https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brooke876681

I hate this new upgrade! So discouraging.

I know people have complained about already, but I figured it wouldn't hurt for Duolingo to see another angry user. The whole 'health' upgrade is ridiculous. This is a STUDY app! And to study, you have to fumble along the way to learn things. As a teacher myself, I have to say this is a horrible way to learn. Not being able to go on after 5 errors or pay money (or wait for hours) to continue is the antithesis of what good study habits are. Do I tell my students to throw in the towel after getting errors wrong? Of course not! That's ludicrous. I tell them to keep trying until they get the hang of it. Duolingo, I plead to you. If you have any integrity as an education app, you should do your research and know that this new upgrade will only discourage learners. If you need to make money, then charge a small fee for downloading it, but don't change the format. People will just get frustrated and and give up. Good studying habits require repetition and renforcement of concepts. Please change this new format. -Disgrunted Teacher-

April 25, 2017

110 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/catinula

The heart and health point system has nothing to do with preventing people from burning out, and everything to do with a shameless money grab. I gained a heart on my iPhone app today and I would like to point out a couple of things. First off, the lessons are not foolproof enough to prevent you from losing health due to bugs or problems with the lessons. On multiple occasions I have chosen a correct multiple choice answer and had it counted as wrong (in some cases ALL answers counted wrong). I can list other problems with lessons if people want.

Secondly, the lessons spring language elements on users that the app doesn't teach, almost always resulting in a few errors. My easy example for this is Inflection of adjectives in Dutch, a simple matter that you can learn in a few paragraphs of reading in a grammar guide, but not before the app springs a question on you like "Ik heb een (blauw/blauwe) boek." (I have a blue book). And the learner is left thinking "What, how am I supposed to know that?". Surprise! Give us $3.99 and we will ignore your error.

Finally, as I mentioned I use an iPhone and I have huge fumbly thumbs. I am sure others have noticed that the "Done" button on the iPhone is perilously close to the backspace button. Correct that spelling mistake? Nope, you just submitted "The elephant is eati" ...ng a pink banana =(.

I can understand the practice aspect of the health point system, but the cost is too high and you don't get the option to use it when you run out of health points in a lesson (you ARE given the option of paying). I liked Duolingo because I could pick it up when I had 5 minutes to spare and get something done. The new system throws a huge wrench in that.

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Budgielingual84

Yes, I lost health today in Spanish for not being able to translate a sentence in simple future (e.g., ayudará), but thus far I've only learned informal future (va a ayudar). Such a gross money grab. It puts such a bad taste in my mouth.

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonFiore

Maybe you have already tried this and it's a genuine bug but often when people complain about ALL multiple choices being wrong, they haven't realised the exercise asks you to mark ALL correct answers, whether it's 1, 2 or all 3.

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/catinula

I anticipated this response, That's not what happened. I appreciate your answer but after closing and reloading the app, the question came up again and the correct response was accepted. There ARE problems with the language instruction and Duolingo IS attempting to profit off of them.

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

It's constructed by amateurs and was clearly designed for adults using it alone (I was here long before they started to try to rebrand and push it at schools and there was no expectation of using it for children). I'm baffled that people have adopted it in the classroom, because at the point at which it becomes appropriate I would have thought it was below the level. This confuses me. Maybe the classroom practitioners can explain?

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skyflakes95

In my experience as a former classroom learner, any kind of interactive individualized practice would have helped. My old (American public magnet school) program required taking either Spanish or French from 6th grade to 12th grade, and one year after graduation, only a handful of the 100 of us in my graduating class retained enough skills to speak any level of the target language. A classroom with one teacher and 30 students meeting for 40 minutes a day is not a formula for learning a language. This site gives teachers a way to see that students are actually practicing on their own time and progressing in some way, which is why some teachers have adopted it in classrooms.

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RosalindCelia

@Katzenperson If we're talking about the teachers, they can't tell the students how to access the site. Some students don't have regular access to a laptop or desktop, but a lot of them have access to a phone or tablet, since those are often cheaper. There are also many students who shuffle between houses (shared custody) or in some other way have unstable living arrangements that make consistent access on a less portable device unlikely. That teachers can even assume that almost all of their students have internet access in many schools is due to the proliferation of phones.

I also agree with skyflakes on this: adoption of duolingo for schools is probably due to class sizes and wanting students to get more immediate feedback on their homework. It certainly isn't for the gamification. I wonder what teachers do when their students report that they couldn't continue a lesson, or worse yet, that they paid to be allowed to continue? That's got to be a major disruption.

April 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skyflakes95

@katzenperson I don't see why they couldn't. I mean, maybe it's a matter of convenience, but if people are spending so much time on the site to post on the discussion, I don't see why they can't use the web version when the app doesn't suit them.

April 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katzenperson

Couldn't they just drop the mobile version and use the web (or stabile) version?

