When you make a mistake, you should be forced to correct it
In regular lessons, not timed practice, you should have to type something again if you got it wrong. Memrise uses this, and I find it easier to remember the correct form if I have to type it out rather than just look at the right answer.
Every time someone suggests an improvement for Duolingo, people say it should be an option you could switch off or on. But having too many options isn't necessarily a good idea from Duolingo's perspective, because it gets confusing, especially for new users who are confronted with all these choices and don't know which settings are "best" - people can easily get turned off when things appear too complicated.
If it were this way for everyone, I think people would get used to it pretty quickly as just a part of the lesson.
I agree entirely, Xiu. It's interesting how many people have replied saying that they love the idea but it should be an option, implying that they'd use it but would feel more at ease having the option to disable it for some what-if scenario. Simply including options for all features without good reason is the wrong approach to application design.
This topic reminded me of a TED talk on how choices do not always provide the psychological benefits that we may believe they do. http://www.ted.com/talks/sheena_iyengar_on_the_art_of_choosing.html
I can understand where you are coming from, but I must say that I disagree.
As a nice compromise, I believe what should happen is, most of the things that are arising for new "options" should go into an "Advanced" category of the account options. This category would have a "Reset-to-Defaults" option in case someone does something they don't like and would like to revert to the "tried and true".
I just really don't like seeing services hesitate to add more flexibility because they don't want to confuse a minority of the users. I'd much rather see effective design with them in mind, than selective design for only their minds.
I just can't see it being anything more than a minor inconvenience. I'm picturing it working like Memrise - when you make a mistake, the system would show you one or more correct options, and you'd have to type one out. Even if you make three mistakes per lesson, that's like 15 seconds of your time, and it reinforces the correct answer, which is what we all want if we're here to learn rather than to speed through the lessons as fast as possible.
I have forgotten the right answer by typing the wrong one to many times. I think I would like it if we had to write the right answer! It does not take ferry much time anyway! it would help a lot of the problems if you could have it as a setting only once you have completed 3 levels.
I totally agree.. when you use a real book to study, when you get wrong, what you do? Rug some eraser on the sentence and writting it again with your pencil? We should get the heart out from making it wrong and then "now type it again correctly" and that's it! Any feedback on that until today?
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "Any feedback on that until today?" but in my account I AM forced to correct my mistakes now. I lose a heart, but I get to try again, and if I get it right I get half a heart back, and if I get it wrong for the second time, the heart stays lost, they show what the right answer was, and I have to go on. One try is usually enough, though.
What is puzzling me is that this feature doesn't seem to be implemented for everyone . . . I know I have it, but apparently you don't, as well as @jayeidge (French). I wonder if they are testing it out on a random sample of users; I know they've done things like that before, but last time they did that (with the new layout for the skill tree) it was tested only on new users, and when I first started I didn't have this feature; it just suddenly appeared one day, and I rejoiced. Puzzling . . .
Im quite new here, not even one whole month I'm studying here, and yes, that's what I meant about the feedback... if the crew implemented such tool... When I make a mistake, I get one heart out and it shows the correct answer... please, see in your configurations if there is something and let me know, Danke Schön!
Speaking from a user experience and usability background, this should not be an option that you can toggle on/off. We want all users here to have the same experience. I think forcing the user to correct his/her sentence before advancing is very important to the learning process. Xiuhtecuhtli said it best: You can't just create all these features and throw them into an options panel where you can toggle them on or off.
I agree that this feature would be helpful, but it should be optional. Though it appeals to me, I can see that some might find it irritating. I would think this might be substantially more frustrating for someone going through a lesson or strengthening exercise on a phone. Even if it does appeal to a user, anybody can have a long day or a bad day and just want to knock out a lesson to keep their streak going, without correcting every mistake along the way.
Plus, if it were made optional, it would be interesting to see who progresses through a tree faster or keeps their tree golden for longer. Statistics could reveal how this feature may impact progress, as well as learning acquisition and retention, whether a person doesn't use it, uses it only occasionally, or uses it frequently.
I'm assuming those of us who like this feature like it because we see the benefits of it in learning a language faster or more efficiently, but we can't assume that is the biggest appeal for those who log on to duolingo. I think the game aspect of it is of great appeal to many and forced corrections would definitely dull that game-like aspect of it. Though many of us see the benefits of forced correction, it might not have wide appeal.
