Gamification in E-Learning: How It Can Benefit Your Application

6 min
Eduard Grigalashvili
Technical Writer
Alice Raynich
EdTech Digitalisation Expert

Sometimes it is hard to engage users, especially when it comes to learning. The process of learning something is often associated with boredom, dullness, and repetitiveness. To acquire new knowledge or skill, a learner has to be strongly disciplined, patient, and perseverant; and let’s be honest, many lack these qualities.

But what if we turn the learning process into something engaging and fun? What if we make it feel like a game?

That is what gamification in e-Learning is all about. By introducing game elements to your educational app, you will make the learning experience more interactive and exciting while significantly enhancing user retention.

As a company that specializes in e-Learning software development, AnyforSoft wants to elaborate more on the importance of gamification in the e-Learning industry. Keep reading to:

  • learn what gamification in e-Learning is;
  • see examples of applications that use gamified elements;
  • explore the benefits of gamification.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

What is gamification in e-Learning?

In simple terms, gamification in online learning is adding game-like elements and gaming mechanics to online learning platforms. These game-based elements include:

  • achievement badges;
  • leadership boards;
  • various points;
  • progress indicators;
  • mini-games;
  • quizzes, and so on.

The primary goal behind eLearning gamification is to make the learning journey more interactive, appealing, and engaging, thus increasing user retention rates.

Gamification of e-Learning has nothing to do with creating an entire video game alongside your online courses. As noted above, it is about introducing game mechanics to your application to turn rather boring learning activities into fun and engaging experiences.

For example, by creating leadership boards, you will introduce healthy competition to your e-Learning course. That will motivate learners to study harder in order to outperform their fellows. You can also add awarding badges to provide learners with a sense of achievement and incentivize hard work.

To better learn how to use gamification in e-Learning apps, let’s investigate some real-life examples.

Examples of gamification in e-Learning

These gamification examples will help you understand how to implement game-like mechanics in your own application.

#1 Multiple gamification elements in Quizlet


We already mentioned this app in our article on education app design—make sure to check it out if you haven’t already. So Quizlet is a web and mobile application that provides learning tools for teachers and students, such as classes, study sets, quizzes, textbooks, and flashcards. For instance, teachers can create flashcards with scientific terms and their explanations for students to learn.

However, instead of just flipping through the flashcards and memorizing them, learners can play a game. More specifically, they can match term cards with explanation cards against the clock. Upon the end of the game, the app shows a leaderboard with the students that matched the cards the fastest. That adds a competitive spirit to the app and encourages learners to repeat the game until they receive a higher position on the leaderboard. And the more they play, the better they learn the material. That way, the learning process becomes fun and entertaining rather than boring and repetitive.

Apart from the above, Quizlet utilizes:

  • Instant feedback. Upon completion of each study set, a student receives instant feedback on how well they performed. The app shows their test score and indicates mistakes (if any). That helps in identifying areas of improvement.
  • Achievement badges. Quizlet offers a wide variety of badges. For example, a user can receive an achievement badge for using the application for 3 days in a row. Or they can obtain it for finishing a specific number of study sets.
  • Personalized online learning experience. Quizlet enables learners to choose their own way and pace of learning content. They can learn study sets by playing a matching game (the one described above), memorizing flashcards, or through customized tests.

#2 Killer gamification features of Duolingo

gamification in Duolingo

With over 300 million users worldwide, Duolingo is arguably the most popular language learning mobile app. It offers personalized learning strategies by leveraging AI technologies. The application is great at forming a habit of language learning, with its bite-size learning, gamified learning elements, fun challenges, and reminders from their friendly mascot, Duo the owl, which has become a famous internet meme.

Let’s look at some e-Learning gamification techniques the app puts to use.

