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About Us

Our Founder

Dr. Youngkyun Baek,Professor of Educational Technology, Boise State University, and GameStudio Director

Dr. Youngkyun Baek is a professor in the department of educational technology at Boise State University. He is also founder and director of the GameStudio. His research interests broadly focus on digital game and simulation for learning. Currently his main research project is to design a mobile instructional game. He has published numerous studies and books on digital game based learning, and presented research papers at nationally and internationally renowned conferences. Dr. Baek received his Ph.D. in Educational Foundations, Computer Based Instruction from Georgia State University.

Resent Publications


  • Baek, Y. (2014) Trends and Applications of Serious Gaming and Social Media (Eds.), N.Y: Springer.
  •  Baek, Y. (Eds., 2013) Psychology of Gaming, Nova Science Publishers, Inc. N.Y.
  • Baek, Youngkyun & Whitton, Nicola (Eds., 2013). Cases on Digital Game-Based Learning: Methods, Models and Strategies. New York: IGI Global, Hershey PA 17033-1240, USA.
  • Baek, Youngkyun (2010). Gaming for Classroom-Based Learning: Digital Role Playing as a Motivator of Study (ed.). New York: IGI Global.
  • Gibson, David and Baek, Youngkyun (2009). Digital Simulations for Improving Education: Learning Through Artificial Teaching Environments (Co-Ed.). New York: IGI Global.

Peer Reviewed Papers

  • Baek, Y. and Touati, A. (2020). Comparing collaborative and cooperative game play for academic and gaming achievements. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 57(8), 2110-2140. DOI: 10.1177/0735633118825385
  • Baek, Y., Yang, D. and Fan, Y. (2019), “Understanding second grader’s computational thinking skills in robotics through their individual traits”, Information Discovery and Delivery, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.
  • Dazhi, Y., Baek, Y., Ching, Y-H., Swanson, S., Chittoori, B., and Wang, S. (Submitted 2019). The Design of a Project-Based Integrated STEM + Computational Thinking Curriculum. International Journal of STEM Education.
  • Baek, Y., Yang, D., and Fan, Y. (Accepted 2019). Understanding Second Graders’ Computational Thinking Skills in Robotics through their Individual Traits. Information Discovery and Delivery.
  • Wang, S., Ching, Y., Baek, Y., Swanson, S., Yang, D., & Chittoori, B. (2019). Implementing Integrated STEM Inquiry: A Teacher’s Role in Facilitating A Robotic Activity. International Journal of STEM Education.
  • Ching, Y.-H., Yang, D., Wang, S., Baek, Y., & Bhaskar, C. (2019). Elementary school student development of STEM attitudes and perceived learning in a STEM integrated robotics curriculum, TechTrends.
  • Yang, D., Baek, Y., Ching, U-H., Swanson, S., Chittoori, B., & Wang, S. (2019). The Design and Enactment of a Computational Thinking-Rich Project-based Integrated K-12 STEM Curriculum. International Journal of Science Education and Technology.
  • Baek, Y., Wang, S., Yang, D., Ching, Y.-H., Swanson, S. and Chittoori, B. (2019). Revisiting Second Graders’ Robotics with an Understand/Use-Modify-Create (U2MC) Strategy. European Journal of STEM Education, 4(1), 07.
  • Taylor, K., & Baek, Y. (2019). Grouping Matters in Computational Robotic Activities. Computers in Human Behavior, 93, 99-105.
  • Touati, A., & Baek, Y. (2018). What leads to player’s enjoyment and achievement in a mobile learning game? Journal of Educational Computing Research, 56(3), 344-368.
  • Taylor, K., & Baek, Y. (2018). Collaborative Robotics, more than just working in groups. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 56(7), 979-1004.
  • Jung, B., Kim, Y., & Baek, Y. (2017). What Makes a Mobile Learning Game Enjoyable? The Journal of Educational Information and Media, 23(3), 373-395.
  • Baek, J., Yoo, Y., Lee, K., Jung, B., & Baek, Y. (2017). Using an instant messenger to learn a foreign language in a peer-tutoring environment. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 16 (2), 145-152.
  • Baek, Y., & Touati, A. (2017).  Exploring How Individual Traits Influence Enjoyment in a Mobile Learning Game. Computers in Human Behavior, 69(C), 347-357.
  • Baek, Y., Zhang, H., & Yun, S. (2017). Teachers’ Attitudes towards Mobile Learning in Korea. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 16 (1), 154-163.
  • Ching, Y,-H., Yang, D., Baek, Y., & Baldwin, S. (2016). Enhancing graduate students’ reflection in E-portfolios using TPACK framework. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 32(5), 108-122. doi:
  • Baek, Y., Xu Y., Han, S., and Cho J. (2015). Exploring Effects of Intrinsic Motivation and Prior Knowledge on Student Achievements in Game-based Learning, Smart Computing Review, 5(5), 368-377
  • Uz, C. B., Baek, Y., and Park, H. (2015). How Debriefing Strategies Can Improve Student Motivation and Self-Efficacy in Game-Based Learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research, Vol. 53 (2), 155-182. DOI: 10.1177/0735633115598496
  • Choi, B., Huang, J., Jeffrey, A., & Baek, Y. (2013). Development of a scale for fantasy state in digital games. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(5), 1980-1986. doi: (Correspondence Author)
  • Huang, J., Baek, Y., Cho, J.(2012). Technology-Supported Storytelling (TSST) strategy in virtual world for multicultural education. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol. 341, pp. 101-108.
  • Kim, C., Baek, Y. K., & Choi, B. (in press). Searching for instructional implications of social network games. Journal of Educational Technology & Society.(SSCI)
  • Choi, Beomkyu, & Baek, Youngkyun (2011). Exploring factors of media characteristic influencing Flow in learning through virtual worlds. Computers & Education, Vol. 57 (2011) 2382–2394.
  • Xu, Yan, Park, Hyungsung, Baek, Youngkyun (2011). A new approach toward digital storytelling: An activity focused on writing self-efficacy in a virtual learning environment. Educational Technology & Society, 14 (4), 181-191.

Current Research Team

Research Interests: Computer programming, Machine learning, Software development, Cybersecurity

Academic Background: MS in Computer Science from Boise State University. MS in Sustainability Management from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Professional Background: He is currently pursuing master’s degree in computer science at Boise State University and working at Game Studio, Boise State University.


Picture of Jie Huang

Jie Huang

Research Interests: Effects of digital gaming on student’s achievements; Variables of edicational games in Game Based Learning; Instructional design and teachers’ training in Game Based Learning and virtual worlds learning environment

Academic Background:  MA in Educational Technology from Hunan Normal University, China.  Doctoral student in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Educational Technology at Boise State University.

Professional Background: She Worked as an instructor in a vocational college in China for two years. She is working as a research assistant at Gamestudio.

Cigdem Uz

 Research Interests: Virtual worlds in education, mobile learning, serious games, simulated-based learning, ubiquitous learning environments

 Academic Background: MA in Computer Education and Instructional Technology from Hacettepe University, Turkey. She is still a PhD student at Middle East Technical University, Turkey.

 Professional Background: She is working as a research  assistant at Yildiz Technical University, Turkey. She is visiting scholar at Game Studio, Boise State University.

Visiting Scholars


  • Seongguk Kang, Ph.D. Director, Associate Research Fellow at Korean Educational Development Institute.
  • Myeongseok Ko, Ph.D. Professor at Seonam University, South Korea.


  • Jaeyeob Jung, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor at Korea National University of Education, South Korea.
  • Ki-jun Lee, Ph.D. Program Specialist at Korean Educational Development Institute.