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  • A diverse group of students sitting in a classroom, focused and engaged.

    What Students Love about Pearson

    It’s the season of love, and at Pearson, there’s nothing we love more than helping students succeed. This Valentine’s Day, we asked students how Pearson helps them in their courses, and we’re excited to share the love!

    Features and tools

    From the convenience and accessibility, to the interactive and engaging features and tools, MyLab and Mastering have become the study buddies that students adore. Over 90% of students agree that Pearson helps them come to class better prepared and ready to learn. With personalization features that help students pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses, what’s not to love? One of the most popular features is the ‘Help Me Solve This’ tool in MyLab, which walks students through problems step by step. One student says, “I love the feature, it allows me to get my questions answered without having to be in person!” It’s important that students can work their way through problems they don’t understand without having to wait for extra help.

    Whether it’s built-in homework help or premade practice quizzes and flash cards, Pearson is always ready to help students save time studying. MyLab and Mastering cater to each individual student, helping them understand where they’re struggling or excelling in real time, “MyLab and Mastering are especially useful for topics that I may not be so strong in, as they give little reminders and tips to study specific problems.” says one student. When students are able to break down exactly what sections and problem types they struggle with the most, they don’t have to struggle looking for ways to fill the gap. Pearson is already there to guide them in the right direction. It’s a match made in academic heaven!

    Studying, reading, and homework, wherever you are

    Pearson makes it easy for students to stay on top of their assignments with the flexibility and accessibility that allows students to take their courses with them. On commutes students listen to the audio of their textbook or catch up on studying with their P+ app. “Pearson gives me the flexibility to have easy access wherever I am” says one student, “I can use it across multiple devices.” And with features like embedded videos, study tools, and interactive problems, 80% of students agree that Pearson products are more engaging than a traditional textbook. The convenience and ease of use MyLab and Mastering provide help students stay on top of their assignments. Students find they’re more organized when they use Pearson in their courses with one student saying “it’s so easy to navigate and it helps me stay on schedule and makes me more efficient when studying.” With the right tools, everyone has the opportunity to thrive in their courses, and at Pearson we love that we’re able to provide those tools.

    MyLab and Mastering are designed to meet students where they are, whether that’s physically on the go, or academically in class. Our tools and features help move students along in their courses without feeling like they’re being left behind. Over 77% of students recognize that MyLab and Mastering play a huge role in helping them sustain engagement within course materials, and many students use Pearson to help understand in class lectures better.

    Thanks for the LOVE!

    We love to hear from students, and we’re so proud to be able to spread that love this Valentine’s Day! And we LOVE to be able to partner with students to provide purpose-built learning platforms that help them achieve their academic goals. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • College student looking at a laptop while studying in a group

    A Partnership for Success: How Carlos de la Lama uses MyLab to empower instructors and students

    Carlos de la Lama has integrated Pearson’s MyLab platform into approximately 80% of the courses he teaches.

    How did Pearson earn pride of place in the curricula of an esteemed higher ed math instructor with decades of experience?

    Carlos attributes his long partnership with Pearson to the strong relationships he has cultivated with Pearson representatives. These connections keep him at the forefront of technological advancements and enable him to utilize MyLab’s many resources to help his students succeed.

    Emphasizing accessible learning materials

    Pearson’s commitment to supporting every learner with accessible content and platforms is a primary reason why MyLab is Carlos’s go-to resource.

    When Carlos was teaching at Southwestern College in 2017, the school updated their accessibility standards and requested that any publisher they work with comply with the new changes.

    Many publishers refused, but Pearson saw SC’s change as an opportunity for growth and collaboration. By partnering with SC, Pearson ensured its platforms were accessible and became one of the few publishers that could provide services to the institution.

    Recently, the commitment to accessibility begun at SC earned Pearson the prestigious Global Certified Accessibly Certification (GCA) from Benetech.

    Balancing structure and customization in math instruction

    As an instructor, Carlos finds MyLab’s wealth of diverse and difficulty-tiered questions unparalleled. This flexibility allows him to tailor assessments and homework to meet the unique needs of his students.

    For example, Carlos strategically deploys MyLab in courses with historically low student success rates, such as Intermediate Algebra. By incorporating MyLab content into assessments and finals, spacing them strategically over weeks, and introducing pre-assessments as non-credit prerequisites, Carlos has been able to significantly improve math test scores, indicating heightened student engagement and mastery.

    For face-to-face courses, Carlos recommends starting small and carefully structuring individualized homework. Emphasizing the development of prerequisites, he believes, has been instrumental in his success.

    In hybrid or online courses, he says the same principles apply, with added considerations for assessment administration and leveraging MyLab resources to foster engagement.

