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Robert M. Bernard, PhD

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Education
Systematic Review Team Leader, Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance

Robert M. Bernard, PhD


• PhD Educational Communication, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 1978
• MS General Curriculum, University of Tennessee, 1974
• BS Elementary School Curriculum, University of Tennessee, 1972

Research interests

• Distance Education, Online Learning, Blended Learning
• Models of Instruction (Teacher-centered and Student-centered)
• Technology Integration in Classroom Instruction
• Critical Thinking (Skills and Dispositions)
• Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
• Research Design, Research Methods and Quantitative Methods

Professional experience

• Professor, Concordia University, 1991- 2017
• Associate Professor, Concordia University, 1983-1991
• Assistant Professor, Concordia University, 1979-1983
• Lecturer, University of Washington, 1978-1979
• Pre-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Washington, 1974-1978
• Elementary School Teacher, Nashville, TN Public Schools, 1968-1974


• 2018 Distinguished Professor Emeritus.
• 2013-2016 – Outstanding Reviewer Award, Review of Educational Research. AERA.
• 2012 – Division of Distance Learning – First Place, Distance Education Journal Article Award (Advancing Research) – Association for Educational Communication and Technology.
• 2010-2011 – Outstanding Reviewer Award, Review of Educational Research. AERA.
• 2007 – Award for Distinguished Scholarship. Arts & Science, Concordia University. Concordia University, Montreal, QC.
• 2006 – NSSLHA Editor’s Award (Best Article of the Year). NSSLHA Annual Conference.
• 2004 – Annual Award of Excellence in Research, Canadian Association for Distance Education. Award presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Distance Education (CADE).

Teaching activities

Research Methods and Statistics, Meta-Analysis

Research activities

Selected publications

• Bernard, R.M., Borokhovski, E., Schmid, R. F., Tamim, R. M. (2018). Gauging the Effectiveness of Educational Technology Integration in Education: What the Best-Quality Meta-Analyses Tell Us. In: Spector M., Lockee, B.,Childress, M. (eds) Learning, Design, and Technology. Springer, Cham.
• Abrami, P. C., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E.,Waddington, D., Wade, C. A., & Persson, T. (2015). Strategies for teaching students to think critically: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research. 85(2), 275-314.
• Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., & Tamim, R. M. (2014). Big pictures we can rely on: Detecting bias in meta-analyses of distance education research. Distance Education, 35(3), 271-293.
• Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Schmid, R. F., & Tamim, R. M. (2014). An exploration of bias in meta-analysis: The case of of technology integration research in higher education. Journal of Computing in Higher Education. 26(3), 183-209.
• Bernard, R. M. (2014). What I have learned about meta-analysis since 1990: Reducing Bias in Search of "The Big Picture." Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology.
• Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Schmid, R. F., Tamim, R. M. et al.  (2014). A meta-analysis of blended learning and technology use in higher education: From the general to the applied. Journal of Computing in Higher Education. 26(1), 87-122.
• Schmid, R. F., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Tamim, R. M. et al. (2014). The effects of technology use in postsecondary education: A meta-analysis of classroom applications. Computers & Education, 72, 271-291.
• Borokhovski, E., Tamim, R. M., Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., & Sokolovskaya, A. (2012). Are contextual and design student-student interaction treatments equally effective in distance education? A follow-up meta-analysis of comparative empirical studies. Distance Education.
• Tamim, R. M., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Abrami, P. C., & Schmid, R. F. (2011). What forty years of research says about the impact of technology on learning: A second-order meta-analysis and validation study. Review of Educational Research. 81(3), 4-28.
• Abrami, P. C., Bernard, R. M., Bures, E.M., Borokhovski, E., & Tamim, R. (2011). Interaction in distance education and online learning: Using evidence and theory to improve practice. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, (Special Issue: Improving Interaction in Distance Education Through Research). 23 (2-3), 82-103.
• Bethel, E. C. & Bernard, R. M. (2010). Developments and trends in synthesizing diverse forms of evidence: Beyond comparisons between distance education and classroom instruction. Distance Education, 31(3), 231-256.
• Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Tamim, R., Surkes, M., & Bethel, E. C. (2009). A meta-analysis of three interaction treatments in distance education. Review of Educational Research, 79(3) 1243-1289.
• Abrami, P. C., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Surkes, M. A., Tamim, R., & Zhang, D. A. (2008). Instructional interventions affecting critical thinking skills and dispositions: A stage one meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 78(4), 1102-1134
• Bernard, R. M., Zhang, D., Abrami, P. C., Sicoly, F., Borokhovski, E., & Surkes, M. (2008). Exploring the structure of the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal: One scale or many subscales? Creativity and Thinking Skills, 3, 15-22.
• Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Lou, Y., & Borokhovski, E. (2004). A methodological morass? How we can improve the quality of quantitative research in distance education. Distance Education, 25(2), 176-198.
• Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Lou, Y., Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Wozney, L., Wallet, P. A., Fiset, M., & Huang, B. (2004). How does distance education compare to classroom instruction? A Meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Review of Educational Research, 74(3), 379-439.

Recent invited presentations

• Bernard, R. M. (2017, April). What meta-analyses say about the effectiveness of distance education, online learning and blended learning. Invited presentation and panel discussion at the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) conference. New Orleans. LA.

• Bernard, R. M. (2015, October). Howto integrate meta-analysis into our daily practice: Problems, pitfalls and pearls.  Invited presented to the Pediatric Department at St. Justine Hospital (University of Montreal). Montreal, QC.

• Bernard, R. M. (2013, June). The state of research in online and blended learning and how we can move forward (in the short-term and the long-term). Invited presented at the 2013 meeting of SALTISE, Dawson College, Montreal, QC.

• Bernard,R. M. (2012, November). Meta-analysis of the distance learning literature: What it can and can’t accomplish. Invited Presidential Address at the 2012 meeting of the Association for Educational Communication and Technology. Louisville, KY.
• Bernard, R. M. (2011, September). The appropriate use of the fixed and random models in synthesizing effect sizes in meta-analysis. Keynote address at the Sixth Annual Randomised Trials Conference in the Social Sciences: Methodological Advances. University of York, York U.K. (September 27th and 28th, 2011).
• Bernard, R. M. (2010, October). The state of research in online and blended learning and how we can move forward (in the short-term and the long-term). Invited presentation at the 16th annual Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning, Orlando, FL
• Bernard, R. M. (2010, May). The past, present and future: Meta-analysis of online and distance research. Invited symposium presentation at the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.

Current Grants

Current Grants

• Schmid,R. F. (PI), Bernard, R. M., &Trudel, L. (2017-2020). Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada InsightGrant (SSHRC),  A quantitative and qualitative synthesis of the empirical research examining the role of technology in K12 Science Education.”

• Bernard,R. M. [PI], Borokhovski, E., Schmid, R. M., Waddington, D. I. (2016-2018),& Pickup, D.  Jacobs Foundation andthe Campbell Collaboration. “A Meta-Analysis of 21stCentury Adaptive Teaching and Individualized Learning Operationalized as Specific Blends of Student-Centered Instructional Events.”

• Bernard,R. M. [PI], Schmid, R. S., Owston, R. & Vaughn, N. (2016-2019). SocialSciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant (SSHRC), “Prospects and problems of implementing blended learning in higher education as viewed through the lens of systematic review and meta-analysis.”

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