Design principles to foster sustainability competence in non-western regions

Yared Nigussie Demssie (University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and PhD candidate at Wageningen University) conducted research on the role of worldviews and indigenous knowledge in curricula on sustainability in higher education. His article ‘Combining Indigenous Knowledge and Modern Education to Foster Sustainability Competencies: Towards a Set of Learning Design Principles’, is now published open access in the journal Sustainability (2019 Impact Factor 2.576). It is part of the Special Issue on Competencies in Education for Sustainable Development II. Continue reading Design principles to foster sustainability competence in non-western regions

Learning to Increase Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a highly valued objective in the world of business administration. However, it is not easily achieved. We were thinking that Learning Organization (LO) theory could help establishing more responsibility in organizations, because these principles stimulate members of the organization to be critical, learn from the past and embrace change. In a study of Eghe Osagie, Renate Wesselink, Vincent Blok and myself, the relationship between organizational and operational characteristics of the learning organization was explored in relationship with establishing CSR. A total of 280 CSR professionals completed a survey, and bootstrap mediation analyses were conducted on the data. Three LO principles emerged from the study as important facilitators of increasing CSR: 1. encouragement to learn and positively perceive change; 2. to see the organization as an open system, and give co-workers room for adapting their working practices; 3. engagement in higher-order learning processes. This piece of research is accepted for publication in Organization & Environment (IF=8.50). The tentative reference is  Osagie, E., Wesselink, R., Blok, V., & Mulder, M (2020). Learning Organization for Corporate Social Responsibility Implementation; Unravelling the Intricate Relationship between Organizational and Operational LO Characteristics, Organization & Environment. Once the paper is published online more information about the reference will be posted.

Sophie Tiggelman new Master of Education (MEd)

On April 23, Sophie Tiggelman successfully defended her Master thesis. The defence took place online, the new normal now. The research Sophie conducted was about the results of the implementation of formative assessment on motivation for learning mathematics in secondary special needs education. The focus was on the introduction of rubrics and feedback legends. The study was done with over 40 students. The results showed positive effects. Congratulations Sophie Tiggelman, and thank you very much Dr Joachim Wetterling for the assessment of the thesis. Continue reading Sophie Tiggelman new Master of Education (MEd)

Including University-Society Role in Competence Frameworks of University Lecturers

Research of Dr Carla Oonk on the role of university lecturers as collaborative knowledge brokers between regional actors and students in higher education in the regions where they are working and studying, has now been published online by Higher Education. See:

Continue reading Including University-Society Role in Competence Frameworks of University Lecturers

1st issue of Volume 5 of The Journal of Competency-Based Education published

Dear website visitor,

In my previous post I was saying that I would refrain from further actions in the new LinkedIn network Competence Studies because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, since the situation has aggravated, we can say this seemed to prudent.

It seems that the disruptive pandemic will take much longer than we may have expected. It also pushes us even further in the direction of online communication, if we like it or not.

In the midst of the current circumstances, I am glad to share we are now with 60 members in the network Competence Studies. It is very rewarding to know that quite a few top scholars in the field have accepted the invitation to join. Thanks a lot! Later I will shortly introduce members to the network, so that all of us know who we are.

At this moment I would like to share that I came across The Journal of Competency-Based Education, which is published by Western Governors University and Wiley. The first issue of the journal was published in April 2016 and the journal is currently in Volume 5; Issue 5(1) is published in February 2020. Maybe I am the last one to learn about the existence of the journal, maybe not. I have not yet looked at its indexing yet, so I can’t say anything about the impact of the journal. But it seems to be worthwhile to explore it.

Interested in joining the Competence Studies Network? Create an account on LinkedIn if you don’t have one, and search for the network Competence Studies, and apply to become a member (for free). Alternatively: send me an email at Thanks.

Wishing you all good health,

LinkedIn group Competence Studies

Colleagues, since COVID-19 is declared a pandemic, I am refraining from further actions in our LinkedIn group Competence Studies, although competence is part of the battle against further proliferation of the virus in two ways. Competencies of authorities are in play, as well as competencies of professionals and the public. Hopefully, with concerted measures the pandemic gets contained soon. Wishing you all good health!

LinkedIn group Competence Studies >30 members

I did some more advertising on Twitter and Facebook (yes, I am back on that again) for the LinkedIn group Competence Studies. Surprise: I’m very honoured the group quickly grew over 30 members. Continue reading LinkedIn group Competence Studies >30 members

Research on argumentation competence and knowledge acquisition published

The article of Anahuac Valero Haro and colleagues is now published online, open access in the Journal of Constructivist Psychology. The full reference now is: Valero Haro, A., Noroozi, O., Biemans, H.J.A., & Mulder, M. (2020). Argumentation Competence: Students’ Argumentation Knowledge, Behavior and Attitude and their Relationships with Domain-Specific Knowledge Acquisition. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/10720537.2020.173499.

LinkedIn group on Competence Studies started

Last week I created a LinkedIn group to connect professionals who are working in the field of competence theory, research and practice. This group is dedicated to colleagues who are interested in competence practices such as in education, training, development and management. Continue reading LinkedIn group on Competence Studies started

Prof. Barbara Stalder takes over role in Editorial Board of IJRVET

After 6 years of start-up and early consolidation, I resigned from the Editorial Board of the International Journal for Research in Vocational Education and Training, IJRVET (, to make place for my esteemed Swiss colleague Prof. Barbara Stalder ( IJRVET is a spin-off of the Vocational Education and Training Network ( of the European Educational Research Association (, successfully initiated and realised by the excellent previous VETNET convenor, Prof. Michael Gessler ( Barbara now acts as co-convenor of the network. I wish Barbara and the Editorial Team lots of further success!