    Helping students find success

    For Carlos, Pearson’s MyLab is an indispensable ally, shaping not only his teaching methodologies but also contributing significantly to increased student success. In the ever-evolving landscape of education, Carlos’s story stands as a beacon for instructors seeking to elevate the learning experience.

    Want to know more? Discover how to transform your teaching with MyLab Math.

  • College students looking at a laptop together on campus steps

    Transforming Education with Revel: Empowering Instructors & Increasing Student Engagement at North Carolina A&T

    By Liz Lebold

    North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (North Carolina A&T) is the leading public historically black college and university (HBCU). This renowned institution demonstrates its commitment to diversity and inclusivity with a student body of 13,300, where 89% are underrepresented minorities. Offering an impressive array of 54 undergraduate and 41 graduate degrees, the university provides first-class education to all.

    The key figure in this educator spotlight is Dr. Antoinette Maldonado-Devincci, an instructor at North Carolina A&T since 2016. She has made a remarkable impact on her students by incorporating Revel into her Biological Psychology (PSYC 361) course. Her choice to adopt Revel was driven by its contemporary, student-friendly content, which explores emerging areas like epigenetics.

    Keeping Students Engaged

    However, it's not just the content that makes Revel stand out for Dr. Maldonado-Devincci. She found Revel's interactive features and diverse resources to be highly effective in catering to different learning styles, resulting in increased student engagement. She compares Revel to "MindTap on steroids," highlighting the wealth of resources the platform offers to get students involved in the learning process, such as the shared writing assignments, which replace traditional discussion boards. They foster peer interaction and significantly reduce her grading workload.

    Diversity in Assignment Options

    One of the core strengths of Revel, according to Dr. Maldonado-Devincci, is the ability to provide multiple avenues for students to earn grades outside of traditional testing methods that are less intimidating than standard exams. The platform's iterative approach to learning, alongside bite-sized chunks of content and in-chapter quizzes, fosters a less punitive assessment process than a single high-stakes exam. This approach not only eases the pressure on students but also creates a more supportive and constructive learning environment.

    Diminishing the Grading Burden

    Revel's efficiency simplifies content management and diminishes the burden of grading for Dr. Maldonado-Devincci, allowing her to assign content and quizzes without being overwhelmed by grading responsibilities. The platform's intuitive course creation and management features are user-friendly, benefiting experienced users and adjunct instructors. Dr. Maldonado-Devincci appreciates the convenience Revel offers, making her teaching experience seamless.

    In Dr. Maldonado-Devincci's words, "I appreciate being able to assign all the content and quizzes, so they get more interaction with the material without overloading me when it comes to the grading aspect of it."

    Support for Educators

    Pearson's dedicated support has been pivotal in Dr. Maldonado-Devincci's success with Revel. A Pearson representative provided essential support during course creation and the first semester.

    Dr. Antoinette Maldonado-Devincci's Revel success story at North Carolina A&T underscores the transformative impact of digital learning platforms. A combinations of Revel's engaging content, diverse resources, and Pearson's support have empowered her as an educator and enriched the learning experience for her students.

    Read more about Dr. Maldonado-Devincci's experience with Revel in the full instructor spotlight.

    What can Revel do for you and your students?

    Learn more about Revel.

  • Young woman with glasses looking at laptop screen.

    Revel was purposely built

    By Liz Lebold

    Some may think they know Revel; some people call it a digital textbook but they would be wrong. It’s so much more than that. Luckily, Pearson is here to reintroduce you to the real Revel. Revel is a comprehensive, dynamic education platform grounded in the subject matter expertise of world-class authors. Purposefully built to revolutionize the way educators teach and transform the way learners learn. Get ready to discover the incredible world of possibilities Revel offers.

    Immerse Students in Learning: Active participation is the key to learning, and Revel achieves this by integrating videos and interactives throughout the narrative, enabling students to analyze and apply key concepts actively while reading.

    “The video quizzes are a really good way to see how they apply the information, how they take it to the next level, and not just regurgitate or repeat what they’ve learned.” – Shawn Davis, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

    Improve Student Performance: Revel's quizzes and educator dashboard help measure progress and adjust teaching strategies to support student success. The Revel Mobile app lets instructors monitor their students’ progress away from the classroom.

    “I like the ability to see how much of my class is submitting their assignments and where there’s low activity.” Those are very helpful. I like being able to identify what is challenging them.” – Daniella Cope, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

    Enable Anywhere, Anytime Learning: With the Revel app, students can learn on the go, because students today need flexibility and accessibility.

    “Being able to open their textbook on their smartphone or tablet, having earbuds and listening to the text, highlighting something to export later, those things help. Having the textbook at their fingers and being able to listen to something really reinforces what they have already read. It is a great benefit to students, and it provides reinforcement to what they are learning, so that’s the most successful part, I would say.” – Dr. Erica Wattley, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

    Deliver World-Class Content: Revel enlivens expert subject matter with interactive elements, promoting an immersive experience that helps students better understand and apply what they're learning.

