Imagine you’ve been transported to a world that constantly moves with excitement—a place where you can collect rewards for every obstacle you conquer. You get applauded for every task you accomplish. Plus, the space gives you the power to set expectations at the zenith to open new levels, unlock new terrains, and ultimately—the ecstasy to become the winner.

Does this scenario sound familiar?

Well, that’s exactly how you feel when you play a game.

Whether it is real or virtual, we all have played games at some point in life. Undeniably, the experience is delightful—motivating us to score points, play more, complete hurdles, and accomplish feats.

Let’s ask you a simple question. So what makes people play games for hours and hours without being tired?

The answer is ‘engagement,’ ‘interest,’ and ‘involvement.’

These three factors are the key reasons why ‘games’ are so addicting.

And when you are engaged in something, you give 100% attention to the respective activity and feel encouraged to try harder and further improve yourself. This kind of engagement is incredibly empowering in all life spheres—personal development, satisfaction, or happiness.

Now, imagine applying the element of ‘gaming’ to accomplish tasks for the world’s most boring yet challenging use-case—‘learning.’ The results will be tremendous. No doubt.

The concept of gamification has been there for quite some time. Whether it is large enterprises, small businesses, or schools, most have adopted it to avail incredible benefits that come along.

Gamifying educational, learning, or training programs delivers:

  • 👉 Enhanced learner engagement
  • 👉 Long-lasting experience

With that said, let's understand the nitty-gritty of Game-based Learning and Gamification, challenges in driving engagement to your learning programs, how incentivized Learning can overcome the pain points and more.

What is Game-Based Learning?

Game-based Learning (GBL) is an active learning experience within a game framework to achieve specific learning goals and outcomes. (Source: Mind Research Institute)

Game-Based Learning (GBL) aims at teaching a particular skill for a specific outcome rather than being a pedagogical system.

In simple terms, the core part of any games-based learning is making learning fun through games. The concept of game-based learning is not new. The approach keeps games at the central part. Meaning games are used to enhance the overall learning experience.

In game-based learning, learners are introduced to new skills and concepts which they can implement in a risk-free setting.

An excellent example of game-based learning can be those 'Stock Market Trading' games, which you might have played during your college economics class. These games help put theory into practice. Not just that, these games help learners reach their learning goals.

Apart from high schools and colleges, game-based learning is also used in the corporate world, where employees learn new skills for various applications. For example, it could be customer service, building new technological platforms, teambuilding, or help-desking.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the process of incorporating game mechanics or elements into an overall experience to boost enjoyment or engagement. (Source: Mind Research Institute)

Gamification is about adding game elements to non-gaming activities to trigger specific user behaviors. Gamification turns a particular process of learning into a game. It uses gameplay elements & game mechanics to apply in the learning courses to engage and motivate learners.

Examples of game mechanics include:

  • Points
  • Rewards
  • Achievement badges
  • Progress bars
  • Leaderboards
  • Levels/quizzes

Interestingly, any activity can be gamified, and it isn’t just limited to learning. That’s why things that you use on a day-to-day basis—from fitness apps to financial apps to your LinkedIn pages—everything is gamified to boost user participation and increase engagement.

Difference Between Gamification and Game-based Learning

While Games-Based Learning (GBL) turns the entire learning process into a game, Gamification uses games as a part of the learning process.

According to Karl Kapp, the author of the book—“The Gamification of Learning & Instruction” says:

“When you get right down to it, the goals of both gamification and game-based learning are relatively the same. Serious games and gamification are both trying to solve a problem, motivate, and promote learning using game-based thinking and techniques.”

game based learning bs gamification

The primary difference between GBL (Game-Based Learning) and Gamification is the inclusion of game mechanics in the training content. Since GBL integrates both, the game is actually the training itself. On the other hand, gamification utilizes game elements as rewards to complete training modules.

