry-level course design assessment) variables. Findings suggest that faculty rank and writing intensive are key characteristics predictive of the rigor of design for online courses. Knowing what characteristics are likely to fail the course design assessments, extra resources and support can be shifted to elevate the rigor of online courses.

Access Type

Open Access