    “I always look for the Cadillac version of something because that will give me all the bells and whistles that I need to be able to use and be very proficient in the course. If I don’t have the instructor resources, then I am spending all my time just reading the book and tailoring the course to this particular text. I don’t have enough time, then, to actually do the engagement aspect that makes the course more beneficial to the students. Having those resources as a baseline and then elevating from there is why I keep coming back to Revel, over and over again.” – Dr Antoinette Maldonado-Devincci, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

    Learn more about Revel >

    Take a look at our new Revel video below.

  • Pencil laying on survey sheet, with Stronlgy Agree checkbox filled in.

    Revolutionizing Education: The Impact of AI on Learning and Teaching

    By Pearson

    Embracing Change

    The questions surrounding AI have drastically changed within the past year. Questions surrounding technology range from “what is this?” to “what are its limits?” In the dynamic landscape of higher education, AI has been a transformative force, reshaping the way faculty teach and students learn.

    Earlier this year, Pearson conducted a survey focused on generative AI (GAI) and ChatGPT in higher education, to examine faculty sentiment. Recently, Pearson revisited that survey, releasing it a second time to evaluate how feelings toward, and actual usage of, GAI has evolved. In just 6 months, a shift has occurred. There has been a 14% decrease in the level of concern for ChatGPT, and now over half of the respondents have familiarity with ChatGPT and its applications within education. This shift in perception paints an inspiring picture of an educational community willing to discover the transformative potential of GAI.

    The Influence in Higher Education

    Many believe that AI holds the power to revolutionize education – the degree of change remains up for debate. Some instructors aren’t yet making changes to their courses. Others are discovering a powerful ally in GAI when it comes to tasks like grading homework and enhancing course materials. Integrating AI into their workload allows instructors to save time and refine their courses to focus on their students.

    Enthusiasm or Concern?

    In the initial release of our survey a significant portion of participating instructors had reservations about the potential benefits of generative AI - this “game-changing technology.” Many respondents struggled to envision how GAI could benefit them. When the question was revisited this fall, one instructor commented that ChatGPT gives their students a “running start on their writing” allowing them to start with a structured foundation rather than a blank page. They found that “students can produce better papers when they use ChatGPT productively.”

    Results this fall indicated that the percentage of faculty who are “excited” or “enthusiastic” is almost equal to the number who responded as “concerned” - 28.6% and 26.7% respectively. Faculty are leaning into GAI as another tool for learning and developing new content. Conversely, some expressed concern surrounding cheating, academic dishonesty, and plagiarism detection. In fact, one instructor believes “students who wish to do minimal work now have an amazing new way to cheat, and they are definitely doing so!” To help combat these concerns, some faculty are having open conversations with their students, and instructors are adjusting their testing protocol.

    “This is really going to make us think about authentic assessment, and what learning means. Students are going to need to be able to use the technology to create code, aggregate data. But how will they know what to ask and if the answer is reasonable,” a faculty member commented. Furthermore, someone else said that ChatGPT presents the opportunity for students to think more critically and to fact-check more often.

    Charting a Course Forward

    When first distributing the survey, a notable 40% of respondents initially believed ChatGPT would change the industry, and have an immense impact on them. However, upon revisiting this question in the more recent survey, only a modest 10% of respondents experienced a discernible influence from the GAI tool. It is not uncommon to harbor apprehension towards change; however, sometimes it is not as daunting as it seems.

    Since individuals and organizations are working through how to use this technology at the same time it continues to develop, many instructors have had to (or plan to) adjust their course requirements. Some are increasing citation requirements or making assignments more interactive. This journey of transformation effects all disciplines. One writing composition instructor started using ChatGPT in their class earlier in the year, and now has integrated it into their lesson plans. They explain that their “students love learning what it does well and what it does poorly, and by exploring its capabilities, they learn a lot about writing expectations and standards.” Thus, by integrating ChatGPT into their lesson plan, this instructor is guiding students to think critically about GAI and its competencies. Another instructor uses it to demonstrate how to compose code in other languages and plans to continue to adapt their class as GAI grows.

    Embracing these tools as part of a collaborative teaching effort is the path forward. As one instructor comments, “students are going to need to be able to use the technology to create code, aggregate data, but how will they know what to ask and if the answer is reasonable?” When using AI in a partnership alongside traditional teaching, the instructor can step in, judiciously apply these tools, and help students discern when to employ them versus where conventional methods are more appropriate.

    A Vision for the Future

    The shift to familiarity and adaptation of ChatGPT and other GAI brings a new era of higher education. Similar to other major societal shifts, higher ed faculty find themselves with the opportunity to help lead the charge in forging this new path for themselves and their students by creating guidelines, and understanding how best GAI can be used. Even if you’re still reticent to embrace it, consider a common sentiment from our survey respondents - GAI creates the opportunity for open dialogue with students.

