What is the purpose of "Checkpoints"? and a suggestion on what it should be.
Checkpoints in the lesson tree obviously have a slight psychological effect - encouraging the learner to pass them - but as far as I can see have little function after that.
Does any one know the rationale for their positioning? Please reply if you do.
In any case, I would strongly suggest Checkpoints be given more practical weight by linking them to the "strengthen" mechanism.
I propose that passing a checkpoint would mean that the skills before the check point never "tarnish" (lose their gold shine) or at least do so at a MUCH slower rate.
How do I justify that? Practice makes Perfect , after all!
Now I fully accept that skills benefit from constant use, but that is exactly my point.
Checkpoint should be placed only where the learner naturally refreshes the skills they learned BEFORE the checkpoint in the course of tackling the skills AFTER the checkpoint.
To take an extreme example, why should I be forced to "strengthen" my skill with "to be" or "to have" when I have just used them extensively in learning about "houses" or "animals" or ...
What do you think fellow learners?
(Personally I am a native English Speaker and only learning French but I think that my questions and my suggestions apply to most "trees" )
The checkpoints are for where you can test out of all skills up to that point. They are probably intended to be placed fairly evenly throughout the tree, though I don't know on that. I think you have a good idea, though maybe it should be something else, leaving the checkpoints where they are and how they are.
On the French Tree,
each skill - a single icon .. contains several lessons (up to 9 ) and skills are arranged in horizontal rows (usually 2, 3 or 4 in a row) The checkpoints are in their own row
As I have found it, your progress opens up one row of the tree and you can choose which still to work on but you cant skip forward to a new row
you can test out an individual skill .. skipping most of the lessons... by taking a single test but you cannot move to the next row until you have completed all the skills on that row
and (at least on the PC) you cannot select the checkpoint and skip past many rows
You can't use the checkpoints to skip rows? That's strange. I just checked, and I can.
All the checkpoints in my tree are quite early and I passed them some time ago
as far as I remember the checkpoints never showed the "test out xxx skills" for me
but since that should work now it certainly makes more sense of their purpose
Thanks for the info. Please accept a lingot or two.
However I don't think it invalidates my point about how much your work in later skill tests demonstrate your use of an earlier skill and that this should mean there is less need for early skills to "tarnish"
but that is now a separate argument than checkpoints
Maybe they were testing something before you passed the checkpoints?
Thanks for the lingots! I think I would agree with you, but I would also agree with JeffA2 that saying that you'll never need to strengthen the early lessons is slightly optimistic. It might partially depend on the specific learner. Some people need to review the basics more than others.
If you want to move this conversation somewhere else, we could talk about it on my stream.
I think that the idea that you will never need to refresh the lessons before an old checkpoint is probably too optimistic. It is true that older skills should need strengthening less often than recent skills, but the whole principle of spaced repetition involves tapering those practices off, not stopping them totally.
Incidentally, I agree that old skills decay a little too quickly and often on Duolingo, and that can be overwhelming and demoralizing. But the idea of never having to refresh them again is probably not a good one.
Um - no - it can be a bit demoralizing to go back to basics one, but you'd be surprised at what you forget if you don't use the words pretty regularly. They should (and in my experience, do) stay gold MUCH longer as you progress down the tree.
Duolingo provides multiple options for skipping skills if the learner is already familiar with the concepts covered it it. Checkpoints are one of these options.
as notes above I never noticed this option when checkpoints applied on my tree which is not to say it was not there :-)
certainly answers my question.
thanks for the info .. please accept a lingot or two
I think the main reason is to structure the tree. Imagine there would be no checkpoints, and the trees are so long that they can't be displayed as a whole on most computer screens. If you are somewhere in the middle of the tree, it would be hard to figure out how much of the total tree you actually have completed.
Structuring the tree may be one reason for checkpoints but I don't think its the MAIN one
On the current French Tree the first checkpoint is after 7 skills, the next after 11 more, the third and last after 19 more but beyond that are over 40 other skills
so the checkpoints add structure to the first half of the tree, but do nothing for the second
That pattern of placements fits much better with the idea of allowing an intermediate learner to skip forward over several skills
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