Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Google+

All You Need to Know About Gamification in E-learning

Written By

All You Need to Know About Gamification in E-learning

Gamification has become a buzz word among the e-learning fraternity. Every day, everyone in e-learning industry is talking about it, but only a few people really understand the meaning of the concept in order to reap its benefits.

Does gamification really add value to the e-learning by enhancing the learning process?

Gamification can work with any sector that relies on engagement. Gamification can also help in engaging and motivating workers to overcome specific challenges. It will motivate learners to successfully complete the assigned trainings with remarkable knowledge retention levels. Gamification invokes our need for learning, social connection, mastery, status, and competition achievement.

In recent days, many corporate trainers have started incorporating gamification in their trainings to engage the employees in the learning process using gamified elements. 

Before relating e-learning with gamification, let me share with you what gamification is in the context of e-learning? 

Gamification is the application of gamified elements and gaming techniques to non-game context, such as online learning content, to make the learning engaging and fun.

Games promote the method of knowing things by doing. It helps learners to remember important concepts by providing challenges and feedback for the decisions they make.

Below is the table that lists the difference between game and gamification:

Game Gamification
1. Games have defined rules & objectives. 1. May just be a collection of tasks with points or some form of reward.
2. There is a possibility of losing. 2. Losing may or may not be possible because the point is to motivate people to take some action and do something.
3. Sometimes just playing the game is intrinsically rewarding. 3. Being intrinsically rewarding is optional.
4. Games are usually hard and expensive to build. 4. Gamification is usually easier and cheaper.
5. Content is usually morphed to fit the story and scenes of the game. 5. Usually game-like features are added without making too many changes to your content.

What does gamification mean to learning and training professionals?

It is important to use an appropriate level of interaction to make the learning engaging and interactive. One of the ways to achieve this is through the proper use of gamified elements within the e-learning. Adding gamified elements will not only add the fun element but also improve the learner’s motivational levels that result in a high rate of successful completion of assigned trainings.

Professor Traci Sitzmann from the University of Colorado, Denver, studied the effectiveness of the gamification over duration of a year by taking data from 6,476 adult trainees.

Below are her findings when learners are provided with a training that was developed using simulation and the gamification concept.

As you can see, learning was increased in the following ways:

  • Retention of material learned increased by 9%
  • Factual-knowledge level increased by 11%
  • Skill-based knowledge level increased by 14%

Therefore, gamification plays an important role in enhancing the learning process. Let me share with you some of top 5 e-learning gamification techniques widely used: 

1. Rules: Rules play a critical part in any game, as it sets expectations and parameters of the game. Use concise and specific instructions for the learners so as to communicate the rules for a particular scenario. You should make sure that learners are never left guessing as to what to do in the game.


2. Control over the game: Giving the control to learners provides them with the freedom to navigate throughout the course and learn in a way that is most suitable for them. Learners will be engaged with the training, which in turn helps them feel in control of their potential for success.

Control over the game

3. Discovery: Discovery or exploration is one of the techniques where learners have to explore and find the hidden objects to learn about the topics.


4. Feedback: Providing feedback is a critical part of gaming. It lets the learner know that their actions have been registered, and it provides a clue on how they are progressing.


5. Time Constraints: Time constraints is a technique where we provide learners with a specific duration to create a sense of urgency while answering specific questions in the course to pressurize the gamer to think and act quickly. 

Time Constraints

6. Rewards: This is the most predominantly used technique in the courses, as it provides rewards to make people feel good. For example, you can give “bonus points” for learners who correctly answer more difficult questions.


Articulate Storyline has a number of inbuilt features that allow e-learning professionals to explore and select best techniques. Storyline provides the power to design and create your own games easily. You can create various types of games by using the top features like Triggers, Variables and Layers.

I hope you found this blog useful. Please do let me know your thoughts and views on how gamification can help your learners to enhance their learning retention levels. Thank you for spending your time in reading this blog. Happy reading!

View E-book on 116 Proven E-learning Design and Development Tips


Subscribe to Our Blogs

Get CommLab's latest eLearning articles straight to your inbox. Enter your email address below:

eLearning Learning