  • Schematic illustration depicting a hybrid of a brain and circuit board

    AI in Higher Ed: A Partnership

    By Pearson

    With the prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI) becoming more widespread since ChatGPT first launched in November 2022, professors and students alike have wondered how to use this newer technology effectively and ethically in the higher education landscape. With this in mind, Pearson conducted a webinar with professors, authors, and students from across the country to discuss some of the concerns, benefits, and best practices when it comes to utilizing generative AI. 

    The moderator, Dr. Peter Foltz from the University of Colorado and NSF AI Institute for Student-AI Teaming was joined by Dr. Amos Olagunju, Professor of Practice at the University of Kansas, Dr. Terri Moore, Professor at Eastern Florida State College, Dr. Ramesh Sharda, Vice Dean for Research and the Watson Graduate School of Management, Watson/ConocoPhillips Chair and Regents Professor of Management Science and Information Systems in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, Kylie Guzman, student at Western Kentucky University, and Saige O’Rourke, student at the University of Tennessee.

    Impact of AI

    Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, has already significantly impacted the way professors and students approach higher education. Amos feels there have been many facets that have been transformed such as academic outcomes, ways to engage students in critical thinking, writing, analysis, and creation of course content. In the analytics and data science field, Ramesh sees a potential reduction in the time professors need to create content, as they can use AI to generate custom sets of data. He also believes that “ChatGPT can be used as a friend to reduce academic integrity issues.”

    When it comes to application research, Ramesh has seen that with ChatGPT, better quality academic papers can be produced. It can help with literature reviews, summarizing research gaps, design experiments, and generating regression charts or histograms. One consideration he noted is that ChatGPT can also create fake references that look entirely legitimate. Other, broader, AI applications he noted include customer support and IT coding. He can see how there is potential for a lot more research on AI saying, “I think there are quite a few research opportunities in terms of testing the effectiveness, efficiency, and validation of the technologies used. So, at least in the short term, there is an opportunity to build a research portfolio where you have the testing of this technology.”

    There are a variety of ways students can use ChatGPT to assist and enhance their learning. Kylie uses it for brainstorming. She will input the topic and then tailor the response to match her unique voice. She also uses it to help understand scholarly articles when they are complicated or unfamiliar. She will input parts of the article and ask it to rephrase, summarize, and/or explain it to her in a way that resonates with her. Saige also uses it for brainstorming but finds it to be beneficial when she is in a rush as the immediate generated responses save her time. As a professor, Peter also sees the benefits of using AI for brainstorming. He suggests using AI for students’ writing to help generate ideas but cautions that clear documentation of their process is necessary. “You tell students that they can use it for the first part but then they’ve got to write on their own all while submitting all of their processes that they went through.”

    Instead of taking teaching opportunities away from professors, Ramesh sees that AI is creating more instances where the human touch, the human voice, the human reflection, is needed. “ChatGPT is creating a much larger role for professors because there is only so much that students can do with a computer. The professor needs to be there to both check the assessment and keep the human side of it... It falls more on the professor to figure out where the assessment lies and how to keep that connection to the students so that they’re both able to assess them at a more personal level but also keep them more motivated as they are working.”

    AI considerations

    Ramesh also discusses the “generative” aspect of ChatGPT allowing researchers to create synthetic data efficiently for use in other research. The same capability can also be used to create custom datasets for use by each student in class assignments so as to minimize the incentives for cheating.

    There is uncertainty about how to best use AI without allowing it to become a crutch or another easily accessible way for students to cheat. There is also a lot of confusion by professors and students on how to effectively use AI which has impacted expectations, with Saige saying, “The roles of professors and students are changing and shifting. We all have different ways of using AI and maneuvering the classroom to avoid cheating and use it in a productive way... We want to embrace technology, not rely on it.” Kylie agrees, commenting, “I see AI as a resource, not a solution.”

    Cheating is an all-too-common issue in higher education. With the advances in AI, some professors are concerned there will be even more opportunities for cheating, without the more straightforward ways of determining who is and isn’t cheating. This has prompted Terri to consider how she is designing her assessments in an effort to curb this potential issue. She no longer asks multiple choice questions or uses tests that she has used often in the past, as they are easy to find online. Now she asks students to explain concepts from the course and how they apply to their individual real-world experiences. “It requires more grading on my part but what I tell my students is, learning is not easy. If it is easy, you’re probably not learning. Assessing isn’t easy. Unless it is costing you something as a faculty member, you’re probably not assessing their real mastery. So, I am challenging myself to look at different ways of assessing and saying, perhaps the cheating is too available because the way we’re assessing is too easy to cheat. I also begin to think about the reasons behind the lack of integrity in our students with their academic honesty.”

