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Adrian Sallis

May 12, 2023

The Role of Gamification in E-learning: Its Impact on Success


Gamification in e-learning is quickly becoming an important facet of the education industry and is expected to have a market size of $25.7 billion by 2025.

Not only are the financial numbers impressive, but teachers are backing it up, too. A survey found that almost 90% of all North American instructors found that game-based learning helps foster creativity and boost motivation.

So what exactly is gamification in e-learning? And how does it help people learn more effectively? We'll tell you all about these learning management systems and their role in engagement and retention in this article.

Keep reading to learn more.

What is Gamification in E-Learning?

At the simplest level, gamification is exactly what it sounds like — adding gaming elements to situations that aren't games. Some examples of this can include:

  • Leaderboards
  • Badge awards
  • Point systems
  • Characters
  • Different levels
  • Trophies
  • Progress levels and tracking
  • Challenges
  • Social engagement

This is done to make learning situations more interesting and appealing. If done correctly, it can enhance the experience of learners significantly.

For example, using leadership boards adds an element of competition against other learners. This can help motivate them to get to their objectives more effectively.

When badges are given to learners, it shows them that they are being rewarded for their work and are being recognized for their efforts. It's also a great way for people to track their progress as they continue to learn.

Benefits of Gamification in E-Learning

There are several benefits of gamification when it comes to e-learning. Let's take a look at a few.

Learning Becomes More Fun and Interactive

Let's start with the most obvious benefit: gaming is fun. In most situations, educational material can become monotonous and boring. Gamification helps transform that content into something entertaining and exciting.

With that said, the learning process stays educational. It simply changes the psychology of the game into something more appealing.

With added rewards, reaching learning objectives becomes more satisfying and motivating. Role-playing factors and competitive elements like leaderboards helps make the learning process more immersive and interactive.

Higher Retention

One of the main goals of learning is not only to gain knowledge but to retain it. Gamification helps improve retention because the brain releases dopamine when rewarded. Learners feel a certain "high" when achievements are made in a game, which improves retention in the process.


One of the most important aspects of learning is to get hands-on experience in the process. Understanding how things work and applying them to real-life scenarios is often the most effective way to learn a new trait.

Gamification can help apply real-world scenarios to the learning process by giving learners choices and decisions to make in-game that result in both rewards and consequences.

Immediate Feedback

One issue with traditional studying is the lack of feedback that a learner gets when going through the material. One of the best ways to make sure the learning process isn't slowed down is by providing instant feedback as the employee continues to learn. This way, they can immediately learn from their mistakes and continue upskilling.

Learning is Less Intimidating

When a new course is presented as a fun gaming activity rather than yet another task that someone has to accomplish by the end of the day, it can significantly lower the intimidation factor of learning a new skill.

Even if the situation is high-stakes (that could end in failure of a course, etc.), gamification can lower the stress that comes with tests and quizzes that often lead to more errors.

Increased Motivation

Not only does gamification aid the learning process, but it also gives employees a chance to have fun at work and take a break from normal, daily stress. It can encourage workers to have fun by introducing friendly rivalries on leaderboards, as well.

Giving employees a task that doesn't feel like work can increase morale and motivation.

Examples of Gamification E-Learning

There are several well-known use cases of gamification e-learning being utilized today. Let's take a look at a few examples.

Duolingo Achievement Badges

One of the most popular language learning apps on the market is Duolingo. The reason it shot to the top of the App Store charts is that it takes the complex and monotonous task of learning a new language and turns it into a game.

They award learners with hundreds of badges for completing unique tasks. One example is getting multiple-day streaks of learning.

Also, Duolingo utilises brightly coloured animations and multiple-choice questions to make learning more interactive. Users can even compete with other people from around the world on leaderboards.

Although badges and points might seem like a rather small element in the learning process, they have a significant effect on students. They feel more recognized and affirmed that they are on the right track to their goals.

Grasshopper: Learning Coding with Puzzles

Over the past decade, coding has become a high-demand skill that brings in high salaries. However, people that are attempting to break into the industry can find learning how to code incredibly intimidating.

One company, Grasshopper, uses gamification to turn a complicated subject into something much more accessible. They teach JavaScript with short puzzles that are easy to understand. In the end, the students have to finish a puzzle game and apply their knowledge to create pictures.

These puzzles create a much more approachable strategy for learning a complicated new skill like coding.

Intuto: Interactive Exercises, Certificates and CPD Points

Intuto let’s course editors incorporate gamification in a number of ways.Through the use of interactions like drag and drop, fill in the blank and many more  to keep learners engaged. You can also issue certificates to learners on completion of one or more courses, encouraging and rewarding progress. Finally, CPD points are another way you can introduce gamification into learning as a way to measure professional development or in a more competitive way to see which employees are studying the most.  

What Kind of Organisations Can Use Gamification?

Despite the name, gamification for e-learning isn't just for young students. It's a great way to engage learners of all ages and different kinds of organisations, including not-for-profit organisations and associations.

Organisations of all kinds can benefit from the high level of practicality and interaction that gamification brings to the learning process.

Start Increasing Participation with Gamification in E-Learning

As technology continues to become more ingrained in our everyday lives, it's important that we continue to improve the education process as well.

If you're ready to bring the benefits of gamification to your organisation, look no further than Intuto. Intuto provides learning management systems that help associations create online education programs that engage members while providing important professional development.

If you'd like to know more and see how Intuto helps gamify learning, meet with us today!

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