lms gamification

4 LMS Gamification Strategies to Boost Course Completion Rates

The cost of acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing one. Recognizing the importance of a retention strategy helps educators prevent putting a strain on their marketing budget. With most of your revenue coming from regular students over one-off purchases, building a loyal customer base is key.

Online students have shorter attention spans and more market options, whilst seeking instant gratification and greater interactivity.  Retaining students in this climate can be challenging, however we are here to help! 

Without putting pressure on your marketing budget, this post will share 4 effective LMS gamification strategies to increase course student retention rates on your online learning website. If you are looking to make major improvements, you can also reach out to our team of gamification experts to  implement a tailored reward system and personalized gamification solutions to your e-learning site.

Follow These LMS Gamification Hacks to Increase Course Completion and User Retention

1. Get Em’ Hooked with a Reward System

The world is full of distractions and keeping your students focussed is definitely a challenge. There are a variety of gamification features that will put the fun back in learning. A reward system makes your students active participants of the course rather than an external observer. 

Some of following LMS gamification strategies work to facilitate engagement for your students: 

  • Reward users with a badge upon completion of the course
  • Allow users to earn points each time they complete a lesson
lms gamification
  • Add quizzes or assignments that compliment your lessons to break up the content and ensure information retention

These tactics reward users’ participation in the course, letting students know their employed efforts are recognized and creating results. Not only will these interactive elements improve the UX experience but validates the student throughout their learning journey. 

2. Enhance Progress Tracking with Goal Setting

Allowing students to track their course progress and visualize their results is a great way to keep students engaged. Showcasing progress bar or progress map is a great starting point to implement progress tracking to your courses.

Progress tracking can be further enhanced by allowing students to track progress related to specific goals. By setting learning goals for your students, you allow them to visualize their progress while placing them on a personal education pathway. 

LinkedIn Learning has utilized this tactic by allowing users to set weekly learning goals. These goals can either be accumulated learning time or specific course objectives. Tracking of these goals then appears as a progress bar on students’ homepage, allowing them to visualize their own success. 

Structured goal setting is a self motivation technique to help users overcome procrastination and create better time management. Goal setting motivates students to return to your e-learning platform, increasing your course completion and retention rates.

lms gamification

If you are working with LearnDash LMS and want to implement goal setting, you should check out the LearnDash Goals add-on. This tool enables your students to set weekly goals for the time they’ll spend studying and track their progress.

3. Level up with Leaderboards

Leaderboards are an important gamification tool that bring a variety of benefits to your e-learning course. Alongside goal setting, leaderboards are another visual tool that helps students keep track of their progress on the course. 

Leaderboards go one step further than individual goal tracking to introduce a competitive element. Having competitive students onboard will result in greater interactivity between users, higher student engagement time and increased course retention. 


Leaderboards also serve to manage expectations for students. If the top player has accomplished more than other students, they will realize the work they have ahead of them. This tactic strives to instill a natural accountability in your student, ultimately resulting in improved completion and retention rates.

4. Provide Real Value in Your Rewards

Take your interactive features to the next level by providing practical rewards for your users. Once you set up an LMS gamification system, it’s imperative to think about the value you’re providing as a product of these reward structures. While facilitating a sense of achievement is great, going the next step in your reward offers will improve your student retention. 

These point redemption rewards provide value that will remind user’s of their hard work and equip them for future achievements:

  • Sneak preview of a new course 
  • Access to exclusive resources 
  • Shareability features on badges to enhance their social media profiles (i.e. LinkedIn capability to enhance their online resume) 

Such reward offers make the e-learning experience more personalized. For any online program, learning is best when it motivates as well as educates. These kind of reward programs operate simultaneously as a user loyalty program. If people are seeing value in their accomplishments, you’ll be more likely to retain them for further learning.

Gamify your LMS!

If you are looking for a personalized lms gamification strategy for your online courses, contact us! Our gamification experts can help you design an effective reward system and find the best strategies to increase engagement on your site.