In 2012, Mayor Bloomberg of New York City banned the selling of soda in sizes larger than 16 ounces because many experts adamantly claim that too much sugar can be bad for one's health. And though many others may also agree that too much sugar is unhealthy, this ban was widely unpopular because it was seen as a step too far in how much a government should control a person's life. Forcing users of duolingo to adopt forced corrections as part of their learning curriculum might have a similar backlash. To some degree, duolingo forces us how to learn via its algorithms, but dictating that everyone should have to use forced correction seems unnecessary.
Furthermore, though Memrise may have this feature built in to all of its courses, by doing so, it has eliminated a control group which could have been used as a base of comparison to study the benefits of forced correction.
This would be beneficial for other reasons as well. Say you make a stupid mistake, like sometimes on the mobile app I absent-mindedly select the wrong ENGLISH tense: "He drink the water." Tense in my native language is not an area I really need to work on, so failing a lesson because of that is just pointless and annoying. Also, if you make a legitimate mistake, figuring out what you did wrong before duolingo tells you what it is would be an immense boon to the learning process.
For anyone interested in the brain and learning, an excellent book on the brain and how immediate positive feedback greatly enhances learning is The Talent Code. Been awhile since I read it, but one simple example is a basketball coach saying nothing more than "Yes!" when a player does it right, and being quiet when a player does it wrong. An individual can do the same thing by thinking or saying that "Yes!" when they play a musical passage correctly. That immediate "Yes!" causes the brain to place more myelin. There's a lot more to it, deep practice being needed - not just going through the motions without paying attention, but it's been awhile since I read it so I'm not going to try and some up anything more. :)
I would love it if when I answer wrong I had the opportunity to then enter it correctly. For now, I write it down correctly on paper.
Thank you, Juanv, for posting "." For some time now, I have believed in what xoviat wrote above:
Anytime the mind makes a mistake and the mistake is not corrected, the mind will learn that the mistake is correct when in fact it is not.
and thought that it would be an easy matter of finding research to back that up. I don't doubt that such research exists out there somewhere, but it was not what I stumbled upon first when I began looking for studies that supported that theory. Instead, I came upon a paper in a journal called The Online Journal of New Horizons in Education. I don't know much about this journal and haven't seen it referenced in many major publications, but a paper that was included in one of its volumes was titled, "Errors Correction in Foreign Language Teaching," which was written by a member of the Department of English at Hassiba Benbouali University, a university in Algeria. Despite the spelling and punctuation errors I found in the paper, I have two reasons for citing it in this discussion. The first is that debate exists over the benefits of correcting errors in the teaching of foreign language. It is not one of those well supported claims like "too much sugar is bad for one's health" or "smoking causes lung cancer." To quote from this paper:
Error correction and its importance in the foreign language classroom have received considerable attention during the past decades.
The author of this paper goes on to mention various factors to consider in the process of second language acquisition such as
... how much correction should be made, at what phases the teacher should correct the error and how the teacher can correct the learner without de-motivating him/her.
Later in the paper, the author attempts to answer the question, "Should errors be corrected?" The author writes:
According to the second language acquisition theory presented here, when error correction "works," it does so by helping the learner change his or her conscious mental representation of a rule. In other words, it affects learned competence by informing the learner that his or her current version of a conscious rule is wrong. Thus, second language acquisition theory implies that when the goal is learning, errors should indeed be corrected (but not at all times; see below; and not all rules, even if the goal is learning). The theory maintains however, that error correction is not of use for acquisition. Acquisition occurs, according to the input hypothesis, when acquirers understand input for its meaning, not when they produce output and focus on form.
This made me reflect on my own experiences with forced correction. When I have used forced correction methods, usually it has been with vocabulary building through Memrise. My errors are usually due to mistyping a word, ignorance of the correct spelling of a word, or simply not remembering the word at all. These are mechanical errors or lack of input errors, but easy to identify why they are wrong.
But let's think about how this might apply to duolingo. Duolingo teaches more than just vocabulary; it teaches grammatical structures. I have done a fair amount of timed tests with duolingo. At the end of each timed test, I review the lesson and for each answer I got wrong, I identify precisely why I got it wrong. Did I just not know the word for something or did I not understand something about the grammatical structure? If so, what about the grammatical structure did I not understand? Did I not have the correct case for something? Did I not follow the rules of consonant mutation? (I was studying Turkish.) Did I not use standard word order for the language? Whatever it is, I identify it, learn from it, and then proceed to drill myself on it using Memrise.
