Petition: Improve Strengthening Exercise!
To the creators and contributors of DuoLingo,
First off, THANK YOU for your work and this awesome program which will allow me to connect and communicate with my German girlfriend's family! :)
Secondly, and to the point, I want to petition for an improved "Strengthen Skills" option which actually takes the time to include ALL content from more then just one/two modules at a time, PLEASE!
Right now, the current system is very inefficient and time consuming, requiring at least an hour of time and dozens of strengthening exercises just for one level!
The fact is, the strengthening exercises are much too short, only reviewing content from one or two modules at a time, often not even ALL of the content from an individual module. And since each module, if bottomed out, can require 2,3 reviews to 'golden,' simply reviewing one level can take over an hour!
We CAN improve the experience and reduce wasted time simply by lengthening the exercises to include at least 3 modules at a time. Having to click the "Strengthen Skills" button dozens of times is just not idea, it's very annoying, and the amount of time wasted between each exercise is significant - it adds up. Longer lessons mean less clicking, and less wasted time transitioning from one exercise to another. Time is money, and an improved system would allow users to review more and learn faster while reducing the time it takes.
Idea: Maybe there should be several exercise options, to include an improved one for hardcore/advanced users.
Just trying to help improve the experience and strength of the curriculum! Thanks!
Overall, I don't see a big difference between one long session and several short ones, though I can understand why some would prefer the former over the latter.
As for strengthening a single skill over and over, sometimes it does take a while to finally touch on everything in the module, and there appears to be some randomness and some repetition, but I'm not sure how a longer session would change this, apart from not having to click "practice again".
As for strengthening in general, the general strengthening does target the lowest non-gold skill on your tree first, but it moves on as the skills strengthen up. Of course, if you don't keep your tree gold and you want to strengthen a later skill, you have to choose that particular skill and strengthen it specifically.
But eventually you'll get to the point where if you do about four general strengthening sessions a day, your tree will turn gold and stay that way.
This might not happen while you're first making your way through the tree, for a couple of reasons. One is that you don't get all the words in a skill when you first do it, so "finishing" a skill gets you to a point where there's still a lot of work to be done to get through everything in that skill. This is why it often degrades soon after you "finish" it for the first time. The other reason is that skills stay gold longer the more you strengthen them. This doesn't happen immediately.
If you do keep your tree gold, you'll certainly be getting the variety you seek, by virtue of the amount of work you're doing.
It's a bit tough in the beginning, but it gets easier, and (as I say) the skills stay gold longer. Feel free not to be a slave to keeping your tree gold all the time, and go ahead and choose specific skills to strengthen as you wish (maybe you could choose to do them in order), at least until you've completed your tree, after which it will be easier to go back and focus on making everything gold.
I believe OP (and I) are not referring to the length of the strengthen skills tests, but what is on those tests. I keep my whole tree gold at all times, and still every time I use the strengthen skills test, it draws from only the very first few lessons. Just because my tree is gold doesn't mean I don't want more generalized practice.
Is it that if all the skills are at level 5, it will revert back to the first lessons?
Not in my experience.
For instance, people have been complaining about the same phenomenon in French, but it seems fine to me. My French tree is complete, and all of my French skills have remained at full strength without changing color at all since a week or so ago when I raised my goal to 120 correct answers a day. Today, using the general "Strengthen skills" button as I always do, I got questions from Sports, Spiritual, Economics, Subjunctive, etc. All of these are higher-level skills in the tree.
Certainly it will hit those lower-level skills as well at times, especially if those were last practiced further back in time, and if you have fewer skills done it has less to choose from, so it might seem weighted toward the earlier skills. I see right now that you have about 1/6 of the German tree completed, so you have some distance to go yet. But since the part you've done is all gold, it seems to me that you must be practicing more than just the most basic couple of skills. If the basic skills are gold and the others change color, surely the "Strengthen skills" button targets the non-gold skills first.
The more you practice, the longer the skills will stay gold. I believe the most basic skills will see this effect sooner.
I agree, I spend so much time trying to keep the bars full for the old lessons that I'm not progressing very far with new ones. It would be nice if we got more of a "mixed bag" with the Strengthen Skills option so that I could practice the old stuff and keep moving on with the new ones!
Ya, right now it's taking around 90 minutes just to review (strengthen) one level!!! Part of the problem is that time is wasted transitioning/clicking between exercises. The MAIN problem is that the exercises are only reviewing one module at a time, usually. Once in awhile 2 modules are combined, but only rarely...so far. Hopefully it gets better, but this process can and should definitely be improved for better time management. I could be learning much faster if 3 modules were combined in each strengthen exercise!