Short Bio

Bram De Wever

Prof. Dr. Bram De Wever is a professor in the field of learning and instruction at the Department of Educational Studies at Ghent University. His research is focusing on technology enhanced learning and instruction, peer assessment and feedback, computer-supported collaborative learning activities, and inquiry learning in higher education.

Bram finished his PhD on scripting collaboration in online discussion groups in 2006 and has been focusing on technology enhanced learning research ever since. From 2007 he was a post-doc research fellow at the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and in 2010 he got a tenure track position on Learning and Instruction at Ghent University. In 2015 he was appointed associate professor.

Research Interests

CSCL, computer supported collaborative learning, TEL, Technology Enhanced Learning, Asynchronous Discussion Groups


ALO! Project: Adult Learners Online

The project 'Adult Learners Online! Blended and Online Learning in Adult Education and Training' (ALO!) has a four-fold mission:

  1. To improve the quality of online and blended learning in adult education through the use of a continuous quality improvement framework;
  2. To analyze the current online and blended learning design and to provide guidelines for a better (optimal) learning environment for the specific learner groups both at the course level and programme level;
  3. To research the individual and social background of adult learners and their (non-) participation in online and blended learning and to analyze the key variables that affect their participation and learning and social outcomes in online and blended learning;
  4. To develop and validate teacher professional development models in order to improve the quality of online and blended learning.

Ruth's PhD project contributes to the second goal or mission: the development of guidelines (at course level) to design a blended learning environment.


This is an overview of some recent key publications. For a complete list of publications, please have a look at my biblio page

Van Nieuwenhove, L., & De Wever, B. (2021). Why are low-educated adults underrepresented in adult education? Studying the role of educational background in expressing learning needs and barriers. Studies in Continuing Education, 1-18.

The shift to a knowledge society has transformed the way we live and work, which is especially challenging to adults with low education levels. Adult education could be the answer, but low-educated adults participate least in adult education. The present study uses data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies to investigate participation needs and barriers of low-, medium- and high-educated adults across 15 European countries (N = 20,593). Descriptives show that low-educated adults report the lowest need for training to exercise their job and indicate to be the least prevented from taking more training because of experienced barriers. We then analysed which barriers non-participating and participating adults were referring to. While medium- and high-educated non-participants indicate being prevented because of work and family responsibilities, low-educated non-participants chose family responsibilities but mainly and remarkably the option ‘other’ as their most important barrier. Contrary to medium- and high-educated adults, low-educated adults’ most important barrier could not be defined. A possible explanation is that they experience more dispositional barriers (such as bad memories of education or low self-esteem), which were not included in the list. Our results point to the importance of targeting low-educated adults in participation research.

Barriers, PIAAC, adult education, low-educated adults, Europe


Voet, M., Gielen, M., Boelens, R., & De Wever, B. (2017). Using feedback requests to actively involve assessees in peer assessment: Effects on the assessor's feedback content and assessee' s agreement with feedback. European Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication.

Criticizing the common approach of supporting peer assessment through providing assessors with an explication of assessment criteria, recent insights on peer assessment call for support focusing on assessees, who often assume a passive role of receivers of feedback. Feedback requests, which require assessees to formulate their specific needs for feedback, have therefore been put forward as an alternative to supporting peer assessment, even though there is little known about their exact impact on feedback. Operationalizing effective feedback as feedback that (1) elaborates on the evaluation and (2) to which the receiver is agreeable, the present study examines how these two variables are affected by feedback requests, compared to an explanation of assessment criteria in the form of a content checklist. Situated against the backdrop of a writing task for 125 first-year students in an educational studies program at university, the study uses a 2 x 2 factorial design that resulted in four conditions: a control, feedback request, content checklist, and combination condition. The results underline the importance of taking message length into account when studying the effects of support for peer assessment. Although feedback requests did not have an impact on the raw number of elaborations, the proportio n of informative elaborations within feedback messages was significantly higher in conditions that used a feedback request. In other words, it appears that the feedback request stimulated students to write more focused messages. In comparison with feedback content, the use of a feedback request did, however, not have a significant effect on agreement with feedback

peer assessment, feedback request, feedback content, agreement with feedback


Boelens, R., De Wever, B., & Voet, M. (2017). Four key challenges to the design of blended learning: A systematic literature review. Educational Research Review, 22, 1-18.

