https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shawnrad

Flashcard A/B Test Results

A tremendous thank you to everyone who has been using flashcards on Duolingo! After months of experimenting with several designs, we think we've gathered some great information on how flashcards have helped our members refresh their vocabulary and improve their fluency.

And guess what? Members who used our traditional design, which shows you a mix of your weakest vocabulary words, went on to become the most active and fluent of all our flashcard users. And while we're very proud of the design and popularity of some of our later iterations, we're committed to providing the best Duolingo experience for reaching your language learning goals. For this reason, we will be discontinuing our latest designs in favor of our traditional flashcards. If you had been using flashcards, you can now find them by browsing to the "Words" tab of the website. If your language currently doesn't support flashcards, this means we are still working on improving the amount of vocabulary available to practice.

We'll continue to use the results and feedback from this experiment and others to improve Duolingo. Have a particular story you'd like to share about this experiment or flashcards in general? Leave it in the comments below!

Happy learning!

September 3, 2015

83 Comments

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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/voxlashon

Please could you trial a type of flashcard that you have to type the answer in, rather than select yourself whether you got it right or wrong.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brigcampbell

Flash cards are so fundamentally easy to implement and would be much more valuable with a little more thought. Typing in the correct answer will reinforce the word and eliminate cheating which you KNOW goes on with flash cards now. If you can't type it then you don't know it and you're certainly not "fluent" regarding that word.

And the app needs flash cards. What percentage of people primarily use the app? I would think it should be the focus for development, not an after thought.

But hey, what do I know....

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/voxlashon

I completely agree with you. The ability to cheat with flashcards (even inadvertantly—who hasn't ever been accidentally too lenient with themselves using flaschards) spoils the system somewhat.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RumoCrytuf

As much as I agree with the trialing flashcards where you type, some of us cough Me cough are terrible with spelling these words. I would think to have multiple choice as an option as well.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/voxlashon

Ha!

That was the case for me... but there was a point where my spelling in German and Spanish seemed to click in and I started intuitively understanding how to spell words correctly.

Irish however... !!!!

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fay306893

I am just a terrible typist in general. In the normal exercises, I get a lot of wrong answers because of typos. I think it accepts some of them as correct but others I mess up in a way it flags as wrong, One trouble I have when Spanish - thins like - starting to type "yo" but my fingers take over an type "you" that is always flagged as wrong. :(

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Thing is, if people cheat using the flashcards, they're only actually cheating themselves. More fool them, to be honest.

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FLchick

That's not the way "old time" Flashcards work; the answer is always on the back! How a person answers whether they know it is between them and their conscience, IMO.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/t0panka

Well people learning German probably aren't using flashcards from obvious reasons - i guess there are more languages that are missing something in flashcards so your data is well not complete :)

BTW is it that hard to implement full german words? Curious about this

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnjaMostertman

I think that will not happen, you should try out the Memrise course made by DuoLingo-learners: http://www.memrise.com/course/335725/comprehensive-german-duolingo-vocabulary/

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/t0panka

Yeah i am doing that too but Duolingo need to fix this feature because now people learning german using also flashcards are learning wrong

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

"wrong"? Or incomplete/could have more info (like gender)?
If there are things wrong, if there are mistakes, reporting it to a course contributor (or staff) could be useful.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/t0panka

:) sorry for my english i meant those genders. It is already enough that one english word means 23984 german words since english is REALLY simple language and top of that you don't have genders which are (at least in german) really important

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/reject86

I didn't know about that, thanks for the link!

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrickNightshade

Boo....Hiss! Just saw the 'improvement' when I decided to dedicate part of my Saturday to reviewing Spanish. Hasn't helped motivate me to spend that time now because I wanted to use flashcards to drill certain groups of words. One word comes to mind--Ick! Instead of more control over what and how I am learning, you just gave me less. Sound like a step backward? That's because it is. Let us pick a set of words from the words list and build a custom deck. I know you are all geniuses, but I think I might just have a better idea of what I am struggling with, and I bet not everyone has the exact same set of problem words I do...has something to do with being individuals, not automatons, I guess....hmmmm. I personally don't care for doing verbs in flash cards, so I would like to pick what I need to review and drill that. When there is a choice between flexibility and 'simplicity', I lean toward flexibility. Bet I am not the only one.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gluehbirneee

Thank you so much for keeping us updated on what's going on now! :)

Seeing you progressing in that way (communicating with the community) is nearly better than the update itself! ;) (The update is great too, it's just that I find the lack of communication with the community a really serious issue.)

