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