With a forced correction scheme, I don't know that a user would necessarily learn why a sentence was not correct. I do think that some would "learn" to get a sentence correct through the rote memorization aspect of correcting a mistake, but I don't know that this would be real evidence that learning had taken place. Furthermore, the ability to identify what, why, and how something is incorrect is an important critical thinking skill to develop. We don't want our computer software programs to do all of our thinking for us, do we?
After reading the paper I cite in this post, I am further convinced that the forced correction feature should be optional.
I came here to suggest this very thing. The immediate correction from Duolingo is great, but it would be even better if we could then type the answer in again, this time correctly. My kids learned their spelling words this way, not from studying or repeated writing. Just immediate correction and then writing it down again right then correctly. And optional would be fine. :) I'd just like to be able to quickly type it correctly rather than having to grab the pen and write it down on paper.
I think this would turn out to be more irritating than people realize. I know for me, a large portion of my mistakes are simple unintended typos. Being forced to consistently rewrite sentences due to mistakes having nothing to do with not understanding the language would get old fast.
Yes! Exactly what I think! And when I was in school, when we made a mistake, we had to write out the correct answer 50 times by the next day. And guess what, it never helped ANY of us remember the word, we still kept making the same mistakes. Repetition can be useful for learning, but monotonous repitition, like simply copying down a sentence or word, does not generally benefit the learner that much.
In my experience it helps A LOT! The reason why is that it makes you pay close attention to where exactly you made the mistake and allows you to reinforce the RIGHT answer, not the wrong one, not just by looking at the right answer and making a mental note ("Oh, it's that way.") which is PASSIVE, but by actually thinking again and typing it in with your own hands (ACTIVE). I've been longing for this feature ever since I got here!
I disagree with @Miguel992. I have loved this feature on memrise.com, and it doesn't get tiring correcting lots of "unintended" typos, because pretty soon you don't make them anymore; it gets into your hands to type them the right way--because they are corrected! It doesn't matter how unintended and known a typo may be; if it isn't corrected, it's starts to become a habit to type it wrong--but with a little practice, it can also become a habit to type it right! Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes PERMANENT!
Sums it up perfectly! Sometimes I make a mistake and I look at the right answer but next time it comes up I am unsure which is right. Even if I put the right answer I am not as confident with it due to my previous error. Reinforcing every mistake - be it a typo or not - will really help drum it into you!
I actually do think repetition is a good tool for learning, but if you don't understand the underlying concept or factors that are causing you to make the mistake, repetition will not be as effective. Rote memorization of something is not the same as learning something.
I agree with allelopath's suggestion that this should be an option in our account settings to improve our own personal betterment on our own will, rather than "forcing" it.
And for people who are hesitant to add more options to the account options page, just remember that "if done well, anything can be done well".
I just really don't like seeing services hesitate to add more flexibility because they don't want to confuse a minority of the users. I'd much rather see effective design with them in mind, than selective design for only their minds.
This feature has now more or less been IMPLEMENTED!!! With the current way it works, you lose a heart and are marked wrong, but before it shows you the right answer there is an option for "try again", and you can try again. It does show you where you made the mistake by marking it with the customary red line. To correct the mistake you can either click on the button marked "Try again" or click on the text body wherever you want the cursor to go. As far as I can tell, if I for some reason I didn't want to try again, I could just press the little link marked "Don't know the answer? -- skip" and go on, but I course I haven't tried it . . . and I don't ever plan to, unless I really can't figure it out! :) There is also an option for trying again in timed practice (activated only by clicking on the text body), but it doesn't stop the timer, so I doubt anyone has time for it! (In timed practice the default is to go right on.)
In general, I am very pleased with the new feature. I think providing one obvious button for trying again and another, less obvious one for skipping it and just going on is a very good solution to the much discussed issue of whether this feature should be optional or not and whether making this feature an option (buried in the settings) would be too much option clutter. Unfortunately, though, it seems to only be implemented for questions where you actually type in the translation for the whole sentence, and, of course, I regularly make mistakes with other question types and would love to be able to correct my mistakes there as well . . . but anyway, it's a great start!
(I think that at this point any discussion of improvements to the feature should probably go in a new thread.)
I disagree. The current system deals with this by asking you about the words where you made a mistake later on again. If you keep making a mistake, that particular word will (i guess) keep a low ranking in your vocabulary and keep showing up at times in timed or untimed practice. I think that in my personal experience, some of the complex words that caused me to misspell them more than once are the ones i wouldn't misspell any more, months later. Getting red twice on the same word gives me the kick to put my mind to it, in a way your solution of typing it right would not, i believe.
