LMS Gamification: Strategies to Keep Your Learners Hooked

Add points and badges to your online course, and you'll tap into a powerful biological mechanism that boosts engagement, enhances retention, drives course completion, and inspires students to stick around for more. Follow this guide to LMS gamification to step up your game in online education.

We'd all like to be the kind of people who learn for learning's sake. Sure, expanding your knowledge is a worthy way to spend your time, but in the world of TikTok and Instagram Reels, it's all about the dopamine hit.

Whether we like it or not, students of all ages have decreased attention spans. As an online course creator, it's hard to compete with the instant gratifications offered up on competing websites and apps. So if you can't beat them, join them.

By adding gamification elements like points, badges, and quizzes to your courses, you align with the fast-paced, reward-driven mindset of today's learners.

This approach keeps them engaged and helps them retain more information and complete courses more effectively. Plus, a gamified learning experience encourages students to enroll in more courses, driving your success in the competitive field of online education.

Read on as we guide you through how to successfully integrate gamification into your WordPress LMS, helping you make the most of the benefits of gamification for your online course.

Let's transform your courses into engaging, addictive learning experiences!

What is LMS Gamification?

With LMS gamification, you're adding game-like elements to your online course.

These include points, badges, and other rewards for completing tasks and mastering content.

Remember the kick you got from getting a gold star at elementary school? Well, it turns out that people love getting these rewards at every age. If you've ever tried mastering a language on Duolingo, you know firsthand the power of points, leaderboards, and even simple rewards. 

Who knew it was so satisfying for a cartoon owl to tell you you're doing a great job?

Duolingo Screenshot gamification example
Duo the Duolingo owl

By integrating these gamification elements into your LMS, you can create a more engaging and rewarding learning experience. This keeps learners motivated and encourages them to push through challenging material and achieve their learning goals.

7 Benefits of LMS Gamification

Let's look more closely at the benefits associated with course gamification:

1. Boosts Engagement and Interaction

First and foremost, gamification makes learning fun, keeping learners excited to participate. 

Points and badges serve as positive reinforcement for participating in your online course. This gives students further incentive to continue engaging with your course content, while interactive elements like quizzes help create a more dynamic experience that holds the learners' interest.

2. Improves Retention and Comprehension of Material

Reward improves retention. By giving students a concrete and immediate reason to memorize information (e.g. to earn points in a quiz), they'll put more effort into absorbing the source material.

3. Encourages Consistent Progress

Clear goals and instant feedback keep learners on track. When they can see their progress, they're more motivated to reach the next level.

4. Fosters Healthy Competition

Spur learners to improve and excel with leaderboards and challenges. A little friendly competition can go a long way in driving performance.

5. Increases Course Completion Rates

Engaged and motivated learners are more likely to finish courses. Gamification helps keep them hooked from start to finish.

6. Adds Value to Your Course

For all of the reasons above, gamification adds to the appeal of your online course. By adding a few simple features to your course you'll make it more sellable, and/or be able to charge more for it.

7. Promotes Long-Term Learning

The satisfaction of earning rewards encourages learners to keep coming back for more, leading to continuous learning and skill development, and ultimately more business for you!

By incorporating gamification elements you're adding value to your course, enhancing your students' experience, improving their success rates and setting yourself up for repeat business all at once.

LMS Gamification Techniques and Best Practices

How can you make gamification work on your elearning website? We'll run you through the key elements and best practices you can easily incorporate into your online course.

Quizzes

LMS Gamification Quizzes

First off, you need to establish a way for your students to earn points. You could reward learners for simply reading course material, but quizzes go a step further by enabling you to measure how well they've absorbed the material, and reward their efforts accordingly.

Quizzes also add an interactive element to the course, making it more dynamic than watching videos and reading content.

A simple multiple choice question at the end of each module can be enough to help reinforce the material covered and allow learners to test their understanding before moving on to new content. However, to really amp up gamification, you might want to include a short quiz at the end of each lesson.

A quick dopamine hit at regular intervals will help boost engagement and give more opportunities for students to rack up their scores.

Points Systems

Points are the bread and butter of LMS gamification. Optimize your rewards system by awarding a different number of points for different achievements based on their complexity. For example:

  • Reward students with 1 point for simple actions such as logging in, completing a lesson or leaving a comment,
  • 5 points for more involved actions such as completing a module
  • and 10 points for actions that require more effort such as successfully completing a quiz.

The important thing is to set up a fair point distribution system to appropriately reward participation and effort.

Leaderboards

Now your students can earn points, it's time to give them a reason to rack them up!

Leaderboards are an easy way to create a sense of competition, and encourage your top-performing students to push even harder to get that coveted top spot.

You could simply display lifetime points to reward your most loyal users, but more casual users won't reap the same benefits. Daily or monthly leaderboards are a Use daily or monthly leaderboards to:

a) encourage constant participation and

b) level the playing field and motivate newer participants who have not been involved for as long to become top scorers.

