Idea: Progress Quizzes and Skill/Group of Skills Specific Tests.
First of all I want to say a big thank you to all of those who have made duolingo for schools better. This is my third year of using duolingo in the classroom and the website has come a long way since then.
As a teacher, I am now able to be a little more mastery-based with my students than I was when I used textbooks alone. Along with duolingo, I also use an LMS (learning management system) for quizzes and tests, but I think that duolingo could tweak just a couple of things and teachers like me wouldn't need a separate platform anymore:
Let students who are in a class take a progress quiz without having to pay lingots, and let teachers see the results (with a time stamp of course) on the dashboard. The whole purpose of this would be to let students see their progress as they go along in the language, but with a more holistic approach. They wouldn't know what to expect, so they would need to be refreshing skills often to keep on top of vocabulary and grammar.
Let teachers assign skill-specific quizzes where students can't peek, but also allow teachers to cluster several skills together in one quiz/test (maybe a max of 2-3) so that they can show their mastery of certain skills in chunks (again with time stamps). This idea along with #1 would allow me to have more time spent speaking in my class and would make duolingo even more prevalent in schools.
That's it for now. If the staff could perhaps comment on how probable it is to implement these, etc. I would appreciate it greatly.
This is great. Having students see their progress over time and creating no-peek quizzes would be amazing. We of course prioritize all the things on our plates with some help from our teacher friends and feedback, so I'd encourage other teachers to weigh in too if they find this would help them get more out of Duolingo, and tell us why they would also find it helpful. Thanks SenorDustin, that is very thoughtful feedback. :]
So I started my first Semester with Duolingo today.
I will be able to report on Friday how the first assignment went. One thing that I did notice though is that taking a placement test is only possible if you have not done anything. Some of my returning students had done some stuff previously. I felt uncomfortable to ask them to remove all their progress but they also felt uncomfortable with keeping their current progress because it did not properly reflect their skill level since it had been a long time since they had stopped using Duolingo. So I would agree that the progress quiz (without paying lingots) would be great albeit for additional reasons.
Also specific quizzes would be great, as well as time stamps. I already (after 4 hours) have students enjoying themselves and going far beyond what was necessary. That's great, but I have the feeling that Duolingo does not repeat often enough so I would be afraid that their skill is actually worse when it comes to the class in which we cover the topic learned in Duolingo. I can see the students activity for a given time range, but I cannot see if they did what they should at that time. I would love to assign a quiz or just a "strengthen" skills for one of the two days leading up the the actual class room session.
I just noticed, that you see the date of when the skill was completed for the first time if you hover over it in the "Course Progress" tab. Is that mentioned anywhere? Great feature :) I would love though if this would not show when the skill was first done, but when it was last practiced.
Great! Thank you for sharing your thoughts too—we'd love to know about how it is going, so please report back if you get a chance. For now, if you want students to strengthen, it would be cool to have an encouragement for having a golden tree. That indicates that you have kept your skills and strengths from decaying. We hope Duolingo helps your students explore the language a little more, and we are always open to feedback like the one you wrote. :]
Just to clarify: the students who have a really "not golden" tree, do so because they had used Duolingo in the past and had simply stopped doing so a long time ago. The problem was not that they did not try to maintain lower skills. They just did not use it at all. So, when they came back, they found something that was not really helpful. Basically like if you want to build something it sometimes might be harder and more confusing if you have something old and broken to repair, instead of starting from scratch. Maybe having a tool that sorts out the parts that are working and that are not working might be better than just calculating how far the natural decay of knowledge must have come after so many days of non practice. Maybe the student studied outside of Duolingo and is now a lot better than the tree, or the other way around, has forgotten most of it.
One idea that would fit my specific "problem" would be, to have a threshold of days - maybe 100 days, or half a year or something that makes it likely that some grammar and vocab is deeply forgotten. If you spend that many days without using Duolingo, but return, it will greet you with a popup : "Welcome back! You have not used Duolingo for # days. Let's find out what your skill level is" (obviously choose a friendly and easy to understand way of wording this).
That might make people more comfortable with coming back thus increasing the overall "retention" rate.