Applying GBL (Game-Based Learning)
Applying Gamification
In game-based learning, learners understand new concepts and practice their skills in a risk-free environment. The progress is directly associated with the subject’s understanding that’s being taught.
Gamification integrates engagement tools with existing content to motivate learners. While adding progress bars or levels to existing content sounds pretty straightforward, things get complex when you place the participants on leaderboards (for example) or deliver points whenever they give correct answers.
GBL is all about making learning fun. It has a considerable impact on learners’ recall and retention rates. Here, users are engaged and interested in the subject matter. When there is an increased engagement rate, it impacts retention as well.
Gamification is all about driving engagement. The elements of gamification work on the foundation of a human’s need to compete, collect and succeed.
GBL gives a learner the liberty to practice or apply the skills they have learned without any real-world implications. Users receive feedback to help them know how well they are doing and refine their skills prior to applying them in the real-world. This is something that LMS (Learning Management Systems) solve.
GBL gives learners the liberty to practice or apply the skills they have learned without any real-world implications. Users receive feedback to help them know how well they are doing and refine their skills before using them in the real world. This is something that LMS (Learning Management Systems) solves.
Some applications include:
  • Policy review
  • Customer service training
  • Company training
  • Staff awareness training
  • Team building
Some applications include:
  • Product innovation
  • On-boarding
  • L&D program engagement
  • Employee error elimination
  • Collaborative learning

The How and Why of Gamification

The how and why of gamification can be outlined into three simple words:

Brain, Dopamine, and Motivation.

How? Let’s understand.

The How and Why of Gamification

When you are excited, your brain releases dopamine (popularly known as the happy hormone). This hormone is a part of your brain’s reward system, which helps boost energy, optimism and vitality!

In simple words, ‘dopamine’ makes you feel good. Interestingly, every game designed today has the power to release dopamine in your brain. You defeat an enemy, your brain activates dopamine. Unlock a new game level, and your brain generates dopamine. You win a reward, and dopamine starts working. You see your name on a leaderboard—again, dopamine.

No matter the activity or process, if it is gamified, it delivers similar effects as gameplay.

Gamification in Learning

Whether it's employees, customers, trainers, or students, gamification serves as one of the most influential and brilliant strategies to motivate people. Triggering those human desires with gamification can engage and enhance the overall learning experience of the learners.

Let's understand this with a simple example.
Assume that you are given a job to get a group of kids to do two tasks without any forceful actions:

  • 📝 Task 1: Ask the kids to finish their homework
  • 📝 Task 2: Ask the kids to read a book

Will they do it? No.

Study time is not entertaining at all. We all have been there as kids ourselves. It's as boring as hell. But let's say that these kids were asked to play games instead of studying. What would be the outcome then? They will be ready to play all night long, sacrificing their favorite meal and a good night's sleep without complaining. Why?

Well, it's because of the joy of experiencing things that are far better and more entertaining than studying. Components like unlocking new game levels and achieving things as they progress are what makes them stay.

Now, let's say you had an option to combine gaming elements with education. What would be the result then? The same kids will be more enthusiastic about reading a book or finishing their homework willfully. That's the hidden potential of gamified learning.

Examples of Brands Using Gamification & GBL (Game-Based Learning) in their Applications

Here are some great examples of well-renowned brands across the world that have witnessed success after applying ‘gamification’ in their applications.

1. BYJU’S

BYJU needs no introduction. It is one of the largest education companies in India that created a K-12 learning app to provide highly-adaptive, effective, and engaging learning programs for students.

In the era of digitalization, they could reinvent the way students learn. As a business, BYJU’s approach is straightforward. They have proven pedagogical methods, world-class teachers, data science, and innovative technology to deliver personalized learning experiences across grades.

With the help of their educational app, educators could focus on cognitive learning methods that keep students 100% engaged. Students were able to master some of the most intricate yet key concepts via practice tests, adaptive modules, and videos.

byjus example for gamified learning

According to the New Indian Express, BYJU witnessed a whopping revenue of $421.43 million in 2020. As of 2021, this ed-tech giant has become the world's 13th most valuable start-up with a $21 billion valuation.

So how did they make it so big?

No doubt it's their unique product. But BYJU leverages gamification and enables students to earn reward points, play games, and challenge others through competitions & quizzes. This results in a win-win situation for both the users and the business.

2. Nike

In 2010, Nike launched their Nike Run Club, a gamification platform, which went a massive hit among its users. The app was designed to help track and gamify a user’s run time, health levels, the distance covered, and features to compare oneself to their previous recordings or others within the social field.

how nike uses gamified learning

The pure-play of gamification led to this app’s success. They had attractive leaderboards, rewards, badges, and point systems to drive that engagement they wanted.

