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  5. Update: XP Competitions


Update: XP Competitions

Hi folks,

XP Competitions are valuable to the community. They provide fun and motivation and a connecting point. They have also been very numerous of late. This has generated some discomfort in the forums, and also the frequency has reduced interest in them. So it has been hard for people to gather full teams and perhaps prompted people to make extra posts in an attempt to fill out their teams.

-At this time, we are asking folks to make no more than one competition post per user, per month. (No, other users cannot post a discussion to someone else's competition to help boost it.) We want to try this out and see if it will rekindle interest in the competitions while reducing the number of overall posts about them.

-Additionally, requiring lingots has lead to some scamming. So, please only ask for lingots as a donation, rather than as a requirement. Duolingo will not refund lingots you chose to donate to other community members for any reason. However, if someone makes a competition, requests lingots to give out as prizes and then doesn't follow through and give out those lingots, they will be banned and/or their account will be removed.

-Also, please note that posting the classrooms link in the forums is not allowed, as it reveals user emails to each other. Using the website to exchange emails is against the Guidelines. If you make a competition post with a link to the classrooms, it will be removed by a moderator. So please do not give lingots to posts with these links in them. Those lingots will not be refunded by moderators when the post is taken down.

Please check out these other two XP Competition related posts: Mods are now monitoring XP Competitions for scripting, Rule: If requesting lingot donations.

While the information in this update is not written into the guidelines, it is staff approved.

January 15, 2016



Thanks for helping on the post control! I believe this kind of discussion should be sticky, because often many users are not aware of this.

[deactivated user]

    Also, if you join a classroom, the "Teacher" can make changes to your account.


    Classrooms are scary for that reason. Thank you Joy.

    [deactivated user]

      I have my own classroom, with myself in it (It's dumb), but I like to check the activity log once in a while :)

      [deactivated user]

        relatable ;)


        The problem isn't the competitions themselves; the issue which I see is the quality of the competitions, or lack thereof. Anyone making an xp competition should be willing to put in the effort to make it as good as possible. This means correcting grammatical errors in the post, communicating with all competitors at every junction, updating the competition post with new information whenever necessary and refraining from appearing like you are making a competition just to get lingots.

        Also, think through the premise of your competition before you decide to execute it. Does it make sense? Is it something that will motivate people to work harder and/or be more consistent with their lessons? Will you have the time and dedication to see it all the way through? Does it give fair and equal footing to all competitors?

        These are the questions people should ask themselves before putting any competition into action.


        Some people have no intention of actually following through on these and doing any real work for them.

        [deactivated user]

          Also known as: Signing up, only wanting the lingots for the participation part. For my January Jumpstart challenge, if they don't earn XP, they are out, and they don't get any of the precious lingots.


          Yeah, I wasn't talking about yours, or a few others which are well-run with an organizer willing to put in the time it takes to do it thoughtfully.

          I'm talking about the dozens and dozens which follow some version of the following script: "I'm doing a competition! It's going to start in 8 weeks and go for two days, and you need to get 50,000 XP!!! I don't know what time zone, or prizes yet. but donate lingots because this is going to be fun! Wheeeeeee!!!"


          Good idea for security! I love it.


          Although I dislike the competitions, I hope you are successful in this. If staff are keeping an eye on it, perhaps it is with a view to gauging interest in formalising the process? That would not only make it easier for those who create them and participate in them, it would also make it easier for everyone else to ignore.


          Thank you, thank you, thank you.

          The Forum has turned into a mess lately because of a slew of incoherent competition posts that seem to exist only to be a lingot collection mechanism.


          You realize that this will effectively kill XP contests right?

          This might be too extreme. I suggest a sticky "XP Hub" post where anyone can try to make a competition and people seeking to enter can find competitions. It should stay at the top, I know there are too many sticky posts and we need to be selective, but it would be less extreme than this. And, trust me, I understand some of your frustration with the XP contests, it has been a problem.

          But please everyone, we need to find ways to include people and welcome them. Only over time will they learn our rules and ways. Most people don't play XP contests, but enough people do that we cannot deny them a place in the community.

          Can we consider something not quite so extreme on this issue? Does anyone have ideas?


          We've thought about this and this is the plan we're going with for now. So people need to think carefully about their competitions, take time to make them high quality, talk to other XP Competition game makers for ideas an pointers. High quality games will attract more users.


          thank you for the reply, a temporary ban might be a good idea, if only to reset things a bit. High quality games.... yeah, there has never been anything wrong with those, but it is not easy to separate wheat from chaff.


          You realize that this will effectively kill XP contests right?

          Good. Anything to stop them cluttering up the forums.


          Wrong, those are fellow users. They are interacting and competing with each other to learn. This is the problem, XP contests are good, but how do we handle abuse?


          The 'only one a month' rule would actually make it so that the competitions people do make will be higher quality and more thought through.


          YEssss Yeeeeessss please sticky a XP Hub


          He is right about the TOO EXTREME bit


          I agree. I am constantly getting notified.


          I am also absolutely sure (having had to make such similar presentations myself in the past) that DL uses metrics from "classrooms" usage to roll up into executive presentations to secure next stage funding for development.

          Muddying up legitimate "classroom" function (part of its core mission for current development) with random social media use of its function distorts that picture and makes the metrics harder to understand.

          Classrooms are for classes, and should remain so.


          What is a sticky disscusion? How do you become a moderator?


          I want to know what a sticky discussion is too.


          A sticky is a discussion that has been pinned to the top of a topic forum. :)


          Usagiboy7, I have just made a discussion, it is on XP contests. Could you help us with understanding how they work ya da ya da ya, in a helpful comment? Lingots will be awarded if you want. 10 donated lingots, just for you. Please think about it, I will leave the link below. Darth Solo.



          What about spam commenting other people's discussions?

          [Username redacted at moderator request] has added (38 times) the following competition to other people's posts https://www.duolingo.com/comment/24745635

          No doubt they will claim that they publicising, not spamming.


          Invites need to be done carefully, otherwise you're right, it is spam. If someone in a discussion says they are looking for motivation, or if the discussion is intended to locate XP notifications, stuff like that, then an invite is on topic. But, it's important that invites not be off topic.


          I agree - (IMHO) only a few seemed on topic. The majority seemed (to me) to be off-topic.

          PS: Please feel free to delete this sub-thread, if you want, to reduce clutter, and as I realise I am probably breaking the guidelines myself. :)


          "in my humble opinion"


          Lots of languages


          I think this is quite extreme. Instead, we could add another tab next to the 'Followed' tab as 'XP hub'.


          Cảm ơn đã giúp đỡ về việc kiểm soát bài! Tôi tin rằng loại thảo luận này nên được dính, bởi vì thường nhiều người dùng không nhận thức được điều này.Các lớp học rất đáng sợ vì lý do đó. Cảm ơn bạn Joy.


          English = Thanks for the help on post control! I believe this kind of discussion should be sticky, because often many users are not aware of this. The class is very scary for that reason. Thank you


          I wanted to see what you were saying.


          But if someone didn't know there was a competition already on and did a new one?


          The post is saying that you can have no more than one XP competition per month.


          FROM 3 YEARS AGO! Oh no.


          I don't understand what competitions are all about.


          What if we forget to follow through? Will we be banned?


          Okay, thank you for letting us know!


          Is there a way to give lingots in bulk?


          I want to join a competition but can’t find any

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