Employee training determines the growth and success of the company, but it may not bring about the desired results if it is overly formalized and does not motivate learners. That’s why trainers should think about the ways to engage learners and motivate them to do their best. Of course, software implementation alone will not completely solve the issue but you can take full advantage of the features that aim to increase users’ engagement. Such features can be found in Learning Management Systems. These learning platforms can help to enhance learners’ encouragement and motivation by means of gamification.
Gamification, in its simplest terms, is the use of gaming techniques in the non-gaming environment. This includes the application of game-design elements and general game principles. The main purpose of gamification in learning is to encourage employees to study and make the process of learning more exciting.
An LMS can be gamified by the use of gamification elements. Here are those frequently used:
- Points. Points are earned for completing various tasks (e.g. completion of a course, publishing a comment) or participating in webinars or training activities. When gaining a particular number of points, users can earn a badge or move to the next level.
- Badges. Badges are awarded for earning a specific number of points or for a completion of a specific learning material. They are more tangible rewards. Usually, LMSs provide a built-in collection of badges with the opportunity to create your own.
- Levels. These are used to track learners’ progress. Users move to the next level once they’ve met the specified requirements and received a passing score.
- Leaderboards. Leaderboards are used to provide friendly competition among peers. Leaderboards encourage learners to surpass their colleagues in order to achieve “first place” status.
In this article, I take a look at 5 LMS platforms that have the richest gamification features. But first, let’s take a quick side-by-side view of all the gamification LMS solutions I reviewed.
LMSs with Gamification – A Quick Comparison Chart
|LMS||Type of solution||Distinctive features|
|1. Litmos||A cloud-based LMS that aims to help you unify your learning management. It includes an LMS and a course catalog.||
|2. Adobe Captivate Prime||A cloud-hosted LMS that boasts skill management, extensive social learning features, and in-depth reporting.||
|3. iSpring Learn||A cloud-based LMS that puts a great emphasis on being easy-to-use and offering a wide range of features and functionalities for building and delivering training courses.||
|4. eFront||A cloud-based platform that allows you to build an enterprise training platform exactly as you want it.||
|5. Paradiso||A cloud Moodle-based training platform that focuses on delivering four pillars – Utility, Price, Maintenance and Mobile Compatibility.||
Litmos is a cloud-based software designed by Litmos solutions. Litmos LMS aims to help you unify your learning management. It includes an LMS and a course catalog.
- Points/badges. These are given for a completion of a course or a learning path. To set points and badges you need to add a gamification item and name it. As for badges, you can select one from the collection or upload your own image. The design of the offered badges is quite primitive. You can set whether you want to award points and badges for all selected courses and learning paths, for any of them, or for a set number of them.
- Leaderboards. User’s place on the leaderboard is determined by the summary of earned points, not badges. The administrator can allow users to see the global or the team leaderboard.
- Levels. You are able to assign your users levels. To do this, you need to define the gamification items required to attain a particular level.
Litmos charges customers annually but the cost depends on the number of learners that study on your portal each month. You need to calculate an approximate average and stay within that limit during any given month, because if you have a plan for 300 learners, you won’t be able to let the 301st user in for the rest of the month. If you want to buy only an LMS, then the pricing plan starts from 150 users for $6/user per month.
Litmos is a good fit for companies that want to stimulate their employees by means of gamification sparing no money. This LMS provides all basic customizable gamification elements.
Adobe Captivate Prime is a cloud-hosted LMS designed by Adobe. Adobe Captivate Prime boasts skill management, extensive social learning features, and in-depth reporting.
- Badges. The LMS awards badges for the completion of any learning materials. You can create your own badges using default images or upload your own art. The built-in collection is represented by a small number of badges, but their design is advanced.
- Points. These are awarded for the completion of the specific tasks. There are seven fixed gamification tasks: for fast learner, for self-driven learner, for upskill, for reference, early completion points, timely completion points, and comprehensive learner. For example, when users complete some courses within a month/quarter/year, they will receive 20 points. The administrator can modify the time period and the number of courses required to complete to earn corresponding points.
- Levels. There are four fixed levels: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The user proceeds to the next level by receiving a particular number of points (you are able to fix them).
- Leaderboards. The leaderboard shows users’ ranking position relative to a particular team member and to other team members.
