Gamification in Totara
  • 19 Oct 2022
  • 2 minutes to read

Gamification in Totara

Article Summary

What is gamification?

Gamification is about using elements of game design to motivate and engage your users, encouraging them to keep up to date with their training.

In practice, this means setting challenges related to or built into training, with some form of reward for completing the challenge. These challenges could be related to:

  • Achievement: The most familiar form of gamification in learning is achievement. This could be encouraging users to beat a high score (their own or other users'), or providing rewards or recognition for achieving a perfect score on an assignment.
  • Engagement: You can also set engagement challenges, such as number of logins, number of courses completed, or resources shared. Consider how popular learning apps use daily streaks to keep users motivated.
  • Participation: You may want to reward your site's most helpful users, providing recognition for users who regularly post useful resources, participate in discussions, or run successful workspaces.
  • Exploration: Fun surprises and bonus content hidden across your site can incentivise your users to really get to grips with the site, or provide extra unlockable content.

Here we have outlined a few gamification techniques you can employ using features in the Totara Talent Experience Platform, but you can use Totara's features in any number of creative combinations to engage your users.


Leaderboards display the highest scores for a game or activity, typically with users' names displayed so users can challenge their peers and be recognised for their achievements.

One way to achieve this in Totara Learn is using the Activity results block. For example, you can add this block to a course page and configure it to display the top ten scores from a quiz activity in the course. This could incentivise other users to attempt (or reattempt) the quiz to beat their previous score and potentially make it into the top ten.

Certificates and badges

One important part of gamification is providing meaningful rewards to your users. This could be awarding badges for completing a challenge (e.g. a specific score on an activity, or for adding five resources to a playlist), which users could then choose to display in a connected backpack. For more meaningful achievements you may want to create and award certificates for users to display or share.

For example, you could use the engagement reports to identify users running successful workspaces, users creating high-value resources, or the most active resource and playlist creators. You could award these users a site-level badge to reward their contributions and give them a unique badge to display on their profile.

Hidden content

Providing high achievers or enthusiastic participants with additional bonus content can provide a sense of exclusivity and pride. For example, you could hide additional course content using orphaned activities, then provide the link to these activities in quiz feedback or in restricted access content.

Alternatively you could run a private/hidden workspace and add users via an audience, which could be a dynamic audience set up using rules for whichever achievements you want, or a set audience if you want to manually select users.

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