  • Awarding badges. Duolingo uses lots of awarding badges to provide learners with a sense of achievement. For example, you can get one for using the app for three days in a row.
  • Experience points. Upon the completion of a lesson or a story, each user is rewarded with experience points (XP). These points are displayed on user profiles and indicate their language level. Learners with the most experience points are featured in Duolingo leagues and leaderboards, which introduces healthy competition to the app.
  • Lingots. Lingots are Duolingo’s own in-app currency that can be earned by meeting daily learning goals, leveling up, unlocking achievements, and through other activities. This currency can be spent on new lessons, various power-ups, cute outfits for Duo the owl, and more.

#3 Learning coding through gamification with Codecademy

gamification in codecadamy

Another great example of gamification in e-Learning is Codecademy.

As you probably know, learning how to code is no easy feat. It is a monotonous, tedious, and complicated process that requires perseverance and patience. However, the gamification of e-Learning activities can turn even such a complicated task as acquiring coding skills into a fun and interactive experience.

Thanks to the gamification strategies of Codecademy, everyone can learn coding in a more entertaining way.

Codecademy is an online interactive learning platform that offers coding classes in 12 different programming languages including Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and others.

Let’s look at how Codecademy is gamifying e-Learning, adding gamification practices to its learning content:

  • Puzzle games. Codecademy uses puzzle games as a way to simplify the learning of programming languages and improve knowledge retention. By breaking down complex programming concepts into smaller, bite-sized puzzles, the platform allows learners to grasp these concepts more easily.
  • Dashboard with weekly goals. The platform also offers a dashboard where you can set your weekly learning goals and monitor your progress. For example, you can set a goal to study 5 days a week, and Codecademy will help you track how well you are performing in that regard. That will help you improve learning habits.
  • Interactive coding environment with instant feedback. The coding environment on Codecademy is divided into three sections: the theory section, where you can read how to apply coding principles, the code editor section, where you add and edit code, and the result section, which shows  results of your work in real time. Given that you receive instant feedback after every action, you can quickly hone your skills and minimize mistakes.

Benefits of gamification in e-Learning

Now that we’ve seen some examples of gamification in e-Learning, it’s time we discussed its benefits. So what does gamification add to e-Learning in terms of advantages? Let’s see.

Better learning outcomes

Recent research indicates that game-based learning is more effective than traditional learning. More specifically, those who study with gamification elements perform better on tests than those studying in a more conservative manner. Thus, with a thought-out gamification strategy, you can achieve great progress in corporate training or reach other learning objectives.

Increased user retention

Gamified e-Learning is engaging and fun, and thus it retains users better than traditional learning tools. With gamification, learning apps can even win the attention of those who don’t like studying at all, which is a significant advantage. So gamify your eLearning course and you will engage learners much more effectively.

Higher completion rates

A gamified course has a higher chance of being fully completed. Thanks to leadershipboards, progress indicators, and various other features, apps that use gamification for eLearning give users an idea of how far they’ve come in their learning path. That’s critical because when a learner sees what progress they’ve already achieved, this motivates them to keep going. Thus, they’re less likely to abandon their education. No wonder gamification is so heavily used in employee training.

Easier learning

In the example of Codecadamy, we’ve seen how even complex subjects such as coding can be made easier with gamified e-Learning. By introducing game-like features and gamified assessments to your educational app, you will make the learning process less intimidating and more fun. This will help you broaden and diversify your audience, resulting in higher income.

benefits of gamification in elearning


When it comes to e-Learning, gamification is a great tool that can do wonders. By using gamification in your software, you can educate much more effectively, increase user retention and engagement rates, encourage learners to complete your courses, achieve great progress in corporate training, and, of course, make learning more enjoyable.

So why hesitate? If you aim to provide better learning experiences, you should definitely contribute to the gamification industry and add gamification to your tool.

AnyforSoft could help you with a task like this. Having over 12 years of experience, we have managed to benefit various educational organizations all over the world. That gives us deep industry knowledge that we can implement to help your company prosper.

Contact us today, and let’s discuss your project!

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