I think it would a be a good Idea not to force people to correct it because by doing so it would lead learners to a circle of frustration. I want to point out that there is no rules or steps that you have to follow in order to learn a language, everyone learns differently base on their experience, native language, ecc.. Penalizing people because they made some mistakes would more likely to hinder their progress and ruin the fun aspect of learning. After all aren't we humans? If I make mistakes for instance with numbers, does it imply that I can't successfully learn new words or grammar rules and eventually understand and speak the language? Or do I deserve to struggle with repeating the same words over and over again.
Instead, Duolingo should keep a record of your mistakes and put them into a separated "book" which you are free to review later on. The current design is fine enough although not perfect.
I agree with this. I think in most subjects I study if I get something wrong I usually put it to the end and make myself redo it (so that I have enough time in between when I retry and when I saw the answer). Anki does this, by waiting say 5 minutes, and then showing you the material again.
One fun way to implement this would be after you lose all three hearts Duolingo gives you the chance to retry the material you've missed so far. If you can get it right you get one additional heart (and if you lose that heart the lesson is lost).
I didn't see an option for turning it off anywhere, but I wouldn't worry about it too much; I'm sure you'll get used to it very quickly. It takes very little time to just correct the answers, and then everything proceeds as normal. It really helps, too, for not making the same mistakes in the future. As far as I can tell, if you really don't know how to correct the answer, the button "Don't know the answer? -- skip" still works as normal, and presumably can be used to just go on.
You are right because it isn't fair that you always have to start over when you lose your hearts. They should at least let you try to correct and if you get it wrong then you lose your hearts. I have been playing food for thirty minutes because I didn't know what the answer was. At least it doesn't affect your hearts when you peek.
I used to really enjoy my daily practice sessions, and I had made it to level 12 in Portuguese and 6 in German. When the "Fix Mistake" button was implemented, I tried it for while, but it got frustrating fast. I ended up dreading my daily practice, and I stopped coming to DuoLingo for a couple of months.
When I try to answer a question, I don't just type the first thing that comes to mind, I think it through and give it my best shot. If I'm wrong, then it's because I don't know the answer. I can't fix my mistake, because I DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER. Then I have to click on the link that says "Don't know the answer?", which is a little salt in the wound.
I realize that this should be a very small annoyance at most, but I'm genuinely trying as hard as I can, and getting it wrong is incredibly frustrating by itself. Add in the (repeated) annoyance of having to tell DuoLingo that I don't know the answer after I've just shown DuoLingo that I don't know the answer, and my frustration gets overwhelming and makes practice a chore.
I would just really, really like this to be an option in the settings that I can turn off. This style of teaching feels a little overbearing or pushy to me, which seems to go against DuoLingo's "learn at your own pace" setup.
P.S. Sorry for the rant, but I really want to enjoy DuoLingo again. The team does a great job, and I do appreciate them. This is just something that I feel should be addressed,
Nightowl, if you just click to see the comments other people have made, you will see the solution as well as a lot of advice. Or you can open a Portuguese grammar site or a good dictionary such as Wordreference.com, or even Google translate in another tab so you can research before answering. Having to work like that is good for your language learning. It is strange, you say you are level 12 in Portuguese and 6 in German?
I did read the comments, and I've tried the "solution" of clicking on the "Don't know the answer?" link. My point is that I'm frustrated by this setup. I learn better by being corrected immediately after a mistake, so I know what I should be remembering. For me, having to come up with another answer just adds one more thing I'm remembering incorrectly.
As for looking up the answer in something like Google Translate, isn't that undermining the process of learning? I do research the languages I study, but I never look up the answer just to avoid getting marked wrong. Instead, when I come to a question I don't know the answer to, I think it over using what I've learned through research, and answer as well as I can. It's a little condescending of you to assume that I don't put the work in to learning, simply because I have a different preference than you.
I was on levels 12 and 6, but I reset my account. I considered leaving DuoLingo entirely, but decided to give it one more try. I'm hoping they'll implement a few more improvements soon, including a setting to toggle the "Fix Mistake" button on and off.
Yes, it's the same for me. I'm trying to say that I find this way frustrating. I want to see the correct answer IMMEDIATELY after I make a mistake. I don't want to have to take any extra steps to see it, because that is one more thing between me and the correct answer. It is a very tiny step, yes, but with as many mistakes as I make, it adds up in a big way.