    Using AI to generate an entire assignment does not allow for development of critical thinking skills, creativity, or unique human expression. In order to negate this issue of using AI to do their work, Saige suggests, “Students should be encouraged to work with AI instead of having it do the work for them. This way they can continue to be creative with their minds, let that creativity flow, and use it for brainstorming instead of a crutch.” Terri agrees about the importance of creativity, not just for students completing assignments, but for professors creating assessments. She feels that modeling creativity encourages students to engage in cultivating their own creativity as well. “If I am relying on things that are on Quizlet, I’m certainly not doing my job. I’m not giving students a creative assessment that lets them show me their creativity in return.”

    In addition to creativity, Kylie maintains that developing critical thinking skills is also a necessity in professional life. “I think it’s just as important to be teaching critical thinking because growing as a young professional, that’s what’s going to get me places. Even if I use AI as a tool, I need to make sure critical thinking is a foundation of it.” She feels it is also important for professors to foster passion in their students which also encourages the creativity and critical thinking aspects saying “Professors have to make sure that the student is actually passionate about what they’re learning because if there’s no passion, they are not going to want to learn, no want to be creative, no want to be critical, no want to look deeper into what is taught to them.” Amos sees AI as a tool to enhance students’ creativity and critical thinking, both of which prepare them for their careers. “AI is here to help promote human creativity. However, as we prepare our students for teamwork in the real world, they must realize the importance of divergent thinking. But of course we can use the artificial intelligence tools to boost students’ analytical and decision-making abilities and to heighten their creativity.”

    Best practices

    Institutions and individual professors need to establish academic honesty policies with clear expectations for students on how AI generated content is to be utilized and the consequences if they use it to cheat. This is also set out in pointed conversations with students about what cheating really is and that AI is only to be used as a tool. “We are going to have to be open and embrace this as a wonderful, wonderful tool for our classes.” Peter cautions professors against using various tools that claim to determine whether assignments were generated by AI as they have high false positive rates. Instead, he agrees that relying on a set of policies is the best practice.

    As part of these academic policies, Amos and Terri believe students need to understand that any use of AI needs to be cited, just as any other reference would need to be. In the syllabus Amos clearly states the consequences of cheating and incorrectly citing or leaving out references. The first instance is a warning, the second includes a penalty. Terri is also very clear about the consequences of cheating in her syllabus. They will get a zero on their assignment, but she allows them another attempt at the assignment, with students understanding they will not be able to achieve full credit due to the cheating. “I think you have to allow students to make errors and use it as a learning moment to teach students about academic honesty.”

    Setting clear expectations for students is something Saige also feels is of the utmost importance. It is critical, especially in these early days of incorporating AI into higher education, to be upfront about how students are supposed to use AI and what professors are willing to allow. “Having a conversation about it and not ignoring it anymore is a really big thing. Just be clear on guidelines and expectations because some professors may encourage using AI to its fullest while some encourage it only to tailor it to yourself. We don’t know where to go if there’s no guidance.”

    In an effort to embrace AI generated content, Terri shared an example of her colleague who uses ChatGPT for an assignment. The colleague requires students to create an AI generated essay which they bring to class, and they discuss how they can make it more personal, more human. This leads to discussion about what it means to be human, which Terri believes will become a more prevalent topic of conversation the more AI is utilized. “I think we’re on the cusp of an amazing, amazing adventure in education.”

    Keeping the human connection with their professors and peers motivates students to engage deeper with a course, according to Saige and Kylie. Saige appreciates it when her professors are personable and approachable. She feels this makes the classroom dynamic and relationship with her professor unique. “Small, personal, interactions with my professor make me want to pay attention in class versus if I am treated as just another ant in the ant farm of their classroom because if I am, I am not going to want to pay attention just as much as they don’t want to teach in the large lecture hall. So, I think treating your students as people is important. We are all people either trying to get a job done or do our job.” Collaboration with her peers is incredibly motivating and fosters creativity for Kylie, especially collaboration with those that have the same major, minor, or focus as her as this presumably means they have similar interests and passion for the field. “We all share our experiences and share different ways we are either loving what we’re learning or struggling with what we are learning... When professors can encourage us to work with one another, I think that’s the best way to cultivate creativity.”

    Conclusion

    Artificial intelligence has the ability to change the higher education landscape in a positive way. As long as there are academic honesty policies and expectations in place, both professors and students can thrive with its use. Used in a thoughtful way, panelists believe it can support students’ creativity and critical thinking, as well as help professors create materials and assist with assignments. AI can be a valuable supplement in the classroom, but it cannot replace the human connection or voice. 

