University of Calgary

Douglas Clark

  • Professor
  • Research Professor - Design Based Learning


Dr. Clark was born in Wisconsin, and he and his family moved all around the United States during his childhood. After college, Dr. Clark taught high school and middle school science in Arizona and California. Dr. Clark is married and has two children. Dr. Clark completed his MA at Stanford University and PhD at University of California at Berkeley in Math, Science, and Technology Education. Prior to joining University of Calgary in 2017, Dr. Clark was a professor at Vanderbilt University in the United States. Dr. Clark loves playing digital games and imported board games of all kinds.

Research & Scholarly Activity

At its core, Dr. Clark’s research investigates the design of digital learning environments and the learning processes through which people, particularly middle school and high school students, come to understand core science and computer science concepts in the context of those digital learning environments. This work focuses primarily on conceptual change, inquiry, modeling, digital games, explanation, collaboration, and argumentation. Dr. Clark’s research is now also extending into the exploration of people’s own design processes and supporting those design processes.


PhD in Education in Mathematics, Science, and Technology
University of California at Berkeley

MA in Science Education
Stanford University

BA in Biology
Institution University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Professional & Community Affiliations

Dr. Clark has served as Associate Editor of the Journal of the Learning Sciences. He has also served on the editorial boards of several of the most prestigious journals in Science Education and the Learning Sciences including Journal of the Learning Sciences, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and Science Education. He is a Survey Assessment Innovations Lab Network advisor to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in the United States and was one of the original twenty members of the Academic Consortium on Games for Impact that was initially commissioned by the US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  In addition, he is active with his local schools and runs a weekly role-playing club for middle school and high school students at one of the schools.

  • International Society of the Learning Sciences
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Games, Learning, and Society


*Please see all publications at

Clark, D. B., Tanner-Smith, E., Hostetler, A., Fradkin, A., & Polikov, V. (in press). Substantial Integration of Typical Educational Games into Extended Curricula. Journal of the Learning Sciences.

Clark, D. B., Virk, S. S.*, Barnes, J.*, & Adams, D. M.* (2016). Self-explanation and digital games: Adaptively increasing abstraction. Computers & Education, 103, 28-43. DOI  10.1016/j.compedu.2016.09.010

Clark, D. B., Tanner-Smith, E., & Killingsworth, S.* (2016). Digital games, design, and learning: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 86(1), 79-122. DOI: 10.3102/003465431558206

Clark, D. B., Virk, S. S.*, Sengupta, P., Brady, C., Martinez-Garza, M.*, Krinks, K.*, Killingsworth, S.*, Kinnebrew, J.*, Biswas, G., Barnes, J.*, Minstrell, J., Nelson, B., Slack, K.*, & D’Angelo, C. M.*(2016). SURGE’s evolution deeper into formal representations: The siren’s call of popular game-play mechanics. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 7(1), 107-146.

Clark, D. B., D’Angelo, C. M.*& Schleigh, S. P.* (2011). Comparison of students' knowledge structure coherence and understanding of force in the Philippines, Turkey, China, Mexico, and the United States. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(20), 207-261. 


Journal of the Learning Sciences Reviewer of the Year, 2016

National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006-2008

Outstanding Dissertation Award, UC Berkeley School of Education, 2001

National Science Foundation Science and Design Fellowship, 1999-2000

Chancellor's Award for Botany, University of North Carolina, 1989

Media Work

Clark, D. B. (2017). Can Typical Educational Games Support Learning Within Curriculum? Blog on Joan Ganz Cooney Center site about games and learning.

Photograph of Douglas Clark

Curriculum Vitae

Powered by UNITIS. More features.