Picture this: an online course, dry as a bone, with endless slides of text and occasional yawning quizzes.

Now, reimagine that course, but this time, it’s a quest filled with challenges, rewards, and a sprinkle of friendly competition.

That’s gamification for you, transforming the monotonous into something you actually want to wake up for!

Yet, if you’re trying to make your online learning captivating, effective, and, dare I say, fun, the struggle is real.

Been there myself. I get it.

So, in this article we’ll walk through the realm of gamification in e-learning.

Whether you’re designing an astrophysics course or artisanal bread baking, let’s see how you can gamify your course or training program with success.

What are the benefits of gamifying eLearning?

Gamifying education might seem like a daunting task, but the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.

Here’s how gamifying your training program or online course can pay off big time:

  • Supercharge learner engagement and performance: Gamification shifts learning from passive to active engagement, naturally improving performance. It’s like swapping a lecture for a treasure hunt – who wouldn’t be more attentive?
  • Gamification meets diverse learning styles: Not everyone thrives on reading pages of text. Gamification in education is like a Swiss Army knife, offering various formats to suit different learning preferences — from visual puzzles to exhilarating challenges.
  • It boosts information retention: Remember when you played a game and couldn’t stop until you beat your high score? That’s the magic of gamifying e-learning. Regularly returning to earn more points or badges fosters repetition, which can help to cement new information and turn the learning into a daily habit.
  • Gamifying training is ideal for microlearning: Bite-sized lessons coupled with gamification make learning feel less like a chore and more like a fun, engaging experience. This approach not only makes it easier to digest new material but also encourages learners to continue their educational journey.
  • A gamified learning experience can increase course completion rates: Need proof? Gamification led to 5.7% more questions answered and 1.6% more completions in a study in 2023. A larger MOOCs study showed gamified training achieve over 14% completion rates compared to about 6% for MOOCs without game design.
  • Gamifying learning builds skills more affordably: Simulate real-life challenges without the expense of field trips or workshops. Gamification provides a cost-effective way to mimic real-world scenarios, allowing you to share your expertise in a virtual and convenient manner.
  • It fosters a strong course community: Foster a sense of belonging and encourage interactive learning by rewarding learners for helping peers and contributing to discussions. Building relationships and learning collaboratively go beyond earning badges, creating a vibrant course community.

How to implement gamification in your training

It’s not just about adding game elements; it’s about improving the learning journey. So, how do you take full advantage of the benefits of gamifying learning like we’ve shared above?

Prepare your eLearning gamification strategy

Before you jump into the gamification pool, let’s make sure you know how to swim.

Start by defining clear goals for your training.

What skills should learners acquire? What milestones should they reach?

Here are solid tips you can use right away.

  • Remember, gamification is a means, not an end. So, ensure it is helping you and your students’ learning journey.
  • Also, be sure to tailor rewards to your learners’ preferences and make sure every achievement feels like a real step forward.
  • Then choose game elements that resonate with your industry and company culture.
  • Don’t shy away from a trial run to fine-tune your approach.

Additionally, variety is the spice of life, and it’s no different in gamification – so do mix it up to keep learners engaged.

Add suitable game design elements

Incorporating game design elements in e-learning is like adding a dash of excitement to a recipe – it makes all the difference!

Here’s how to do it well:

  • Challenges with deadlines: Create tasks with a ticking clock to inject a sense of urgency and excitement.
  • Progress bars: Visual progress indicators provide a clear sense of achievement and a roadmap of what’s left to conquer, boosting focus and determination.
  • Quizzes (game-based): These can range from multiple-choice questions with instant feedback to complex scenarios that test decision-making skills (fun and thought-provoking!).
  • Countdown timers: Adding a countdown to tasks creates a thrilling race against time, encouraging learners to think and act quickly.
  • Leaderboards: Seeing their names climb up the ranks motivates learners to put in extra effort, while also providing a benchmark for self-improvement.
  • Scoring system (Scoreboards): Implement a scoring system to quantify progress and success, encouraging engagement and retention.
  • Rewards: Rewards, whether virtual or real, provide a tangible goal and recognition for achievements. They can be as simple as digital certificates or as elaborate as unlocking advanced modulesl.
  • Badges: Badges celebrate specific achievements and milestones, acting as visual representations of skills acquired.
  • Daily streaks: These encourage consistent daily engagement by rewarding learners for consecutive days of course participation. It’s a habit-forming mechanism that ensures a steady progression in learning.
  • Quests: Transform learning objectives into captivating quests. Each quest can represent a real-world challenge, making the learning process more relevant and engaging.
  • Dynamic feedback: Provide instant, context-specific feedback to guide learners through modules or challenges. This immediate response can range from encouraging messages to tips for more efficient learning, enhancing the overall experience.