  • Man raising his hand in a college classroom

    The Power of Student Voices

    By Pearson

    At Pearson we take pride in enriching and transforming our courseware to be purpose-built for learning. At the heart of our innovation are our partnerships: with trusted authors and with students. We’re passionate about student success, and to ensure their success we listen to and incorporate the student voice. To shed light on how we do this, Ben Piercy, a Product Marketer at Pearson, shares insights on the transformative impact of engaging students.

    Q: Why does Pearson prioritize hosting student focus groups?

    A: Having a pipeline and access to students helps give us a pulse on what's going on in the campus life to both instructors and students. We are able to understand, empathize, and forecast product solutions to help instructors teach and students to better learn and prepare for careers after college. 

    What's even cooler is that when students see that their opinions matter, they become more invested. It's not just a transaction anymore; it's a partnership. They become advocates, telling their friends about how their feedback led to real changes. That's like marketing gold right there, but more importantly, it's a testament to the power of involving our users in the process.

    Q: How does hearing the student voice contribute to the overall improvement of our products?

    A: Again at the heart of it all, they're the ones who are using our tools as well as competitors and technology and apps outside of higher ed. Day in and day out, they navigate the ins and outs, and really experiencing firsthand what works and what could use a little tweak, how can we be different from competitors or what cool new app feature we need to think about building into our products-  That's where the student voice comes in, and let me tell you, it's like gold for us. They are not just our users or customers – we think of students as co-creators. 

    Q: What specific aspects of student feedback are you looking to gather through the focus groups?

    A: Whether it's through focus groups, surveys, or product testing, we're getting an inside look into their world. We get to hear about their "Aha!" moments, the times when they felt the product really hit the mark. But we also get to hear about the times when things didn't quite click, the frustrations they faced, or the features they wished were there to make their education and learning experience better. 

    Q: Can you share examples of how insights from focus groups have influence product development or marketing strategies?

    A: Sometimes, they come up with ideas we hadn't even thought of. It's like a brainstorming session where the students are the experts – they know exactly what they need to succeed in their academic journey. It's like having a secret weapon in our quest to create amazing products.

    When we were in the discovery phase of developing our Freehand Grader feature, we needed to understand student benefit of being able to complete handwritten homework and upload back to the platform. Through journey mapping exercise with a variety of students we uncovered multiple pain points in which we were able to solution for our MVP launch. 

    Every year there are new features and enhancements to our platform. We try to map out the best ways to communicate to students the new learning content and study tools they have access to. Last year we were able to journey map with a focus group to determine that fall back to school was a very chaotic time in students' lives. They are balancing getting back on campus, work schedules, social activities, sports clubs, friends and of course school. We found that a more targeted message a month after their start date was the perfect time to include messaging to help them utilize new features for upcoming tests. 

    Q: How does incorporating student feedback through these focus groups contribute to creating a more student-centered and inclusive learning environment?

    A: Our goal is to make sure no student feels left out, unheard, or unseen. By inviting diverse voices into these focus groups, we're giving students from various backgrounds, abilities, and experiences a platform to share their perspectives. This is how we ensure that our products are not only effective but also welcoming and respectful of everyone's individuality.

    Think about it – students bring their own stories, challenges, and strengths to the table. By listening to their stories, we can identify areas where our products might unintentionally create barriers or exclude certain groups. This awareness empowers us to make informed decisions that promote inclusivity and accessibility, creating a learning environment where every student feels valued and empowered.

    Moreover, when students see that we genuinely care about their input, it fosters a sense of belonging. They become active participants in shaping their own educational experience, which boosts their engagement and motivation. It's like giving them a front-row seat in the classroom of product development.

    By incorporating student feedback, we're teaching a valuable lesson – that their voices matter, not just in the realm of education but in the wider world too. It's a real-world application of the power of communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. These are skills that go beyond the classroom and empower them to be active, confident participants in society.

    Q: Can you elaborate on how involving students in the decision making process helps address their unique needs and challenges within higher education?

    A: Students higher education journey isn't a one-size-fits-all journey. Each student has their own story, from juggling work and studies to navigating virtual learning environments or managing financial constraints. By involving them in decisions, we're essentially customizing our offerings to suit their unique circumstances.

    Think about a puzzle – each piece is essential to complete the picture. Similarly, each student's perspective is crucial for us to paint a comprehensive picture of their needs. When they share their challenges, we gain a clearer understanding of where the roadblocks are. Maybe it's a technology hiccup that's causing frustration or a lack of resources that's hindering their progress. Armed with this knowledge, we can develop solutions that directly address these pain points, making their educational journey smoother.

    In essence, involving students in decision-making is a two-way street. It's about them guiding us toward solutions that address their real-world challenges, and it's about us empowering them to take an active role in shaping the educational experience they deserve. It's a partnership that not only enhances their learning but also enriches the higher education landscape as a whole. Just like a skilled navigator, their insights lead us to uncharted territories of understanding, empathy, and meaningful change.