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chirelchirel

I would really like to see the flashcards limited to words that are actually translatable, and that words with multiple meanings would have at least the most important ones listed on the cards. Or if these are not possible, then I'd like the option to delete cards I don't find useful for me. Here's more about what I mean https://www.duolingo.com/comment/10336944$comment_id=10337738

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/med-ben

Still not available in English to Esperanto

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jruota

Something that I'd really love to see, would be an option, where I could choose a single word. After making my selection, I would be presented with all the sentences in the Duolingo database that contain that specific word. So instead of learning topic-themed skills, I could learn word-themed skills. That would allow not only for learning a new word, but at the same time a lot of use cases for that word.

Obviously this feature could be widened so that one can select a couple of words.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elizabeth261736

I have a request, I would like to be able to see a skill that a word is in without having to click on that word. My concern is that clicking on that word makes you think that I don't know the word. I just want to know the skill as I often know what the word means even if it only has one bar.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jade.iya

I've noticed that the flashcards will have adjective endings (ex. guter) or conjugated verbs (ex. stellt). Also it would be nice if the flashcards for the nouns included the gender articles. Also some of the translations are just odd ex: it will show "the" I will think, "der, die, das" and the answer will be "ins". Because of this, I don't really like the flashcards. This is for the German from English course.

September 4, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ed5571

Please bring back the flash cards for every skill back.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/soytommy

Thanks for the flashcard option!

It would be great if you would get the words in the language that you already know and then have to translate them in the new language that you are learning. I think this way flashcards are much more profitable. Like it is now you rather train your passive vocabulary skills than the active.

(also if you get a verb in certain conjugation it would be great if the other site of the card with the translated conjugation would always show the infinite form of the verb too.)

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SFH123

Shawnrad, thank you, and thank you all at Duolingo for a great free software service. If flashcards are not in the mix anymore, there is no doubt a good reason for it. Keep doing the incredible job you are doing on the core service. I love it not only for it's overall aid in learning a language, but it is also very well organized and simple to use (and for that matter, great service on both desktop and mobile platform).

Gracias!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NimaGolkar

It will be better to have both of them, previous one and new tab, and let me have a suggestion, it will be very useful to add pronunciation

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StubbsTEFL

I like the flashcards, but when there are ambiguities or multiple words with exactly the same meaning in either L1 or L2, they become frustrating. For example: in Spanish, the English might say "you" but only one answer is on the Spanish side. But it would be better if "tú", "usted," and "ustedes" were given. Again, when there are feminine and masculine versions of the word, one can only guess which one is required. Also, words like "rueda" means "wheel", but it can also refer to a "ring." I'm certain that similar confusion exists in other languages. It is also important to learn gender, bare nouns are almost useless. Verb that are conjugated need some sort of hint: are you asking for the infinitive, which person? what tense? etc. I'm not quite sure how to resolve this, except, perhaps by including them all. Would you please consider this when you revise the flashcards?

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidBallantine

Wow, I really miss the flashcards already there with the content I'm working on. Please put them back. When you go to words there is a disconnect with the specific lesson you are working on. It is much more automatic and learners are more likely to engage in two modes of learning. This is a far superior way to learn. Grammar and vocabulary are more intrinsically linked. It would be more beneficial to my students. Thanks for building it into your system. You guys are awesome.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephMPotter

Please bring the flashcards back! It was a great way to review skills and keep the trees golden for those of us who are learning multiple languages and don't have time to type out a bunch of words and sentences every day (the decay rate is way too fast to keep up with the tree I am working on, and I can't spend all day on Duolingo to keep all my trees golden). I am currently finishing up my German skill tree, but I like to review my other languages as well.

Some people were concerned about "cheating" with the flashcards, but seeing as you get no experience points or lingots for going through the deck, I don't think it matters all that much. You're still reviewing the words. ;)

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iamibrahimahmed

Want the flashcards for every skill back! They were great!

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UltraG

Yeah I really miss that too, the reverse cards are a lot better for remembering vocabulary.

