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Collaborative Learning in Online Study Groups: An Evolutionary Game Theory Perspective

, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia ; , University of Belgrade, Australia

JITE-Research Volume 11, Number 1, ISSN 1539-3585 Publisher: Informing Science Institute


Educational benefits of online collaborative group work have been confirmed in numerous research studies. Most frequently cited advantages include the development of skills of critical thinking and problem solving as well as skills of self-reflection and co-construction of knowledge and meaning. However, the establishment and maintenance of active collaboration in online study groups is a challenging task, primarily due to students’ inability (e.g., owing to time constraints or lack of collaboration skills) or reluctance (e.g., due to the lack of or low participation of other group members) to participate actively in the group work. Aiming to better understand and contribute to the resolution of the problems of effective online group work, we followed a novel approach based on Evolutionary Game Theory (EGT). While EGT has been used extensively as a framework for studying the emergence and maintenance of cooperation in many disciplines, to the best of our knowledge, it has not yet been applied to understanding and facilitating group collaboration in online learning settings. In this paper, we present a study we have conducted in order to investigate whether, and to what extent, EGT can be applied to explain students’ participation in collaborative study groups.


Chiong, R. & Jovanovic, J. (2012). Collaborative Learning in Online Study Groups: An Evolutionary Game Theory Perspective. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 11(1), 81-101. Informing Science Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2022 from .



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