Pearson Survey Reveals Professors See Benefits for Students, Opportunity to Improve Education System with Digital Course Materials

Share Article

Top factors in shift to digital materials include affordability and quality of materials

News Image

Today, Pearson announced key findings of its “Digital appetite vs. what's on the table: Student attitudes toward digital course materials in 2016” survey of learners, educators and administrators. The survey revealed that educators see benefits for their students who have shifted to digital course materials and see this shift to digital as important to solving challenges in the education system.

Seventy-eight percent of educators reported that their students benefit from a growing role of digital in the classroom. They don’t only see benefits for students, however. Seventy percent of educators reported that the transition from print to digital is important or very important to them, personally. Eighty-seven percent of educators and 86 percent of administrators believe digital learning is important in resolving challenges facing the education system, and nearly half say it is “very important”.

Faculty and students are also looking for greater support from higher education institutions to harness the power of digital learning tools. Fifty-seven percent of students feel that it is the responsibility of the institution to help them make the shift from print-based learning materials to digital course materials and courseware.

“There is growing recognition of the broad range benefits--for students, faculty, and institutions--provided by digital learning,” said Tom Malek, senior vice president of partnerships, Pearson. “Institutional leaders have an opportunity to further explore how digital can provide a rich, more personalized learning experience for students, while lowering the cost of course materials and providing new insights and data for faculty.”

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Fifty six percent of educators say more than half of their courses use digital course material. Furthermore, 82 percent of learners and educators have used digital learning products in the past six months, while 82 percent of learners and educators think digital learning is the future of education.
  • While a majority of learners prefer studying on paper, most want learning materials to be accessible online. Fifty seven percent prefer learning on paper, while 56 percent would prefer to have learning materials accessible online.
  • Cost is a concern to all audiences, but each group perceives specific barriers to making the digital shift. For learners, in the hierarchy of things that students consider important to their education, they haven’t historically seen using digital course materials and courseware as a personal priority. Also, in many cases, digital course materials are not required by their instructors. Educators are concerned that technology is replacing the role of the educator, while administrators are concerned about limited time to learn how to use new technology.

This survey was conducted in August 2016 within the United States by Penn Schoen Berland, a market research, political polling and strategic consulting firm, on behalf of Pearson. Qualified respondents – based on 1,250 interviews (1,000 with learners, 200 with educators, and 50 with administrators) – represented U.S. colleges and universities at the 2-year college, 4-year college or university, and graduate levels.

The complete survey report and infographic are available at

About Pearson
Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit

Media Contact:
Scott Overland, scott.overland(at)pearson(dot)com, 202-909-4520

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Scott Overland
+1 202-909-4520
Email >
Visit website