Higher Education Newsletter

University of Pretoria students positive about enhanced ebooks

In 2015, University of Pretoria students using our first enhanced ebook Navigating Information Literacy were surveyed online. A few months later, after using the eBook for a sustained period of time, both students and lecturers were interviewed in focus groups.

Course Context:

Navigating Information Literacy (ISBN 978 177595 3494) was prescribed by the University of Pretoria for a compulsory foundational first-year course of undergraduate studies (9000 students) and is available with a print textbook.

Survey Findings:

Student responses obtained from the survey and interviews addressed three areas:

  • Overall experience with the eBook
  • Using the eBook
  • Learning experience with the eBook.

Student Feedback on Most Useful Features


Using the eBook – Student Experiences

The Navigating Information Literacy eBook is delivered through an e-reader which is integrated with the University’s learning management system. This setup simplifies accessing the eBooks as the students simply log into their student accounts.

Overall experience with eBook

Out of students offering comment within the survey, 60% provided positive feedback on their experiences with the eBook.

While some students still lean toward wanting to use the print textbook, there appears to be a shift in student perception on the value of eBooks and an increasing understanding of how eBooks can help them learn.

Students preferred using the eBooks due to their convenience, and more so due to the better accessibility of the content, and being motivated to engage in learning. “The hard copy looked like so much [to take in], but then I got [the] eBook and it was more interactive for me, so I was like, you know what... I’m going to pass this thing’.”

Lecturer Experiences

Lecturers found the eBook convenient to use, as well as engaging due to its interactive features, which are described as interesting and beneficial to the student learning experience. The lecturers recognised the overall value of the eBook for students. According to the lecturers, the use of the eBook not only teaches students the course content, but also assists students in developing their information literacy skills, and helps students become more technologically savvy and better prepared for the “future of technology.” Additionally, advancing these skills adds to students “marketability in the workplace.”


All first year students attending this course (9,000 students) were asked to complete the online survey; approximately 28% of students provided their feedback. Following the analysis of survey data, focus groups were organised with students and lecturers. In total, 16 students and 8 lecturers were interviewed.Out of 2,571 students who responded to the survey, 68% of them had used the eBook.  The feedback included in this report comes from the students reporting using the eBook (total of 1,746).  Additionally, 187 students offered a comment in the open-response question included on the survey. The findings from the survey were combined with the feedback obtained during the student focus groups.

View our updated HED Catalogue online


Our 2016 digital HED Catalogue, was recently updated to include our student response tool Learning Catalytics, Enhanced eBooks and customisable learning solutions.

To browse through our catalogue click here.

What's new in MyLab & Mastering: Learning Catalytics


MyLab & Mastering, Pearson’s collection of online homework, tutorial and assessment products now features a new interactive student response tool: Learning Catalytics. Learning Catalytics is a bring your own device student engagement and assessment and classroom intelligence system.

By using this system, lecturers will be able to generate classroom discussions and promote in class assessment with real time analytics. Learning Catalytics can be incorporated in a traditional and flipped classroom model, engaging students with open ended questions and developing critical thinking skills.

Find out more about learning catalytics


The impact of the flipped classroom learning: An educators’ story


“I Flipped my Class, Now Everyone Talks, Laughs, and Works.” – Kelly Donahue Wallace, Author and Professor, University of North Texas.

My journey toward teaching in a flipped classroom began when I started teaching classes that met once a week for three hours. Neither my voice nor the students’ perseverance could handle three-hour lectures. This led me to experiment with alternate uses of classroom time via a variety of group and individual activities.

Read Kelly’s story

Author Interview: Nicholaas Blom, co-author of Teaching Learning Dynamics


Nicholaas Blom, co-author of Teaching Learning Dynamics recently conducted research on how Grade 9 technology learners’ thoughts develop during design problem solving.   He systematically looked at how learners used their memory and any external information sources to understand and solve a design problem.  Through his research, he could empirically show how learners think during problem solving.

What is the most interesting research you have conducted?

"Recently, I conducted research on how Grade 9 technology learners’ thoughts develop during design problem solving.   This meant that I systematically looked at how they used their memory and any external information sources to understand and solve a design problem.  This was very interesting for me, because I could empirically show how learners think during problem solving.  It also changed my own viewpoint on how learning takes place, and the invaluable role that a facilitator and sufficient classroom media play."




What is the biggest challenge you currently see in your classroom? How can this be resolved?

"One of the biggest challenges that I experience in my own classes is the impact of diverse student backgrounds on teaching and learning.  In my classes, students come from various backgrounds, where they were exposed to different lifestyles.  This means that I have a broad variety of students to teach – some have seen the world, while others have not even been to more than two provinces yet.  As such, I need to be able to expose students to new information, which some of them have never even dreamed of."

"One of the ways in which I try to address these challenges is to allow peer interactions during teaching and learning.  I often find that students are able to communicate concepts in creative ways that I have not explored before.  It is always such a treat when I learn alternative explanations from my students.  Another way in which I address this challenge is to push students out of their comfort zones during research projects.  I always require students to visit research sites and talk to ‘experts’ rather than just reading information on the web.  This ensures that students immerse themselves in real-world situations, rather than just reading information from decontextualised sources."

What has been the highlight of your career?

