|Innovative instructional courses in university-level distance learning are key to improving the quality of education, due to their great ability to facilitate higher education to students with mobility limitations or problems in reconciling their professional and academic activity. However, university distance education presents a great challenge: students often feel lost, have issues with the technology, and experience lack of engagement. All these factors, among others, can result in increased dropout rates or lack of understanding and commitment. This is the context that provides the framework for the project we set out here, and whose goal is to design and analyse a gamification model for university-level distance learning, where game choice is based on skill type and the learning objectives to be attained. Using gamification does not guarantee success, as the results in terms of dropout and interaction will depend on how it is undertaken. We addressed this question via an exhaustive prior analysis, which guided the subsequent experimental design, and has allowed us to assess, through analysis of real experiments which reveal the lessons learned, its effectiveness in different areas of study and types of subject The method followed in our model is based on the application of gamification techniques in 4 subjects from different fields of knowledge. The total sample was made up of 150 students and the results were compared with those obtained in the previous course without applying the model. This gives interesting results with respect to aspects that might be linked to encouraging interactivity or permanence in distance university students, such as an increase in interaction with students in the classroom, and training resources, a decrease in the dropout rate, an increase in the number of passes, and developmental achievement in creative problems. It thereby satisfies the goals set out for the research and offers the first clues as to how to continue work on the most important points.