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David Gibson, Ed.D.

Director Learning Engagement, Curtin University
Perth, Australia

Research field: Education - Educational Technology
Complex systems methods in social science research, technology: games and simulations, cognitive science-based learning theory


Awards and Grants

  •  Apr 2011 
    EDUCAUSE Next Generation Learning Challenges View website
  •  Oct 2009 
    HASTAC MacArthur
  •  Oct 2006 
    NSF - Global Challenge Award
  •  Oct 2003 
    US Dept of Education - simSchool View website

Biographical Information

Associate Professor David Gibson, Director of Learning Engagement 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.


Professional Experience

2013 - Present
Director Learning Engagement at Curtin University
Perth, Australia

Dec 1996 - Dec 1998
University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont, United States

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