Complex systems methods in social science researchtechnology: games and simulationscognitive science-based learning theory
Associate Professor David Gibson, Director of Learning Futures at Curtin University in Australia, received his Ed.D. from the University of Vermont in Leadership and Policy Studies in 1999. His foundational research demonstrated the feasibility of bridging from qualitative information to quantifiable dynamic relationships in complex models that verify trajectories of organizational change. He provides thought leadership as a researcher, professor, learning scientist and innovator.
He is creator of simSchool, a classroom flight simulator for preparing educators, and eFolio an online performance-based assessment system, and provides vision and sponsorship for Curtin University’s Challenge, a mobile, game-based learning platform. At local governmental levels, he has worked with schools and organizations on leadership and strategic thinking, for example, mapping over one million student records onto a geographic picture of student performance and educational opportunities in ten major U.S. cities. At statewide and national levels he has contributed to public policy awareness, for example, through analysis of the ‘least restrictive environment’ placements of students in special education across the United States. In these projects, he consults with project and system leaders, formulates strategies, and helps people articulate their vision for innovation; then helps connect people with the resources needed to fulfill their aspirations.
His research has extended from learning analytics, complex systems analysis and modeling of education to application of complexity via games and simulations in teacher education, web applications and the future of learning. Dr. Gibson has also advanced the use of technology to personalize education via cognitive modeling, design and implementation. His articles and books on games and simulations in learning led to applying game-based learning principles to the design and implementation of The Global Challenge Award a cyber-infrastructure-supported global problem-solving contest for students from 100 countries while a Research Professor of Computer Science at the University of Vermont, College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.
Until moving to Perth, Western Australia, he resided in Stowe, Vermont where he has lived since 1979 with his wife Mary - a violinist with the Vermont Symphony – while helping to raise their children, Molly, a research neuroscientist, and Michael, a biathlete and mechanical engineer.