Point Redemption

Give points more meaning by enabling students to redeem them for rewards. This could be anything from digital badges to discounts on future courses, unlocking new levels or exclusive content.

By offering tangible rewards for points, you'll keep your students engaged and further incentivize continuous learning and participation.

Badges

Badges turn accomplishments into celebrations.

Unlike points, which can feel abstract, badges offer a visual and tangible sense of achievement. Offer badges to serve as a proud display of a student's progress and milestones like finishing lessons, scoring points, or commenting a certain number of times on your site.

With badges, you add an extra dose of fun and motivation to your LMS gamification strategy, making the learners' experience more engaging and rewarding.

Adding Gamification with WishList Member Add-ons

WishList Member is a WordPress LMS and membership plugin that makes it easy to add all of the above-listed gamification elements to your online course via add-ons.

You can see which add-ons are available on your current WishList Member plan by going to WishList Member > Add-ons.

WLM add-ons screenshot

Here is where you'll also be able to activate the add-ons you want to incorporate into your LMS.

Let's take a look at each of the add-ons and how you can use them to create an engaging online course on your WordPress site.

CourseCure Courses

The CourseCure Courses add-on transforms WishList Member into an LMS plugin.

Available on all WishList Member plans, CourseCure Courses enables you set up unlimited courses on your WordPress site.

Easily build out your course with lessons and modules using CourseCure's intuitive interface.

Add content to your lessons with WordPress's Gutenberg editor, enabling you to incorporate video content, widgets, images, and more.

With CourseCure Courses, you can create a dynamic and engaging learning experience for your students.

WLM Courses screenshot

With your courses set up, it's now time to gamify them!

CourseCure Quizzes

Available with WishList Member Pro and Elite plans, the CourseCure Quizzes add-on lets you easily create and drag and drop quizzes into your modules. Add quizzes at the end of each lesson, module, or as often as you deem necessary throughout your course to keep learners engaged with interactive content.

Set a “Passing Score” on your quiz to determine how many questions learners will need to answer correctly before being able to advance in the course.

LMS Quiz passing score screenshot

You can also set up automations when someone passes or fails a quiz.

For example you can:

  • Automatically send a congratulatory email with next steps when a learner passes a quiz.
  • Unlock a new membership level for learners who successfully complete a quiz to encourage further progress.
  • Provide additional resources to students who fail a quiz to help them improve.

Make the most of the CourseCure Quizzes add-on, and you'll not only boost engagement but also give your students the best chance of mastering your material, increasing their satisfaction and the likelihood of repeat business.

WishList Member Points

WishList Member Plus, Pro and Elite customers get access to the Points add-on.

You can use points to reward engagement across your entire site. For example, you can award points for logging in or posting a comment.

But points really excel when used for LMS gamification.

Reward points when students pass a quiz or complete a course, a lesson or a module.

Conversely, you can use the points add-on to subtract points when learners fail a quiz or remove a comment.

Points rules setup

The WishList Member Points add-on also comes with a Points Leaderboard Widget which you can display anywhere on your site.

Choose whether to display top scorers based on lifetime points, monthly points or daily points.

Finally, with the Points add-on you can enable learners to redeem points for rewards such as:

  • Access to exclusive content
  • Membership upgrades
  • Badges (if the WishList Member Badges add-on is activated.)

When users know they can get something in exchange for points, it ups the ante, increasing their overall participation and engagement in your course.

WishList Member Badges

Available on WishList Member Plus, Pro, and Elite plans, the Badges add-on lets you award badges to customers when they achieve certain milestones or complete certain actions on your site.

Give customers a shiny symbol of their progress when they:

  • Complete their first lesson/ module
  • Reach a certain point in the course
  • Leave a certain number of comments
  • Reaching a point milestone
  • Pass a quiz

The add-on comes with its own library of ready-to-use badges.

Badges Library

Alternatively, you can upload your own branded badge to create a unique experience for your learners.

In Summary

Embracing LMS gamification is a smart strategy to make learning more engaging and effective. By integrating points, badges, and quizzes to your online course, you cater to modern learners' need for instant gratification and rewards, making education more fun and improving learner outcomes.

Use WishList Member's add-ons to seamlessly incorporate these gamification strategies. Your students will enjoy a more interactive and rewarding learning journey, and you'll see better engagement, higher completion rates, and more repeat business.

Start gamifying your courses today and turn them into engaging, addictive learning experiences that keep students coming back for more. Gamify your LMS and watch your success grow!

We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Have you tried gamification in your online courses? How did it impact your students' engagement and completion rates? Share your experiences, tips, and questions in the comments below! Let's start a conversation and help each other create the best learning experiences possible.

And don' forget to follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, and LinkedIn for more expert advice and tips to optimize your online course.

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