Nike’s Run Club is one of the classic examples of micro-measuring progress and providing live feedback to help runners improve and progress in their day-to-day personal goals.

3. Google Read Along

The recent launch of Google’s Read Along is a perfect example of how a combination of GBL (Game-Based Learning) and Gamification makes learning effective for end-users. The app was launched with an initiative to support families across the world by making ‘learning’ accessible.

example of gamified learning by Google Read Along

Designed for kids of 5+ years old, the app uses speech recognition technology to develop literacy skills. It is available in 9 languages across 180 countries to make it more accessible. It keeps kids engaged with a diverse collection of exciting stories and interactive games sprinkled in those stories.

They can collect badges and stars as they learn, motivating them to keep reading and playing. It also helps parents to create profiles for various readers, which, when tapped, gives a dashboard showing how each one of them has progressed.

Challenges with Learning Programs in Different Use-Cases

The benefits of engaged learning are plenty. Whether it's a school or an organization, everyone prefers enhanced engagement, better completion rates, higher retention, and increased satisfaction.

With various learner engagement advantages—probably, enough to convince—you might wonder why a crucial factor like 'engagement' is so hard to achieve? The reason is that some complex obstacles stand in the way of accomplishing higher learner engagement.

Let’s understand the challenges of learning programs in different use-cases.

1. Challenges corporates face with employees during training programs

When it comes to corporate training programs or L&D programs, attention isn’t enough. Sadly, the majority of L&D leaders face multiple challenges that have immediate fixes, but they fail to implement at the right time. Consequently, they either prematurely dismiss the solutions or assume that they are insurmountable.

Here are some common challenges of corporate training programs:

  • ‎‍💼 Sticking to a one-size-fits-all approach: When it comes to online training programs, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work. Give them the liberty to pursue their training paths to accomplish their goals. Rather than forcefully feeding them something that they don't like, allow them to choose their online learning activities depending on their preferences and achieve the desired learning goals for your business more rapidly.
  • 💻 Complicated learning software: Online training is mostly being done remotely these days, which means that support is far away. Having complicated e-learning software makes it even more difficult for the trainees. Make your LMS more accessible, easy to use, and less reliant on support tickets. Having self-help content is also a great way to clarify doubts on the go. Developing online tutorials and demos can help learners implement those learnings on the platform and directly resolve their queries if any.
  • 📉 Low course completion rates: Yet another major challenge that comes with corporate training programs is completion rates. Despite the training programs made accessible at any time and the freedom to complete them at any pace, employees still fail to complete them. Why? Because the ‘motivational factor’ is missing here.
  • 💁 Lack of learner engagement: Learning new skills is a reward in itself, and although online training programs help professionals to achieve that, most employees need more than that. Hence, rewarding your learners is as vital as taking their feedback. The right rewards can motivate learners, give a sense of achievement, and foster friendly competition in the workplace.
  • 🏆 Using mundane and boring rewards: Reward is one of the biggest gratifications to drive behaviors. But they can backfire when utilized incorrectly. For someone who doesn't have pets at home, would they like it if they were given a $100 worth voucher of a popular pet brand as a reward for completing a complex part of an L&D program? No. It will be off-putting and demotivating for the person to pursue learning the program. In addition, rewards limited by geography and choice are yet another major issue.
  • 📈 Lack of competitive ranks and scores: Limited interaction and peer-to-peer collaboration fail to create that inherent motivation employees need to complete training programs. That's why having gamified point systems in place helps keep the momentum of motivation going.
  • 🎁 Delayed gratification for learners: One of the significant challenges of online training programs is the lack of instant payouts. No one likes to wait for rewards, especially on a well-done job! Will you like it if you were rewarded for something that you accomplished three months ago? No. Timely gratification is essential. Delayed gratification for learners does not do the trick, and with existing reward management systems, it is hard to have a personalized approach to recognition. It is helpful when the reward management systems are easily integrable with existing learning solutions, allowing easy access for the L&D or HR members to sanction rewards immediately.
Essential Read: Explore some exciting L&D reward options to keep your employees motivated in completing their training programs.