Collect, Measure, and Act on Feedback

Gamification is not a set-it-and-forget-it affair. So, do come up with metrics to gauge its effectiveness.

Where are learners dropping off, for example? You can use surveys and polls for direct feedback, and keep communication channels open for suggestions. This feedback loop will help you refine and adapt your e-learning gamification strategy for max impact.

Next up, let’s explore real-world examples of gamification in action!

What are examples of brands using gamification in education?

Consider the following.



Duolingo personalizes user experiences through an adaptive algorithm and fosters a sense of community through social features.

Key gamification elements include earning points, levels, and rewards, which are tied to lesson completion and language proficiency.

Engagement techniques like streaks, badges, leaderboards, and bonus skills motivate learners and create a competitive yet supportive environment.

Duolingo’s data-driven approach and emphasis on community-driven learning have significantly increased user engagement and revolutionized language learning, making it accessible, enjoyable, and effective. You can, too!


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Grammarly Insights uses badges, weekly streaks, cumulative word count, and improvement progress, delivered through a weekly newsletter.

The badges acknowledge various achievements. Weekly streaks motivate users to maintain regular engagement with the platform.

The cumulative word count tracks the total amount of text reviewed. It also showcases a user’s journey in refining their writing skills.

Lastly, the improvement progress indicator in Grammarly Insights 2.0 provides feedback on the user’s evolving language proficiency. This offers a sense of accomplishment and a clear path for ongoing development.

This gamified approach not only makes the learning process more engaging. It also provides tangible metrics for users to track their progress and achievements in writing mastery.



This online learning platform provides a variety of learning materials, including flashcards, study sets, and classroom games.

Quizlet gamification elements include interactive content and competitive quiz games like Quizlet Live. It’s e-learning gamification tools have shown to improve student engagement, motivation, and retention abilities.

Quizlet lets users to switch between devices seamlessly. And, it supports voice input for answering questions verbally and practicing pronunciations.

Quizlet alternatives, such as Kahoot! and Quizizz, also offer similar games and activities that can work great in the classroom.

Domino’s Pizza

For trainers, recruiters, and coaches with more technical courses that could benefit from hands-on learning, the pizza giant’s approaches may be ideal.

Domino’s Pizza Hero challenges customers to create their perfect pizza. Top participants get exclusive rewards. The result? Over 7 million pizza orders, a 30% boost in customer retention, and increased revenue in the first year.

Such creative gamification strategies not only enhance customer engagement but also attract potential job candidates who value innovation and fun at work.

The campaign helped Domino’s Pizza recruit about 1,000 top pizza chefs without the usual boring, lengthy onboarding and training processes.

Domino’s collaborated with AllenComm to efficiently train these new recruits, through the Pizza Maker course. This approach used gamification and simulations to help improve recipe knowledge, accuracy, and speed to competency among employees, reducing onboarding time.

Domino’s also used to have Pizza Mogul. This allowed customers to design their pizzas and earn a portion of the sales. I see this as a way to gamify affiliate marketing for courses.



Todoist Karma is a scoring system that earns users karma points every time they check off a task from their list, meet their daily goal, and more.

As users accumulate karma points, they can move up the ladder and unlock new levels such as Expert, Master, and Grand Master. The levels give users an ego boost with crafted appreciation like earning a new badge.

Todoist Karma works by rewarding users with positive karma when they create and complete tasks, and they get negative karma when they postpone or accrue too many uncompleted tasks.

The more tasks users complete on time, the more karma points they earn. Users can also accumulate points when they add tasks and complete them on time.

Todoist Karma allows users to track their productivity and visualize their progress in colorful graphs based on their personal productivity trends.



The Scoutible platform gamifies talent recruitment by combining gamification, psychological science, and AI to assess candidates’ essential attributes, personality traits, and soft skills.

The platform uses a role-playing video game to evaluate candidates’ decision-making and problem-solving abilities. This provides a deeper understanding of their potential fit for a role.

By leveraging gamification, Scoutible seeks to uncover hidden talent, eliminate biases from traditional hiring processes, and create a more diverse and equitable workforce.

Plus, Scoutible’s gamified professional metaverse rewards users for applying their strengths.

In the next section, we’ll explore the e-learning platforms that offer gamification elements to improve the learning experience.

What course platforms offer gamification for eLearning?

The following training and course platforms include gamification features you can use immediately.

Kajabi – Gamification for online courses

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Kajabi is an all-in-one platform for creating and selling online courses, membership sites, and coaching programs, known for its user-friendly interface and marketing tools.

