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VICI research on Digital Literacy and Change-Ability

BMS researchers Prof. Erik Rietveld and Prof. Eliane Segers received a Vici grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) this year. Both researchers have a part-time appointment at the UT and also work for another university.

Digital Reading Skills

Segers' research focuses on the reading of digital texts. The many digital texts that we all read have probably ensured that young people today are "digital natives". However, some experts warn that young people's ability to focus their attention for an increasingly shorter period of time is no longer sufficient to enable them to comprehend texts in depth.

Segers will not only investigate how this works but also which characteristics of digital texts promote deep reading. "Digital materials contain features that have an impact on the reading process. A book reader is always aware of his location in the book. Digital texts, with, for example, hyperlinks - which take you from one place to anotherĀ - and moving texts, this awareness can disappear", explains Segers. Ultimately, Segers will investigate how digital reading comprehension can best be taught and develop the necessary teaching materials.


An era of increasingly rapid change demands an ever greater collective capacity for change. Socrates Professor Rietveld is researching this ability called 'Change-Ability'. Many people, but also entire communities, find it difficult to realise and then sustain change. "Even if people know that excessive sitting is unhealthy, in an office full of office chairs we are less inclined to do our work in different postures," says Rietveld.

Rietveld will investigate what obstacles communities face and try to reduce these obstacles. He wants to achieve this by learning from creative processes in the visual arts and experimental architecture. "Besides being a philosopher, I am also a co-founder of RAAAF, where we developed a physical concept for the future workplace in the project 'The End of Sitting'," says Rietveld.

More information

Vici is one of the largest personal scientific grants in the Netherlands, which grants 1.5 million euros. The title of the project by Prof. Eliane Segers (Professor of Reading & Digital Media at the UT for Stichting Lezen, and Professor of Learning & Technology at Radboud University) is 'Opportunities and Challenges in Reading Comprehensively from Digital Texts'. The title of the project by Prof. Dr. Erik Rietveld (Department of Philosophy and Amsterdam UMC) is 'Change-Ability for a Rapidly Changing World'.

K.W. Wesselink MSc (Kees)
Science Communication Officer (available Mon-Fri)