2. Challenges teachers face with students during eLearning programs

Even though technology evolution has enabled many things around us that we haven’t possibly imagined, the sudden shift with e-learning and student behavior after the pandemic hasn’t been as smooth as schools/teachers/trainers/professors/educators wanted it to be. Encountering the pitfalls of online learning can be frustrating for both students and teachers.

Here are some common challenges of educational or e-learning programs:

  • 👨‍💻 Using an outdated LMS: Technology has advanced to a great extent today. The current generation is learned and evolved. You can't be giving your students the experience of a vintage car when they want to drive a high-tech modern car. So replace your Learning Management System (LMS) if it's outdated or boring—because clearly, today's students won't prefer it. Let's take John, for example. He is an enthusiastic and intelligent learner who loves to spend his free time on his smartphone, surfing the internet and indulging in navigational experiences that captivate his raw mind. John will never prefer a boring LMS. To encourage student engagement, you first need to have an interactive LMS in place.
  • 📙 Lack of motivation to learn: We all have been here. As kids, we had a hundred excuses ready just to skip study time. The lack of interest or zeal to learn is for real in students. Needless to say, students that aren't motivated won't learn effectively. That's where rewards, incentives, and appreciation play a key role. They push students to go beyond, making them learn with extra focus and interest. By introducing tokens and rewards for accomplishing milestones, you're giving the much-needed motivation to keep your students engaged. This tendency of acknowledging and appreciating their achievements go a long way in creating a spark of interest in students.
  • 🚧 Lack of challenge or competition: When it comes to e-learning, challenge-based gamification improves educational outcomes by 89.4%. CBL (Challenge Based Learning) is a framework designed to enhance organizational behavior and create authentic learning experiences that encourage students to go the extra mile. Unless you are not challenging your students, they are neither learning nor the learning is as effective as it should be.
  • 📖 Not fostering a micro-learning approach: To stop your e-learning courses from falling out of flavor or failing to create that zeal with your students, it's vital to take on a microlearning approach. Understand that students have massive information that their brains need to absorb. Hence, bombarding them with excess course content altogether can backfire. Microlearning is the solution here! It promotes thoughtful study by giving out bite-sized information to your students and prevents information overload.

3. Challenges learning service providers face with their LMS

Language Service Providers operate in a competitive and challenging market. Although each business is different, the challenges created by the market are similar. I collected below the 7 most prominent ones. From my experience, they are both familiar and challenging to overcome.

  • 🎯 Not defining the objectives clearly: Starting a project without measurable or clear goals can lead to high costs and confusion. Your project will not only have prolonged delays but will also fail to meet the expectations. Before taking off on the hunt for a technological solution, you need to have clear objectives in place for your business. What pain points do you want to solve? What is your target audience like? What are you trying to accomplish with your LMS (Learning Management System)? What steps will you take to meet those objectives?
  • 👤 Problems with user interaction: A Learning Management System is only good if people enjoy using it. Problems with user interaction have been there for a long time. It leads to a lack of work satisfaction and productivity loss. No matter who you are selling your LMS to, make sure to have proper training materials in place. This prevents problems arising due to the lack of understanding.
  • 💻 Developing an LMS that isn’t flexible: Every business, especially tech, understands the importance of integrations. LMS integrations open your business to infinite possibilities. Third-party integrations exclusively designed for LMS enable you to create workflows and automate complex tasks smoothly. They help identify learning gaps and create a personalized learning path that meets the needs of every learner. They not only help save costs and scale your business but also protect your company from legal consequences and hefty fines. Hence, not having a robust yet flexible code in place misses these incredible opportunities.
  • 😃 Issues with personalization: A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work with an LMS. Personalization in LMS refers to the ability to cater to various individual needs—be it students, employees, teachers, trainers, customers, etc. Say, for instance, can your LMS send personalized rewards to the end-user? Or can it send localized rewards geographically? Does your LMS have unique features in place to drive motivation (because learner engagement is the biggest challenge today)? Not having the right features not only makes efforts and money go in vain but also leads to disastrous business failures.
  • 💰Inability to incentivize the learning programs: Incentivised eLearning can bring considerable motivation and engagement in learners. Presenting multiple tiers of fun challenges and tests with rewards will motivate learners to change behavior. Incentivised e-learning comes with a baggage of perks but implementing those gaming mechanics to your LMS can be a real headache. They are far more complex, time-consuming, and challenging than you think. That's why it's crucial to develop a scalable, flexible, and robust LMS. Doing so helps in leveraging third-party plugins and using them as a part of your LMS.
turbocharge your learning programs with incentives