September 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deco1988

I couldn't agree more! Flashcards for every skill are extremely helpful! You have no idea how much my vocabulary has improved just by going back to specific lessons I first thought were difficult and reviewing their flashcards ... PLEASE, we all want them back.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deguo

While it would be great and super convenient to have everything within the same system, I've been making Dutch flashcards on Quizlet sorted by skill since my first day learning and it's worked really well! I recommend making them as you learn the skill, but it's never too late to start!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RustyPolyglot

That is extremely helpful advice!

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mamemimomu73

I agree, I really miss them!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FLchick

FLASHCARDS now located in "WORDS". It's mentioned in the discussion but very far down. I posted this elsewhere but also want it closer to the top in case anyone is still searching for them.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/retiredluckycat

Still it was helpful being able to use the flashcards within each lesson. We could review the words we wanted to strengthen.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trebach

It is not there for every language. Spanish has them but Dutch does not.

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YyYeAhBoYyY

Please bring back the flashcards...the system you switched to is terrible.

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HelbentForleder

So, today I tried it out. It's cool, but... I have it in Portuguese but not French and not Esperanto. Esperanto I understand, but I really need them in French. I had them before. What happened?

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/testskills

How does one report mistakes in the flashcards? (For example, in Spanish they have "que"= ""to", which is obviously a computer-driven mistake.)

What are the keyboard shortcuts for "I was wrong" and for "I was right" ?

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StubbsTEFL

I, too, have found that particular irregularity rather frustrating. Since I know that "que" doesn't mean "to" but "that" I just say "I was right".

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MishkaWazar

please bring the flashcards back the way they were, I loved them

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KansasBurri

To the people who are upset about the flashcards being gone: Is it REALLY that much more difficult to manually enter your words into an Anki or Quizlet deck(s) for your tree or skills? I've found it helps when I enter it because I remember typing the word, but that might just be me.

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlysonFulC

What is an Anki or Quizlet deck?

September 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KansasBurri

Quizlet is a flashcard system with variety to do minigames with your vocab, and anki is SRS so it knows when you need to review a word based on how you've done previously.

September 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/retiredluckycat

Please put flashcards back where they were...within each lesson.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FLchick

Find Flashcards using the "Words" heading if there is a version for your language. It is mentioned in the initial posting, but way down in the article. A user in a German discussion was kind enough to give me that information before I saw this discussion. Flashcards are very helpful.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/retiredluckycat

Although the flashcards in found under Words, I can't choose the lesson I want to review with the flashcards.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ed5571

Come on Shawn, I know how I learn best. Bring back the flashcards that emphasize skill areas. It looks like many others are of the same opinion.

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alirezakhatami

Suggestion: Flashcard for conjugating verbs would be really helpful. It can be a fun experience to practice conjugating verbs against time as well.

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RustyPolyglot

I enjoy using the flashcards before practicing an older skill. I like how it easy it was to access them. Thank you for the information, I'm looking forward to their return!

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/75hi5s

This was so cool! I really loved this! It is so cool! It helped so much! Thanks shawnrad!

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MAdevansh

Yes! I use flashcards first to help me with skills I am on at Duolingo and for most of the time I do flashcards on Duolingo

September 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DevonBlake1

When I think about really good online flashcards, I think about the app for Memrise. They give a mixture of multiple choice and type-the-translation questions. I think it would be great if instead of just asking, "did you know this word?" you made us have to type the translation or choose the right word from a list. Then this feature would be more engaging. You could also give a point for every time we spelled the word right. I realize that this is similar to what you do in the early stages of your regular duolingo game, but that part turns into working with full sentences. You could do the same thing, but focus on just single words instead. An example might be to list a word like "beber," and then give 4-8 options like "he drinks," "girl," "to drink," "Justin the Singer," "etc." The person could push the correct button just as fast as pushing the "flip" button, and a person like me wouldn't get super board when playing it. You could even add a feature on there asking the user, "how are you going to remember this word next time?" and they could type in a word game like, " OUR BABY (BEBER) DRINKs." These are just ideas. Your team is very creative, and I'm sure you'll pick the right way to go.

September 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/steve_sp

Can you make a choice to choose between the Russian alphabet or English alphabet transliteration for the flash cards?

July 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Omriomriomri

no

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/atteberry99

Thanks for making the flashcards they are very useful!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/atteberry99

Thanks foraking the flashcards they are very useful!

September 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RozalynLeslie

Where are the flash cards?

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wheatcoffee

Where are the flash cards?

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StubbsTEFL

If you go to "Words" on the top bar, you should be able to find them. But I did prefer when the flashcards were also available under review on the home page.

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mamemimomu73

I did prefer it too...

September 6, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OnesimusUnbound

Thanks for the update. Even though I don't use flashcards, an update like this helps connect us to DL.

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James2850

ligots 4 sale click give lingot

September 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChristofHarper

I would ike visual only (no typing) flashcards for the android app. There are often times when I could use those, but don't have the time or environment for listening, speaking, and typing. (like, waiting in line various places)

I would definitely get more out of flashcards in generla on my phone than on my laptop

September 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VieilleMada

Having the flashcards embedded with each lessons was much better! Why not have them in both places to make EVERYONE happy!

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

Because it's how Duo works about features:
They test them and see what version (a version can be a test on the feature itself, on the design of it, on where it appears etc...) allow the users to have the best learning results in average (and even if part or the majority of the users think they learn best differently: Duo looks at statistical results on effective learning, not on how one perceive (s)he'll learn better). And the result of the test decide which version is then release for everyone.

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fluffyfatpirahna

when I saw this had 77 comments I thought it was well liked. go figure.

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Polyglottism

Every time I review flashcards, very few words completed, even if they were marked as correct, register. When I go to check, it says the word(s) were practiced at some other previous time, and their strength does not change.

September 9, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ExSquaredOver2

Yeah guys, those flashcards pack a punch

September 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AtilsonSou

certo

September 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sarmady

I wish you could provide flash cards on Android version (or as a separate app at least).

September 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/susanna034

The thematic flashcards were extremely efficient in revising vocabulary and I really miss them. Please, give them back before my words fade. Thank you very much!

September 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deco1988

Any updates on this issue? Will flashcards return to specific sections?

October 22, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jmb390

One other thought. I am using Duolingo as a refresher for German, so the program's algorithm for the words I know best isn't totally accurate. I think the basic idea of flashcards and the word algorithm is great, but it would help me if I could customize my flashcards or perhaps flag words within tests or exercises. I think I noticed the refresher lessons bringing back questions I made mistakes on, which I really liked (I'd been hoping for this), yet I still know things the computer probably doesn't about why I made certain mistakes and it would be neat to be able to easily customize my flashcards.

One other feature about German; the gender of the words is not on the flashcards, which is a pretty big issue. I really think you should memorize German words with the gender. I would be happy to contribute to editing the course to have the genders of words entered on the flashcards.

It would be nice to have all this, but I'm definitely glad for Duolingo in general, so thanks for your continued efforts on this!

November 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaggieFero

I'm really confused by the flashcards in Spanish. I finished the tree, so I should have covered all of the words Duolingo has, but some flashcards come up for words I don't remember learning that don't appear in my Words list, even if I get them correct.

Where do they come from? I couldn't find this information anywhere on the Wiki...

April 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sky286

Flashcard system is great! As far as feature requests go

  • Would be great to see flashcards in the iOS app
  • A hover that showing example sentences - since there is not enough context for words at times
April 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarilynF513

Should have left flash cards as is until you were ready to replace them. I, too, want flash cards back.

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Drextremer

June 2017 UK. Flash cards have recently disappeared from all the languages I'm learning. Why is this? I used to find them very useful. Please can they be reinstated?

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

Why is this? [...] Please can they be reinstated?

See official answers here.

June 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Drextremer

Thanks - I appreciate there has been a lot of development work going on in the background, but I would still like to have the old flash cards back on the Words tab and I'm sure others would too. I've looked at Tiny Cards and at the moment this seems only for beginners and children; not the same.

June 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarilynF513

Why did you remove the flashcards if you were not ready to replace them. You have really interferred with my learning process. I depended on the flashcards to reinforce words that I might have forgotten.

July 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jrikhal

if you were not ready to replace them.

What do you mean?
They did provide another Flashcards system (namely "Tinycards" application, accessible on web, on iOS and on Android) months before ending the Flashcards from Words.

July 6, 2017
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