Gamification in eLearning: Ultimate Guide to Develop Gamified Edtech Apps

Colorful badges, stickers, and awards are always teachers' best strategies to motivate and engage students. However, the learning system has changed a bit now. 

Instead of classrooms, 87% of students now rely on apps to study. That means if you want more students to use your edtech app, you must offer them a gamified learning experience. 

Gamification in eLearning applications helps to engage, retain and motivate students to learn. Not only gamified learning experience is good for young students. But adults can also leverage it because 40% of learners respond better to visuals than plain text. 

But, don’t know how to incorporate gamified experience in online courses? 

There is no need to worry. Just follow this guide to learn all about gamification in education. 

What is Gamification in eLearning? 

Simply speaking, gamification in e-learning means adding game-like elements to your learning app. For instance, leaderboards, different levels, badges, or points. 

Gamification has gained popularity because it turns a boring learning environment into fun. When game-based learning is done right, it can significantly improve learners' engagement. 

Take a leadership board for an example. This can spike friendly competition in online courses and motivate users to outperform their fellow learners. Meanwhile, they get the main objective — better learning. 

But remember, elearning gamification doesn’t mean creating an outright video game. Instead, it is a strategy that edtech companies can use to make their courses more engaging. Thus, gamification must seamlessly merge with your education app. 

How Can Gamification in Education Benefit Your Students? 

Let’s face it; traditional learning approaches are boring. Moreover, maintaining each student’s interest in a full class is not easy. 

But thanks to gamified experience in online courses, students can control their progress and learn at their own pace. Besides, learning gamified apps promote mind mapping, brainstorming, and creativity. 

Gamification can make long lessons interesting and hold learners' attention for longer. A study shows that 67% of students find gamified courses more effective than traditional classes. 

Besides this, gamified solutions can benefit students in many ways: 

Creative Thinking 

A gamified course is not only a learning instrument. It also has an entertainment value that improves learners' engagement

Gamified lessons stimulate deep thinking. It allows students to implement new strategies with peer learning and a competitive environment. 

Boost Attention Span 

There is no denying that you will not lose attention while playing Candy Crush. But in 40 minutes of lecture, your imagination will travel around the globe. 

All those goals, levels, and challenges can hold your attention for longer. For young students, gamified apps are the best to capture their attention and improve their concentration capabilities. 

Sense of Accomplishment 

A person can lose interest in an activity without a sense of accomplishment. For example, when an instructor teaches students how to write an essay, they might not focus on it. 

But when the teacher says essay marks will be added to students' final results, this will motivate them to pay attention in the classroom. 

Similarly, gamification in learning helps you keep students motivated and focused on their studies. Each point, reward, and gift encourage students to work harder to win the competition. 

How Can Gamification Solutions Help Your eLearning Portal? 

Gamification strategies can revolutionize your business if you have a progressive learning portal or app. You can gain a competitive edge to attract new users and boost your in-app purchases. 

Gamification strategies in edtech can help your application growth as: 

Fun and Interactive Learning Experience 

Gamification allows you to help your customers achieve their goals in a fun environment. With gamification, learners can interact with courses better. In addition, it promotes self-learning and creative thinking. 

Byju’s is the perfect example here. It was launched in 2011 to offer educational content to students from classes 4 to 12. And now, Byju’s has a separate app for early learners, several courses, teachers, and students with them. As of July 2022, Byju’s valuation reached $23 billion.  

gamification on the Byju's app

All because they adopted gamification in e-learning and offered interactive learning experiences to their users. 

Expand Your Reach

After the pandemic, online learning or edtech apps are no new thing. However, every person is learning online today or planning to launch a new edtech program. 

With eLearning gamification, you can break the monotony and offer something new to your customers. You can build a unique brand identity to expand your reach. 

For example, Roblox was launched in 2006 as a gaming portal for user-generated games. Initially, the platform hasn’t received much traction. But due to the pandemic and gamification popularity, Roblox hit the 202 million monthly user mark in 2021. 

Roblox screenshot

So, if your edtech app is not receiving much traction, give a chance to gamification. 

Boost In-app Purchases 

In-app purchases are the best strategies to monetize your app. This allows you to make real money via in-app items like coins, weapons, extra levels, etc. 

According to a report, 79% of gaming apps monetize compared to 50% of non-gaming apps. So, you can make more money through education apps in this free economy with in-app purchases. 

Top Gamification Strategies for edtech Apps 

Now that you know gamification solutions are essential for both edtech app growth and user engagement, the next step is to know how to include gamification strategies in your app. 

Gamification gives you many options to create an interactive learning experience, such as: 

Progressive Bars 

Progress tracking in edtech apps is important. It helps learners and teachers know how much they have benefited from online courses. 

Progress bars can come in handy in this situation. It shows learners how much they have learned and when they will reach the next level. 

The idea behind it is to help learners move at their own pace. They can aim for the next level and share their progress with their teachers or friends. 


Levels in eLearning gamification help to motivate and excite learners. Students can choose levels based on their speed and efficiency. 

Gamification in education allows learners to switch levels and compete with their friends. They can even track their progress and plan ahead. 


A leaderboard is a robust gaming tool to boost engagement and networking. It surges into a friendly competitive environment to learn and thrive. 

It is a natural human instinct that we work harder in a competitive environment. When a learner sees other students performing well and climbing the leaderboard, it will also push them to score better and rank higher on the board. 

Rewards and Prizes 

Now, who doesn’t like prizes after a long hard work? Everyone! 

