21 Gamification Ideas To Engage Students In An Online Course

Most course creators forget to pay attention to one of the most important aspects of running a successful online course – student engagement.


Research shows that online course completion rates are at a 15%, which is ridiculously low, given the number of students enrolling in all kinds of online courses, and the impact that these courses can have on the students’ lives.


There are several ways to help you students with course completion and increased engagement.


  • Micro-learning ( all videos less than 10 minutes)

Given the reduced attention span, and influx of content, using micro-learning as a way of creating courses is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your students go through the modules and successfully complete the course.


Micro-learning means creating shorter videos, 15 minutes max, to encourage shorter bursts of learning and helping implement as they learn.


  • On-boarding emails


Another great way to ensure accountability is by creating an email onboarding sequence 7-12 days long, helping students get accustomed to the course and ease their way around the modules.


  • Accountability in community


You can create a Facebook community or a Slack/ Telegram group to keep your students accountable, hold office hours, as well as answer any questions that come up.


You can hire a community manager to streamline your community management.


  • Give them next steps


Knowing what to do next can be really helpful for students to get past the overwhelm of taking an online course.


Given them a path to follow can help in improving course completion rates as well as student engagement


  • Templates/ Supplemental material


Supplemental material in the form of templates, swipe files, checklists and workbooks are useful to help students stay on track and successfully complete the course


  • Celebrating wins


Celebrating wins by offering discounts on other products, offering bonuses or unlocking modules can motivate students to keep moving through the course and successfully complete it.


Here are some gamification ideas to add to your online course to help improve student engagement and course completion.


  1. On-boarding challenge

  2. Welcome Gift

  3. Accountability Buddy

You can create an accountability pod as part of your course where students can collaborate with each other and become accountability buddies.


     4. Starter Kit

     5. Course Map

    6. Monthly Leaderboards

A leaderboard is a great way to get your students motivated.

You can assign points for different lessons completed and at the end of the month, you can create a leaderboard with all the points.

I have used leaderboards extensively for launching my online courses using free 5-day challenges.

The tool I use is called rise.global

The tool is not great looking but it is free and gets the job done.


    7. Treasure Hunt

    8. Introduction Party

You can run a bi-weekly introduction party on Zoom where all new students can get to know each other. Bonding with each other can really help students to get motivated and become more engaged in the community.


     9. Virtual Bingo

    10. Module Assessment Quiz

    11. Unlocking Bonuses

    12. Personalized messages

    13. Completion Certificates

    14. Themed Zoom Parties

    15. Badges

    16. Monthly Highlights

    17. Summary

    18. Be My Mentor

    19. Let’s Work Together

    20. Crowdsourcing ideas

    21. Your turn to go live


Have you implemented any gamification ideas for your online course?


Let us know in the comments.


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