His interest in computers and learning started at UC San Diego where he designed his own major in Computer-Based Education, and was part of a research project using email for classroom discussion (in 1979!). Clark worked at DesignWare as an educational computer game designer and programmer before returning to UCSD to acquire a Ph.D in applied cognitive science. He subsequently conducted research at the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education at San Diego State University, and at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
Clark spent seven years in Australia advancing learning technology. At the University of New South Wales, he taught interaction design and researched and published on the design of engaging, effective, interactive learning environments. During his time in Australia he branched out and held the position of Multimedia Manager for Open Net and then served as Director of Education Technology for Access CMC, both initiatives of the Australian Government. He returned to California to take the position of Director of Cognitive Systems for Knowledge Universe Interactive Studio, where he built and led a team that developed an intelligently adaptive learning system.
Clark has been involved in the design, development, and/or evaluation of a wide variety of educational technology for over 40 years. Projects in which he has led design include educational games, mobile learning applications, performance support tools, online conferences, web-based learning, effectiveness evaluation methodologies, and adaptive systems. He's done this for corporate, government, education, and not-for-profit organizations. He keynotes both nationally and internationally, and is the author of numerous articles, chapters and books:
- Make It Meaningful: Taking Learning Design from Instructional to Transformational
- Learning Science for Instructional Designers: From Cognition to Application
- Millennials, Goldfish & Other Training Misconceptions: Debunking Learning Myths and Superstitions
- Designing mLearning: Tapping Into the Mobile Revolution for Organizational Performance
- Engaging Learning: Designing e-Learning Simulation Games
In 2012 he was awarded the eLearning Guild’s first Guild Master designation, and in 2018 (and again in 2021) he received Work-Learning Research's Neon Elephant award. In 2014, Clark was a co-author of the Serious eLearning Manifesto. He is a co-organizer of the Learning Development Accelerator, and serves on the advisory board of Boise State's program in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning.
"... provided us the ability to improve the engagement of our product while retaining the educational and technical sophistication of our solutions ... professional, creative, and adds significant value to our proposals and content as well as our corporate directions." - Charlie Gillette, CEO of Knowledge Anywhere