• 1991 Ph.D. Conceptual Representa­tions for Adaptive Education; University of Twente. Based upon the acquired versatility in connecting multimodal instructions, the road was opened to explore essentially new formats for regular and vocational education like experiential, explorative and constructivist approaches in learning.
  • 1980 Master’s degree in the Pedagogical Sci­ences. Mas­ter Thesis: Adaptive Dialogue and Cogni­tive Style; Utrecht State University. The focus was laid on the development of the set of instruments that would be used be used for further research activities in the development of highly personalized teaching/learning scenarios.
  • 1979 May  Academic Award for the Excellent Experimental Design on Cognitive Style in Highly Gifted Students; Utrecht State University.

Academic Career

International Conference of UNESCO IITE and UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs UNESCO Chairs Partnership on ICT Use in Education

Dr. Piet Kommers is professor in Educational Technology, Scientific Advisor and Consultant at the University of Twente since 1982. In this function he was the co-founder of the Twente Master Curriculum of Applied Educational Research with its renown Engineering Design Approach. His lecturing and research address the growing needs for fostering human capital, the innovation and reform of education. His instigated European projects on Vocational- and Job-Oriented Learning focussed on the evolving job markets. Throughout the many stages of ICT technologies: Simulations, Virtual Reality exercises, Narrative and Gaming formats he developed new genres for learning that allowed economical sectors to transform learning; and implicitly adapt their business model. His projects and workshop allowed him to see the main commonalities and differences among 12 of the Europe surrounding countries. His main role in the ongoing projects is to design research instruments for collecting data from innovative practitioners in the pilot stages of the experiments. Central Paradigm in his research is the catalytic role of ICT in competence development for teaching. In the recent years he focussed on the larger social/economical context of ICT propagation through web-based communities. He initiated the journal IJWBC in 2005 for which he was Chief Executive Editor until recently. From 2002 to 2020 he was Associate Editor of the journal IJCEELL (Continuous Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning) and encouraged through special issues the scope of innovative Vocational Education and Training. In the IV4J project he worked with five European partners towards innovative scenarios for VET’s orientation towards agile innovation, social cohesion and contributing to sustainable economic growth. Besides formats for surveys, focus groups and scraping social media, there is special attention for the elicitation of ethnographic data like personal reflection reports and narratives as they evolve from web-based communities and social networks.

His research, design and evaluation studies address large scale educational projects with in-depth surveys, co-designed ICT intervention plans and nation-wide evaluation studies for the European Commission, UNESCO in Eastern Europe and National Ministries of Education. He has been consulted by Ministries of Education and Communication in the junction between the European Commission and ASEAN countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Sri-Lanka and Indonesia). The overall project goal was to find innovative ways to speed the innovation of VET and benefit from process analogies among the various involved countries. Through Multi-Dimensional Scaling the practitioners and gatekeepers have been interviewed on how they lead innovation in teaching and learning in their daily practice. In the period 2001 – 2004 he was project leader of the National ‘Train the Trainer’ Program in Kobe and Sapporo, Japan. The goal was to discern motivational and attitudinal factors underlying the adoption of new didactic ICT measures in Vocational Education in order to conceive tools and methods for transforming initial into advanced professional competencies. For this purpose, a critical review and advice was formulated in order to revise the contemporary conceptual research framework at that moment. He received the title of Honorary Professor in Learning Technologies by the UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for his Developmental Projects in Eastern Europe. In the period 1994 - 1995 he was invited to lead the European MedCampus projects in Turkey, The Ukraine (Crimea) and Jordan.  

In the period 2006 – 2010 he supported ministries of Higher Education in the ASEAN countries. His team-leading methods have been implemented into the UNESCO IITE reports, policy briefings and Master Course. His books and journal article citations exceed the level of 8000 and the h-index of  35. He successfully supervised more than 20 awarded PhD projects and was recently nominated by 16 countries for the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the use of information and communication technologies in educational innovation. The projects by Piet Kommers were often cited and replicated as they demonstrated evident success in taking teaching and learning as a global challenge. His plead for meta-learning for the sake of swift adoption of blended learning during the Covid-19 era was generally appreciated and promises to be guiding the roads to sustainable Digital and Online Learning and Personalized Learning as key competencies for teachers and trainers in the coming years. Seen the need for efficient supplantation of current didactic training expertise in the field of vocational training his courses and workshops demonstrate procedures for collecting, editing, analysing and its comprehensive concluding next-phase approaches. His adagio is to characterize long-term diachronic evolutions in order to typify the variety of to-days’ plethora of educational approaches more lucid and convincingly. The use of communities of practice and social media’s wisdom of the crowd are welcomed.

