Fostering Peer Learning With a Game-Theoretical Approach in a Blended Learning Environment

Seyede Fatemeh Noorani, Mohammad Hossein Manshaei, Mohammad Ali Montazeri, Behnaz Omoomi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study proposes a mechanism and an instructional design in order to foster well-organized peer learning based on game theory (PD_PL). The proposed mechanism uses prisoner's dilemma (PD), the most widely known example of game theory in a dynamically blended and collaborative learning environment. PD_PL maps the strategy and payoff concepts found in PD onto a peer learning (PL) atmosphere. As is the case in PD, any greater effort made by both participants in PD_PL results in increased learning improvement. PD_PL was run in several sessions consisting of four separate university courses with 142 computer engineering students. We gave a pretest and a posttest before and after the PD_PL sessions, respectively. Then, we used paired Hotelling's T-Square function to analyze the pretests and posttests and investigate the impacts of PD_PL and the proposed instructional design on students' learning improvement. We had some missing data because some students were absent from some of the PD_PL sessions. As a requirement of paired Hotelling's T-Square function, we applied the mean value, median value, k-nearest neighbor (KNN), and fuzzy k-mean clustering (FKM) methods in order to deal with the problem of imputing missing data. The results of paired Hotelling's T-Square indicate that PD_PL is a successful mechanism for encouraging the active participation of students in the PL process. Further analysis shows that PD_PL had sometimes even enhanced learning by up to 127.69%. We also observed that the senior students used PD_PL more successfully than the first-year students. The results of our subjective evaluation showed that the majority of the respondents found PD_PL to be an attractive and efficient tool for learning enhancement. Anyone interested in instructional designing for PL environments will find this study interesting. The mechanism could also be run in a learning management system (LMS) to prepare an effective situation of collaborative learning situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-580
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • Cooperative/collaborative learning
  • mechanism design
  • peer learning (PL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Fostering Peer Learning With a Game-Theoretical Approach in a Blended Learning Environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this