One neat setup pioneered by teacher Dr MaryAnne Ramirez is what we call the Essential/Explore model. Dr Ramirez wanted her students to explore content freely within a level, but she also wanted to make sure they got a briefing first before they hit the main content stream. As such, Dr Ramirez split each level into two; an essential first part and an exploratory second part.
In the Essential part of the class, just a single learning object would exist at the level. Students had to earn the view points from this level in order to proceed. There were often no points available for commenting; this was purely a briefing exercise. Once they had viewed the Essential content, they would automatically level-up (no gate required) and be presented with the next level. Here they would be free to Explore lots more content; usually between 5 and 10 objects which all related to the briefing content seen before.
This pattern repeated throughout the experience; each objective being split over two levels. This approach allows participants to go deeper at their own pace. If they need to Explore all the additional content on offer, they can. Otherwise they can take a few choice pieces to interact heavily on, earn their points, and level up. You don’t need to prescribe the whole path, just scaffold the way forward.