eLearning gamification:

techniques, examples & benefits

eLearning gamification:
 techniques, examples & benefits

Top gamification techniques

eLearning software designers can use a wide range of gamification elements and techniques to integrate your EdTech solution with the game mechanics suitable for your educational scenario, target audience, and learning strategy.

StorytellingVRImmersionLearnerAvatarContestsQuizzesProgress barsPointsStreaksLeaderboardBadgesCompetitionTeamplaySociality


These digital alter egos visually portray learners within gamified training activities, especially those involving virtual reality, and can be chosen or personalized by users.

Storytelling & roleplaying

Storytelling & roleplaying These gamification techniques turn the eLearning pathway into an adventure by integrating narrative elements such as thematic activities or learning journey maps.

AR and VR enable students to interact with objects and each other in virtual environments, unlocking highly immersive gamification mechanics such as guided visual tours and training simulations.


Most of the gamified eLearning activities can be easily reconfigured to follow a teamwork model, promoting sociality, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among peers.

Quizzes & puzzles

Compared to traditional tests, these gamified assessments can be a less intimidating way to evaluate students' knowledge and help them recall what they’ve learned.


eLearning apps can implement competitive activities, challenging students to reach specific goals like getting high test scores or completing a course within a limited time.

Progress visualization

Visual indicators of user progression against specific learning objectives represented as levels can motivate students and increase the completion rates of didactic units.


These include various learning accomplishments. For instance, streaks require learners to perform a task multiple times in a row, such as completing a unit every day for a week.

Points system

This gamification tool typically works in synergy with contests, awarding learners experience or reputation points upon completing certain tasks and encouraging friendly competition.


These visual elements turn points systems into graphical representations to display student achievements and ranking, thus providing in-depth performance feedback.

Badges & rewards

Learners can receive symbolic recognitions, such as virtual badges, or tangible benefits via redeemable points and virtual currency for their remarkable training accomplishments.

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Real-life examples of gamification in eLearning

Duolingo designers claim that games represent one of their main sources of inspiration for creating eLearning activities. The most popular language learning app relies on a wide range of visual elements and gamification techniques to drive student engagement and progress. These include, for instance, lives portrayed as hearts and lost after each mistake, cracked skill icons to suggest revisiting older units, and lesson streaks that leverage users’ loss aversion to help them develop long-term learning habits.

SoloLearn is a free application designed to help both aspiring developers and seasoned professionals improve their technical skills through online courses split into bite-sized units, quizzes adjusted to each user's level, and in-app coding simulations. The solution incorporates multiple gamification elements, such as levels, achievements, leaderboards, and challenges against other players. Learners can also share their code with other users and receive feedback via the SoloLearn Playground.

Yousician is an eLearning service aimed at introducing beginners to a variety of instruments, including guitar, bass, or piano, and enabling them to practice at their own pace. Similarly to video games like Guitar Hero, the app engages amateur musicians with gamified activities that require them to replicate notes scrolling on screen and provides instant feedback on timing and accuracy. By hitting the right notes, players accumulate points and can compare their scores to other users via song leaderboards.

Blooket is a web application named after one of its main gamification features, which allows students to unlock avatars called blooks via virtual currency upon achieving certain learning goals. The app enables instructors to assemble gamified visual quizzes, homework, and educational challenges with pre-built or custom sets of thematic questions. These activities can then be accessed by learners from their own devices to earn points and compete against each other.

Embracing an approach adopted by other fast food competitors, such as Domino’s, McDonald's opted for a gamified learning experience to prepare its staff for the launch of a new till system. The company implemented a training app that simulates the till software operation to help cashiers familiarize themselves with this tool, properly interact with customers, and reduce service times. The solution also challenges users with gamification elements like a customer satisfaction meter and an order completion timer.

Video title: McDonald’s till training game interface
Video source: kineo.com — A till-training game for McDonald's

eLearning gamification roadmap

Here are the essential steps to make sure your gamified eLearning solution is properly designed and implemented in your educational environment.


Business analysis

Start by framing your educational scenario, identifying your target audience, and defining their learning needs to select the most suitable gamification mechanics for your solution. Then, create a development roadmap detailing the project’s scope, timeframes, budget, and KPIs.



The design phase includes mapping user journeys to visually represent learners’ interactions within your application and creating a software specification covering architecture, modules, and integrations. You should also create wireframes and mockups to conceptualize specific gamification features and your eLearning software as a whole.



This step can involve developing an eLearning tool with gamification functionality from scratch, adding those features to your existing solution, or integrating a third-party gamified app with your eLearning ecosystem. Whatever path you follow, you’ll need to conduct end-to-end testing to ensure smooth operation and compatibility with target devices and systems.



Your journey doesn't end with product deployment. Your in-house team or IT partners should perform ongoing maintenance, troubleshooting, and adjustments based on user feedback while providing training and support for learners and instructors. This can also involve a partial reconfiguration of your eLearning processes to better align them with your new EdTech tool.

