Clark Aldrich is an American author and practitioner in the field of educational simulations and serious games for education and professional skills. He has been the lead designer for several educational simulations, including SimuLearn's Virtual Leader, which won best online training product of the year in 2004 by Training Media Review and the American Society for Training and Development's T+D Magazine - the first game-like product to win.
His published research, beginning in 1999, outlined the failure of formal education approaches to teach leadership, innovation, and other strategic skills, and then advocated interactive experiences borrowing techniques from current computer games as media to fill these gaps. He argues that computer games represent new, "post-linear" models for capturing and representing content, but that new computer game genres will have to be created, optimized for learning as well as entertainment. His research and simulation design work, which he conducted outside of the influence and prescription of academic and grant-giving institutions, resulted in a series of articles, speeches, and 5 books.
Childhood and education
Aldrich grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, and graduated from Fenn School and Lawrence Academy. He spent eight summers at the Chewonki Foundation, including four as a counselor, under the mentorship of Director Tim Ellis. He received his bachelor's degree in Cognitive Science from Brown University in 1989.
Aldrich first worked at Xerox, initially as the speech writer for Executive Vice President Wayland Hicks. While at Xerox, Aldrich became the Governor’s appointee to the Joint Committee on Educational Technology (where he served from 1996-2000). He then moved to Gartner, where he launched their e-learning coverage, and began his formal writing and analysis about education. He left Gartner to begin hands-on work in designing and building simulations himself, where he also increased his external writing about the industry through books, columns, and articles.
Aldrich went on to found the company SimuLearn, which produces training simulations that help corporations teach leadership, responsibility, and other skills within a corporate setting. The first product that was released by the company was titled Virtual Leader and it required the player to conduct a series of business meetings while still juggling the interpersonal relationships of the employees and customers during business hours. His simulations have also earned numerous industry awards. including "Best Product of the Year" in 2004 by the American Society of Training And Development/Training Media Review.
- Aldrich, Clark (2004). Simulations and the Future of Learning. San Diego: Pfeiffer. ISBN 978-0-7879-6962-2.
- Aldrich, Clark (2005). Learning by Doing: A Comprehensive Guide to Simulations, Computer Games and Pedagogy in E-learning and Other Educational Experiences. San Diego: Pfeiffer. ISBN 978-0-7879-7735-1.
- Gibson, David V.; Aldrich, Clark; Prensky, Marc (2006). Games And Simulations in Online Learning: Research and Development Frameworks. IGI Global. ISBN 1-59904-304-1.
- Aldrich, Clark (2009). The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games. San Diego: Pfeiffer. ISBN 978-0-470-46273-7.
- Aldrich, Clark (2009). Learning Online with Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds: Strategies for Online Instruction. San Diego: Pfeiffer. ISBN 978-0-470-43834-3.
- Aldrich, Clark (2011). Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education. Austin: Greenleaf. ISBN 978-1-60832-116-2.
- Edery, David; Mollick, Ethan (October 7, 2008). Changing the Game: How Video Games Are Transforming the Future of Business. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: FT Press. pp. 124–126. ISBN 9780137151752. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Ellet, Bill (January 1, 2005). "Best2Buy: the best training programs of 2004". Training Media Review. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- "Serious Play Conference Aims Program at Corporate, Military, Education, Healthcare Decision-Makers, Developers for Serious Games; DigiPen to Host". Computer Weekly (UK: TechTarget). April 14, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Conlin, Michelle (2006-02-19). "Meet My Teachers: Mom And Dad". Businessweek. Retrieved 2014-09-16.
- Lesczinski, Mike (2013-04-13). "Excelsior College to Host "Games and the Curriculum: Towards a New Educational Model" Gaming Symposium on May 17". Excelsior College. Retrieved 2014-09-16.
- Leigh, Pam (2001-05-01). "Training's New Guard 2001: Clark Aldrich". T+D. HighBeam Research. Retrieved 2014-09-16.(subscription required)
- "Computer Games and Formal Learning Programs" (PDF). Conduit (Brown University) 15: 6.
- Galagan, Patricia A. (September 1, 2001). "Swimming with the big fish". T+D. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Becker, David (July 10, 2002). "Think you can run Enron? Play the game". CNET (San Francisco, California: CBS Interactive). Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Fisher, David (2007). "CMS-based simulations in the writing classroom: Evoking genre through game play". Computers and Composition (Elsevier) 24 (2): 179–197. doi:10.1016/j.compcom.2006.06.004. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Gathany, Nancy; Stehr-Green, Jeanette (April 4, 2003). "Scenario-Based E-Learning Model: A CDC Case Study" (PDF). Learning Circuits (Alexandria, Virginia: American Society for Training & Development). Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- García-Pañella, Oscar; de la Hermosa, Emiliano Labrador-Ruiz; Badia-Corrons, Anna; Moreno-Font, Pau (December 2010). "On Creativity in Multimedia: "Serious Games"" (PDF). CEPIS Upgrade (Council of European Professional Informatics Societies) 11 (6): 28–32. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Gery, Gloria (September 1, 2003). "Simulations and the Future of Learning: An Innovative (and Perhaps Revolutionary) Approach to E-Learning". T+D. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Fillicaro, Barbara (July 1, 2005). "Not Just for Kids". T+D. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Kapp, Karl (September 2005). "Review of "Learning by Doing: A Comprehensive Guide to Simulations, Computer Games and Pedagogy in E-learning and Other Educational Experiences by Clark Aldrich"". eLearn Magazine (New York City: Association for Computing Machinery). Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Bozarth, Jane. "Book Review: The Complete Guide to Simulations & Serious Games by Clark Aldrich". Learning Solutions Magazine (The eLearning Guild). Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Aleckson, Jon (January 1, 2009). "The Complete Guide to Simulations & Serious Games". Training Media Review. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Shea, Peter (November 2009). "Review of 'The Complete Guide to Simulations & Serious Games' by Clark Aldrich". eLearn Magazine (New York City: Association for Computing Machinery). Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Brandon, Bill. "Book Review: Learning Online with Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds: Strategies for Online Instruction by Clark Aldrich". Learning Solutions Magazine (The eLearning Guild). Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Neibert, Jennifer. "Book Review: Unschooling Rules, by Clark Aldrich". Learning Solutions Magazine (The eLearning Guild). Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Leigh, Pam (May 1, 2001). "Training's New Guard 2001: Clark Aldrich". Training Development (American Society for Training & Development) 54 (5): 34.
- Shields, Brian (May 10, 2012). "Clark Aldrich, Clark Aldrich Designs LLC - Video Games and Education". WAMC (Albany, New York). Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Laningham, Scott (February 6, 2009). "Clark Aldrich and Phaedra Boinodiris on serious games". developerWorks. IBM. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
- Morrison, James L. (September–October 2003). "Simulations and the Learning Revolution: An Interview with Clark Aldrich". The Technology Source (Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina). Retrieved March 23, 2014.