April 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skyflakes95

@RosalindCelia I agree that this version of the app can cause problems with students using it, but teachers absolutely can tell students how to access the lessons, or penalize them when things don't work out. It's a really bad situation, but that's what goes.

All through my middle and high school experience (I graduated from high school in 2013), we were assigned homework that required using the internet pretty much every night. For the students who didn't have internet access at home, that meant going to public libraries and finding time to do homework at school. There weren't exceptions made.

Teachers told us that if we didn't have internet at home then we better use it somewhere else, so it's not out of the question that they could tell students who don't devices at home that use the desktop version to go find a device somewhere that does. It's heartless.

April 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brooke876681

This post wasn't specifically about students using the app in the classroom. My frustration was geared towards the upgrade impending learning in general.

April 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

You have some points.

I don't know much about teaching kids. I've only worked in the classroom with folks 17+ in age. As for the website, it was originally advertised for folks aged 13+.

Perhaps I should amend my comment to simply, it is important not to have unrealistic expectations for Duolingo. It is an innovator company. So, it will keep testing ideas.

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/m.will.i.am.son

At this point, I am prepared to delete the app and find a new way to learn. I am also a teacher and I would never teach like this. I WOULD be willing to pay up to $9.99 to get the app for life, but I want and need to use it when I want, how I want. I'm not willing to wait 24 hours or pay to learn.

In addition, my friend has the free version and she has stated that if my app continues to stop working because of the "health" thing, she will probably delete hers also. She finds it offensive.

duoLingo, you need to correct this situation.

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria108599

The health "upgrade" is TOTALLY frustrating - I don't want to use Duolingo anymore!!! When practicing, I was so scared to lose health, that I couldn't concentrate on learning!!!! I use to do 3 parts of 1 skill every day. Today I managed to do 1 and 2 questions of the next one before I lost my Heath!!!! DUOLINGO: Of course you do mistakes when you learn!!! And now you punish us for that??? It's too bad!!! And then after, I could "claim my reward" for having practiced, and 3 chests appeared among which I could chose 1. I actually felt stomach pain because I was desperate to get more gems, so I could continue practicing!!! And how lucky I was??? My chest contained TEN gems!!! TEN!!! And one needs 350 to regain "health". Geeeze!!! This is the "worst upgrade" EVER!!! Does anyone have suggestions for other language apps??? I will begin to look for another one NOW!!! Goodbye Duolingo. I used to love you, but you have lost your magic!

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ontalor

I had actually intended on making a post about this at some point; I seriously hope this feature bombs the A/B test and they realize it's crippling users' ability to learn. It takes enough energy to get the motivation to study every day, it would be ridiculous to have a program that stops letting you study when you do have the motivation.

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zerr_

How would it not bomb?

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xuxuli

I use to use the mobile app, but now I've switched completely over to the desktop / web browser version due to the all the above mentioned flaws in this system of learning. I'm fairly happy with the desktop version, but I'm definitely on the verge of deleting the app altogether.

April 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katzenperson

I am really surprised that the rate of abandonment of the mobile version for the stabile (desktop/laptop) version is not close to 100%!!!

I would never, never, never use this site if all these "upgrades" became part of the stabile version.

The "health" thing sound like a horrible idea. If you make mistakes, you need MORE practice, not less. I never would have learnt to play the piano if my mother had made me stop practicing for 24 hours after 5 mistakes!!

April 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sagelily

I have had very little time to study these past three months because of a very busy schedule. There was one or two days when I was able to steal a solid chunk of time to do some serious review and attempt some new content. I can guarantee you that if I was stopped from using that chunk of time I had finally managed to get, because my skills have slipped, or whatever justification they use, I would quit duoloingo and not look back. The main perk of this app is that it's portable and you can squeeze in whatever you can when you can on the go. If I wanted to play some game on my phone that made me wait to do the thing unless I spent money, I would not be here on Duolingo trying to learnm], I'd be playing the video game.

August 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xaghtaersis

I hope this new system fails. It just sounds terrible for laddering and my learning method in general. I rely a lot on trial and error to learn. I came across grammar I have never ever had before in for example the Spanish for Russian speakers course and the only reason I understand it now is because I made so many mistakes that I simply do not know better than what is correct now. Allow me to make my ton of mistakes!

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mediac

The system will fall. The only question is will it be reverted before majority of users leave?

April 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Betelgeuse321

I never heard about that 5 error limit, Really?! WTF thats stupid!

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WaterPolyglot

That's an A/B test. I thought they removed it.

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Betelgeuse321

Whats that?

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/scilling

See here.

April 25, 2017

[deactivated user]

    I don't have the gems version of DL, but I hear about it on the forums. I absolutely hate it. Just get an earlier version of DL that doesn't support gems and/or ads. I agree that DL is really overmonetised right now. It's now more for making money, not education. DL has lost its soul. Maybe they could charge 99 cents for a download, or they could add a donate button to their apps.

