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https://www.duolingo.com/cadethacker

Strengthening is not consistent?

I know this is probably a complicated algorithm on the backend, but wanted to provide some loving feedback and see if others are seeing the same thing.

I abandoned my Spanish tree a while back about 2/3 the way through. I didn't do any duolingo for probably 6 months if not longer. This past month, I picked it back up and complete the tree (yeah!) but I don't really consider it done until I have "gold"-ed my tree. So right now I'm working through the entire tree again, top to bottom to gold it.

I'm seeing some really oddities. For each circle it appears to have 5 ticks around the left side. Needless to say, most of them only have 1/5 ticks highlighted. When I click "Strength Skills" it drops me in the next lesson I need to work on. Here is where things get odd.

Sometimes when I complete a lesson one of a few things happen:

  1. it goes from 1/5 ticks to 5/5 ticks in one try.
  2. it goes from 1/5 ticks to 4/5 ticks in one try.
  3. Nothing happens after completing the lesson.

So my point is I'm expecting 5 ticks, so 3-5 lessons to re-strengthen, which has generally been true.

But from a visual progress POV I'm expecting at least a steady increase in the ticks, but it is frustrating to nail a lesson then nothing happens. Then you stumble through one and it gives you full strength from 1 tick.

Again loving feedback. Once I gold this tree, I'm going to flip over and start the Reverse tree in Spanish. Duolingo is awesome, you all need to put a donate button somewhere. :D

2 years ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4
writchie4
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I believe most of this "inconsistent" behavior you're seeing comes from the fact that "strength" is calculated by averaging the strength of each word in the skill, and reviewing a skill only targets a subset of the words in the skill (though not necessarily the weakest ones). I don't know the current numbers, but just imagine a 1-100 scale for strength and consider the following imaginary skill with only 5 words and the following strength data:

Imaginary Skill 1
- word1 : 99
- word2 : 20
- word3 : 20
- word4 : 99
- word5: 50

This imaginary skill would have a strength of (288/500). Now, let's say a strengthening exercise targets 2 words from the skill. If it randomly picks word2 and word3, their strengths would increase to 100 (regardless of whether you get them right or wrong during the exercise) and the total skill strength would be (448/500). If, on the other hand, the strengthening exercise chose word1 and word4, their strengths would go up from 99 to 100, and the skill would have an overall strength of (290/500), barely above what it was prior.

Obviously that's an exaggerated example, but as far as I've heard, that's the general idea for how the strengthening algorithm works. The "tick" increases are inconsistent after strengthening a skill because of 2 things: all words in the skill aren't necessarily the same strength to start with, and Duolingo doesn't always give you your "weakest" words in the skill to practice.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cadethacker

Thanks for the write up. That makes sense based on what I have seen so far. I'm just plugging away. Since I had a quiet day, I got three more lessons (circles) turned gold. That took 10 lessons, which was about on average and expected.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ALoUSyUseRnaME
ALoUSyUseRnaME
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My guess is that it depends on what vocabulary you come across each time. After lowering down to the bottom tick, perhaps the skill representations are not too accurate. (Since it can't go down to 0/5) You could look at two skills with one tick and you'd never know that one skill could be 20% golden and the other 1% golden. So, the 20% golden one could be regoldened in one try, meanwhile the other one may take several more times.

Sometimes it's super demotivating and sometimes so suspiciously easy. I don't have any actual proof, to support my opinion, sorry. It's the best I can think of. The only thing we can do is keep on going and hope to have a shiny golden tree at the end. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cadethacker

Ok, so I think I may have a better idea of what is happening. I'm working through a ton of lessons so I'm starting to see some patterns and I don't think it is a strange as I originally thought.

I will say that there are still a few times that I complete a lesson and nothing happens, and that is super frustrating, but again, not the end of the world, I just hit practice again, and go through it. No such thing as too much practice. :D

But on the ones where I think it goes way up from nothing, I now know why I think that.

When I click on "Strengthen Skills" it doesn't tell me which skill I'm working on until the end of the lesson. And whenever the little "victory" screen is shown and it gives the updates strength of the lesson after completion it always redraws the circle ticks from nothing (0/5 ticks) to the new tick level.

So I click on "Strength Skills" and it drops me into a lesson where I'm already at 4/5, but I don't know that because I don't see what lesson it drops me into. I start working away, and complete. When the victory animation shows, it circles all the way from 0/5 to 5/5. Yeah me, but I think that I just went from nothing to expert.

It is averaging 3-4 lessons to get from 1/5 ticks to gold. All good!

Again, really not a complaint just an observation.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ALoUSyUseRnaME
ALoUSyUseRnaME
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Interesting observation! I hadn't paid close attention to that since my skill tree is so rotten that I have to do individual skills and strengthen one skill at a time. Which I guess, is a more thorough practice. That way, I also know how strong is the skill before strengthening (which, isn't too important to me, since 95% of my skills are at 1/5).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/cadethacker

Given that you are Level 25 on French and Spanish and 7 other starts, I think it is perfectly fine to have a few rotten places. :D Nice work! Right now I'm laser focused on Spanish.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ALoUSyUseRnaME
ALoUSyUseRnaME
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Those ''7 other starts'' are kind of unfortunate. I don't think I'm planning to go any further with any of them other than the English (since reverse French and Spanish courses would be a wonderful learning opportunity). I'm trying to make an effort in regoldening the Spanish and French trees. It isn't working out. But thanks for the kind words. :)

2 years ago