Do you recall your childhood days where your parents used to entice you into doing something like reading a book or not playing computer games in return for an ice cream, chocolate or some goodies? It became a healthy competition when you had a sibling to challenge you.

Take a closer look at the strategy of your parents to motivate you to do a particular task and giving you a reward in return for accomplishing the task and you can find a close similarity  of this to the concept of gamification. There is an objective, a reward and a game element like time and of course the competition.  So what are those elements of gamification,which can induce the person/learner to behave in a particular way and accomplish the objective of learning something.

Here in this blog let us see what are the key elements of gamification of e-learning.

1.Motivators- Why do the learners play?

Different learners have their unique needs and motivational drivers to learn. Inclusion of effective game mechanics while designing gamification of learning ensures that each learner’s unique needs are met with. Like some learners will be motivated by virtual rewards and others by physical rewards. Similarly some learners want to pursue challenging tasks while others want to take it easy. So including elements of rewards and challenges with increasing levels of complexity can be a solution here. The absence of motivational factors can make the learners to withdraw their voluntary efforts to learn. But the biggest challenge that still remains is, to identify the right motivators of the target audience and use the appropriate mix in the module.

Motivators can be classified into intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivators include the following :
•Competence / Skill Development
•Social Contact

Extrinsic motivators include :
•Virtual goods
•Positive Feedback
•Status/Grades/ Fame

The present day gamification of e-learning tends to mostly concentrate on the extrinsic motivators like points, badges, leaderboards etc. An ideal e-learning gamification design should be able to trigger the intrinsic motivation of the learners to bring the desired behavioral changes. While extrinsic motivators can be like a cherry on the cake which attracts the learners to the learning its the intrinsic motivators which make them stick and connect with the learning.

2.Game Design

Another important element of gamification of e-learning is the game design. The game design should essentially focus on ensuring an amazing experience and user journey.

The game design should be able to define the following:

  1. Define the desired behavior from the learner
  2. Plan the journey of the learner
  3. Ensure that there are more than one way of success/module completion
  4. Build increasing level of complexity as the learner progresses through the module
  5. Keep the users thinking or anticipating about the rewards

3.Rewards Structure

Another important element of gamification of e-learning is that it should ensure a proper mix of a reward structure. A proper reward structure drives the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of the learners to achieve the desired learning objectives. Planning the right rewards while designing your e-learning gamification is utmost important lest it can lead to a negative motivation.

Some of the very common used rewards in gamification are
2.Virtual badges
3.Course currency
4.Leaderboard positions

4.Tasks that are challenging but achievable

Gamification of e-learning should be about creating and encouraging engagement, including small and achievable challenges can essentially engage the learners. These challenges are essential as it helps to develop the problem-solving skills of the learners and can generate an interest in them to finish accomplishing the tasks.

5.Clear Learning Objectives

The training department of any organization plans for various learning activities with clearly defined objectives.For example, it can be to increase the productivity of the employees or to increase the sales volume by training the sales team etc.
Gamification of corporate eLearning should be aligned with the organizational objectives of learning or else the purpose of learning can fail.It should be people-centric and help employees to be successful in achieving their objectives which are aligned with organizational objectives”.

6.Instant Feedback

Giving instant feedback to the learner is a key element of the learning process. Gamified e-learning should ensure that  it can give the learners real-time feedback on performance as well as an instant gratification to the learner with scores, points, badges, and leaderboards etc.


Every game that you have played till now will be defined by various rules. This is equally applicable to gamification of e-learning as there should  always be set rules which every learner has to follow. Rules help to define the journey of the players. Proper care should be taken to ensure that all learners are informed and are aware about the rules before they begin attempting the gamification of learning.

So here was a quick overview of the 7 key elements of gamification of e-learning. For detailed insights on how gamification can be implemented in e-learning or corporate training, please watch our video.