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Duolingo student activity logs are its greatest strength. But what do the numbers really mean?

At last I can track every student's progress through the infallible tyranny of numbers: lessons learnt, skills mastered, days active and of course XPs. But think about these numbers and what they tell us. A kid who keeps repeating the same lesson again and again might become an XP millionaire, but still only know le, la and la femme in French. A student who binges on Duolingo from dawn to dusk and then forgets all about if for a month may have a record breaking number of XPs per days active, but it would be seed sown on shallow ground. The one I suspect means something important is 'skills mastered' divided by 'lessons': it shows how many lessons it took for Duolingo to drop the frustrating 'strengthen skill' message and pay that satisfying tune instead. Who else has thought about this? Please share!

November 22, 2015



I set weekly expectations and since the teacher app allows us to see when the lessons were done, we can know that they are at least practicing within the time frame that we set as a requirement. Last nine weeks a set a 9 weeks goal. Some binged then did nothin to keep it fresh. This time they have to do 'X' number of lessons per week.


Agreed Steve and maybe there is a limit to what we can read into these numbers. What I am getting is is nicely illustrated by your case; XPs divided by 'days active' should be an indicator with "bingeing" at one end, and "re-inforcing well" at the other. But is it? For instance, 'a day active' can be anything from 5 minutes to hours. So would it not make more sense to have another figure for 'average hours per day active' ? Please note I agree with you that seeing what a kid has achieved is the main thing, and we can do that to some extent, but knowing a child's ability is sometimes desirable when you're a teacher.

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