The design of blended learning environments brings with it four key challenges: (1) incorporating flexibility, (2) stimulating interaction, (3) facilitating students’ learning processes, and (4) fostering an affective learning climate. Seeing that attempts to resolve these challenges are fragmented across the literature, a systematic review was performed. Starting from 640 sources, 20 studies on the design of blended learning environments were selected through a staged procedure based on the guidelines of the PRISMA statement, using predefined selection criteria. For each study, the instructional activities for dealing with these four challenges were analyzed by two coders. The results show that few studies offer learners control over the realization of the blend. Social interaction is generally stimulated through introductory face-to-face meetings, while personalization and monitoring of students’ learning progress is commonly organized through online instructional activities. Finally, little attention is paid to instructional activities that foster an affective learning climate.

Instructional activities; blended learning; educational technology; course design


Voet, M. & De Wever, B. (2017). History teachers knowledge of inquiry methods: An analysis of cognitive processes used during a historical inquiry. Journal of Teacher Education, 68(3), 312-329.

The present study explores secondary school history teachers's knowledge of inquiry methods. In order to do so, a process model, outlining 5 core cognitive processes of inquiry in the history class room, was developed based on a review of the literature. This process model was then used to analyze think-aloud protocols of 20 teachers' reasoning during an inquiry task. It was found that less than half of the teachers used all cognitive processes during the inquiry. Based on the results, a distinction can be made between an integral, fragmentary and cursory approach to inquiry. Further analysis suggest that there exists no clear pattern in the relation between teachers' beliefs about the subject of history and their approach to inquiry. The implications for teacher training are discussed, and outline how the process model could serve as an instructional tool that can contribute to a comprehensive training program for history teachers.

history education, inquir-based learning, teacher knowledge


Voet, M. & De Wever, B. (2017). Preparing pre-service history teachers for organizing inquiry-based learning: The effects of an introductory training program. Teaching and Teacher Education, 63, 206-217.

The present study investigates a training program aimed at preparing pre-service history teachers for organizing inquiry-based learning (IBL) in class. This program consisted of a workshop and an assignment during the teaching internship period. Pre- and posttests indicate that the workshop had a significant effect on self-efficacy and attitude toward IBL, but also that most student teachers' attitudes had again changed after the assignment. Related to this, student teachers' lesson plans revealed three different templates, representing distinct interpretations of ’inquiry’. An analysis of reflection papers and interviews describes how the context of the teaching internship further shaped student teachers' thinking.

history education, inquiry-based learning, student teachers, teacher learning


De Wever, B., Hämäläinen, R., Voet, M., & Gielen, M. (2015). A wiki task for first-year university students: The effect of scripting students' collaboration. The Internet and Higher Education, 25, 37-44.

Developing authentic learning environments in higher education calls for pedagogical approaches to foster online collaborative learning. The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a collaboration script for a wiki task. A collaboration script is a set of instructions to improve collaboration between learning partners. Participants were first-year university students in Educational Sciences (N=186) collaborating in groups of five during a three-week period to create a wiki on peer assessment in education. Two conditions were contrasted: a scripted and a non-scripted condition. The effect of scripting was measured in four ways (questionnaires, log-file analyses, group product scores, and individual pre- post- test scores). Results show significant positive effects of scripting with respect to the collaborative group processes and students' feelings of shared responsibility. No significant effects of scripting were found with respect to the developed wiki products. As for students' individual learning outcomes, results showed a significant increase from pre- to post-test for all students. Although the increase was higher in the scripted condition, the difference between the conditions was not statistically significant.