Elements of Gamification and How to Use them in Learning

Rewards, leaderboards, badges, or any other element that can motivate or satisfy a learner are called game elements. Again, these elements are categorized into two types:

  • 👉 Game mechanics
  • 👉 Game dynamics
game mechanics vs game dynamics

1. Game mechanics

Game mechanics are used for gamifying a process (or content in the learning use-case). They help drive user behavior through Points, Rewards, Feedback, and other types of incentives. These are the foundation for any non-gamified entity.

List of game mechanics include:

  • Ranks and levels
  • Scores and leaderboards
  • Badges and trophies
  • Individual or team tasks
  • Virtual currency
  • Challenges & unlocks
  • Visualized dashboard
  • Avatars and individual profile

2. Game dynamics

Game mechanics have the power to drive the user's motivation but the drawback is it's only for a while. When things get repetitive—users get bored again. And that’s where game dynamics plays a vital role. Game dynamics amalgamates the behavior of the user with the game mechanics—helping them to evolve over time and prevent the game from being monotonous.

List of game dynamics include:

  • Collaboration
  • Competition
  • Progress
  • Achievements
  • Rewards
  • Collection

How Incentivized e-Learning Motivates Your Learners to Outperform

In an ideal world, a learner would enthusiastically take up learning programs and complete them on time. However, the reality is that they need that extra ‘nudge’ to learn willfully, which is none other than through ‘rewards.’

There is a deep-rooted psychological reason behind rewards being so effective.

“A person's interest often survives when a reward is used neither to bribe nor to control but to signal a job well done, as in a "most improved player" award. If a reward boosts your feeling of competence after doing good work, your enjoyment of the task may increase.

Rewards, rightly administered, can motivate high performance and creativity. And extrinsic rewards (such as scholarships, admissions, and jobs that often follow good grades) are here to stay."


David G. Meyers, a professor of psychology

According to a report published by The Incentive Research Foundation, a robust rewards and incentives program not only can help address the issue of learner engagement but also has the ability to increase performance by 44%. It drives engagement with low turnover rates.

This report shows us that ‘rewards and incentives’ are the ultimate factors to bring engagement in learning programs.

Tying rewards and incentives to your learning programs influences and changes a learner’s behavior. Offering rewards to your learners not only drives motivation but also helps overcome performance-based problems.

Speaking of rewards and motivation, this study explains how psychologists perceive the different forms of motivation—extrinsic (outside) or intrinsic (inside)—and the role of each on an individual in driving engagement. The study reports that both these motivation types have different effects on an individual’s behavior and the pursuit of objectives.

Let’s understand how intrinsic and extrinsic motivation influences a person’s behavior.

Intrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is triggered when a person engages in an activity just because he/she found it rewarding.
Extrinsic motivation is triggered when a person engages in an activity out of an interest to earn a reward.
The person chooses to perform an activity out of internal interest for his/her own development rather than being motivated from the desires of external rewards. The behavior itself serves as a reward.
The person chooses to perform an activity because he/she wants to earn a prize or a reward. The engagement is not because the person enjoys it or he/she finds it satisfying but rather they get something in return.
Examples:
  • Participating in sports events because you enjoy the activity and not for any championship
  • Competing a contest because you find that challenging
  • Taking up an L&D program on compliance because you find the subject interesting and fascinating
Examples:
  • Participating in sports events to win the championship and the prize money
  • Competing in contests to win a $10k worth scholarship
  • Taking up an L&D program on cybersecurity to build new skill set and earn a badge

Reward-based Learning

Reward-based learning is an approach adopted by an establishment to incentivize training for their employees and customers. In the case of employees, tasks and projects are associated with external awards, which they receive upon every milestone.

Such a case of reward-based learning is a clear example of extrinsic rewards that drive engagement and competition among the workforce.

Applying extrinsic motivation (or external rewards) to learning programs can:

  • Motivate learners to acquire knowledge and new skills
  • Induce participation and interest in a learning activity despite the learner not being interested initially

With that said, every organization has its own set of needs, and the demand for customized rewards to cater to the various needs of the participants is large. These rewards can be in the form of brand vouchers, digital gift cards, meal coupons, or perhaps, just a paid time off.

