Curriculum Vitae Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer

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Curriculum Vitae Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer

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Curriculum Vitae Jeroen J. G. van Merriënboer

February 2007


  1. General

  2. Education

  3. Working Experience

  4. Awards

  5. Research Activities

  6. Management Activities

  7. Educational Activities

  8. Memberships

  9. Software Prototypes

  10. Publications

1. General


Jeroen Johannes Geertrudes van Merriënboer

Place of birth

Budel, The Netherlands

Date of birth

March 30, 1959

Marital status

Married, three children

Home address

Koninksemstraat 121

6215 KA Maastricht, The Netherlands

Phone +31 43 3440960

Working address

Open University of the Netherlands

Educational Technology Expertise Center

P.O. Box 2960

6401 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands

Phone +31 45 5762735

E-mail/URL /

2. Education


Gymnasium ß

Lyceum Fons Vitae, Amsterdam


drs degree in experimental psychology (Dutch equivalent to MSc)

Free University of Amsterdam

Major: Psychophysiology

Minors: Human Factors (Technical University of Delft) and Multivariate Statistical Techniques (University of Utrecht)

Thesis: The effects of fatigue on the efficiency of human information processing (supervised by prof. Dr. Co Orlebeke)


doctor’s degree, Cum Laude, in instructional technology

University of Twente, Enschede

Dissertation: Teaching introductory computer programming: A perspective from instructional technology (supervised by prof. dr. Sanne Dijkstra)

3. Working Experience

1977 – 1983

Several short-term appointments as teaching assistant and research assistant, Free University of Amsterdam, Dept. of Experimental Psychology

1983 – 1984

Junior Researcher, Free University of Amsterdam, Dept. of Experimental Psychology

1984 – 1987

Junior Researcher, University of Twente, Dept. of Instructional Technology

1987 – 1991

Assistant Professor, University of Twente, Dept. of Instructional Technology

1988 – 1995

Project supervisor and owner of Bijlstra & Van Merriënboer – Training Consultancy and Development

1991 – 1997

Associate professor of Instructional Technology, University of Twente, Dept. of Instructional Technology

1997 – 1998

Associate professor of Educational Psychology, University of Maastricht, Dept. of Cognitive Psychology

1998 -

Full professor of Educational Technology and Research Program Director, Open University of the Netherlands, Educational Technology Expertise Center

4. Awards and Honorary Chairs


Outstanding Journal Article Award

For the article Van Merriënboer, J., Jelsma, O., & Paas, F. (1992). Training for reflective expertise: A four-component instructional design model for complex cognitive skills. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 40(2), 23-43.

Division of Instructional Design (DID) of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology


Outstanding Book-of-the-Year Award

For the book Van Merriënboer, J. (1997). Training complex cognitive skills. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.

Association for Educational Communications and Technology


World Leader in Educational Technology

Training Magazine, November issue, featuring in the article “Quiet Revolutionist”


International Contributions Award

International Council of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology


“Best PhD Supervisor” Award

Awarded by the PhD Student division of the Netherlands Educational Research Association (NERA)


Honorary Chair Ererector prof. dr. L. Verhaegen

University of Hasselt, Belgium

5. Research Activities
Jeroen van Merriënboer started his research in the field of educational technology and instructional design (ID) in the 1980’s. His PhD project involved the design of introductory computer programming courses. He developed an instructional approach that became known as the “completion strategy”: learners start with the study of worked-out example programs, then complete increasingly larger parts of well-written, meaningful but incomplete computer programs, and finally design and write computer programs on their own. This approach lay the foundation for the development of the four-component instructional design model (4C/ID-model), which builds instructional blueprints from four interrelated components: (1) learning tasks (e.g., worked-out examples, completion tasks, conventional problems etc.), (2) supportive information, (3) procedural information, and (4) part-task practice. This model was first published in a prize-winning article in 1992 (van Merriënboer, Jelsma & Paas, 1992); a complete description was given in the prize-winning book Training Complex Cognitive Skills in 1997 (van Merriënboer, 1997; also translated in Korean and Chinese), and a description of the model that provides the basis for a computer-based instructional design system was published in 2002 (Van Merriënboer, Clark, & de Croock; 2002). The latest version of the model is described in the book Ten Steps to Complex Learning, co-authored by prof. dr. Paul Kirschner (van Merrienboer & Kirschner, 2007). Nowadays, the 4C/ID-model is taught in many educational ID programs (both in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia) and broadly applied in educational practice (both in business and industry and schools for vocational and professional training).
Since the beginning of the 90’s, van Merriënboer’s research on the design of learning tasks (the first component of the 4C/ID-model) has been heavily influenced by Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory (CLT). Together with John Sweller (University of New South Wales, Australia) a new version of CLT has been developed that includes the concept of “germane” cognitive load, that is, load devoted to processes that are directly relevant for learning (Sweller, van Merriënboer, & Paas, 1998; van Merrienboer & Sweller, 2005). A recent article in Educational Psychologist describes a further integration of the 4C/ID-model with CLT (van Merriënboer, Kirschner, & Kester, 2003). While this research is not limiting itself to computer-based environments, one particularly important theme is how computers can improve design processes (e.g., van Merriënboer & Martens, 2002) as well as learning processes (e.g., van Merriënboer, 2002).

Editorial work

Educational Technology, Research and Development (Editorial Board); Computers in Human Behavior (Consulting Board); Educational Research Review (Editorial Board); Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning (Editorial Board); Journal of Educational Computing Research (Editorial Review Board); Educational Technology (Contributing editor); Tijdschrift voor Onderwijsinnovatie (Chair of editorial advisory board); Tijdschrift voor Informaticaonderwijs (Editorial advisory board); Handboek Performanceverbetering (Editorial advisory board), and active as reviewer for major journals in the field of educational psychology and technology.