Wiki, script, collaboration, collaborative learning


Recent Talks

PhD's promoted


Opleidingsonderdelen [Courses at Ghent University (in Dutch)] Masterproeven [Master's theses (in Dutch)]

Overzicht van titels van masterproeven

  • 2020
    • Emilie Vandevelde (2020). English as medium of instruction in het hoger onderwijs: een (no-)go? Intenties van laatstejaarsleerlingen secundair onderwijs met betrekking tot het volgen van cursussen georganiseerd volgens English as medium of instruction in het hoger onderwijs . [bib]
    • Jolien Plesters (2020). Kwalitatief onderzoek naar de overtuigingen van lesgevers over de implementatie en organisatie van blended learning in Centra voor Volwassenenonderwijs. [bib]
    • Mona Bassleer (2020). Productive failure toegepast op de oefeningensessies van 'Statistiek I': een exploratieve studie naar de motivatie, betrokkenheid en beleving van studenten. [bib]
    • Sarah Vermeulen (2020). Gecijferdheid bij Vlaamse volwassenen in PIAAC: een secundaire kwantitatieve analyse naar de samenhang tussen sociaal-demografische, dagelijks leven- en werkgerelateerde variabelen en het gecijferdheidsniveau. [bib]
  • 2019
    • Evelien Barbion (2019). Computationeel denken en emoties tijdens programmeerlessen. Een kwalitatieve video-analyse bij duo's van de derde graad basisonderwijs. [bib]
  • 2018
    • Annelies Schepens (2018). Een onderzoek naar de samenhang tussen informele leerervaringen in Vlaamse jeugdbewegingen en het milieubewustzijn bij 11- en 12-jarigen. [bib]
    • Charlien Sysmans (2018). Factoren die samenhangen met uitval in het tweedekansonderwijs: een onderzoek binnen de opleiding aanvullende algemene vorming aan CVO Gent. [bib]
    • Lien De Neef (2018). De ervaring van de leraar bij de terugkomst van een langdurig zieke leerling in de klas na tijdelijk onderwijs aan huis, ziekenhuisonderwijs of het gebruik van Bednet. [bib]
    • Kelly De Potter (2018). Hoe geven geschiedenisleraren les? Een exploratieve studie naar lesopbouw en vakdidactische leerinhoud. [bib]
    • Annelies Depaepe (2018). De relatie tussen self-efficacy en het groepsontwikkelingsproces: een kwantitatieve studie bij online samenwerkend research-based learning. [bib]
    • Astrid Eeckhout (2018). Een kwantitatief onderzoek naar het community of inquiry model en de invloed van zelfregulatie op het COI model in een blended leeromgeving bij studenten van de specifieke lerarenopleiding. [bib]
  • 2017
    • Astrid Vermeersch (2017). Massive Open Online Courses ontwerpen voor het hoger onderwijs: Een survey-onderzoek naar de voorkeuren van studenten. [bib]
    • Cynthia Hendrickx (2017). Ervaringen met online samenwerken in een wiki: Een interviewstudie bij eerstejaarsstudenten. [bib]
    • Manon Engels (2017). Opleidingscrafting in het volwassenenonderwijs: een exploratieve interviewstudie naar de ervaringen bij lesgevers, cursisten en directie. [bib]
  • 2016
    • Coetsiers, Jolien (2016). Opvattingen van vrijwilligers over hun onderwijs aan langdurig zieke of afwezige leerlingen: een kwalitatieve studie vanuit het biopsychosociale model. [bib]
    • De Cordier, Ophélie (2016). Differentiatie tussen cursisten in de specifieke lerarenopleiding van het volwassenenonderwijs: een exploratief onderzoek naar percepties van lectoren. [bib]
    • De Kock, Lies (2016). Onderzoekend leren in de geïntegreerde lerarenopleiding geschiedenis: het effect van een stappenplan voor bronnengebruik op de samenwerking tussen studenten. [bib]
    • Mespreuve, Marlou (2016). Het aanbieden en afbouwen van structuur bij peer feedback in het hoger onderwijs: een interviewstudie naar de percepties van studenten. [bib]