Example of how the incentive program has been more successful than expected
Image source


No matter what rewards you choose to give, ensure that the efforts required to get the reward is in line with the value of the prize. Also, there should not be a huge time lapse in receiving the reward. In this age of instant gratification, your learners will lose interest if they receive the reward after months of completing the training.

Types of Learning Rewards to Drive Motivation

According to Inc, learning and rewards are the best combinations for motivating your learners into shape.

To keep a learner engaged, excited, and motivated, you need to focus on two essential factors:

  • 👉 Factor 1: A learning program that's exciting and practical—something that’s designed to be challenging and engaging
  • 👉 Factor 2: Right choice of rewards to ignite the natural competitiveness of the learners

While interactive LMS like Disprz, and a few other LMS platforms pretty much solve and meet the needs of Factor #1, it takes some effort to meet the needs of Factor #2.

Choosing rewards and leveraging it to attain your learning goals is an art—and not all can pull that off right. That’s why we have put together this section to give you an idea of the list of reward options to go with, based on persona.

1. Learning rewards for employees or working professionals

People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise, and rewards. — Dale Carnegie

While your employees are game to learn more via your online training programs, having an incentive to learn is an even better nudge. Gamification and reward-based learning is a killer combination!

Corporate learners can receive recognition and transactional rewards for accomplishing their tasks on the gamified platform. The human mind loves rewards & recognition, and by combining these elements, you are tapping into your employees’ psyche. This sense of accomplishment will give them the confidence to create healthy competition among the members.

Here are a few interesting reward options to think about for your employees:

  • Gift cards
  • Meal vouchers
  • Point-based rewards
  • Experience gifts
  • Travel vouchers
  • Electronics
  • Software subscriptions
  • Free lunch or dinner
  • Gym subscriptions
  • Online training course sponsorships
  • Charity and donations
  • Discounts / Free offers

2. Learning rewards for students

Things are not so cheery on the education front since online learning continues to have a mundane approach to education. Students who prefer the setting of classroom teaching and social interactions often find it challenging to stay motivated through the course of any online learning program.

Whether it is to keep your students motivated in completing their homework/project work or a critical classroom chapter that needs to be done, reward-based learning can help. It has an incentive that persuades them to be more engaged.

Here are some reward ideas to go about:

  • Kindle book gift
  • Trip to museums
  • Family Movie Night
  • Donate $10 to charity
  • Subscription to ebooks
  • Tickets to sporting events
  • Tickets to outdoor activities
  • Educational toys or games
  • Point-based reward system
  • Scholarship sweepstake contest
  • Dining with their teacher / Meal vouchers
  • Participate in a Raffle for a Digital Gift Card
  • Membership to Prodigy or other Educational Site
  • Online training or academic course vouchers (e.g: Drawing / art classes, music classes)

3. Learning rewards for teachers or trainers

As we speak about intrinsic rewards like the sheer pleasure of learning, self-development, professional and personal growth, we all like tangible rewards. And teachers or trainers are no exception. Reward your teachers for all the excellent work they are doing. After all, they are humans who need that ‘energy and motivation’ to get more things done from others.

  • Fuel gift cards
  • Amazon gift cards
  • $50 charity voucher
  • Dine at a luxury hotel
  • Grocery gift cards
  • Subscription to online tools
  • Trip to a world heritage site
  • Virtual prepaid cards ($50 loaded)
  • Online course completion certificates
  • Subscription to health & wellness programs
  • Subscription to study materials / emagazines
  • Subscription to online teacher training programs
sending personalized digiftal gifts for learners

How to Create a Successful Learning Incentives Program

Rewards and incentive programs are some of the most flexible tools, which organizations and institutions can leverage to accomplish various business goals. Right incentives can help drive learner engagement, build loyalty, and develop great relationships.

The beauty of using rewards and incentives in your training programs is its flexibility. Getting a little creative and leveraging the right rewards tool can help bring good outcomes.