Funding has been acquired from the Dutch Association for Scientific Research (six PhD projects and funding for regular projects, in the Open Competition and the Program for Educational research), the European Commission (MODEM, Parleunet, ADAPTit, IPS_EE, Alfanet, Dipseil and others), and business and industry (SPC Group, NLR, Arthur Anderson, ROC A12, and others).

PhD project supervision

Project leader and/or project supervisor for PhD projects concerning:

  • Instructional control of cognitive load in the training of complex cognitive tasks (Fred Paas, March 5, 1993)

  • Composing SQL queries: A study on problem-solving strategies in computer science education (Betsy van Dijk, August 23, 1996)

  • The transfer paradox: Training design for troubleshooting skills (Marcel de Croock, June 18, 1999)

  • On the proper treatment of learning and transfer: A study on introductory computer programming (Jan-Gerrit Schuurman, October 6, 1999)

  • Efficient complex skill training into old age: Exploring the benefits of cognitive load theory (Pascal van Gerven, June 21, 2002)

  • Student involvement in assessment: The training of peer assessment skills (Dominique Sluijsmans, June 28, 2002)

  • The modality of text in multimedia instructions: Refining the design guidelines (Huib Tabbers, September 13, 2002)

  • Timing of information presentation and the acquisition of complex skills (Liesbeth Kester, September 5, 2003)

  • Process support for learning tasks in multimedia practicals (Rob Nadolski, March 5, 2004)

  • Towards flexible program in higher education (Ad Schellekens, May 14, 2004)

  • Tools for the identification and description of competencies (Angela Stoof, March 4, 2005)

  • Dynamic task selection in aviation training (Ron Salden, April 22, 2005)

  • Building-block solutions for developing isntructional software (Eddy Boot, December 9, 2005).

  • Uncovering the problem-solving process to design effective worked examples (Tamara van Gog, April 28, 2006).

Currently supervising projects concerning 4C/ID-methodology in Higher Education (Ameike Janssen), metacognitive prompts in e-learning (Gerard van den Boom), student perceptions and ID (Karen Konings), dynamic selection of learning tasks (Gemma Corbolan), modality effects in learning statistics (Pieter Wouters), on-demand education (Wendy Kicken), prior-knowledge activation (Sandra Wetzels), Optimizing the effectiveness and reliability of reciprocal peer assessment in secondary education (Marjo van Zundert), and design of development portfolios (Greet Fastre).

Research organizations

Active in several scientific organizations. Currently Educational Director of the Dutch Interuniversity Center for Educational Research (ICO), Management team member of ICO; chair of the ICO division Innovative Learning Arrangements. Management team member of the Netherlands Educational Research Association (NERA); chair of the NERA-division Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and board member of the NERA-division Vocational and Business Training. Member of the Consortium for Teens and Technology (1999-); member of the scientific educational network of the National Science Foundation in Flanders (2002-); member of the Research and Technology Group of the European Association for Distance Teaching Universities (1998-2002), steering committee member of the European Prometeus network (1999-2001); coordinator of the Special Interest Group Instructional Design of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI, 1994- 1998).


Frequent reviews of project proposals for funding organizations such as the Dutch Association for Scientific Research, European Commission, European Science Foundation, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Australian Research Council, Johan Jacobs Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, and others

Organization of meetings

  • Organizer of many workshops, for example “Instructional models in computer-based learning environments” at the University of Twente, “Instructional design and problem-based learning” at the University of Maastricht, “Multimedia design and complex learning” at the Open University of the Netherlands, “Extending cognitive load theory and instructional design to the development of expert performance” at the Open University of the Netherlands (August 29-30, 2005).

  • Program committee member of the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) conference, Taipei, Taiwan, May 28-June 4, 2005.

  • Organizer of the thematic 2004 conference of the NERA, “Zin en onzin van leren met ICT”, at the Open University of the Netherlands.

  • Organizer of international symposia at major conferences such as the AERA annual meeting, the AECT, the European Congress of Psychology, the EARLI and others.

  • Chair of the program committee of The New Educational Benefits of ICT in Higher Education, Rotterdam, 1-3 September 2002.

See the list with “other publications” for further details.


Research-related consultancy for business, industry and governmental organizations. Examples include Arthur Anderson (St. Charles, USA), European Patent Office (Munich, Germany), Eurocontrol, SPC Group, Dutch Institute for Aerospace Survey, Dutch educational council, SLO, and many institutes for Higher and Middle vocational training. Also active in consultancy boards for worldwide development (International consortium for Teens and Technology, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation), the Dutch Association for scientific research (program for educational research PROO, TOKEN2000 program), and others.

Long-term Visiting Professorships

  • 1995: University of Barcelona, Department of Educational Psychology, prof. dr. Begona Gros-Salvat (Spain)

  • 2003-2004: University of New South Wales, School of Education, prof. dr. John Sweller (Australia).

6. Management Activities
University of Twente (1984-1997)

  • Faculty board member, responsible for the educational programs and public relations of the faculty (1991-1994).

  • Vice-chair of the Teacher Education Program (1994-1997).

  • Member of the board of the Department of Instructional Technology (secretary, 1995-1997).

  • Member of the Educational Advisory Board of the University of Twente (1991-1994)

University of Maastricht (1997-1998)

  • Chair of the Department of Cognitive Psychology.

  • Member of the Educational Board of the Faculty of Psychology.

Open University of the Netherlands (1999- )

  • Member of the management team of the Educational Technology Expertise Center (OTEC).

  • Research program director of OTEC, including responsibility for the PhD program (1998-).

  • Vice Dean (2003- )

  • Interim Dean (2006)
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