    Q: How do you measure the effectiveness of the insights gained from student focus groups in terms of product success?

    A: We dive into the numbers, the quantitative metrics. Are more students using the variety of tools and features we tweaked based on their suggestions? Are they spending more time on certain places within the platform? These are like little indicators that tell us we're on the right track, that our changes are resonating with them.

    But it's not just about crunching numbers. We're all about the human touch, too. We ask for direct qualitative feedback through user satisfaction surveys, focus groups, and student testimonials. It's like asking, "Hey, how are we doing?" And when we see a spike in positive responses or heartfelt testimonials mentioning how a specific improvement made their lives easier, that's a thumbs-up that we're hitting the mark.

    Think of it as a ripple effect – those insights from students can lead to innovative features. And when users start adopting these features and telling their friends about them, it's like watching the ripples spread in a pond. That's the kind of impact we're after.

    You know, we also look at the bigger picture. Did the changes we made align with our product goals? Did they give us an edge in the competitive landscape? These are like checkpoints that help us see if the insights are steering us in the right direction.

    In a nutshell, we're like detectives, piecing together clues from different sources – numbers, feedback, alignment with objectives – to see if the insights gathered from student focus groups are translating into a product that students love and find incredibly valuable. It's a journey that's both exciting and rewarding, and the students' voices are our compass guiding us to success.

    Q: What steps does Pearson take to ensure that the feedback collected from focus groups is translated into actionable changes?

    A: The product marketing team is the intersection of the entire business. We sit between sales, product management, marketing, customer success, and customer support. We are able to effectively communicate key market insights into product development roadmaps and create the positioning messaging that we utilize in strategic marketing campaigns. 

    In the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, the constant is the student voice. We recognize each shift in this space and turn to the student to develop platforms and tools that are adapted to them, purpose-built for their success.

  • College students listening in a lecture

    The Success of the First-Ever Learning Catalytics Summit

    By Pearson

    At Pearson, we’re always listening to faculty and students and, recently, we kept hearing one refrain over and over — classroom engagement was at an all-time low. Fortunately, we knew just what to do. In fact, we had a solution ready.

    For years, Pearson’s Learning Catalytics interactive student response tool has been helping instructors and students connect in meaningful ways. As soon as we knew classroom engagement was lagging, we knew we needed to host a Learning Catalytics Summit to help more instructors learn how to use — and make the most of — this incredible tool.

    On August 1, we hosted the first-ever Learning Catalytics Summit to great acclaim. Attendees participated in four different webinar sessions hosted by Learning Catalytics experts. Each session focused on a specific advantage of Learning Catalytics, but they all spoke to the ways the student response tool can help instructors see learning as it happens.

    The overall message: Learning Catalytics is a powerful student response and assessment tool. As session-leader Aaron Warnock said, “Learning Catalytics — and I cannot exaggerate — revolutionized my classroom.” Brad Mehrtens concurred in his session, adding, “Learning Catalytics makes a huge difference in student engagement at any scale.”

    How Does Learning Catalytics Work?

    Designed to work on laptops and all common smart devices, Learning Catalytics gives instructors a way to connect directly to students and know when everyone is following a lesson and when some are falling behind. This real-time assessment allows instructors to adjust their teaching in-the-moment and address student confusion before it becomes a problem.

    Learning Catalytics empowers instructors to:

    • Engage students with 18 question types that include graphing, drawing, multiple choice selections, open-ended dialogues, and more
    • Identify misconceptions and monitor responses to find out where students are struggling
    • Facilitate peer-to-peer learning with automatic grouping of students so that every group has a member who understands the material

    These features are available whether the class is in-person or online, making Learning Catalytics useful in every teaching environment. As Brad Mehrtens said about his experience using Learning Catalytics with even difficult-to-connect-with classrooms, “[The students] were there, they were engaged. [Learning Catalytics] works… It’s the only thing that works.”

    What Did the Learning Catalytics Summit Cover?

    The summit’s four unique sessions provided a wealth of information on how Learning Catalytics works and how instructors can use it in all kinds of classroom settings and situations. An hour-long each, the sessions included:

    “Unleashing the Power of Learning Catalytics in a Hybrid Environment” with Aaron Warnock

    Aaron Warnock’s session focused primarily on the way Learning Catalytics’ question-and-answer function helps instructors connect with students and students learn better in hybrid environments. Aaron showed audiences how students can answer questions by drawing graphs, clicking on different regions of an image, highlighting relevant information, evaluating complex problems, or simply filling in a multiple choice answer.

    Aaron noted that the different question types give instructors a lot of flexibility in the ways they monitor student learning. Plus, the questions make it easier to get students to answer without them feeling uncomfortable, because everyone participates and no one feels put on the spot.