Here is a step-by-step process to help you create a successful learner incentive program for your business:

  • Outline the goals of your learning program: Identify what goals/objectives need to be achieved. For example higher course completion rates, enhanced learning engagement, healthy competition, improved attendance, increased ROI, etc. The objectives should be specific, simple, and obtainable. Communicate the objectives to all the participants.
  • Set the budget: Structure the budget for your learning incentives. Keep the ROI in mind while doing this. Don't bite off more than what you can chew. Every organization has budget limitations, so make sure to allocate the budget to make the most significant impact. Consider the multiple levels of investments between various reward types.
  • Understand the reward preferences of your learners: Most organizations view the participants as a single uniform entity, presuming what can be the best reward offerings for them. They never ask—what their learning participants want as rewards and how they want it. Assumptions or guessing games don’t work. Segment your participants and identify what type of rewards will have the strongest influence in helping you accomplish your learning goals.
  • Choose meaningful rewards: Based on your budget, learning goals, and participants’ preferences, choose rewards and incentives that make the most sense. Given that people are much more learned and evolved now, digital gifts have been extremely popular. They are far more convenient and hassle-free to use. Some options include e-gift cards, software subscriptions, travel incentives, virtual prepaid cards, etc. Rewards must be relevant to your participants while aligning them with your goals.
  • Measure your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators): Outline the metrics you need to track—before, during, and after— incentivizing your learning program. This helps you track your goals.
  • Choose a good rewards program provider: Every business has different goals and challenges. More than that, it has to influence various behaviors to accomplish different goals. That’s why the rewards program requires the right selection of features and tools to meet the needs. Choose a rewards and incentives platform that has these features in place: security & compliance, the potential to engage your learners, an extensive catalog of reward options, the ability to send gifts across geographies, automatic currency conversions, options to streamline your program administration, and features to help your business scale.
  • Analyze and improve the performance: Take some time to review the results. Pay attention to what worked, what did not, and what needs to be improved to produce enhanced results. Then, restructure the rules you have set for your reward payouts to incentivize different behaviors rightly.

How Leveraging LMS Integrations can Save Time and Streamline Your Business Operations

Seamless integrations.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

It is a term you must have heard hundreds of times during your hunt for a potential LMS (Learning Management System). It is something developers strive for, and instructional designers & training managers yearn for.

While doing a surface-level analysis on good LMS platforms, integrations must always be at the forefront of the discussions. Choosing an LMS, which fails to give you the flexibility to integrate with your tools seamlessly, will only leave you wanting for more (and regrets too).

Let’s say you have an LMS in place but lacks the feature of adding rewards or incentivizing the learners whenever they complete a course task. Or, let’s say, you would want to integrate your LMS with your CMS.

Of course, you can ask the provider to have that developed for you, but it's super complicated, time-consuming, and most importantly, extremely expensive. And that’s precisely where the role of LMS integrations comes into play.

They are the ultimate solution to maximize the potential of your LMS or any element of your online course platform. Think of it like a well-oiled machine that works tirelessly in achieving your business goals without complaining.

Importance of LMS integrations

  • 👨‍💻 An LMS integration gives your business the flexibility to seamlessly synchronize and work with your learning management system.
  • 💻 In simple words, if your LMS fails to or is incapable of integrating with third-party APIs, your business misses out on infinite opportunities to enhance and scale the operations.
  • 📊 With the help of LMS integrations, you share valuable data across third-party platforms, which gives you better insights on user behavior, the effectiveness of the training courses, marketing efforts, etc.
  • ⏳Integrations save not only time but also business costs. When utilized rightly, LMS integrations ensure informed business decisions.

With that said, let’s explore how LMS integrations can fuel your corporate training programs and eLearning programs in making the most for your business.

The hidden potential of API integrations

An API (or Application Programming Interface) lets you connect a third-party application to your Learning Management System to share and synchronize information.

Knowingly or unknowingly, we all have interacted with APIs in our day-to-day lives. For example, Netflix has special APIs in place to distribute content. Similarly, travel booking sites leverage APIs to provide the best hotel deals to its customers.

Also, fintech companies use APIs to process payments and authenticate bank account information. Every business is using it. Just that it happens in the back-end and our naked eyes can’t see it.

If you have already linked Google Analytics with your LMS—congratulations, you have used an API integration yourself! The idea is simple. API integrations give developers the authority to interact with your valuable data in exchange for leveraging their software.