Rewards not only come in monetary or gifts form. Unlocking a new level or golden badge on a lesson completion is enough to increase learners' engagement. 


Quizzes and exercises have dual benefits. It can engage learners with a course and test their knowledge. It helps learners self-evaluate themselves. 

Gamification in education is bland without impromptu quizzes and fun exercises. Students can perform better when they get visual questions to solve than plain text ones. 


Puzzles are another interactive gamification solution to make learning fun. Today, many learning portals are using puzzles to teach complicated processes. 

For example, Grasshopper is a JavaScript learning website. They use short fill-in-the-blank puzzles to teach coding skills. At the end of every course, they give a puzzle game to test their users and score their knowledge. 


An avatar enables learners to place themselves in a game. This helps to teach in a virtual classroom. Every student can create a unique avatar that allows trainers to understand their progress. 

For one-on-one learning, avatars are great. They help teachers provide students with custom learning opportunities after understanding their challenges and learning pace. 

Performance Charts 

These charts compare a student's performance with his or her previous and current results. It is a visual chart that helps learners to self-improve their performance. 

Points or Scores 

Points or scores are basic reward monitoring instruments. Giving students points for every accomplishment will motivate them to achieve more. Plus, it helps to rank learners on a scoreboard for a healthy competition. 

In-game Currency 

These are payment-related benefits. For example, a player can earn this currency as a reward for certain accomplishments. Further, they can use this currency to unlock a new level or get extra lives. 

Daily Challenges 

With gamification, you can motivate learners to use your app daily. You can add small challenges like spinning the wheel or quick quizzes every day to win exciting rewards. 

Examples of Gamification in eLearning 

Gamification in eLearning is not a new concept. Many ed-tech apps are already leveraging gamification to engage learners. However, the apps that are doing the best job are:


Duolingo uses gamification to teach multiple languages to its users. Gamification has worked as magic for Duolingo. As a result, Duolingo had over 500 million registered users and $250 million in revenue in 2021. 

gamification experiences in Duolingo

Gamification strategies that Duolingo used are: 

  • The internal currency that players earn for completing various activities. 
  • Social interaction with Facebook friends. 
  • Badges for achievements like completing a certain number of skills or following a specific number of friends. 
  • A scoreboard and points-based rewards. 

Codecademy Go

Codecademy is an online platform for learning codes and software development. Lately, they launched an app with gamification elements to offer a fun learning experience. They used gamification components, like:

Codecademy go app
  • Badges for mastering certain skills like completing an exercise, course, etc. 
  • Progress dashboard showing completed lessons and the new lessons. 
  • Points are awarded for completing each stage or exercise.  

Khan Academy 

You can learn almost anything on the Khan Academy app, from coding to history. This is actor Salman Khan’s pet project that uses gamification in many ways, such as: 

Khan Academy app

Alt text:

  • Skill tree that is organized as a visual constellation so users can see their learning path. 
  • Themed badges are offered depending on the level of subject complexity, like planets and celestial bodies. 
  • There is a galactically themed progress bar and energy points to earn after completing every level. 

Things to Consider Before Using Gamification in Education Apps

Excited to use gamification in your education app? Before doing so, first, consider a few things:

Define Your Objective 

Foremost, define why you are using gamification in your app? Do you desire higher conversion or to create a better learning experience? 

If your objective is higher conversion, offer rewards or daily challenges. On the other hand, if you want more app downloads, go for gaming referrals. 

Focus on Social Elements 

The best thing about gamification is it collaborates with like-minded people and gives them a platform to socialize. You should design gamification experiences in online courses in a way to reward social networking. 

For example, you can offer special badges or rewards to users who invite their Facebook friends to the app or share their progress on social networks. Gaming referrals can increase not only engagement but also your user base. 

Keep It Simple 

Always remember you are developing an e-learning app, not a game. Don’t get overboard with gamification; turn your app into a complicated maze. 

Focus on only 2-3 gaming elements that can go well with your objectives. 

Simple Reward Systems 

Don’t promise the moon or stars to your learners. Offer them small but multiple rewards throughout their journey. This will keep them engaged and motivated to move forward. 

Important Metrics to Measure Your In-app Gamification Success 

Once you have added gamification to your eLearning platform, don’t stop there. You must monitor your gamified-based learning apps' performance. This way, you can know whether gamification offered desired ROI or not. 

Here are the main app performance measurement metrics: 

  • Daily Active Users (DAU). This is the number of unique users engaged with your app within 24 hours. 
  • Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU). An estimated single paying user is generated during a specific period. For example, a person could be paying for services, subscriptions, making in-app purchases, etc.
  • IAP Conversion Rate. It refers to the percentage of users who have completed an in-app purchase within your free app. For example, if 100 people have subscribed to your free app, but only 3 of them have made in-app purchases, your IAP conversion rate will be 3%
  • Customer LTV (Lifetime Value). It is an estimated revenue that a customer will generate throughout their lifespan on your mobile app. 

Ready for Custom Gamification Experience in Your Online Courses? 

Gamification in eLearning can be the best strategy to increase customer engagement, retention, and in-app purchase. But that’s only effective when you customize gamified elements based on your customers and courses. 

Won’t that be expensive and complicated? 

Well, no. With CustomerGlu’s low-code gamified UX builder, you can easily add several gamification solutions to your edtech app. For instance, you can add quizzes, gamified referrals, nudges, and more. 

So, book a free demo with our team today and gamify your learning apps in no time.

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