    • Willaert, Donna (2016). Extra structurering in het peer feedback proces: een interviewstudie naar de perceptie van studenten in het hoger onderwijs. [bib]
  • 2015
    • De Cock, Andy (2015). Gecombineerd versus contactonderwijs in de specifieke lerarenopleiding in een CVO: het effect op de leerresultaten. [bib]
    • Desmet, Ysaline (2015). De computer en het internet in functie van maatschappelijke participatie. Een onderzoek naar de ICT-vaardigheden en ICT-leerwensen van volwassenen uit het secundair volwassenenonderwijs. [bib]
    • Osstyn, Charlotte (2015). Opvattingen over het schoolvak geschiedenis bij leerlingen uit het vierde leerjaar secundair onderwijs: een interviewstudie. [bib]
    • Van der Meiren, Lisse (2015). Gebruik van video-opname en checklist voor het ondersteunen van reflectie bij student-leraren uit de geïntegreerde lerarenopleiding. [bib]
    • Weyn, Jasmien (2015). Minerva en sociale software in onderwijs: een studie naar gebruik en opvattingen bij docenten aan de UGent. [bib]
  • 2014
    • De Cock, Steffi (2014). Een analyse van het samenwerken in een wiki-omgeving in het hoger onderwijs. [bib]
    • Eeckhout, Thijs (2014). Computerondersteund onderzoekend leren in de lerarenopleiding geschiedenis: inhoudsanalyse van argumentatie en samenwerking. [bib]
    • Vercruyce, Nina (2014). Cross-sectioneel onderzoek naar de beroepsmotivatie van leraren in het secundair onderwijs in de verschillende professionele loopbaanfasen. [bib]
    • Willemot, Nathalie (2014). Kwalitatief onderzoek naar de ervaringen en motivatie van bpost-werknemers bij deelname aan een cursus afstandsleren binnen het tweedekansonderwijs Gent. [bib]
  • 2013
    • Boelens, Ruth (2013). Percepties van studenten over de tutor, de casussen en het groepsfunctioneren bij probleemgestuurd onderwijs: Een survey-onderzoek bij tweede en derde bachelor geneeskunde. [bib]
    • Cocquyt, Céline (2013). Peer assessment in het hoger onderwijs: Perceptie van studenten en kwantitatieve content analyse van hun schriftelijke en mondelinge peer feedback. [bib]
    • De Moor, Kaya (2013). Computerondersteunde formatieve evaluatie: de impact van het gebruik op de examenprestatie. "De Edumatic-case". [bib]
    • Finet, Benoit (2013). Van Dokeos naar Desiderius: een kwantitatieve studie naar het docentgebruik van de elektronische leeromgeving aan de Erasmushogeschool Brussel. [bib]
    • Wittoeck, Silke (2013). Masterproef geneeskunde en tandheelkunde aan de UGent: perceptie, motivatie, self-efficacy en onderzoeksattitude van studenten. [bib]
  • 2012
    • Vanhoutte, Frouke (2012). De opvattingen van toekomstige leraren over games in het onderwijs. [bib]
  • 2011
    • D'Haese, Joke (2011). Implementatie en evaluatie van verschillende vraagtypes in een leerpad geschiedenis in de eerste graad van het secundair onderwijs. [bib]
  • 2010
    • Desmet, Charlotte (2010). Volwassenenonderwijs achter de tralies.

Services to academia

Organization of symposia, special interest groups meetings, and conferences

Guiding committees (defended) Guiding committees (ongoing)
  • Jan Corstjens - A closer look at judgment in situational judgment tests (Promoter: Filip Lievens)
  • Maria Cristina Cortez Merlo - Clinical simulations in teacher education (Promoter: Martin Valcke)
  • Adriano Simao Uaciquete - Strengthening the Teaching and Research Nexus (TRN) in Higher Education (Promoter: Martin Valcke)
  • Branko Vermote - Motivational teaching in higher education (Promoter: Maarten Vansteenkiste)
  • Michiel Boncquet
  • Elise Ameloot
PhD Examination (Jury member)

Memberships and affiliations