The gamification features in Kajabi include the ability to award points and badges to students based on their course progress, encouraging engagement and motivation. In addition, it offers a progress tracking system that helps students to visualize their advancement. And this fosters a sense of accomplishment and momentum throughout the learning journey — perhaps more so than on many Kajabi alternatives.

Skool – Gamification for eLearning

Skool Gamification

Skool is an online community and course platform that helps creators build engaging spaces for their businesses.

Skool gamification features, include a level hierarchy to make the community more engaging and a progress tracking system visible to all users. This serves as motivation for course completion.

Also, it provides a leaderboard that showcases the top performers. This can help foster healthy competition. In turn, the striving can help motivate your learners to actively participate and excel in their courses.

All this makes Skool one of the best community platforms among other top choices such as Circle and Mighty Networks (links lead to my own hands-on reviews of both).

Bettermode – Gamification for business

Bettermode Gamification

Bettermode is a gamification platform for businesses that want to improve customer engagement and loyalty.

Bettermode’s gamification features include points, badges, and rewards to incentivize and engage customers, ultimately leading to improved customer retention and satisfaction.

Moreover, it offers customizable challenges and quests, allowing businesses to create unique and tailored experiences for their customers, further enhancing engagement and brand loyalty.

WordPress – LearnDash + Gamipress

WordPress LearnDash Gamipress

LearnDash is a popular LMS plugin for WordPress, and when integrated with Gamipress, it allows for the gamification of online courses. This integration enables you to award points, achievements, and ranks to students based on their course activities.

However, using multiple plugins on WordPress may cause technical problems and plugin conflicts. So, do watch out for that.

Yes, the integration offers extensive gamification possibilities. You’ll want to thoroughly test when implementing and customizing these features.

AccessAlly – Gamification for eLearning

AccessAlly Gamification

AccessAlly is a powerful LMS and marketing automation platform for WordPress, designed to create an engaging and interactive learning experience.

The gamification features offered by AccessAlly include the ability to award points, badges, and certificates to students based on their course progress, fostering engagement and motivation.

Additionally, it provides personalized progress tracking, allowing learners to monitor their advancement and unlock rewards as they reach specific milestones, further enhancing their sense of achievement and progression.

One more thing.

What if you use academic LMS platforms, such as BlackBoard, Moodle, Sakai, Litmos, and Canvas?

Some of them offer compelling game design elements for gamifying education.

Blackboard, for one, is an excellent example of gamifying education. It’s key e-learning gamification features include:

  1. Badges and certificates: Awarded for achievements like high quiz scores or project completion.
  2. Leaderboards: Display student rankings to foster competition and motivation.
  3. Progress tracking: Visual indicators like progress bars show students’ advancement through the ourse material.
  4. Points and rewards: Earned for tasks and participation, sometimes redeemable for rewards.
  5. Challenges and quests: Special tasks presented in an engaging, game-like format.
  6. Feedback and instant gratification: Immediate responses to quizzes and activities.
  7. Customizable avatars/profiles: Personalizing online presence within the system.
  8. Interactive content: Elements like clickable diagrams and simulations for an engaging learning experience.
  9. Collaborative challenges: Group activities that encourage teamwork.
  10. Narratives and storytelling: Integrating course content into a storyline for memorable learning.

These features vary by the Blackboard version and instructor implementation you go with.

Tips for using AI in eLearning gamification

In this section, I’m going to share with you some practicle, quick tips for using AI to gamify your course or training.

  1. Level up as you go: AI can help you assess your learners’ progress and tweak the difficulty to match their changing skill levels. This way, your course will always be in that sweet spot for them – not too easy, not too tough – just perfect for keeping them hooked and improving.
  2. Roll out your avatar buddy: Take Scoutible’s Hero Mode, for instance. It’s like having a superhero buddy for your training. These avatars don’t just guide; they make the story of your learning journey way more fun.
  3. Make creating quizzes much easier: Platforms like Teachable use AI to whip up quizzes and assessments based on what you upload. It’s like having a smart assistant who not only understands your content but also knows the best way to test it. Certainly a time-saver!
  4. Create personalized help with AI: With AI, you can gauge how your learners are engaging with the material and offer help that’s specific for each one. Think of it as a personal tutor who knows exactly when a learner needs a nudge in the right direction.
  5. AI can help with scenario simulation: Imagine training your learners in a virtual world where they can make decisions, face different scenarios, and see the outcomes. AI can help you create these realistic simulations, helping your students sharpen their decision-making skills in various situations.

And there you have it. Hopefully this post helps you gamify learning however works for you and your learners 🚀🧠💻

Have insights you’d love to share with everyone here? Great! Share your nuggets in the comments section below.