Recent European Projects


2018 - 2020

Methodology for integrating technologies in national education and training systems. Analyses of Web Community networks, Model-Based hypotheses and Predictive Modelling. Gender demographic analyses of teacher training and career development have been made. Viral Dissemination, Crowd Sourcing and Open Science as a collective tool for the development of the power to act and ‘cognitive justice’  in the post Covid-19 era school practices. 


2016 - 2019

Innovate Vocational Education and Training.  The overall research question was: What are the main drivers and enablers to the innovation in teaching and learning in VET? The dissemination in German, Irish, Finnish and Italian institutes was conveyed with stakeholder analyses, qualitative analyses of the leads, open peer review and metrics for multidimensional scaling of the factors: Narrative structure, simulation- and gaming affinity, mentoring style and the readiness to integrate formative assessments.


2017 - 2020

Work-Based Learning in Future IT Professionals Education. Kaggle R Tutorial on Machine Learning. Didactic templates for functional-, object- and aspect-oriented programming. Bayesian method for datamining critical responses on the life-stream trigger videos on the PolyMath1 Project.  The essential research question was to spot the barriers or challenges in the process of innovation in teaching and learning in professional education.


2015 - 2017

STEAM Education through Real Product Design: 3D Printing. The “Brain Project Think Big” was applied for 3D Spatial Imagination in the trade-off between Stereoptic versus Binocular Goggles for VR skill training.  The MakeItReal project worked intensely with partners and practitioner networks in order to give them confidence to co-design and co-construct the envisaged innovation in teaching and learning.  


2014 - 2017

Project on Empirical Modelling for Education in AI for Software Engineering. Focus groups reports for reconstructing didactic templates for teaching ontologies with observables, dependencies and agents were  transformed into teacher training for new computer science curricula.


2012 - 2015

International Research Network for Intercultural Competences. Ethnographic studies of based upon learning analytics outcomes of prior international student exchange profiles among Eastern European-, Spain, South American countries and Australia with South-East Asia. 

Prior European Projects

 2013-2015 Grundtvig EU Project “Open European Government”

2011-2013 Grundtvig EU Project “Feeling Younger by Getting Older”

2007-2010 Atlantis: “Architecture for EU-US Student Exchange Programs”

2008-2010 Surf N.A.P. “Acculturation Program for International Cooperation in Higher Education”

2008-2010 Grundtvig EU Project “Piazza Natura”

2008-2010 SMART EU project “Societal Effects of ICT”: ICT as Explicit Factor in the Evolution of Long-Life Learning: Topic Report 1 Revised Version. Conceptual framework 1st Version. Outlines of the vertical domain reports Outline of the horizontal domain report; 10 March

2009 Tender CPP N°55A/2007 (SMART 2007/0068) for contract notice 2007/S Nr 194 of 9 October 2007.

2007-2011 Intuition: EU 6 FP Network of Excellence on Virtual Reality and Virtual Environment Applications for Future Workspaces

2004-2009 DIME: Distributed Interactive Medical Exploratory for 3D Medical Images; Virtual Reality for Surgical Skill Training. Funded by NWO-Token2000

2004-2009 VREST Project: Virtual Reality Surgical Tools. (Nationally funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs)

2004-2006 Minerva Project “Rgames”: Ex­perimentation of attractive Learning Games explaining the hazards provoked by radiation. The techno­logical innovation is semi-immersion based on 3D Web technologies

2004-2006 MySelf  Multimodal e-learning Sys­tem by Simulations, Role-Playing, Automatic Coaching and Voice Recognition interaction for Affective Profiling. In the Program: Specific Actions for SME’s / Coop­erative Research Projects

1998-2001 MATEN: “Multimedia Applications for Telematic Educational Net­works” Partners: Moscow, Kaunas, Kiev, Sofia, Exeter and Twente

1996-1998 Socrates Open and Distance Learn­ing “VMF” (Virtual Multimedia Factory): The Design Methodology and Evaluation Methods for integra­tion of Multimedia in Vocational Training settings


Chaired Conferences

  • Conference Chair Web-Based Communities Conferences; 2004 -
  • Conference Chair of the E-Society Conferences; 2004 -
  • First General Co-Chair of ICALT 2006, The 21th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies
  • First Program Co-Chair of the EdMedia 2005, Montreal; The  Advancement of Computing in Education
  • Program Committee Member of the EDUTECH 2004 Conference. 26-27 August 2004. Toulouse, France, sponsored by IFIP WG 10.5 in cooperation with IFIP WG 3.6 in conjunction with the IFIP World Educational Com­puter Congress