https://www.duolingo.com/hcarbonneau

Very Frustrated - Not really designed for classroom use

I am finding this program very frustrating. I cannot see how my students are doing in their "lessons" - only that they completed them. It doesn't show if they've "mastered" the skill only that they completed the skill section. I know it's free - but if you're setting up a program for schools, it should have more options. Also: making teachers earn lingots in order to assign extra practice for their students is not really condusive to a classroom environment & path to fluency.

April 14, 2017

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/iDataDrew

This is more directed to some of the comments throughout...

Some seem to put an emphasis on quizzes, tests, and assignments. It's a good thing Duolingo doesn't take this grammar-centric, testing focus. It's damaging to language learning. No one learns a language to pass quizzes and tests. They learn languages to communicate with people, to advance their careers, to immerse in a different culture, etc. When that's the focus, then they will have fun with the language and truly learn it. You will know the students are "mastering" the language (just how soon do you think they should master it by the way???) as they use it more and more, and more accurately at that. There needs to be a level of trust in the students at this point. If they truly want to learn the language, then you won't have to constantly be looking over their shoulder to make sure they're progressing. If they don't have a true desire to learn the language, then no amount of quizzes and tests will change that. It'll actually encourage them in their discontentment and complacency.

I'm not saying that tests should never be a part of language learning, but they should not be a primary focus. They should be spaced out. Students who study a language to pass quizzes and tests almost never actually learn the language...they just pass tests. But students who study a language because they see the benefits of it and they see how enjoyable it can be, almost always learn the language. And as a result, they'll pass tests if given to them, because they've truly learned the language.

That being said, this isn't to say that there's no room for improvement in the teacher-student aspect of Duolingo, but let's make sure it doesn't morph into the prominent approach to language education in our public school systems (at least in the Unites States) - grammar-driven, test-focused.

April 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hcarbonneau

I totally agree - tests and quizzes are NOT something I do often, however, I can't even see what skills my students understood or didn't understand - just that they eventually finished the lesson. THAT is my main frustration

April 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/iDataDrew

I see, thank you. So are you wanting to see a stat on how many/which challenges your students got wrong for each lesson?

April 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hcarbonneau

yes - this gives the teacher more knowledge about what the students need to learn.

April 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Cam_and_Alex

Beautifully said. =)

April 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KenBookmye

Could you clarify your learning lingots comment. Duo does require all users to have 60 XP in order to join any forum except troubleshooting but I have not seen a requirement for lingots.

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker

Duolingo requires all users to be on level 2 (60XP, yes), to post in any forum except troubleshooting, but anyone can read any forum, and can subscribe to any forum - indeed it's automatic when someone joins Duolingo and starts a course.

April 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hcarbonneau

I used the wrong term. I meant XPs - It's not about the forums - it's about assigning lessons to my students.

April 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hcarbonneau

I wanted to have my students do extra practice in a skill and I can't assign that - they have to select it in their account and need to have lingots to do strengthening skills or timed practice.

April 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker

It's early days for the Duolingo for Schools system, and there's a lot of stuff that a teacher needs that hasn't been implemented yet. There's no way of assigning strengthening a skill, or assigning a homework of golding the tree, or keeping it gold, or earning XP that isn't from endlessly repeating the first lesson of the first skill, etc. It's also not possible to share a classroom between teachers, or hand a class over to another teacher, or to import users by uploading a CSV file, etc etc.

I don't think you need lingots to do anything in the forums, though. I think KenBookmye has a point - the only thing you're limited from doing is posting in other forums than this one. Even then, doing a placement test shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes for a language teacher.

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hcarbonneau

We are limited - VERY Limited, if I may disagree with you. We cannot assign extra practice, we cannot assign quizzes or timed practice. Teachers cannot see what % students are getting in their lessons - like if they've really understood it or just kept clicking through and repeating stuff.

April 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker

We agree, I just made a typo in my post, which I've now fixed - sorry. What I should have said is that lingots don't limit you from doing anything in the forums.

April 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Frideswidey

It's not a question of 'not really' designed for classroom use. It wasn't designed for classroom use and the schools feature is a late add-on.

April 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Cam_and_Alex

I haven't heard anything about needing to spend lingots to assign extra practice. This may be an A/B test. An awful A/B test, but a potential one nonetheless. I do agree, however, that being able to see tree progression/strength without needing to walk around the room looking at their Duolingo pages would be a prudent and worthwhile investment in time and logistical resources.

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KenBookmye

Note the quiz that is for sale in the lingot store is comprehensive through the entire course not to the point where the user is when they buy it so it's not really a great choice for classroom learning either

April 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hcarbonneau

I appreciate all of the comments in this thread and I value the feedback - however, I do want to clarify a couple of things - 1) The reason I was (and still am) frustrated is not because I want to test my students more - I want to be able to see what skills they understood which they need help in. DuoLingo only shows the lesson as "completed" with no additional data to drive instruction or further discussion.
2) Having the ability to review practice previously taught skills is a HUGE part of learning a language and that is missing from DuoLingo. I cannot assign strengthening skills / extra practice to my students. These issues are what is causing the frustration.

April 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/.Cleo.

Maybe you could offer paper/online quizzes once everyone reaches a certain point to truly test whether they're learning on Duolingo.

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/.Cleo.

Maybe you could have oral presentations/quizzes, too.

April 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hcarbonneau

I'd have to go through each mini lesson to see what exact skills are being taught and create a test / quiz at each lesson to do that. Isn't that what programs that teach languages are supposed to do? So teachers don't have to do this themselves & can track progress without having to do it manually?

April 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/lizsue

Not necessarily.

"Programs that teach languages" don't necessarily have anything for a second person to track the person being taught.

The idea is that the learner chooses and uses the software on his or her own.

This goes for ChineseSkill, HelloChinese, the language courses on Memrise, most of Duolingo (and, until recently, all of Duolingo), etc. All of these are still "programs that teach languages."

May 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hcarbonneau

I recently noticed the "words" link next to my" Home" link on my DL page. Can you make that information accessible for teachers? I'd love to see what words they need help with & what words they understand well. If you're already tracking that information, it should be easy to link that to the teachers' pages within classroom.

May 1, 2017
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