    April 25, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria108599

    I agree about the donation button or 99 cents. How do one get an earlier version?

    April 25, 2017

    [deactivated user]

      You can save .ipa files on iTunes and then sync it onto your iDevice. If you have Android, you can grab an earlier version from this website: https://duolingo.en.uptodown.com/android/old. Make sure that you scan it with a virus scanner.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria108599

      Thank you, I will try that (iPhone)

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoges.110

      ❤ Yes, how does one get an earlier version please?

      May 23, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hoges.110

      How do you get an earlier version of D.L? Only have mobile access..

      May 23, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/The_Law8

      I also hate the update

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryAnn529254

      I have been doing Duolingo for the past 402 days through the app on my IPad which as of yesterday changed to that health update. I am too old for this change! I logged into the website and noticed I still had my lingots and not gems. So, I have been doing my lessons there under the old system. It's a little different, but I'm getting use to it. My Italian Fluency also went up 4% in two days on the website. I have no idea why. So for now, arrivederci to the app!

      April 26, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SemperDoctrina

      Their reasoning with that version might be to encourage people who don't need to learn quickly to keep practicing each day. Sometimes people learning from Duolingo get a burst of motivation but then burn themselves out from spending a lot of concentrated time on it. Then they will often stop learning for a long time or quit altogether.

      I don't have that version, but I agree with you!

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skyflakes95

      I agree with you guys and I agree that this is probably the reasoning for it. When I first started here I used to try to breeze through the lessons but I wasn't retaining much and it was difficult to keep up when the skills needed to be strengthened again. They're probably trying to stop people from doing that. I've been on a solid 6 month streak on the site and just downloaded the app yesterday and I don't have the hearts, so it is probably an A/B test and I doubt it'll stick.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimnicholson

      Hearts was an old game mechanic (although you still see it testing out etc). The new health system, that they are A/B testing, features a heart graphic, but is not 'hearts' as such.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BobJoeBuilder

      The health system is making it really hard for me to get through the Japanese alpha test at a decent pace. Without it I could have nearly completed the whole tree by now but it is going to take me another 10 days at least with this delay. I can't believe the Duo execs expect us to pay them, when we alpha testers are in fact doing work for them. Ridiculous. I won't ever start another new tree, or volunteer as an alpha tester again, if this system is made permanent. Fortunately I completed the Turkish tree so I will have continued access to that regardless of what happens.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zekecoma

      They already ruined the mobile app by dumbing it down with fridge magnets and matching. Now they do this? Then overcharge you for removing ads for $9.99? $9.99 for a poorly written app that's too damn easy that it takes no effort to complete. Pfft.

      If you make the desktop as awful as the mobile. You're going to lose way more people.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmandaDavi615137

      I love learning languages and know 6 other than my own ( at a variety of levels ranging from fluent down to just knowing the alphabet of another ... Russian), but not this way. I installed the app to see what it is like and just don't like the method at all. Also it is not convenient to randomly use the microphone and you get penalised for not doing. I will learn in my own way. I prefer to thoroughly learn pronunciation and some grammar first, not parrot fashion stuff where you don't know the rules regarding construction of a sentence, gender and various other things. With some languages that have unique characters and combinations of letters you cannot even start without knowing pronunciation and some grammar first. For example Polish. Tried Polish and saw it was hopeless to attempt in this way. Then German for the sake of comparison ( as I already knew some), as it is at least possible to read words even in your own way, so you remember the spelling, without necessarily pronouncing it correctly. Then I came across the inconvenience of being randomly asked to use the microphone. Oh well .. I will make my own learning plan. like I did years ago when there were only books and records / tapes. I will google the grammar and everything else I want to know, and use Youtube for pronunciation. Sigh. I think I saw a comment saying this is used in schools ... omg ....

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

      You can turn off the microphone questions by just turning off the microphone in settings.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmandaDavi615137

      Thanks .. I found this out a bit after I posted my comment, but only just saw your reply.

      April 29, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skyflakes95

      It's not used in schools as primary instruction. Duolingo has a guide for it to be used as a supplementary tool as an occasional class activity, homework, and extra credit.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmandaDavi615137

      Thanks .. it seems fine just for practice.

      April 29, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DianeCurro

      Yes, no doubt the recent abrupt change in the form of an automatic update to my son's duolingo ipad app has totally discouraged him from using a previously fun and effective learning tool. I am strongly in favor of Duolingo removing this 'heart health' update from the system and putting all users back on the former setup which had students earning lingots which could be used as currency for additional lessons, strengthening skill bars at will, and being allowed mistakes and given chances to try again and continue to make progress. I agree with everything brooke876681 wrote and feel that her professional educator's point of view has hit the nail on the head - this is a terrible approach. The change has all but ruined it for my homeschooled son, who was on a roll and loving the language before this came out of nowhere and stopped him in his tracks; it is indeed like a roadblock to learning and motivation, etc. Please consider this feedback and make the necessary adjustments. Thank you.

