How to gamify online learning with training badges


Whether you’re trying to motivate more learners to take mandatory training, improve participation in elective training, or just make your online learning and development program more engaging, digital training badges can be the perfect solution. 

Training badges are distinct icons that a learner can collect when they unlock a specific achievement. That could be completing a module (or set of modules), achieving a certain score, attaining proficiency in a subject, or any other accomplishment you can imagine.

Learners can collect digital badges in their LMS dashboard, display them in their work profiles, or even share them on social media. Digital badges serve as a reminder of how much an employee has accomplished on their learning journey, as well as signifying which skills they have developed — which can be useful for managers to see. 

Here are some ways to gamify your online learning program with training badges.

Create digital signposts

While badges can certainly be used as a form of micro-credentialing to signify an overall completion of training, they also make fantastic signposts to point people along the learning pathway. Essentially, digital badges become carrots that help the learner keep momentum. Break up longer training into sections, and award a badge at each milestone to encourage learners to take the next step on a longer journey.

Turn it a contest

Making a contest out of collecting digital badges can be a great way to socially motivate employees to learn. For example, you could award a special badge to the employee who completes the most modules in a given time period, or for the employee who’s had the most significant level of improvement. 

Help build streaks

When employees are continuously learning, they are more nimble, more creative, and better equipped to tackle challenges. Offering a special training badge for employees who complete training modules a number of days in a row help build a habit of learning.

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

Babe Ruth

Get learners outside their comfort zone

If your goal is to encourage more employees to upskill themselves or cross-train for other roles, you can create digital badges to reward employees who take training outside of their department. This gamifies voluntary training and helps keep your workforce expanding their horizons. 

Encourage knowledge-sharing and collaboration

If you are using a forum or messaging chat with your online training, digital badges can be a great way to encourage participation. Offer a badge to the person with the most forum posts, or offer incremental badges every time a person hits a certain number of posts, or answers a certain number of questions. 

With a bit of creativity, you can find any number of ways to use digital badges to gamify your online learning program. 

However, you choose to use digital badges, make sure that you’re rewarding the behaviours you want to develop in your employees. Especially when using badges as part of a contest, be sure to motivate employees to work towards relevant training rather than just completing modules in order to win. 

Get in touch to learn how Opigno LMS can help you deliver engaging online training to your organization.


Author: Adam Kennedy-Ripon

Design: Simon Contreras