There are two pricing models:
- Registered user pricing model depends on the maximum number of learners that can register with the platform each month. It works for situations in which you know that you won’t exceed that number. In that case, the price starts at $4/month per learner.
- Monthly active user pricing model is more suitable for organizations where the number of learners fluctuates from month to month. If that is the case, the Adobe pricing page says you need to contact them to discuss the costs.
Adobe Captivate Prime is a nice choice for those companies that want achieving levels and completion of tasks to make the main gamification elements around which the training will be built.
iSpring Learn is a cloud-based learning management system designed by iSpring Solutions. iSpring Learn puts a great emphasis on being easy-to-use and offering a wide range of features and functionalities for building and delivering training courses.
- Points. Points are awarded for completion of theoretical material, assessments, courses, for attending webinars or face-to-face training sessions. You can set fixed points for each type of completion or you can set a certain number of points for a specific course. The administrator is able to adjust user’s points: he can award or remove a certain number of points and specify the reason.
- Badges. These are given for a successful passing of a course, for earning a particular number of points, or for attending webinars or face-to-face training sessions. For example, users can be awarded a specific title after passing a course or attending a webinar or they can be awarded a new badge for every 50 points. The advantage is a wide built-in collection of badges which can be extended with your own images. Personally, I like the advanced badges’ design.
- Leaderboards. Users’ achievements are put on the leaderboard based on the summary of points and badges. The administrator can view ratings in the report section which can be run by departments or groups and learn about specific user’s achievements in the user’s profile.
iSpring offers two types of subscription – Start and Business, with Business coming with more advanced features. The price depends on the subscription you choose and the number of learners who enter the platform during a month. For example, the plan for 100 learners/month (Start subscription) costs $2.87 per learner.
iSpring Learn is a good LMS gamification solution for companies that want to make their users’ learning process more engaging and exciting. The gamification elements’ design is advanced, the interface is user-friendly for both users and administrators.
eFront is a cloud-based platform designed by Epignosis LLC. eFront LMS provides deep source code-level customization options, so you can build a training platform as you want.
- Points. The LMS awards points for the completion of any learning material, for each login, self course enrollment, certification, and for creating a discussion topic or writing a comment.
- Badges. There are seven categories of badges available, with each category offering eight levels of badges. It’s easy to get a badge at early stages (e.g. after the course completion), and increasingly difficult as the user progresses (e.g after getting a certificate).
- Levels. You can assign your users levels. By default, all users start at level 1. The administrator defines in which cases the level is moving up: for earning a particular number of points, badges, or for completing a specific number of courses.
- Leaderboards. The leaderboard shows the user’s ranking compared to the fellows according to different categories: points, levels, badges, completed courses, and certificates. Leaderboards mention the best in their category, as well as several people near the current user. Users can see only those people who are members of the same specific branch.
Prices start from $1000 per month for up to 1000 registered users – Billed annually.
eFront is a good choice for enterprises that want basic gamification features to be the part of their learning management system.
Paradiso LMS is a cloud Moodle-based training platform from Paradiso Solutions that focuses on delivering four pillars – Utility, Price, Maintenance, and Mobile Compatibility.
- Badges. Badges are awarded for the completion of any learning material. You create the badges yourself by uploading an image and naming the badge. The collection of badges isn’t provided. They can be published on social media.
- Points. The LMS gives points for posting comments, taking courses, liking and writing posts, etc. Also, they are awarded for some specific activities (e.g. subscription) to move to the next level. In this case, there are the default rules of awarding the points. Also, you can create new rules of awarding by yourself.
- Levels. The administrator can manage how many points should be earned to move to the next level.
- Leaderboards. User’s position on the leaderboard is determined by the summary of awarded points. It also shows the achieved levels and rank.
Paradiso doesn’t provide any information about pricing. To get information you should contact a vendor.
Paradiso LMS provides basic gamification features with the diverse rules of awarding points. This LMS can be a good choice for companies that have an experience of using Moodle.
All of the mentioned learning platforms have rich gamification features: points, badges, levels, and leaderboards. With the effective use of gamification, you are able to enhance your users’ engagement in the learning process and increase their motivation.
I highly recommend you to check LMSs’ free trials to test all the gamified features on your own. I hope you gained some insights that will help you choose the learning platform that suits your requirements.
Have you tried some of the gamification features of the LMSs I’ve reviewed? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments section.