      May 6, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryAnn529254

      I stopped using the app on my IPad due to the heart/health thing about a week ago. I have a 422 day streak and am almost done with the Italian Tree. I now use the Doulingo website for my lessons and it is still on the old system with lingots. The website is far superior to the app. The microphone works much better, it gives elaborate descriptions for the parts of speech and my fluency has gone from 28% to 49% in just one week. I am so sorry I didn't start using the website to begin with.

      May 6, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan-ErikJ

      Which app? Android or iOS?

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aria487

      iOS only, and not all of the users. That means it's an A/B test.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maria108599

      I certainly don't hope this will last long!!!

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

      Actually, I should think that you do neither of those things and make a teaching point of the error. This is a concept that has passed Duo by.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Armout-

      On pc/Mac you do not have to wait any time, and you can get unlimited wrong. But I get how it would be frustrating since if all your students were to use computers you would probably have to rotate turns.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skyflakes95

      If you're talking about using it for a class, that's not how it's done. Duolingo has a guide on how to use it in a classroom and it's meant to be a supplementary tool, not a teaching tool. The guide suggests assigning lessons for homework practice and extra credit, and for occasional class activities.

      April 26, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brooke876681

      Not sure what the normal turnaround is to regain health, but I wasn't able to get my hearts back again until 24 hours later. What??

      April 26, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

      Still, I suppose it's good for giggles in the classroom - I have just been asked 'Did you sleep together with him?' by the German course.

      April 26, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CPJ3

      This is exactly why I prefer using a book and CD package like the old Living Language Ultimate series along with Anki (or other SRS). It just works - nobody changes stuff in the middle of my learning and this "health" problem doesn't come up. You also only pay for it once and it's good FOREVER. There are tons of sites on the internet we you can get additional materials to use as supplements.

      April 28, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stripedkitty

      :0 You have the hearts? Do you know if that's across the board?

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brooke876681

      I just updated the newer version and I got the heart format. If it was removed then it must not be current in the app section.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimnicholson

      There is a new health system that is being A/B tested. It features a heart graphic to represent health..

      This is not what people mean when they talk about hearts, which was a 'three lives and you're out' type system. You can still see this when testing out.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Betelgeuse321

      I was reading through all these other posts about this upgrade and they all came form 2yrs ago and none from recent. i wonder what has happened

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WaterPolyglot

      The original version of Duolingo (Version 1.0.1) had hearts in lessons.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dzhocef

      I liked those ones though, it was more pressure to get an answer right, but not too extreme.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

      If it doesn't work/isn't effective and you leave, as someone who has been here a long time and doesn't get paid to say it, come back after a while to see if it's changed rather than writing it off forever.

      Folks should have realistic expectations of Duolingo: Duolingo is an innovator, so, that is what it does and will continue to do. It is all about trying LOTS of new things and seeing what works and what doesn't. To do that, Duolingo runs a bazillion tests, collects data from if/how people interact with the new features. It takes time for Duolingo to run the tests and crunch the data to decide whether or not to keep something on as a feature (until something performs even better and replaces it).

      If the data says the feature has not helped the majority of learners, the feature will get scrapped. If it helps the majority of learners but you've permanently scrapped Duolingo instead of just taking a break to opt out of the test, it's a loss for your students. If you've permanently scrapped it and convinced your friends and coworkers that Duolingo is permanently terrible, it's a loss for your network and beyond. Duolingo isn't in a static state. It's an innovator.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

      Numbers based 'data' about education analysed by a bunch of IT people is not going to give you fact, though, it's going to give you false correlations. I have pointed this out before. Program is full of errors. It fails to accept correct answer or insists on erroneous answer. User gives correct answer and tries multiple possible answers in an attempt to get at what the text in the target language really means. Program rejects them all because it wants a sentence that is simply impossible in the language in which it is constructed. Someone in Pittsburgh concludes that the user is doing less well because of some silly nonsense involving cartoon owls rather than addressing the holes in the 'course' that is a holey as a pair of fishnets.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AernJardos

      If it does not accept the correct answer you should click the flag and 'report a problem.' Choose the 'my answer should be accepted' option and submit the error report. That tosses it to the course contributors to let them know there is an issue. Without that they cannot tell anything is wrong.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

      Yes, that's the theory. But some of them get fixed and others do not. And some have clearly been reported years ago and are still not fixed. And the danger is that in the same way that people believe what they see in print, a site on this scale with this many users can easily gain a degree of credibility that it does not deserve. And once you put it in the classroom as a teaching tool, pupils will believe it. If they are trying to push it at schools, they have a responsibility to get it right - though I think teachers should have the wit to check the thing out thoroughly before they ask their students to attempt it, and that means doing the tree. There's no 'map of the book' or curriculum concordance here.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/catinula

      Surely DL has a team of credentialed education researchers directing their program and not just a bunch of IT people "winging it".

