The aim of these projects was to look at different models of delivering ICT-based learning in the fields of Maths and Science, targeted at improving the content knowledge of learners in Grades 8 and 9, and in Grades 10 and 11.

The key feature of the LearnThings offering, i.e. having an ICT product that allows for learners to do self-paced learning blended with face-to-face tuition, was not adequately tested in 2011 due to implementation issues. In 2012, the combination of fewer than planned hours on the ICT content, drop-out of learners and poor attendance of learners again led to a situation where the efficacy of this learning method could not be tested in the project schools; these factors prevented the programme from working as well as it could have. Anecdotal evidence, however, suggests that learners could gain benefits from the programme itself if implementation issues were resolved.

Project 3 iPower2/NovaNet focused on self-paced ICT learning without a face-to-face tuition component. It was found that the self-paced afternoon sessions provided learners with the confidence to learn independently, although the evaluation indicates that some form of monitoring or management of learning was needed. While learners found the content helpful for revision purposes, there were some concerns from educators regarding CAPS alignment and lack of South African terminology. Overall, the poor attendance by learners shows that the required level of dosage was not obtained by learners at the end of September 2012.

In 2012 the iPower2/NovaNet project introduced the Integrated School Programme to include all Grade 8 and 9 learners within the school, with content covered aligned to the school curriculum. Teachers were to accompany their learners and provide Maths content support to learners; to this end, teacher training on the NovaNet programme was provided. However, teacher training was not implemented as planned, and the integration of ICT learning and classroom learning did not happen. There were also various factors that impeded the proposed cross-fertilisation between the NovaNet programme and the classroom maths learning schedule.

Due to limited implementation of both programmes during 2012, the evaluation process was re-directed to focus on identifying lessons learnt to inform planning and development of similar interventions. This process included high-level stakeholder interviews to highlight these lessons and any solutions found. The implementation of various iterations of two different projects in a variety of different schools over a period of three years provided opportunities for learning around the topics of targeting, implementation arrangements, communication, project management, technical implementation and learning management. The value of the projects lies in creating greater awareness and readiness to use ICTs in future projects through capturing these lessons.

Focus area

ICT-based Learner Development in Maths and Science

Time frame

Both projects, introduced in parallel, ran from 2010 to 2012 for Grade 10 and 11 learners. In 2012 Grade 8 and 9 learners were brought into the Integrated School Component in Project 3.



This project started with 12 schools in 2010, reduced to 8 schools in 2011, and to 2 in 2012. This resulted from evaluation recommendations suggesting a move from a general to a more focused intervention.

At the start of 2012, 22 Grade 10 learners and 20 Grade 11 learners were scheduled to participate in the Saturday LearnThings programme, combining self-paced computer learning and extra tuition. By the end of 2012, 18 Grade 10 learners and 12 Grade 11 learners were participating in the programme.

23 teachers were trained on the LearnThings programme.


This project started with 9 schools in 2010, retained these in 2011, and was reduced to 1 school in 2012.

As at the end of September 2012, there were 20 Grade 10 learners and 24 Grade 11 learners on the self-paced iPower2/NovaNet afternoon programme (though attendance was variable).

In the 2012 Integrated School Component for Grades 8 & 9 there were 531 Grade 8 learners and 530 Grade 9 learners participating in the NovaNet sessions at 1 school (Ingqayizivele Secondary school in Thembisa).

6 teachers at the project school were partially trained on the NovaNet system.

Province/ Districts

Gauteng: Ekurhuleni North district and Ekurhuleni South districts participated in the LearnThings and iPower 2 projects during the project period.



LearnThings: GDE Head Office officials, Ekhurhuleni North and South District Officials, Maths HODs, principals, teachers, learners, LearnThings project team, JET Education Services and GEDT.

iPower2/NovaNet: GDE Head Office officials, Ekhurhuleni North and South District Officials, Maths HODs, principals, teachers, learners, LearnThings project team, JET Education Services and GEDT. 

Resources/ Materials

Human: Tutors for Saturday blended learning sessions (LearnThings); technical administrators for LearnThings and NovaNet.

Technical: Macbooks, data projectors and lab computers

Materials: ICT-based learning programmes; BASI assessment for field tests

Referencing Key to Report Extracts

This table provides a Referencing Key to report extracts quoted in the Key Learning Category section of the repository.


Report Title


Final Report 6a: Evaluation of the LearnThings Maths And Science ICT Project. 25 March 2013


Final Report 6b: Evaluation of the Ipower2 Maths And Science ICT Project (Self-Paced Afternoon Sessions – Grades 10 & 11) 25th March 2013


Final Report 2: Evaluation of the Ipower2 Maths And Science ICT Project: Integrated School Component (Grades 8 & 9). 25th March 2013

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