Three.  It is the magic number.  Well, actually, probably it isn’t, but let’s roll with it.

As with anything that involves rankings there will be conjecture on this or whether it really belongs with that.

Most of all, folks will wonder why there system isn’t in my top three.  Or they will wonder what they can do it be in the top three of whatever the topic happens to be.

Simply speaking, make it better.  If your system has social, improve it to go beyond what everyone else is doing.

  If your system has a level of gamification, just don’t stop at having a leader board, points, rankings and badges. 

That was so yesteryear.   You must adapt, you must enhance and frankly, you must change.

With that said, here are the top three (which BTW, will be presented in my report coming out Jan. 22nd, and which provides even greater details and insight on each of these platforms, along with other rankings, etc.)

#3  Spoke by Unboxed Technology

First and foremost this is a system that might not be for everyone.  Okay, it is quite unique and might not be for everyone.  But, I like it, because it goes about learning with a different approach and flair.

Is it an LMS? The answer is yes, but it achieves it within the learning platform approach, which as I have noted before, is just another niche within the LMS world.

Gamification Features

  • Levels –  Once a learner achieves whatever is expected of them, they go up a level.  One of the cool pieces is that, the levels just as the system itself is fresh with a slick UI.  As a learner, I would want to zip into the system.  
  • Leader board, rankings – Everyone has it, and their system does to.
  • Badges – To get them, you have to unlock certain learning components, which means complete them (more on that in a sec.)
  • Reward Center using virtual wallet
  • Coins –  Another way and take on the points piece, and honestly, I love it.  Here is its approach

Each course or content or whatever you have in the system is assigned coins (the administrator sets this up ahead of time).  When the learner completes whatever task or learning piece, they get the coins. 

As they accrue the coins, they can turn them to get gifts.  In other words, a reward center.

The client (i.e. the company whose learners are in the system) has set aside within a virtual wallet, funds that are disbursed towards these items.

For example, the learner has 100 coins.  They go into the “virtual center”, and check out what they can turn the coins into.  At 50 coins it is some swag from the company (like a coffee cup).

At 500 coins, they can get a Fitbit (again, the funds have already been set aside by the company (not the LMS vendor) and the company has selected what items are available for purchase using those coins).

So the learner doesn’t have enough coins.  But let’s say, they have 500 coins and they want the Fitbit. 

Here is where it gets really cool. 

They select the Fitbit, fill out their address (whever they want it sent) and click send (or whatever you pick as the go button).  

Now, the order is automatically sent to wherever and filled and sent to the learner at a later point (depending on shipping date).

No more having the company, order these items. 

BTW, with the levels you set up, I should note, that you can create clever titles, like “Ninja”.

Bonus items

  • Works nicely on mobile devices
  • Social strong (it’s in my top three rankings for 2016)
  • Fun to use, admin side easy to figure out
  • Streamlined system
  • Works well with employees and customers, albeit I see it stronger on the employee side

One minus

  • Learning must be completed to get the coins.  Defeats the purpose of WBT, which is designed to allow the learner to go wherever they want in a course or content and focus on the areas of learning, following non-linear.  They may complete it or not.

Spoke by the way is not the only system that does the “you must complete” angle.  If the administrator wants to set it up that way fine, but if not, allow them to do so. 

#2  Axonify

Should this surprise you? 

First off, you can’t judge a web site by the product, because well, the web site stinks.  Reaks of uber professionalism and not “hello, I’m a fun LMS”.

Anyway, they follow the approach of micro bursts of learning (which everyone should utilize in their building of learning).


  • Learning games upon entering the system.  Listen this isn’t going to be even Colecovision games, but it’s a nice start
  • Reward Center – Notice a cool trend here with these platforms?
  • Competitions – Allowing learners to compete say, “complete these three items” angle.  But anything can be utilized in the competition.
  • Leader board, points – On the point side this is the approach towards accrue to get those rewards.  People can also bid on the “prizes”.
  • See where they rank compared to their compadres

Bonus items

  • Content curation utilizing some gamified components
  • Works and looks sharp on all types of mobile devices
  • Streamlined and slick UI
  • Solid for both employees and customers

#1  Growth Engineering

I will say it.  They have the best and frankly the strongest gamification LMS on the market.  Not only that, but this is a full blown and strong LMS with extensive feature sets and capabilities.

There is a reason they are #2 Top LMS for 2016 and it isn’t just because of gamification.

If you are open, heck into gamification, this is the system for you.  If you are not into gamification, then honestly none of the systems presented are for you.

But let’s say you are into gamification.  Well, if you want the best, here it is.


  • Gamified system – everything is tied to gamification (the administrator decides what and how points, etc. are assigned and to what)
  • Genie – authoring tool that comes with the system offers gamification points, badges, games to the folks building the courses.  I’ve honestly never seen that with any authoring tool – you know, rewarding the folks who build the courses.
  • Learning games in the system – Some are fun, some are the usual – climb the mountain learning journey.  Growth constantly adds new games.  As I recall, I think they have eight so far and continue to add.
  • Points, Leaderboard, rankings – The standards
  • Virtual wallet and reward center – Hey, do you notice the trend now?  Hint, hint – virtual wallet, reward center for learners (just in case you haven’t figured it out yet)

Bonus items

  • Administration side uses icons and is easy to figure out
  • Learners will want to use the system – it’s fun and well, it’s fun.. so deal with that
  • Ask an expert feature in the platform – can tie points to that as well
  • Very cool UI
  • Full blown system – many folks might think, “well it is just gamification” as if that is a minus.  Sorry, people, this is a very strong system.
  • Works well on any mobile device

Bottom Line

Applause. Applause.  Congrats to the top three gamification LMSs for 2016.  Were their others that were sweet and solid, oh yes, yes there were.

Gamification, for one has become a standard in the industry.  Yet there are systems who are holding back or are lacking the next tier of components.

And that is why, there will always be winners who “get it”.

They see the trends and in some cases, lead those trends.

We don’t need a leader board or rankings to figure that out.

We need ingenuity, adaptability, creativity and the willingness to risk it all.

And either succeed or fail.

But at least try.

To earn points that will work for your learners, wherever they are and whomever they are.

It’s not a race.

It’s a journey. 

Your journey.

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