      April 26, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/whukriede

      lol.

      April 27, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zyxwvutsrqpo

      come back after a while to see if it's changed rather than writing it off forever

      Sorry to say but you can't expect people to do that.

      Duolingo is an innovator

      *was

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/starboystellan

      Will it really be removed?

      April 26, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katzenperson

      Dear Disgruntled Teacher:

      Would it be possible for your students to migrate to the stabile (desktop/laptop) version of Duolingo? So far, none of the über-monetized upgrades have been applied to the stabile site.

      I do not know the socioeconomic situation of your students, but if they have regular access to a personal computer (rather than to a mobile device), then they could still access the site for free. You can even build classrooms in the stabile site, and forget all about the mobile site!

      Just a thought.

      April 26, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skyflakes95

      I don't think the disgruntled teacher OP and the other teachers on this post use this for their students, they're just expressing their frustration about the method of teaching on the app based on their knowledge of education in general. That's valid criticism because Duolingo used to make the claim that it's "the best way to learn a language."

      However, the criticism of classroom use in the replies on this thread appears to not be from anyone who actually uses it in the classroom. That criticism has much less merit because Duolingo has a guide for classroom use and it's clearly not meant to be used for instruction because their suggestions are that DL should be used for extra practice, like homework and extra credit.

      April 26, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brooke876681

      Yes, it's criticism about Duolingo's update hindering effective learning strategies in general.

      April 26, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

      Well, at least once in a while it'll let you get a health bar back by letting you choose to watch a video ad!

      (and given how much I dislike this system, yes, this actually does qualify as an improvement in my book)

      April 27, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NicoleSmas

      I also am disgruntled and flabbergasted. Even with the 'In app purchase' upgrade the adds still come up after every game you play and read 'This add keeps learning free'. Its an obvious disrespect to the customer of this once very helpful community app. It is obvious that a shift in mission statement has been made. I once believed your company was about free education, helping other people learn other languages, and bringing the world together. Now, with the capitalist focused new 'gem' packages, I can see your new mission statement is 'Money money money money.... money" . Your stock holders are routing for us to make mistakes. You cannot make more than four mistakes without having to either wait an obscene amount of time or to conveniently buy some more gems!! Your company makes money when I fail. It tells me that if I want to try again I have to 'pay the piper'. The adds were enough, you were making enough money off the adds in the app alone. This is a greedy change. Shame on you Duolingo, we thought you were different.

      May 31, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kmpres
      • 1584

      the health system on the iphone is crap and I hate it. It never appeared on my iphone until the crown system a few days ago !!

      April 10, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonathan372192

      i am with everyone on this , i can say i hate this new update , i cant learn or pratice as much as i used to , and one more important reason is that back then Duolingo actually helped me with stopping my depression , it gave me purpose.

      Suddenly every time i would fail a lesson voices in my head tell me im a failure and i dont deserve to even live , its been growing ever since , i've tried cutting myself just due to these small things.

      May 31, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WaterPolyglot

      Wasn't the Health feature removed?

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brooke876681

      I just downloaded the new version and I have it

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WaterPolyglot

      A/B test.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

      I actually kind of like it. I've seen lots of people here on Duolingo rush through the course and get to the end without really having learned much of anything. The key to learning a language is repetition, and lots of it. You can't just remember "niño means boy" - niño has to BE a young male person, in your mind and in your concept of the world around you. That doesn't happen with a couple of passes through a lesson, and maybe not even with a dozen repetitions.

      If you're getting answers wrong, then you need to stop and repeat and review. It's not a punishment. It's reality. When you review lessons, your health goes up. When your health is high, you can move forward again.

      I think it's brilliant. They may not have the algorithm correct yet, but it's a creative approach similar to the skill bars on the website, and I think it might actually be better. Try to think of it as a personal tutor guiding you in the right way, rather than a punishment. After all, Duo does want us to succeed.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ontalor

      Five wrong answers in a day though? That's rather extreme. We already have a mechanic for getting people to review with the golden lessons, and if someone wants to just blast through a course without reviewing, what's the point in preventing them?

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

      Indeed. If I'm going to study a language in depth on here, I basically view doing all the skills as just the first step. For one, I've never managed to get a substantial number of translations into the target language (no matter how much review I do of the skills) without having done all the skills a first time through. I was going through my Dutch tree with plenty of review, on target to get the golden owl at level 24 if not 25, but I was still getting vastly fewer translations into target language than I was in Guaraní where I got the golden owl at level 10 and have been doing a similar amount of review per skill since (review that is, of course, much more effective and valuable).

