Student engagement is an important component of every learning process. Platforms offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other online learning formats are looking for new ways to improve participation. One approach to foster greater user engagement that has recently risen to prominence in many fields is gamification. In this explorative study, we examine the motivational potential of gamification in online learning. After a review of the dynamic academic debates surrounding this relatively young field, we also try to shed some light on how practitioners are approaching gamification. Through an in-depth analysis of four platforms, we provide a survey of how experts are thinking about the design and implementation of gamification in online learning environments.