So, what I understand you are saying is that you prefer having the answer given to you immediately - this helps you most. What I am saying (that must have been overlooked in the rest of the post), is that when you click on the "comments" button, the very first thing written on the top is the solution! All you need to do is copy and paste it, then you'll get half a heart back. Not so hard, is that? Better, what you could do is actually write it down on a sheet of paper, with the question of course. You could also say the sentence out loud, which would engage muscle memory. All this would really help you learn. The first step to learning and memorizing things is giving them your attention. If you just see the correct answer for a fleeting moment, there is a much higher chance that you won't pay attention to it because some other idea will pass through your thoughts at the same time.
About resetting your account, that is a pity -- but I am sure now you will just breeze back to those levels quickly. I also was so frustrated (for different reasons) that I quit for about four months. Then a friend of mine mentioned Duo and here I am back. I see that they have made some changes in the interim and I appreciate them.
Oh, regarding Google translate: I never reference it "to avoid getting marked wrong" -- at that point I would have already been marked wrong. Even with half a point I would have lost my chance of getting a lingot for doing the whole lesson without making any mistakes (I don't know why I collect lingots either, what can you do with them? It's just the fun of being perfect in something I guess). Anyway, I do the research because it all helps me in the process of learning. But caution - Google translate is really only good for a quick reference on simple things. I prefer wordreference.com (usually open in another tab) and sometimes I google to find certain grammar explanations.
I know people all have different learning styles so maybe telling you mine won't be of help to you -- I hope you are able to find what works best for you. In the end, the one ingredient necessary for everybody is persistence. Good luck and keep it up!
Maybe just have the option (turn on/off) to do that. I don't move on from a lesson unless I finish it with 3 hearts. I'm sure other people don't care, and just want to finish the lesson. (Admittedly when I first started Duolingo, I just wanted to move on....now I'm forcing myself to go back and redo the lessons until I finish with 3 hearts.) The program is what you make of it, so maybe have different settings that one can turn on/off depending on what you want to get out of Duolingo. I like the idea of having to fix my error, and would definitely have it turned on, but others might not.
Well I personally move on regardless of the hearts left. First of all because the number of hearts doesn't really matter in my opinion, and also because I plan to come back to all lessons until I mastered the block (and I will even come back to mastered blocks from time to time).
Additionally, doing the same lesson over and over in a short amount of time can give you the false impression that you finally learned everything correctly, even if instead your unconscious remembered every sentence by heart (which is not my goal).
Great idea by the way. I also think that having to actually type the correct answer can help you remember it better.
Hey Greekz, I think you may have misunderstood. I was my understanding that you got the question wrong, lost a heart and it shows you the correct answer. But before you can continue you simply have to amend your answer to make it correct thereby enforcing the correct solution into your memory.
Ah! A living example of one drawback of the English language! I may be wrong, but I think jayeidge was using the "impersonal you" -- the statement could have been phrased "Right now, a person can't even correct his or her mistakes if he or she wanted to." Lol, kind of long. Or the grammatically more incorrect "a person can't correct their mistakes if they wanted to."
I really might have a different vantage point from the test group I'm in!:C
On my side of the screen, their comment is a reply, firmly affixed to another user.
Also, and I'm kind of proud of this, I am not required to use "you" or "he or she"/"his or her" because it is culturally acceptable for me to use "they" as a singular noun. :D (Hense, the pronouns listed on my profile. They refer to the set people use when referring to me. Well, except here. People tend to refer to me as "he" because of how they read my screen name.
I was just recounting yesterday, I think it was, about how much of present day Duolingo is composed of the suggestions users made the survived the testing phase. It simply takes a while for things to come to the top of the to-do list and then to make it through a bazillion rounds of testing. :)
You are forced to correct it. You will be given the same exercise you made a mistake is again and again until you get it right before you can finish a lesson. I think that really helps but it’s really annoying when you have to repeat due to a typo though this might only be in the web based version which I personally prefer.
At the time this discussion was posted, Duolingo was very different. And one ways it was different was that you weren't asked to re-do sentences that you got wrong before completing the lesson. Over the years, thanks to suggestions like the OP made here, Duolingo looks a lot different. ^_^
Another vote in favour of including this as an option - particularly for those using the mobile app: in that case when I type a wrong answer the dialogue box telling me the correct solution appears on top of whatever I wrote. This means that not only am I unable to correct my mistake - but I am also unable to review what my mistake was.