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

      Sorry, Lrtward, but that's just. not. true. I can't get through the flipping lessons in some of the courses because it wants me to supply English that is not English. You are constantly marked wrong for 'errors' that are not errors or for refusing to make errors! According to Duo I average something like 2-3 errors a minute at moment and whilst some of them are mine, a huge percentage of them are Duo's.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lrtward

      That's a good point, and one I admit I hadn't considered. I've only had the health thing less than a day, and only done two lessons with it. I might like it less if IOS were my main mode of learning, and less yet if I were doing a course that's still in beta with lots of errors.

      I still think it's a good concept, though. Like not letting a student tackle algebra before they've learned multiplication.

      I'm interested in seeing how I feel in a few weeks or months after the "new" has worn off, or how I feel after trying the Czech course (when it's released to beata) on it.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

      If only it were still in Beta.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RosalindCelia

      This might blow your mind, but there are a number of math breakthroughs happening right now with letting kids learn algebra before they've learned multiplication. The longitudinal data so far is surprisingly positive. :)

      I think a system like this is designed to force students to learn in a particular way. The problem is, people learn differently. There is data that making mistakes actually improves learning outcomes - people are more likely to remember mistakes than things they got right. Some people are natural experimenters who like to guess at things while learning, and trying to box them into rote spitting out of moused-over translations is immensely frustrating and useless to them. Some new concepts are harder than others. Some people need to move quickly because they need to use the language soon. The app doesn't even have the grammar tips and notes, which is a problem unto itself.

      At the end of the day, learning is for the learner, and we must assume the learner has some competence at choosing a style that suits them. Duo can be paternalistic at times, but this is pretty extreme, especially with money involved. To me, the money indicates it's not really for the learner's benefit.

      April 27, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mibrodt

      There is a simple solution to this that doesn’t necessarily require you to re-write the entire idea: make the “health” component specific to each individual lesson. Think about it like Super Mario Brothers... you have three lives a level, and when you are out of them, you simply have to start back at the beginning of that level. The only thing you lose is progress in that particular level.

      In the case of DuoLingo, you lose health until you are out for that lesson. Once you are out, you can pay to continue, or just restart that lesson. But you are NOT prevented from restarting that or any other lesson. Now you have your gamification component without being completely disruptive to the learning experience.

      December 31, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

      Duolingo already had a 3-hearts-per-lesson system. I think they started with that, actually. They tested it against other methods and it didn't test well so they got rid of it. At the time, there was a 15% retention rate. With all of the changes since, including getting rid of that, retention boosted to 60%.

      December 31, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

      @mibrodt,

      What is a viable alternative other than returning to the model in use on the web version currently?

      I don't know. But, returning to the web version isn't viable by whatever standard the company is using or else they wouldn't have added additional ways to monetize. Not enough Plus subscriptions, too many people willing to use the courses but not willing to turn off their adblockers. Duolingo has to make money to cover the more than $70,000 a day it costs to keep existing.

      Duolingo tests everything against everything else, right down to how many tears Duo was crying whenever someone lost their last heart in a lesson. And, shockingly, the number of tears actually made a difference. People are terribly susceptible to details they don't even realize they are susceptible to. If Duolingo can find a non-frustrating, viable alternative, I'm sure they'll jump on it.

      Several changes the company has implemented began as suggestions from the foum community. Even more suggestions they've tested and didn't work. But the point is, if the community can figure out a viable alternative, there is a very good chance the company will implement it.

      December 31, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mibrodt

      Yet there seems to be a lot of frustration surrounding the current system, and I include myself in it. Every time I have to stop a lesson mid way because of health, and either pay, wait, or go do the other random exercises, it is extremely disruptive to learning and incredibly frustrating. I get it from a gamification model, but it is a poor experience for people to be “punished” for making a mistake. Especially since mistakes are part of the learning process. What is a viable alternative other than returning to the model in use on the web version currently?

      December 31, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mibrodt

      Sorry, I couldn’t seem to reply to your last message. I completely understand the necessity to make money and appreciate that they do studies. However, the current methodology is to disruptive to my learning. For the time being, I will still need to rely on Rosetta Stone as my primary form of learning Italian. However, I do really like many aspects of the DuoLingo platform, and want to see it be a success, so I will continue to use both it and TinyCards. I’d like to be able to provide feedback as well, so that perhaps the community can come up with better options to both help monetize and improve the learning experience. Thanks.

      December 31, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

      @mibrodt, I only have the Android app and I know each platform is different. If you're using Android, I found a "feedback" button on mine. If you have three vertical dots on the upper right-hand side, click those. I see the following options when I do:

      Settings
      Progress Sharing
      Feedback
      Log out

      Duolingo is always testing different things. So, I won't assume you can see the same things I see. But, if you do, that is one way to leave feedback. Another way, of course, is to write a comment as you've done. I know staff checks the forums. However, I'm not sure how long they stay subscribed to old discussions. There are more recent discussions about the Health feature. Writing a new one might get down voted for post fatigue. (Many people making redundant posts.) Staff did recently redesign some things and people are leaving feedback about Health there, even though Health arrived before the redesign. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/29997264 (Please don't take this as me recommending folks leave off-topic comments. Rather, I just know people already are doing it there.)