Benefits of API integrations:

  • Time-saving: You can pull data from an LMS to a third-party application and vice-versa. Thus, eliminating the need to create things manually, which in turn, saves your time.
  • Easy reporting: With powerful integrations in place, you will be able to auto-generate detailed reports in no time.
  • Advanced automations: Whether you want to enroll a new employee in your corporate training program or enroll an existing employee to an upgraded training program based on his/her recent performance, APIs can make that happen.
Xoxoday APIs Suite

Tips to Remember When Incorporating Rewards & Incentives into Your Learning Programs

Though it is crucial, learning programs can be cumbersome and overwhelming for every party involved.

A client of ours recently described the major challenges his company faces when getting their employees engaged in corporate training. So when asked about what it is that his employees wanted? Why do they sulk so much when they are asked to participate in corporate training programs?

We got our answers. He said that the moment there’s a training program organized in the business, they get a couple of questions from their employees.

  • 🤔 When will I complete my tasks if I spend my time in training?
  • 🤔 How will I be benefitted from this training program?
  • 🤔 What will I get in return if I complete this training program?

This dilemma is common in highly-regulated industries where training programs are quite frequent and necessary at the same time.

One of the most challenging obstacles for any organization is neither designing training programs nor getting the executives to buy in but rather is to get learners to participate.

In today's hectic world, the approach of "Just do it" doesn’t work.

Be it students, employees, or any learner, you need that little ‘push’ or extra ‘nudge’ to get them to participate in the learning programs.

That ‘push’ or ‘nudge’ here is ‘rewards and incentives.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating training incentives for your learners.

  • 📕 Tip #1: Demonstrate the importance of the learning program: Often, the association between a learner’s goals and the training requirements isn’t clear. This disconnect occurs due to compliance needs—there are too many regulations—which require the learning program to cover various improbable situations. This seems far removed from everyday work, but it is the job of a department leader to connect the dots and make things smooth for the learners.
  • 🏆 Tip #2: Embrace healthy competition via gamified learning: Most learning platforms provide rewards programs to foster healthy competition amongst peers. Badges and leaderboards that were once the hallmark of video games have now made their way to gamified learning programs—bringing joy for different accomplishments. For example, whenever a learner completes a particular course or attains a specific level, they can show a badge on their profile to brag about the achievement. When others see this, the competition naturally fuels, which helps get more work done.
  • 🎁 Tip #3: Be picky about the courses and rewards to boost ROI: They say, if everything is important, then nothing is! So remember this when you think of incorporating rewards in your learning or training programs. While the idea is to motivate your learners to participate in the training programs through rewards, you can't overlook your business ROI. Play it smart. Link more rewards to courses that will boost the most ROI for your business. Any learning program bases its idea on improving the skills or behaviors of the learners to attain certain business goals. Have a new product to be launched soon that your sales team must understand? Then that product training must become the target for an attractive reward or incentive.
  • 🤑 Tip #4: Utilize incentive bursts: Fail but fail fast. If you observe that your learning programs are not cutting the needed ‘interest’ amongst learners, then change your strategy to training incentives. Choose one-course topic a month, incorporate the prize money or reward, promote it in various places where your learners are active, track the course completion rates, measure the outcome, and publicly reward the participants.
  • 💁 Tip #5: Create learning opportunities: Training programs should never be perceived as chores—instead, they must be seen as an opportunity to learn something valuable and new. For example, if certain parts of your corporate training program are voluntary, offer participants a chance to attend a popular conference that’s relevant to the training subject. Most learners will surely be motivated to win the reward prize and also gain new growth opportunities and responsibilities.

Conclusion

Get ready to start your gamification adventure because there’s no better time than now. Move out of the ordinary, and have better gamification strategies in place, to turn your boring L&D programs, training courses, lessons, and even LMS for that matter into a space that’s exciting, engaging, and fun for your learners. Driver learners’ engagement and upgrades their performance to accomplish your business goals faster.

Learn earn and thrive

Everyone gets more done with Rewards & Incentives.

Leverage Xoxday Plum the digital rewards & incentives platform to scale your business. Make the gratification experience delightful for end users.

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Neha Surana

Neha Surana

I help businesses in spreading delight to their customers at Xoxoday. When I’m not working as a content manager, I love doodling, painting, and cooking.