Elearning gamification best practices

Gamification ensures added value to the learning experience when properly implemented. Keep in mind the following points when designing your gamified solution:

Learning first
Prioritize education over the game by building eLearning content matching your educational approach, not the other way around.

Feature selection
Each technique suits specific users and goals, such as additional points for frequent visits to boost unmotivated learners’ retention.

Over-gamification risk
Don’t overuse gamification elements, as they can distract users instead of helping them.

Incremental gamification
Consider gamifying your solution progressively to easily assess users’ learning outcomes.

Transparent experience
Be clear on the rules and rewards and prioritize short-term challenges, offering a fair chance to everyone.

Appropriate content
Avoid sensitive and controversial topics, such as empathy training, that may be misunderstood once gamified.

Virtual economy
If your gamified app includes virtual currency, make sure you strike a balance between demand and supply.

Monitor gamification outcomes through metrics like number of interactions, user progression, and access frequency.

Best practices

Our eLearning services

Itransition offers comprehensive consulting and development services to build traditional or gamified eLearning solutions and overcome common implementation challenges.

LMS consulting

LMS consulting

Drawing on our experience in learning management system development, we can help you choose between a custom or platform-based LMS, assist your enterprise with vendor selection or project planning, and provide technology and license optimization consulting.

Learning CMS

Learning CMS

Itransition’s team delivers learning content management systems empowering educators and corporate instructors with a custom range of advanced authoring features and repositories to easily assemble, archive, edit, and share eLearning resources.

mLearning apps

mLearning apps

Our experts develop iOS, Android, and cross-platform mLearning apps that leverage smartphones' specific features to offer on-the-go training and implement innovative educational approaches, such as adaptive learning, microlearning, and gamification.

eLearning portals

eLearning portals

Itransition creates web portals that enable students to access new content 24/7 while providing eLearning companies with a range of built-in ecommerce and marketing tools to improve the profitability of their services.

Education analytics

Education analytics

Itransition's analytics systems can delve into data collected from your EdTech solutions and other sources to provide feedback on student performance, content usage, and corporate training outcomes, helping your company optimize its educational services.

The benefits of gamification

Whether you apply gamification in corporate training programs or traditional learning environments, this innovative and rapidly spreading approach can be a valuable asset in any educational domain.

Interactivity & engagement

The adoption of storytelling techniques and AR/VR-based simulations enriches the eLearning experience with narrative elements and interactive scenarios, improving student immersion and engagement.

Motivation & retention

The emotional connection fostered by contextualized activities and other storytelling-related mechanics, together with the healthy competition promoted through games and rewards, can motivate students to better retain knowledge.

Clear goals & feedback

Games and challenges, related points systems, leaderboards, and other feedback tools provide students with well-defined educational goals and clear insights into their performance.

Social learning catalyst

The cornerstones of social learning, such as camaraderie within groups of students and fruitful sharing of knowledge and skills, can be further strengthened by engaging learners in educational games and trials requiring solid teamwork.

Corporate culture promotion

Gamification-driven team play and social learning lend themselves well to corporate environments, where cohesiveness, collaboration, and shared values among colleagues can help shape a strong organizational culture.

Workforce productivity

Involving employees in gamified learning programs, including those based on simulations and roleplaying, makes corporate training more fun and compelling, which translates into greater business awareness, faster onboarding, and superior staff productivity.

Gamify education for better learning experience

Gamify education for better learning experience

In the recent past, gamified software such as the McDonald's till training app has gone viral on social media and has been downloaded by thousands of users. This can give us an idea of gamification's sheer potential for turning learning into an enticing experience.  That said, in the concept of eLearning gamification, the first term is the actual goal, while the latter is just a tool. In other words, the focus should never be on playing games, but on expanding knowledge and skills in a more engaging way. To define a solid gamification strategy and turn it into a full-fledged application, rely on Itransition's experience in eLearning software development and consulting.

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How much does it cost to build gamified eLearning software?

Given the multitude of educational software categories, features, and integrations, the costs of an eLearning gamification project can range significantly based on your application’s architectural complexity and functional scope. Other cost factors include the implementation of advanced AI and VR-powered functionalities, multi-device optimization for mobile and desktop, and multi-language content localization.

Which standards should be taken into account?

Itransition's gamified applications, like other EdTech solutions, are designed in strict adherence to all major eLearning technical standards, including xAPI, SCORM, and LTI, and data management regulations, such as the GDPR.

What is the most popular gamification technique?

According to TalentLMS's Gamification at Work Survey, the most common gamification elements in corporate training are badges (mentioned by 71% of employees surveyed), points (59%), rewards (56%), leaderboards (51%), and levels (47%).

What is the difference between games & gamification?

While games per se may have educational value but primarily provide an entertainment-oriented experience, gamification refers to implementing game elements in other domains (such as eLearning) to foster engagement and drive better outcomes. Additionally, gamification is often confused with game-based learning, a slightly different approach in which actual games play a central role in the learning process.

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