      Best of luck for all of us helping figuring out the best solutions. :)

      December 31, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zyxwvutsrqpo

      I might agree if it weren't for the absolutely terrible repetition options and experience on Duolingo:

      • Reviewing by redoing skills is extremely slow, inefficient and doesn't focus on what needs repetition / what you are bad at.

      • The flashcards option: fast but genders aren't even included. No targeting options by skill, no transparency on how it actually decides what you should review and no ability to review by typing. Words that you get wrong still get fully strengthened but will simply decay faster, leaving the question how long it will take before the word is brought up again? Also no option to do "to target language only" and it's only available on web.

      • Tinycards: ability to review vocabulary by chapter but not by strength, it's speed is medium-slow, faster than repeating skills, slower than flashcards but also slower than it could be: unnecessary delays between words (3-4 seconds). It also requires you to switch to a different website / app. The big plus point is that at least it includes genders! No option to do "to target language only", no option to disable repeating the same word several times in one exercise.

      • No option to review voc by just typing alone.

      • No option to review the voc of the skill(s) you just completed.

      • No option to have new voc to be repeated a few times the following days.

      • No option to have voc you got wrong to be repeated a few times the following days.

      • The flashcards under "words" & tinycards don't yield xp (no encouragement).

      If they want to force people to review more, at least offer some decent reviewing options! I did review by redoing skills for Portuguese (the first language I did on Duolingo) and I can tell you: never again... It's extremely inefficient and also ineffective because of the inefficiency. Since it only allows you to review few words, it takes a very long time to review everything and thus a whole lot of time to forget things in between.

      My own Excel voc spreadsheet (which I haven't been using lately because of spending time elsewhere): repeating the entire voc of a tree can easily be done in less than 2 hours! By repeating all skills? That should take you at the very least 20 hours... Just doing one "strengthen" exercise for each skill is likely to take you like 3 hours, while that way you only get to review a small part of all the voc.

      And as other people have mentioned Duolingo sometimes doesn't accept correct answers because they're missing from the system. Sometimes it even forces users to give a certain solution and purposely disallowing certain other correct responses (mainly the French course of those that I've tried).

      The underlying thought might be good (preventing people from rushing to the next thing when they don't the previous well enough yet - something I agree to) but whether the way it was implemented hits the mark is a different story.

      Edit: progress is a combination of reviewing and new material. Reviewing alone will only yield good progress when you've forgotten most of what you've learned previously. But each repetition circle becomes less and less effective. In the end only going through new material without reviewing will still me more effective than reviewing only without new material. The best progress relies on a good balance between repetition and new material. Slow, inefficient and non-targeted repetition will inadvertently lead to a bad repetition-new material balance. As reviewing a fair amount of words would take too much time, leaving little time to spend on new material. Or on the other side, when splitting your time between them you'll be reviewing too few words. I think Duolingo's lack of (good) repetition features is partially on purpose: it tends to not be fun / not as fun as doing a new skill, and that's difficult to change. Thus it's mainly something for serious students, but at the same time it might be a scarecrow to people who're less serious / less dedicated.

      To be clear: I do think that the system they're testing COULD be good (holding people back from continuing without reviewing and forcing them to pay to continue without having sufficient knowledge of previously material) but only when implemented in a good way, including offering better reviewing options.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brooke876681

      I agree to an extent. Repetition is key to learning, but I agree there needs to be different exercises. Just doing the same senetences over and over again isn't helpful because you're only learning a word in that particular context. The chats aren't related entirely to what you're learning at that particular moment either. This would be a great app to use in the classroom, supplemented with other activities, but I wouldn't use this new version because my students would get discouraged.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

      I think you raise an excellent point: Duolingo's spaced repetition is a clumsy beast optimized for nothing in particular (except perhaps minimizing developer time expenditure). It seems they're pretty clear it's tied to individual word strength. That probably makes some modicum of sense for Romance languages (ex. Romanian, and letting the "we're not the place that's going to drill you on subjunctive" logic slide), but as soon as any non-English word order pops up (to say nothing of things like cases), you'd obviously want something smarter. And even the word-based SRS is quickly torpedoed by chunking everything so rigorously into skills, so that even an as-yet-unlearned word or two drags along a whole bunch more material you've already got down.

      EDIT: In the intervening hours I've been stuck with this wretchedness. You don't get to pick what to review to get more health; you've got to do whatever it decides to dish up for you, presumably from the ever-decrepit whole-tree strengthening algorithm I've hardly ever deigned to use.

      In the past I've occasionally had nice things to say about the app. No more.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zyxwvutsrqpo

      Is it rather the repetition system that's bothering you or would you still be as annoyed if the repetition system was more pleasant?

