Staff profile

Professor Donald Clark

Visiting Professor to the University of Derby Online Learning


University of Derby Online Learning


I am an EdTech entrepreneur. I was CEO and one of the original founders of Epic Group plc, which established itself as the leading company in the UK online learning market, floated on the Stock Market in 1996 and sold in 2005. As well as being the CEO of Wildfire Ltd. I also invest in, and advise, EdTech companies.

I am a board member of City & Guilds, Cogbooks, LearningPool, WildFire and Deputy Chair of Brighton Dome & Arts Festival. I am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

I have worked in schools, vocational, higher, corporate and adult learning, delivering real projects to real learners. These include change management, strategy, tool selection, content design and build.

I have over 30 years experience in online learning, games, simulations, semantic, adaptive, social media, mobile learning, virtual reality and AI projects. I have designed, delivered and advised on online learning for many global, public and private organisations. I am an evangelist for the use of technology in learning and I've won many awards, including the first ‘Outstanding Achievement in E-learning Award’ and ‘Best AIM Stock Market Company’.

I am also a regular (and controversial) blogger (10 years+) on learning technology, his iconoclastic pieces on learning theory, MOOCs, VR, AI, Robinson, Mitra and others, attracted lots of attention. My series on learning theorists is a valuable open resource.

Research interests

Learning theory

I have written articles on over 100 learning theorists and delivered lectures on 2500 years of learning theory around the world.

Online learning design

Having founded the leading e-learning company in the UK, floated and sold the company, I have over 30 years experience in the design of online learning. I have written many articles and primers on this subject.

Online learning technology

Over 30 years delivering online learning in schools, FE, HE and large global organisations.


Designed, funded and written many articles on MOOCs.

AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Invested in adaptive learning, as well as building WildFire, an AI tool that generates online learning automatically from documents, PowerPoints and videos. This is an on-going area of interest, with research and trials taking place in healthcare and other sectors.


I have been involved in several VR projects in healthcare and training.

Membership of professional bodies


Additional interests and activities

I have a keen interest in vocational education and as a Trustee of City & Guilds, am heavily involved in this layer of education.

I am also Deputy Chair of a large Arts organisation, with a particular interest in the visual arts.