Jody Clarke-Midura

Associate Professor

Jody Clarke-Midura

Contact Information

Phone: (435) 797-0571
Additional Information:

Educational Background

Ed. D., Learning and Teaching, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Ma.

M.Ed., Technology in Education

B.A. Dual Concentration in English and Women’s Studies, Cum Laude, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Ma.


Jody Clarke-Midura knows firsthand how games can make a difference in girls’ lives. When she was in elementary school, she bought her first game console with money she’d saved up from her paper route. Now, she’s conducting research and running App Camps to help get young girls interested in game design and computing.

Jody is interested in the design, research, and evaluation of digital media for learning and assessment. She worked with Dr. Deborah Fields to develop the Games and Learning course. Before USU, Jody was a researcher at MIT. She helped develop Radix, a Massively Multiplayer Online Game to teach math and science.

Jody cares about mentoring, both in her research and with her students. The App Camp project uses Jody’s near-peer modeling to empower students through peer mentoring. WIth her own students, Jody provides opportunities for hands-on research and design. Her students grow into leadership roles and eventually mentor incoming students.

Jody is looking for students who are interested in games, girls in STEM+C, game-based assessment, or the integration of design and research.

Featured Work

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STEM+C Project: Research on the Development of An Assessment to Measure Kindergarten Children's Abilities to Reason Computationally With Mathematical Problem-Solving Skills.

The goal of this project is to explore how young children use math when they engage in computational thinking and to develop an evidence-based assessment to measure children’s mathematical problem-solving skills.

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Board Games and Coding

This project explores how unplugged activities and board games can be used to get youth interesting in coding, girls in particular. The goal is to develop and pilot unplugged materials that can be used to introduce upper-elementary students to coding and computational thinking.

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Second Best Paper Award at SIGCSE

Jody and her team won the second best paper award for their paper, “How Near Peer Mentoring Affects Middle School Mentees.” In this paper, the authors present their near-peer mentoring model. The goal is to spark students’ interest in computer science by providing them with role models who are relatable and who resonate with their identities. Download the paper here:

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PEL - Playful Explorations Lab

Jody leads the Playful Explorations Lab, a research lab interested in how learning and assessment take place in a playful environment. Jody’s research students work with all her grant projects. Jody’s work extends to all youth, but she has a special focus on inclusion of girls in computer science.

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Table Top to Screens

This project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is studying approaches to help elementary students learn computational thinking skills by first playing a tabletop board game and then building game levels in Scratch, a block-based programming language. For more information, see

App Camp

The goal of this project is to get girls interested in coding. During the week-long camps, students design their own apps in App Inventor. The camps use a near-peer mentoring model. So far, Jody has seen a positive relationship between peer mentoring and girls’ interest in coding. For more information, see

Research Focus

Jody’s current research focuses on broadening participation in computer science. She has been running summer camps on App Inventor and studying how it affects girls’ interest in computer science and programming. She is also investigating how we can use toys, games as well as unplugged activities in K-12 to teach computational thinking. Her research focuses on:

  • Finding ways to get girls interested in computer programming
  • Researching the integration of math and computational thinking in early education
  • Using unplugged activities in games to teach computational thinking
  • Technology-based assessment

Selected Publications

See C.V or Google Scholar for a comprehensive list of publications.

Clarke-Midura, J., *Sun, C., *Pantic, K., * Poole, F., Allan, V. (accepted). Using informed design in informal Computer Science programs to increase youths' interest, self-efficacy, and perceptions of parental support. Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE).

Scalise, K. & Clarke-Midura, J. (2018). The Many Faces of Scientific Inquiry: Effectively Measuring What Students Do and Not Only What They Say. Journal of Research in Science Teaching,55(10), 1469-1496.

Clarke-Midura, J., * Poole, F., *Pantic, K., *Sun, C., Allan, V. (2018). How Mother and Father Support Affect Youths’ Interest in Computer Science. Proceedings of ACM ICER conference, Espoo, Finland, August, 2018.

Clarke-Midura, J.,*Poole, F., *Pantic, K., *Hamilton, M., *Sun, C., and Allan, V. (2018). How Near-Peer Mentoring Affects Middle School Mentees. Proceedings of ACM SIGCSE conference, Baltimore, Maryland USA, February, 2018. Won second best paper Award for CS Education Research.

Shumway, J. F., Clarke-Midura, J., Lee, V. R., *Hamilton, M., & Baczuk, C. (Accepted). Putting spatial orientation and measurement skills to work: Coding toys in kindergarten. Teaching Children Mathematics.