      I do think the whole "holding back" thing can work but only with a good system built around it. I personally wouldn't mind it if the reviewing options it gave were efficient. I won't go back to reviewing by redoing skills (like I did for Portuguese) since it's extremely time inefficient. But a reviewing system that would make me efficiently review things? I'd welcome it.

      April 27, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

      I, too, would welcome a much improved reviewing system. Were that in place, the health system would certainly be less onerous. However, five "errors" (and in some trees those are very likely to be on the part of the course creators in not having accepted valid variants), is just very few. My perspective on this is undoubtedly informed by my having spend good amounts of time in some of the more confused corners of Duolingo: Hungarian (with its behemoth sentences and wild and woolly word order), Swahili, Guaraní with unfamiliar word order/agglutination and "very beta"ness, but even in relatively tame Russian, new skills can throw some real curve balls, and no matter how well you've masted the skills that came before, learners are probably in for a good amount of hurt and attendant errors.

      April 27, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

      Go try the Guaraní or Swahili course and get back to us ;)

      But even in courses that are a good deal more polished, if you make five errors in the lesson you're learning now, it's by no means given that forcing you to practice prior skills is going to help alleviate the problem. (I haven't seen the health version myself but base this on Ontalor's description here of how it functions) If you've been diligently reviewing up to now, the problems are likely to originate from the very lesson/skill you're now restricted from practicing.

      April 25, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/starboystellan

      What about the people who do it without the A/B test? I got 1000 XP in one day with only review. I don't want to have to stop

      April 26, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Usagiboy7

      Just wanted to let folks know that, since a search didn't reveal a discussion created solely for the purpose of asking Duolingo to release Alpha/Beta courses from the Health feature, I created one.

      I haven't used the feature, so If I've gotten the details wrong, please leave me a comment so I can edit it https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22361747

      Thanks!

      April 27, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shadetreader

      The health meter is a terrible idea. Learning requires trial and error. Forcing users to stop doing lessons after making only a few mistakes, then forcing them to wait many hours before they can return to the app, is a counterproductive mess. Maintaining my streak now prevents me from completing nearly as many lessons as I want to, as I find Duolingo easier to use on my iPhone than in a browser. I hope this feature is removed in the next update!

      May 27, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jceti1

      I would also like to voice my disappointment at the "health" upgrade. Instead of pleading for it to be changed and appealing to the educational benefits that Duolingo should be encouraging at the expense of "money grabbing", I am considering going across to BABBLE. From what I can gather you pay the one up fee. So Duolingo might get the message once their membership decreases. - Disappointed Participant

      May 31, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David385859

      What are they thinking? My poor wife can't get past a few questions each day before being made to stop. How is she ever going to learn this way. She was learning so much before. She made many mistakes and it took her a long while to finish each section but in the end she was learning a lot. Now she is learning very little and is becoming discouraged. Now she is threatening to stop using the app. So we both wanted to learn Greek but this is going to stop all of that. Please change this!!!!!

      August 5, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lucia534815

      I completely agree! What's weird is I did the Japanese tree completely and it has nothing like that, then I try the Spanish tree and I was IMMEDIATELY discouraged from learning, they literally make it impossible to learn with any kind of frequency isn't that against their whole philosophy anyway?

      September 8, 2017

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brenda999

      If students can not study because they keep making mistakes then "practice" revises sentences they have already completed and gives 1 health bar which enables students to revisit particular topics or try new ones. Love the new format.

      April 22, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carlos921283

      I don’t like it, either. I make quite a few typos on my phone, so I use up the “Health” pretty quickly now that there seems to be less “wiggle room” for same. I lst my 2000-plus ingots in the switch-over. I have lost health several times already for “incorrect answers” that are later “now accepted.” And a lot of those were really much more accurate than Duo’s! I agree with someone else’s observation that Duo cones up with a lot of translations that are NOT proper English. There are more problems, but this is enough for now.

      Very discouraging, and the health thing defies logic.

      April 22, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carlos921283

      It’s supposed to give you back health points after a period of time. I went empty this morning and am still waiting ...... Sucks!

      April 23, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Carlos921283

      I can’t adequately express how disgusted I am with this new Health addition. I’ve been put on hold so many times this week because of typos that I’m considering dropping the whole program.

      April 25, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_emmxnuel__

      Right i want to keep going but i have to pay or wait l, i thought this was an educational app not a game smh this discourages me back to google translae for me ig

      June 15, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike947115

      As someone who does duo on a computer, I had no idea about hearts and health. On my computer, I can go as long as I want, and make all the mistakes I need to actually get the structure/vocab through my thick skill. That's awful for phone/tablet users!

      June 7, 2019

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sam223Wing

      Just wanted to say Hi and I like pie!!!! yum and have an great year!

      July 17, 2019
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