How to implement Gamification in E- Learning

Gamification in E- Learning. If you are anyway connected to training or E-Learning, it probably would be a sin to tell you how important Gamification is becoming to drive learning and change behavior. In this article I will cover how to implement Gamification in E-Learnin

This is no ordinary age. It is an age where people are more and more becoming completely dependent on one tool to drive their life. Yes those smartphones that we carry with ourselves have become a companion that is driving our behavior and outer world outlook.

We have started seeing streets through google maps. Our purchase decisions are made in confines of our room. The social interactions are done lying on the bed.

This is changing the way we learn and behave. If we are not able to implement some of the elements of this ‘now real world’ into anything that has to do with changing behavior or build skills we are certainly going to be failing at some point or the other.

Just in case you are still wondering if you should apply Gamification in your trainings please read: Future of training? Gamification in training

Now we are on the same page. So how do we apply Gamification in E-Learning? I must tell you its not difficult you just need to know the game mechanics are techniques that make a learning Gamified.


Here are some of the Gamification techniques that need to be incorporated into the learning.

1. Story

A key element of any games is the backgound the story. These stories will often have a a central character (the participant), the antagonist (the challenge the character faces) and a plot (a sequence of events).

How to apply this game element?
Create a scenario in your learning content. Scenarios involve characters that follow a simple plot or sequence of events.

2. Rules

Rules are what define as how a game will progress and in what direction. They let players know what they are allowed to do or can do and what they can’t.

How to apply this game element?
Set rules in the learning flow, now rules have to be flexible and should provide a feeling of independent choices. Clearly communicate what you expect learners to do at all steps of the course, and make sure they’re never left guessing what to do. Reinforce it through various components during the module.

Having control over the journey and the outcome is a common element of many games. Players love to feel in control of their potential for success.

3. Controlling the game

Having the control over the progression of the game and ability to make decision or I should say the feeling of making independent decision is one of the drivers that make people enjoy the game. The fact is no game has ability to provide you with unlimited choices, it just gives you options.

How to incorporate this game element?

One way to give learners control is to be one of the characters of the game, you can further customize the experience by allotting clans, groups or avatars . Another way is to open up navigation to give learners control over how they move and level up through the content. Let learners access content from a main menu with several possible choices, instead of forcing them down a linear path.

4. Finds

Games often encourage discovery and exploration; for example, ever heard of treasure hunt game? All game s have this component to some extent or the other.

How to incorporate this game element?

Provide ability to earn some rewards or extra point by discovery of some information to help they learn or successfully completing a quiz.

The only caveat is that you do not put key learning points as an item of find. You should also make sure you provide learners with clear instructions on what they are looking for. The ideas is that learner should not get lost in the quest to find not so important drivers to lose their way out of the key learning.

5. Interactivity

How many games have you played that required you to do nothing? None! Games are all about stimulation and engagement, whether mental or physical, and you should be doing something as part of the process.

How to incorporate this game element?

Think about how you can make the content more interactive. This doesn’t simply mean making the user “click” more often, but instead crafting meaningful interactions that require a learner to think and make decisions. Instead of telling them the information outright, make them select the correct choice from a list and drag it into place. Instead of presenting them the steps of a linear process, get them to order the steps themselves.

6. Feedback

Feedback is a key part of gaming. It lets the user know that their action has been registered or recognized, and it provides a cue to the player about how they are progressing. Feedback doesn’t have to be text. “Unlocking” new features, for example, is a type of feedback that lets players know they’re doing well.

How to incorporate this game element?

Badges or even just checkpoints are a way to show feedback and achievement. Using progress bars is also a great way to provide ongoing feedback and to let learners know how they’re doing.

7. Time Constraints

Games use time constraints to create a sense of urgency, which pressures the gamer to think and act quickly.

How to incorporate this game element?

To simulate a real-life constraint, consider using a countdown or a timer on your quiz. For example, if your call center expects calls to be completed in less than five minutes, give your scenario a time limit of five minutes for the learner to pass.

8. Loss Aversion

Loss aversion refers to the tendency of humans to prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Studies have demonstrated that a loss is twice as powerful as a gain, and this mental propensity is used by many game developers.

How to incorporate this game element?

Use a points system in your course to let learners know where they stand, and let them know points can be taken away for incorrect answers. You could also use a visual progress meter, such as a map with checkpoints, that shows learner whether they are moving forwards or backwards as they progress through the content.

9. Continuous Play

Continuous play is the ability for a gamer to pick up where he left off and continue the game. This means even if the gamer “loses” the game, they can start over and try again as many times as they want.

How to incorporate this game element?

Let learners keep going! It’s a great sign when learners want to retry or revisit content. It means they are interested and intrigued. Remember: you want to encourage and compel your viewers to learn, so if they want to revisit course content, why not let them?

One way to incorporate continuous play into your courses is to allow learners to retake a quiz or assessment if they have failed. Another way is to give them a second chance if they answer a question incorrectly.

10. Rewards

Rewards, achievement and bonus drive people. It also makes them happy and extol them to do more. This is what we want, don’t we?

How to incorporate this game element?

Include “bonus points” to learners for solving difficult quizes, or by providing them with an ability to earn extra rewards based on good choices.

11. Levels

Achieving different levels, goals, or challenges is a common theme among games.

How to incorporate this game element?

One idea: instead of having chapters or modules, organize your content into “levels” and “unlock” the levels when learners answer choices correctly or hit a certain number of points.

12. Competition

Leaderboards are one of the most popular ways to encourage competition in the gaming world. Leaderboards rank players and their scores, and people love them because they like to get recognition for their skills and effort.

How to incorporate this game element?

Use a corporate intranet page or your LMS to let learners see how their coworkers are progressing. Be mindful of the information you share; low scores made public could be embarrassing for learners.

Remember: in order to properly and effectively add gamification to your courses, the game elements need to be thoroughly thought out and well designed. Interested in finding out more about gamification? Take a peek at these related links: