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https://www.duolingo.com/MeredithNa

Why is the "strengthen skills" button only quizzing you on one lesson?

MeredithNa
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I have been using the "strengthen skills" to quickly goldify my tree under the assumption that I will be quizzed on random areas of the tree, hence making the tree gold quicker. However, I have noticed that it is now only quizzing me on ONE lesson, and not random questions throughout the tree like it used to.

This is frustrating for several reasons.

1) it often asks questions from the bottom of the tree. Duo, I know how to translate "I eat an apple" or "I am a penguin". But I don't know how to translate "This is a horse that I would have chosen for myself" or "She would have gone to the party if it wasn't raining".

2) I might have only needed to update one or two questions to make the lesson gold again, but I have to now do the entire lesson. While I'm concentrating on lower level lessons to make gold again, I'm losing out on important practice higher in the tree. So I've ended up going from the top down which occasionally strengthens other lessons, which is what I want. But once I get to a certain stage, I have to tell DL about the boy eating an apple.

3) The beauty of "strengthen skills" was that it asked you to do one question in the "times and dates" then the next question was the "past perfect" and maybe the one after that would be the "imperative". This randomness would force you to think on your toes. When you go through a lesson on a certain section of grammar you become complacent because you know that in this grammar tense you have to put "-aba". So every question following that has "aba/abas/abamos" etc.

4) I'm working on another three trees (Eng-->French, Span-->Eng, Span-->French) and keeping my Eng-->Span tree up to date is time consuming to say the least. Especially since I am trying to concentrate on French. Having the "do a quiz and you will strengthen three lessons" option that strengthen skills used to have would be fantastic.

I also think that after a certain level, (level 17 maybe?) the first 5 to 7 lessons should stay permanently gold (or at least have the option). As you can see by my streak, I have been learning Spanish for over 2 years. Refreshing the basics are great and I don't have a problem with that but I have come to the point with the basics in my Spanish where I don't even realise that I'm speaking, hearing, reading or writing in it, so these lessons aren't that useful for me.

Anyway, I hope I don't sound too pretentious or "look at me, I have a long streak and my head in an area of my body where it shouldn't be" because I'm not trying to be (please forgive me everyone!). It would go a long way if we could refresh several lessons at a singular time, and have control over when that happens.

Thanks.

MeredithNa.

2 years ago

34 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Lestry
Lestry
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I have the same problem, I also posted on the forum and I am as pissed off as you I guess. I am happy that I am not the only one that noticed it, but it happens to me too and it is a pain in the ass. I don't know what can be the reason but the only thing is to riot and then maybe somebody fixes it :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeredithNa
MeredithNa
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Cool! I'm not the only one feeling like this. The whole "thou shalt only refresh one lesson at a time" is really getting to me.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bjoholm
bjoholm
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I agree with you: the strengthen skills function isn't very good. In my view, it is one of Duolingo's few major weaknesses. The site would be so much better if the strengthen skill function allowed for longer sessions and mixed content from several lessons. As it is now, it is basically just making you redo the tree. Being forced to start with the easy lessons, it is likely that you lose all your strength higher up the tree, thus making it necessary to strengthen them not once, but up to five or six times. Nothing could be more frustrating. And with the motivational boost that you get from climbing the tree gone, you are ten times as likely to stop. Working on your tree becomes a duty, instead of a passion.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jayeidge
jayeidge
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I have had this problem for quit a while now. So I basically quit using "strengthen skill" and I just choose my own lessons. At least I can do higher lessons as repetition, but it doesn't really replace the old "strengthen skill" function. I am annoyed with this change as well, as I have several trees I am trying to maintain. I can't keep up at the moment, because of the change, so I am basically only doing one.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JohanVanderbalij

Seems we all have the same problem here!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/egfinn
egfinn
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I have similar experiences with the strengthen skills feature. I feel that it starts with the earliest lesson that is not gold. However, interestingly, it sometimes skips certain lessons at the very top. For example, in my Spanish for English speakers tree, which I have completed and attained a level of 23, it tells me that "Phrases" needs strengthening. But when I strengthen skills, I never get any of these apparently weak phrases. It is almost as if the program cannot see when some lessons need to be strengthened. Or maybe it is a bug and they don't need to be strengthened? If I work on that lesson individually, it does become gold again.

Currently my entire Spanish tree is gold, except for Phrases and two bonus skills. I have gotten more random questions from throughout the tree and it has been a lot more fun.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kevinguy19
Kevinguy19
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This is a very annoying problem. If I just wanted to practice one skill, I would strengthen it inside the actual skill.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michikade

It must be an A/B test because I have seen reports of multiple skills re-gilding at the same time (and have had 3 re-gild during one strengthen myself). It isn't consistent or predictable that it does multiple skills but I've seen it happen.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vytah
vytah
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What skill gets strengthened is mostly independent from what skill you just reviewed.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/michikade

this has not been the case for me historically. I just did a strengthen that gave me 2 regildings in Reflexives and Compound Past and all of the questions that I had were either Reflexives or Compound Past questions.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Olga451165
Olga451165
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*feature request!!!

Please duo team!!!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
mizinamo
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Agree so much!

Especially on the "you get to know what grammar it will be expecting" - if it's the Conditional skill, all sentences will be on the conditional and so you don't have to think as much as if it sprung a conditional sentence on you among several other tenses and moods during a mixed-skill practice.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sarefo
sarefo
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about 1) - it used to be the way you want it, and that was very subobtimal for many users. imagine somebody not having practiced for a while, and then being confronted with late-level stuff, it will totally drown them. re-goldening the tree from beginning to end seems like a sensible approach.

2) use "timed practice", you can stop this any time.

3) I have been using Duo for years, and I never encountered a training mode where it asks you from different skills at the same time; maybe you were in an A/B test that failed?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/halek10
halek10
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I guess it would be nice to have a choice about that. I returned to French after several months of not practicing, and I ended up deleting it, re-registering, and taking a placement test so that I wouldn't have to go through all the early levels proving I know the words for "man" and "eat."

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/snlzkn
snlzkn
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Thanks for the tip. I stopped for a couple of months and now I cannot take the quiz to show Duo that I know that stuff. I tried to go through my name is Karl exercises just to get my fluency rating right but I guess I will have to delete the course. Why are we expected to regularly type My name is Karl? It would be nice to have a refresher test...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeredithNa
MeredithNa
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Hello sarefo, sorry for taking a few days to reply.

You make some really good points here.

With number one, I now realise that it is a good idea. However, strengthen skills could do random sentences from let's say 3 different lessons starting from the bottom of the tree and working its way up. The big problem I have with the strengthen skills is that it only does one lesson, and that (in my opinion) is a bit counter-productive due to the fact that the whole point of strengthen skills is to strengthen whatever is weak, not strengthen things that are already strong. It's like those people who go to the gym and only work on a certain part of their body. It is counterproductive. Why reiterate the basics 20 times when you should have only done it 5 times and that you have 60 other things you need to strengthen?

With the timed practice, will it ask me the sentences I need to strengthen at the beginning? How do I know I have done everything that I needed to in order to make my lesson gold? I'm not arguing with you - these are questions coming from genuine curiosity.

And with point 3, it is possible that I was in an A/B test but I didn't know about it because it was a long time ago and I only exclusively used the app at the beginning.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sarefo
sarefo
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I don't know the details myself, but I sometimes made only one point in a timed exercise, to see the practiced skill become golden, so I could move on to the next one. you might give this a try.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arekolek
arekolek
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I use flashcards to get this result.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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Not all the courses have flashcards.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arekolek
arekolek
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True, I don't use flashcards in Ukrainian :( But this doesn't change the principle.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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RE: 3, I used to use strengthen weak skills a lot both on the app and on the website, and it always used to mix and match sentences from different lessons.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ewillmore

This is the reason I came to the Duolingo webpage. I'm so sick of the fricking eple. I miss one day and I now have so many skills to review that I am having a hard time moving forward. I want to figure out how to pass a checkpoint so I don't have to redo basics over and over and over again. I have had two review at once and I think that is a great idea. I know he is not a woman but he has bread!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amaratea
amaratea
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Hmm, I get doubled practice every now and then within one "strengthen skills" session, it's pretty unpredictable though. But it definitely combines not only the least practiced skills and not only two neighbouring ones.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sarefo
sarefo
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maybe you're confusing the appearance of several golden skills with a practice that spans several skills? I think what's happening is that you get sentences from one skill, which may or may not contain words from earlier skills, which may lead to the strengthening of these earlier skills.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/amaratea
amaratea
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yes, I mean that, and in the end i get notification that both (once it was even 3) are strengthened and they turn gold if there is nothing more to repeat there at the moment. What is the "appearance of several golden skills" then?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ewillmore

I've had them too. You're not imagining it. It does two at once. That's why I choose the practice weak skills in case I get two done at once. But now I just keep ending up at basics every day.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/arekolek
arekolek
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I just practiced two Italian skills at once.

Also, my duo.ab_options has only these experiments: schools orthogonal quail, web branded mobile buttons, login modal, course picker, signup modal buttons. There is nothing related to practice.

I wonder what the course picker experiment is though (I'm not in it).

Update: And again, this time in Ukrainian. Overall, I did 6 practice sessions today, and twice it strengthened two skills at the same time.

BTW, hey, I'm exactly one day ahead of you :D

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeredithNa
MeredithNa
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Another thing that is frustrating is that the lowest level review ones give you 8 points. Not that I'm complaining about points etc, but if I didn't need to practice them in the first place (see aforementioned comment about knowing the basics in Spanish so well I don't even realise that I'm reading/speaking/hearing them), it again seems to be a bigger waste of time. That's why I suggest an option to keep them permanently gold.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/steven.jam

There has to be some way for the system to strengthen skills in batches from the bottom up - maybe if the surrounding 5 skills are all gold, not to practice that one skill.

Also, I understand the "for people who come back after a while and cannot be thrown right into the higher level stuff," but there should be some way around this, even for Duo's famous "no-user-option" preference. One that takes into account the last practice date, current "gold-skill" level, and other factors.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bhankerson
bhankerson
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My two cents: Yes! I agree with just about everything written here. I don't really care if strengthen skills only tests one lesson or not, I just wish it wouldn't test me on the really simple stuff that I get 100% right every time I have to strengthen it.

Idea: Some way to permanently test out of a lesson, or better yet, a way of measuring strength (through the placement test or consecutive strengthenings) so that after a certain point, you're considered fluent in that lesson.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/bhankerson
bhankerson
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By the way, thank you Duolingo and contributors for all your hard work! Those who yell and scream at you have no place in these discussions. I understand that everything you do is of your own free will, and I thank you for giving me a flexible (and free!) way to maintain and improve my foreign language skills

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MeredithNa
MeredithNa
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Oh, don't worry, I sing the praises of DL to everyone I have met who wants to learn a language. Just sometimes you need to bring up things that you believe needs improvement. It's a relationship. You need to communicate with people so they know what you believe can be improved.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ablinkinsop

I've just come back to Duolingo from a long break, and I'm very disappointed to see this change made. Duo, please please fix this. I would love to incorporate Duo back into my routine, but this is a borderline broken system.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KieraBB

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2 years ago