Curriculum & Instruction
Principal Learning Architect

Brock Dubbels


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Brock R. Dubbels has worked since 1999 as a professional in education and instructional design. His specialties include research methods, social learning theories and identity construction, and discourse processing. He has published on reading comprehension, embodied cognition, digital literacies, game design, and play. From these perspectives he designs face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid learning environments, exploring new technologies for assessment, delivering content, creating engagement with learners, and investigating ways people approach learning.

He was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to work at the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology; He was also selected as a Ruth Berman Fellow in Quality of Life studies from the US Government’s National Institutes of Health, and has been the recipient of a Graduate School Summer Fellowship from the at the University of Minnesota. Additionally, he has been the recipient of NSF funding for conference travel for his work in Complex Systems and STEM education utilizing video games.

Dubbels has worked as a public school teacher for 10 years in Minnesota where he taught Language Arts, Media, and Engineering/ Sheet Metal. He is currently a research associate at the Center for Cognitive Science at the University of Minnesota, where he works with educators in reading, social learning, and content literacy. He teaches gaming course work, and learning research through game design for the Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of Minnesota. He is also the founder and principal learning architect at for design, production, and usability assessment and evaluation of learning systems and games.

Dubbels’ work began in digital technology with an internship at Xerox PARC. Where he was fortunate to be part of the Information Center, and to be “loaned out” to different scientists for a range of projects. One in particular was DATALIB, a precursor to the online card catalog. This program predicted the importance of tagging, and data mining, social search construction, and information architecture. I affectionately named this program “Battle Ship” for the method I used in conducting usability and defect detection.
As a doctoral student the University of Minnesota, Dubbels worked as a Research Assistant at the HumanFIRST Driving Simulation laboratory, the Low Vision Lab, the Minneapolis Public Schools, the Medical School, and Center for CAM in Pharmacy. Through these affiliations, he worked on the Virtual Clinic for the Medical School; in a driving simulator as a researcher on studies of driver aggression, driver exhaustion, and road design in Engineering; as a building mentor for data-driven educational decisions and instructional design; and also on visual processing and visual span in psychophysics.
As graduate instructor, Dubbels developed a certificate for games, simulations, and modeling at the University of Minnesota. The sequence included an introduction to game literacy, and the cognitive and social process surrounding them, and how they could be utilized in for education and training, along with a lab for production. The success of these classes culminated in the Reading Education PhD program adopting the first course in the series, Video Games as Learning Tools, for credit towards a Phd.

Dubbels is currently a research associate at the Center for Cognitive Sciences at the University of Minnesota. He works as the principle learning architect for vgAlt LLC, where he designs games for fortune 25 companies. In addition to this, Dubbels works as an Associate editor at the International Journal of Games and Computer-Mediated Simulations and as an editor at the Games for Health Journal.


Data visualization, Technology tools and applications, Information technology

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