"Although my career is still in the early stages, I have been fortunate to experience various highlights.  A recent highlight includes obtaining my Masters degree at the University of Pretoria in Design and Technology Education.  It was during this formative stage in my career in which my passion for education and design cognition developed.  I look forward to embark on my PhD studies this year.   Another highlight was co-authoring two chapters in a (Pearson?) teacher education textbook.  These writing processes have contributed greatly to my own development as an educational researcher and writer.Although my career is still in the early stages, I have been fortunate to experience various highlights.  A recent highlight includes obtaining my Masters degree at the University of Pretoria in Design and Technology Education.  It was during this formative stage in my career in which my passion for education and design cognition developed.  I look forward to embark on my PhD studies this year.   Another highlight was co-authoring two chapters in a (Pearson?) teacher education textbook.  These writing processes have contributed greatly to my own development as an educational researcher and writer."

What do you do to relax?

"When I am not working, I enjoy going to the gym to blow some steam off.  I try and exercise at least four to five times a week.  My other relaxation strategies include having dinner with friends, playing the piano or guitar, and exploring new spaces like the CBD in Pretoria and Johannesburg."

How do you motivate/inspire your students?

"Firstly, I consciously demonstrate and show students my own passion for Design and Technology education, as well as my passion for education.  By showing students these passions, they are inherently exposed to values which they cannot experience in any textbooks.  Secondly, I constantly encourage students by positive reinforcement.  Especially, students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds who hear about Design and Technology for the first time.  Thirdly, getting my students involved in hands-on activities"

New edition of Managing Public Money released at UNISA


Managing Public Money 3rd edition was recently released at UNISA during an insightful talk by Professor Valiant Clapper from UNISA’s Department of Public Administration and Management. According to Prof Clapper South Africans have been inundated with bad news that is connected by a single link – money or finance.

Click here to learn more about the talk and the title.

To receive a sample copy of the book, contact Pearson on 021 532 6008.


Photo: Riaan Visser (author), Juanita Pratt (Publisher: Pearson), Prof. Koos Pauw UNISA (author), Prof. Goonasagree Naidoo, UNISA (Director: School of Public and Operations Management), Prof. David Fourie, University of Pretoria (author), and Prof. Valiant Clapper, UNISA (Department of Public Administration and Management)

Pearson launches 4 new education titles at EASA


Pearson launched the following 4 new education titles at the Education Association of South Africa (EASA)’s annual conference recently:

  • Becoming a Teacher – available as an enhanced eBook
  • Including the Excluded
  • Introducing English as a First Additional Language in the Early Years
  • Teaching–Learning Dynamics, 5th edition

To receive a sample copy of the books, contact Pearson on 021 532 6008.

Top Wits chemistry students awarded


Pearson awarded tablets and book prizes to top chemistry students at the University of the Witwatersrand Top Achievers Function held recently. The awards are a part of the RAP, (Research Assistantship Program) which recognises excellence while exposing students to the research carried out in the School of Chemistry.

“The RAP is a project that has been designed to expose current chemistry research practice to undergraduate students who excel in this discipline in an attempt to increase their interest to continue in postgraduate studies in the School of Chemistry,” said Professor Gaby Meirim from the School of Chemistry at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Selected high performing undergraduates are identified mid-year, and are invited to the Top Achievers Function, where they have the opportunity to find out about the research carried out in the School as well as discuss future career choices with researches in the School of Chemistry. These students each won a tablet, sponsored by Pearson.

Due to the sponsorship of the various prizes by Pearson, the competition between students to present as well as perform well academically was fierce and the quality of their presentations excellent. This year their presentations were so good that it was impossible to distinguish who had won the supplementary prizes, so Mrs Aamina Gangat, from Pearson, awarded book prizes to all the students who presented.

We are sure that every one of the students will remember Pearson’s generosity. So it is with heart-felt thanks to Pearson that another successful RAP annual prize-giving function was held.”  said Gaby Meirim

Photo: Micheala Benjamin, Winner of the 1st year RAP prize, Prof. Gaby Meirim, and Aamina Gangat, Head of Sales, Higher Education, Pearson.

Pearson one of the world's most sustainable companies


For the second year, Pearson has been included in the Global 100 World's Most Sustainable Corporations. The 2016 list was recently unveiled at the World Economic Forum and is drawn from over 4,600 listed global companies. The assessment covers social impact, environmental performance and corporate governance.

Universities join Pearson to venture Beyond the Book


Pearson hosted Beyond the Book seminars for universities across South Africa to showcase our innovative learning solutions and services designed to improve learning outcomes. If you would like to host a personalised Beyond the Book session for your department, contact Louise Kruger on 011 322 8600.

Beyond the Book seminars feature:

  • learning solutions to develop foundations skills
  • enhanced ebooks
  • Pearson’s MyLab & Mastering online homework tutorial programme
  • how to develop customised content for your course


Contact Us

If you would like to speak to an expert higher education consultant, contact Louise Kruger or Aamina Gangat.

Kathy Paraskeva

Sales Director: Higher Education

Telephone: +27 11 322 8600

Mobile: +27 83 679 8287

email: kathy.paraskeva@pearson.com

Click here to contact Kathy Paraskeva

Aamina Gangat

Head of Sales: Higher Education

Mobile: +27 71 330 7138

email: aamina.gangat@pearson.com

Click here to contact Aamina Gangat


Louise Kruger

Sales Operations Lead: Higher Education

Telephone: +27 11 322 8600

email: louise.kruger@pearson.com

Click here to contact Louise Kruger