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Designing Efficient eLearning Gamification

In several years Millennials will become the absolute majority of the workforce worldwide. In addition, Industry 4.0 will make many jobs obsolete and massive retraining will be needed to employ millions of people across the globe. To say even more, brick-and-mortar education is by far not what Millennial learners expect, as they prefer edutainment, where education is merged with entertainment. This is why designing efficient eLearning gamification is essential for the companies and educational institutions that wish to remain competitive in the market of tomorrow.

1913 26/04/2017

Designing Efficient eLearning Gamification

Playing beats working any given time, and a colossal shift in corporate training took place. 5 years ago Pew Research centre published a report on the future of gamification highlighting the importance and impact of applying correct gamification techniques to create efficient eLearning and corporate training. Nowadays, 22% of respondents to a PWC survey on Millennials in the workplace stated training and development as the most important work benefit a company can offer them and 35% stated excellent training/development programmes to be the most important feature of an attractive employer. Thus said, designing efficient eLearning gamification is the key to attracting and retaining talent in your company.

Gamification is a process of applying game-based techniques and mechanics to improve business processes and practices, corporate training in particular. When gamification is implemented correctly, corporate training efficiency increases greatly.

90% of learners remember what they learned if it was active learning, rather than passive consumption of visual and audial information

Here are 8 examples of elements one can use to design efficient eLearning gamification:

Learner’s control of the process

People appreciate the ability to make choices, the feeling of being in control. Let them customize their avatar, customize their character during gamified simulations, provide them with varying course content navigation choices instead of a linear access path. As a matter of fact, 82% of respondents to a survey by TalentLMS stated they prefer having varying difficulty levels and explorable content over a linear storyline.

Rules and tasks

Knowing what they must (and must not) do to accomplish the course is essential for learner engagement and satisfaction. Set a clear set of rules for the course and augment each learning nugget with a brief description of expected actions. Not knowing what to do is one of the worst nightmares for the learner and this eLearning gamification is an effective solution for this case.

Activity streams

When the learners receive notifications of their past activities and recent accomplishments of other course participants, it helps them stay motivated and keep up the pace with the rest of the students. As a matter of fact, 24% of respondents stated activity feeds help them stay focused on the learning and strive for new achievements.


This is one of the key features of gamification, turning an idle listener into an active participant of the process. Make your learners do something, like dragging and dropping pieces of text to form an answer or choosing the right answers from a pile of suggested variants. The other examples are guess pauses and branching dialogue outcomes that depend on the learner’s choices during the conversation.

Inclusion of challenges and levels

People are competitors by nature and adding various challenges helps the learners stay put and focused. Make the tasks time-limited or organize the content in a structure when the new chapter opens only after certain quantity of points is earned. Allow the learners earn these points in various ways, not only by accomplishing practical tasks. This will make reaching a new level an interesting quest, not a tiresome routine. 30% of respondents to the aforementioned survey found this feature important and appreciated having it in online course.

Progress indicators and feedback

The need for recognition and gratification is one of the basic needs of any human being. Your course content might include progress bars to show the learners their progress towards the next achievement. 25% of respondents found progress bars essential to highlighting their current progress.

You might also reward said achievements with badges, titles, higher scores on scoreboards and other means of gratification, thus providing a feedback and ensuring the learners they are on the correct way. 26% of respondents stated real-time feedback as a crucial course component.

Aversion of losses

People adore income, but their fear of losses is twice as powerful. Warn the learners of actions that lead to deduction of points or removing their titles from scoreboards. This will help motivate them and increase their productivity.

Scoreboards and leaderboards

What is a game that has no Hall of Fame? All learner’s meaningful and goal-oriented activities during the course should contribute to the final score. LMS Scoreboards and leaderboards integrated with the rest of the company’s ecosystem help diligent learners show their commitment and persuasion. 27% of respondents named earning scores and points an efficient stimulus for their learning. Just keep two points in mind when adding such features:

  • Exclude the scores below some median to avoid unneeded mockery of the lowest-scoring learners
  • Refresh the leaderboards every now and then (Best learner of the month, etc.) to give all participants equal chances. When the first three leaders have millions of points, the rest are not too eager to participate in the challenge.


These are the 8 gamification elements one can use for designing efficient eLearning. Do you agree or disagree with them? What of them did you use or plan to use for your corporate training or online course? Do you know of any points we might have missed or should replace? Please tell us in the comments below!

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