How REVEL Connects Learners to Their Courseware

REVEL is a digital resource that currently offers students online and mobile access to humanities, social sciences, and other course materials. The program includes embedded assessments, interactive components, and videos integrated within the narrative content to reinforce key concepts. It also includes familiar tools such as highlighting and note-taking capabilities as well as a glossary to support learning. REVEL provides instructors an assignment calendar that allows them to indicate to students when readings must be completed with reminders and study tips to help students stay on track throughout the course.

The interactive learning experience was launched in 2014 to foster independent self-initiated learning outside the classroom so that students and educators are more prepared inside the classroom. REVEL allows students to access their learning anytime, anywhere, with an engaging experience that encourages class participation and course completion.

REVEL, already serving 135,000 students in the United States, was the first new Pearson higher education product to have an efficacy review before being publicly launched. This resulted in the definition of measurable learner outcomes and a comprehensive plan to increase efficacy over time. During 2016, Pearson will complete additional efficacy studies to formally identify how REVEL impacts learner outcomes, including student engagement, preparation for in-class learning activities, academic achievement, and course completion.


Number of students who use REVEL in the US

Students who use REVEL have an increased ability to learn effectively on their own

REVEL helps instructors address a particularly thorny challenge they face in classroom instruction—that students don’t do their assigned reading and come to class under-prepared. REVEL provides specialized tools to allow instructors to plan for and address this challenge.

Intended outcome 1

Learners come to class better prepared for discussion and activities and are more engaged.

Pearson has found an association between students’ use of REVEL and an increase in their ability to learn on their own.1 

In order to prepare for class, a student must be able to learn on their own. An exploratory study including 193 students who completed surveys delivered both before and after the semester, suggests that using REVEL is associated with a student’s self-reported increased ability to learn effectively on his or her own and ability to give clear and informative oral presentations.

Because these results are based on self-reported data from students, Pearson will be implementing a comparative study that includes users and non-users of REVEL to investigate whether these self-reported improvements are unique to REVEL users. For more information about this, please refer to the Research Appendix.

A Study of the Implementation of REVEL in Undergraduate Humanities and Social Science Courses, Pearson Education, Higher Education Line of Business, Efficacy and Research.

REVEL was designed using the latest theories in instructional and educational research. Every aspect of REVEL was created to reduce extraneous cognitive load—the total amount of mental effort being used in working memory—and increase long-term memory for students. By reducing cognitive load and focusing on the most important information, REVEL enables students to come to class better prepared with the aim to perform better in assessments and in the course overall. REVEL’s digital-first approach also allows students to access their course materials on the go—an important specification for students who are used to reading on screens instead of paper.

Intended outcome 2

Students have a positive learning experience and can access their learning anytime, anywhere.

Pearson has found student-reported evidence that suggests REVEL meets its goal of providing a positive learning experience and easy access for students who use the product.2

Pearson surveyed 483 students across six different classrooms in six different institutions who use REVEL regularly as part of an exploratory study. The survey revealed that 82 percent of students said they were able to successfully use REVEL during their first week of class, with only five percent of students saying they experienced any problems accessing or using the product. Furthermore, 46 percent of surveyed students reported that they never used their backup print textbook because the REVEL digital product provided them with the information the needed reliably and conveniently.

The initial information gleaned from this survey will pave the way for additional product improvements, including more comprehensive data-capturing capabilities for REVEL, which will allow it to refine the user experience. By improving these capabilities in 2016, Pearson will be better able to measure the impact of specific product features on the learning experience for students and how use of those features contributes to gains in learning.

For more information about this, please refer to the Impact Evaluation Report below.


Other respondents to the survey shared similar sentiments, with one student mentioning:

"It was very convenient for me to have access to my textbook at all times. This allowed me to pull up the textbook from where ever I was at and I never was late with homework because of it."

Student using REVEL

Because REVEL is designed to be easily accessed across a number of different platforms and devices, the product’s designers intend for it to encourage learners to be more active with the text and to attend class more frequently as a result of increased engagement with the coursework.

REVEL is designed to encourage learners to access course materials wherever they might be, using the devices they are already familiar with. Because REVEL was only launched in 2014, more impact evaluation studies need to be done to determine exactly how well REVEL helps students perform in their classes. But self-reported data suggests consistent satisfaction among the product’s users, and an effective way to connect courseware and learning materials to a student’s preferred mode of discovering new content.

REVEL has ambitious plans to conduct research that will further demonstrate the impact of the program on learner outcomes. For example, future research plans will address whether students attend class at higher rates when using the product. For an overview of these plans, please see the accompanying Impact Evaluation Report below.

In 2013, we announced our efficacy initiative to measure the impact that our products and services have on our learners. We committed to publicly report our findings starting in 2018, and to subject those reports to external audit.  We are pleased to release our preliminary reports to share the work we have done so far and what we have planned ahead. The content in these reports reflects the continued refinement of our approach; while our work continues to advance, we are proud to share transparently what we have learned. We anticipate that we will continue to further refine these reports as we approach our 2018 target.

Age/Stage: Higher Education

Type: Courseware

Report Downloads

Impact Evaluation Report