How We Gamified a Christmas Pudding Challenge (5 Strategies)

Were you one of the 572 participants who played our pudding challenge at Christmas? A punny concoction for some light-hearted festive fun, it used personalization, branching, and rules to build bespoke scoring algorithms. It also threw in some social learning and peer-to-peer comparisons.

elearning-gamification-pudding (1)

Using Elucidat’s all-in-one authoring platform, our very own Debbie Hill and Kirstie Greany share just what really went into that pudding and offer suggestions on how you can put the same magic into your less pudding-y learning.

3 hours, 58 minutes.

That is how much time we spent actually authoring the game, in Elucidat. How do we know? Our Analytics reports show us.

We can see how many people played (572) the pudding challenge and where they were – mostly in the UK and US, if you’re interested, with a sprinkling in India and Australia – and that most people played it on their desktop device.


Were you in the 51% who passed with flying colors?

The question that received the most correct answers was ‘How long will you cook it for?’ On average, it was the question about ingredients that stumped the most people.


That’s what we know about those who played the game. But what can we tell you about how we made it?

How It All Began

Alas, the local train strikes prevented us from being together. But, hey, that obviously didn’t stop us from collaborating and creating the game in a day, especially when Elucidat is set up for this very type of working.

We kicked off by contributing some ideas in a shared Google doc, starting with bad puns and working back from there – that’s what everyone does, right?

03_google doc

Then, we started building it out. Debbie set out all the screens, using Layout Designer for that extra level of freedom and creativity.

04_elearning_gamification_page layout

Then the content came together within Elucidat, with Kirstie leading on the copy and Debbie on the visuals, interface, and nifty Elucidat trickery.

5 Key Techniques We Used And How You Can Use Them, Too!

1: Pull With a Poll


We used a quick poll question upfront that captured each player’s favorite type of pudding.

Last time we checked, chocolate log was still in the lead. The results are live, so the leader changes all the time.

How can you use this approach?

Well, now we know, in case we play pudding trivia.  On a more serious note, leading with social polls is incredibly powerful in digital learning experiences. This technique can surprise and incentivize in equal measure.  It can also create a comfort zone for players. For example, if a player sees that she wasn’t ‘alone’ in picking the chocolate log, she will feel safety in numbers, because others also think the same as her.

Then they are asked to re-think their ways. See this fantastic example from the Open University, created in Elucidat:

06_Finding the truth

2. Personalize The Results

The final page does a few clever things.  It gives players a final score, replays their specific answers and compares them others’ responses, and shows an image of their customized pudding.

How did we present the pudding created by learners at the end?  Using branching!

The pudding players see at the end matches each player’s chosen decoration method. So, if they chose to decorate it with the Queen’s face – that’s what they see at the end!


We simply duplicated the final screen and created four versions – one for each pudding image. Then, using the Rules function, we told Elucidat where to send players depending on how they answered each question.


How can you use this approach?

Branching and Linking to different pages isn’t rocket science- but you can use it to create fully-tailored learning experiences that adapt to what learners do and how they answer questions at any stage. Looking beyond puddings – why not use branching and Rules to profile a learner and gauge what kind of learning materials they need?

This quick proof of concept shows how you can use questions to filter content so that learners only see the topics that apply to them. (You can read more in this article on How You Can Easily Personalize Your Elearning And Create Modern, Targeted Content.)


3. Ramp Up The Challenge Element With A Timer

Wouldn’t it be great if we had all the time in the world to complete our daily tasks?  As we all know, this is very rarely the case. In Elucidat, you can set up timed assessments that echo real-life scenarios and really turn up the heat on your learners.

We set up our pudding challenge with a three-minute time limit – you can’t spend all day in the kitchen!

10_gamification_time limit

If the time limit in our game was breached, the player was automatically redirected to a custom summary page which gave them some general feedback and an opportunity to try the challenge again.

11_time limit summary

How can you use this approach?

Timers and scores aren’t just for quick-fire knowledge quizzes. Elucidat enables you to set up sophisticated and multi-faceted methods for scoring that create holistic and cohesive learning experiences.

Why not set up an immersive challenge as a day-in-the-life of a manager, sales rep, or coach, and score learners against multiple factors, in different ways? You can set up different Rules to define what is scored/where learners go next and define specific weights for each score. Players don’t necessarily have to get questions ‘right’ or ‘wrong,’ and you can configure Rules and Time Limits to target grayer areas of learning.

For example, if a learner doesn’t complete a scenario challenge within a time limit or answers a question incorrectly, this might mean they are struggling, and you can use Rules to branch them to further detailed learning content.


4. Replay and Compare How You Performed

A nifty little personalization technique: we recapped how players answered each question and showed them how many others answered in the same way.


By showing these comparison in a column next to some fast facts, the game also links players’ progress with further learning, even if it’s just some pudding trivia.

How do these scores and comparisons appear? Elucidat captures any answer players provide, and, because it’s cloud-based, can then show that answer it at any point. As the creator, you can choose where to re-play it and drop it in via Graphs/Reports, just as we did with the final score.

To show comparative facts, you simply opt to show that Report too:


How can you use this approach?

Just like the upfront poll, this is competitive, social e-learning in action. Since a lot of learning is about exploring the gray areas, rather than just black and white answers, this approach is a great way to bring out opinions around softer, behavioral, moralistic, or controversial subject matters.

Imagine the power in online leadership training of seeing how your opinions or chosen actions in a scenario compare to others’ choices, and even to have these compared with an expert’s views. Or perhaps you’d like to gauge your moral compass, like this Open University ethics game created in Elucidat:

15_to lie

5. Hilarious Puns

You may be glad to know that none of the bad jokes come as part of Elucidat’s offerings. But – lucky for you! – Debbie and I are always happy to oblige.  In fact, I’m sure anyone on the Elucidat team could help, looking at our Slack thread. Just set up a call.


Final Thoughts

So, there you have it: some of the gamified ingredients that went into our pudding concoction. We hope it’s given you food for thought for your own projects.


Want to learn more? Read these articles:

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