About me

After graduating as a (theoretical) biologist (1978) at the Free University of Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit, VU), I completed a PhD in theoretical biology at the State University of Groningen, Netherlands (1983). After post-docs at Arizona State University (USA), the University of Guelph (Canada) and, again, the University of Groningen, I became assistent professor, later associate professor at the Science Faculty of the Open University of the Netherlands (OUNL) in 1986. There, I worked for about 10 years as a developer of distance teaching courses, writing and/or editing courses in such diverse subjects as Evolutionary Biology, Mathematical Models for the Life Sciences, Understanding Scientific Reasoning, and Environmental Policy. In this period, I spent a year as a Research Fellow at the University of Bielefeld's Zentrum für Interdiziplinärforschung working on a project that sought the bridge the gap between the social and biological sciences. This resulted in a joint book called Human by Nature.

During these years my work ever more turned towards matters educational. Examples of educational innovation projects I was involved in are a project sponsored by one of the early European Framework programmes on erecting a network of European Study centres for distance learning, and the Virtual Company - a simulated company in which groups of students were to carry out authentic assignments. This prompted my move, in 1999, to the then research and development programme of the OUNL′s Educational Expertise Centre (OTEC), where I became assistent professor. From 2003 to 2007 I also fulfilled a part-time position of associate professor (′lector′) in Educational Functions of ICT at the Fontys University of Applied Sciences, where I led a research group (′kenniskring′) which investigated the use and application of ICT for learning at the secondary school level. In 2008, I became full professor in Technology Enhanced Learning at OTEC, later rebranded as CELSTEC. In a major reorganisation, CELSTEC became part of the Welten Institute as of January 1st, 2014.

From 2008 until its closure in 2012, I headed one of the programme lines of the OUNL′s laboratory for lifelong Learning (NeLLL). From 2008 until 2013 I was programme director of CELSTEC′s now defunct R&D programme on Networked Learning. In 2013, I joined and led until its closure in January 2014 a special unit set up by the OUNL - the Lerarenuniversiteit [Teachers College] - to promote and facilitate continuous professional development of primary and secondary school teachers. May 20016 I retired from 'active duty' and became a professor emeritus.

From its inception in 2001, I chaired the Technical Committee Learning Technology of the Dutch Standards Organisation (NEN), from which I stepped down in April 2011, after completing a 10 year stint. As of June 2010 I became Honorary Professor, at the Caledonian Academy of Glasgow Caledonion University, in which capacity I chaired the Caledonian Academy Reference Group, after having served as a member for 3 years. I am co-founder and co-chair of the yearly Computer Science Education Research Conference series (CSERC), which started in 2011. As of September 2014 I became the chair of the Examination Board of the faculty of Management, Science and Technology (CvE-MST), from which I stepped down September 1st, 2019.

I maintain a lively online presence, blogging and tweeting about my work, sharing my slides via Slideshare, curating content on networked learning, in particular MOOCs through a once gold-labeled Scoop.it site and a Mendeley site, as well as sharing online profiles and publication lists at Mendeley and ResearchGate, Kudos and LinkedIn. As an author, I maintain the following ORC ID: orcid.org/0000-0003-4009-4980, which may be viewed at ORCID.

Since my retirement, academic activities have slowed down considerably, although I co-author the odd paper and review an article every so often. Besides slowing down, my main activities have been consulting jobs. Under the tap 'consultancies' you may see the most important ones.


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Please, leave your comments. I do moderate comments, only in an effort to blog spam. That's all. So rest assured, I'll only weed out off-topic comments and in particular I will not block comments that are critical or negative. The one exception to that rule is if the commentator hides in anonymity. I see this blog as a way to air my views and engage with others about them. But what's the point of a discussion if you don't know with whom?