    “When I saw Learning Catalytics for the first time, and the eighteen different question types that are available, I was instantly sold,” Aaron said. “It creates a fantastic, engaging learning environment for students.”

    “Transforming Large-Classroom Activities with Learning Catalytics” with Brad Mehrtens

    Being a professor who routinely teaches classes as large as 600 students, Brad Mehrtens understands the challenges of connecting with students. In his session, he spoke to how Learning Catalytics helps him keep students engaged in even the largest lecture halls.

    After regularly watching class attendance dwindle — particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic — he started using Learning Catalytics. He immediately had a much better sense of how well his students were learning and, to his delight, attendance evened out.

    “I was as deflated by the pandemic as anyone was, and Learning Catalytics has made me excited about teaching again,” Brad says. “And I don’t say that lightly. It has completely recharged my battery and made it fun to be back in the classroom”

    “Connecting with Learning Catalytics for Success Throughout Your Course” with Pamela Sandstrom

    A number of years ago, Pamela Sandstrom was using other types of student response tools — but that all changed. “Once I switched [to Learning Catalytics], I’ve never even thought about using any other instant response system because of how much [Learning Catalytics] can do,” she said in her summit session.

    Centered on the ways Learning Catalytics can positively impact a course at multiple moments and in numerous ways, Pamela’s talk discussed how useful the real-time data on student learning is to her instruction.

    “Learning Catalytics provides formative assessment,” she said. “But to me that means that I don’t have to wait till the test, or even till the end of the lecture — [I can see] how they’re doing in the class real time”

    “The Tips and Tricks You Need to Know About Learning Catalytics” with Terry Austin

    During his session, Terry Austin shared his screen to demonstrate exactly how Learning Catalytics works and all the ways he can customize it for the needs of a specific class. As an instructor who has been using Learning Catalytics for a decade, he had a lot of great tips and tricks, ranging from linking Learning Catalytics to a Pearson Mastering class to using it to improve seat maps to incorporating it into classroom presentations.

    “Learning Catalytics is clever,” Terry said, noting how much the tool is capable of doing. As attendees to his session and the summit as a whole learned, he was right. Learning Catalytics can empower instructors to assess student learning in-the-moment, improve student engagement, and make classroom time much more successful.

    As Terry noted, there’s a good reason he’s been using Learning Catalytics for a decade.

  • A teacher pictured from the back gestures at attentive students

    Revolutionizing Education with Revel: Seamless Progress Tracking & Empowered Learning

    By Pearson

    During his more than two decades of teaching, Shawn Davis has spent years searching for the most comprehensive online learning solution for higher education. Now, he believes he’s found it.

    With Revel, Shawn is able to leverage high-quality tools and resources that support his teaching practices as well as his students’ learning processes.

    Support for educators

    Shawn is currently using Revel in his Fundamentals of Psychology course at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP). Though he has worked with a variety of online learning platforms over the years — including WebCT, Canvas, and Connect — Revel stood out to him from day one. “It’s a lot smoother platform than I gave it credit for,” he says. “Revel is intuitive to the point where I could really just step right in as an instructor.”

    The combination of a user-friendly interface and Pearson’s comprehensive instructor support materials helped Shawn dive into Revel immediately. This head-start was especially beneficial when the template he was supposed to use for his course suddenly disappeared — on the night before the first day of classes — forcing him to rebuild his entire course from scratch in just a few hours.

    Shawn says that knowing the Pearson support team was available to help him, even in the middle of the night, gave him the confidence to take on this considerable challenge. Though it’s not an experience he wishes to repeat, he was able to get his course up and running in time for his first class.

    Support for students

    One of the most significant obstacles of teaching an online course is keeping students focused and interested. As Shawn has discovered, Revel can help educators address this issue by providing relevant materials and targeted support for students.

    With Revel, instructors can decide how granular they want to go in their course customization. They can “set it and forget it,” or pick and choose the content they want to include. “There are so many parts and pieces with Revel that it gives students the impression that I am extremely engaged and hands-on with them,” Shawn says.

    Revel’s video quizzes feature is one example of a customizable content option that encourages student engagement. The quizzes give students a brief review of key concepts and then have them apply those concepts to novel problems. Based on the results of these quizzes, Revel helps students identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.

    Instructors can see students’ video quiz results on the Educator’s Dashboard and then adjust their teaching practices accordingly. “It is a really fast indicator of who is struggling,” says Shawn, “and I have used it to be able to reach out to those students to try to bring them back into the fold.”

    Revel rises to the top

    By efficiently delivering the tools, data, and content that support Shawn and his students, Revel has made the online teaching and learning experience more engaging and effective.

    Read more about Shawn's experience with Revel in the full spotlight.

    What can Revel do for you and your students?

    Learn more about Revel