Sneak peek of a soon-to-be launched Duolingo feature…
We have a new Teams feature that we'll be telling you much more about soon! Below is a a sneak peek of a few of the badges that can be selected for your team. Let your imagination take it from there. :)
We'll be announcing more about Teams over the next few weeks!
Thanks for all your comments about this new feature (Teams!). We are very excited to share more about them over the next two weeks before we launch. Many of you have been asking for groups, and we might have a solution for you ;)
I just wanted to say that we are planning on releasing an updated vocab experience in late April/early May. When we first released the new look we told you this is what we were working on (and we are). I am sorry for any confusion regarding this. We have heard your feedback loud and clear. We want to be transparent, but not over promise. What I can say for sure is that you'll see something new in late April/early May.
Most importantly, sorry for the response from the team about the vocab page in this thread. We've been working hard on the teams feature, and it has been a main focus for some of our developers. We deeply care and value everyone's opinions and feedback. We owe you a huge apology for that response- we're very sorry.
As the first person to have mentioned vocabulary here, I apologise if it seemed demanding or ungrateful, that definitely wasn't my intention. I was just disappointed that it wasn't what I'd been hoping for, but it probably wasn't the most apt place to bring up a different feature. I'm definitely looking forward to teams and finding out more about it!
Sorry this thread became a discussion about vocabulary. I really appreciate that the developers put so much hard work into creating new features like teams, and also that you take the time to share these announcements with us and respond to us.
You always have such sweet responses! Honestly, one of the things I love about Duolingo is how willing the community is to give feedback (and how you guys seem to take our opinions into account.) It seems like every time someone finishes their tree there's a, "Just finished my tree! I love Duolingo and I have some suggestions" thread.
I've been personally jotting down some things to email you guys after I complete the tree. o.O Just in case my ideas haven't been thought up yet by your team. I study language education and research in SLA so I've gotten into the habit of imagining how concepts could be applied to Duolingo.
Glitches and delays with new software roll outs are inevitable. Your team is building a very nice and intuitive product. Take heart, it will come together.
People who have more recently started using DuoLingo aren't going to know how everything works, so if they bring up their frustrations or ask redundant questions over such things as the missing vocab lists on unrelated threads or start new duplcate ones -- they aren't stupid or trying to be malicious, they just haven't figured out the features yet and don't know what you know about your product. I might suggest using a politely worded pre-formatted message to alert people they've started a duplicate thread, why this is problematic, point them to the relevant one and delete the duplicate. It beats possibly alienating new clients who might interpret understandably frustrated or terse responses from the team. We are all but merely human. It may also save some time for the team if they can just copy and paste a response or click a button rather than having to repeat themselves. Perhaps you've already considered this, but I wouldn't know what search parameters I'd have to use to find the proper thread.
Why sorry? You (Duolingo team) have made A GREAT EFFORT FOR US! And this is absolutely free, we don't pay even a cent.
I know you make a lot of effort every day, and I am sure I am not the only one who is VERY thankful to the team.
Thanks for all, Duo... you don't need to be "sorry".
Wow, thanks for the frank response! It feels good to read your message.
As a partly crowdsourced venture, Duolingo should indeed see its vocal and active users as a strength and a support, not an annoyance. Greetings from a former PR officer and a current head of customer service...
See kristinemc's latest response here (and upvote it for visibility) before reading too far down this thread. This is good news and does a great deal to assuage my pessimism, although I'd still be interested to hear some details about what form the revised Vocab system will take, what features will carry over from the old system, ideas for new features, etc. Hopefully those details will be forthcoming. Also, everyone please give Naut a break. Who hasn't had a bad day and lashed out when you're feeling a little unappreciated?
Thanks Kristine \& the rest of the Duo staff!
This is an interesting and apparently useful new feature, and I'm excited for it. That said, I'm becoming increasingly concerned that the Vocab feature will never return, at least not in a form that replaces what has been lost. The relative silence of Duo staff on the subject - nothing beyond vague promises that it is being rebuilt and will be reintroduced someday in the future - does nothing to allay the concerns I raised when it was removed: promises aside, it isn't a priority for Duo and less and less developer time will be committed to it in order to make way for other sexier and more valued projects. This announcement only reinforces that suspicion.
Well, we are all human, aren't we? And there has been considerable abuse from some users (not necessarily in this thread, though I have not read all of it) towards the team, so personally, I think it is understandable.
Of course it is not right - that is why there was an official apology. I think it is time that we consider this water under the bridge.
Hmmm... I have not seen anything regarding this topic from users that I would even remotely consider as "considerable abuse" (just a lot of feedback and people being upset about the lack of response to it). But then again I am not on here as much as you are, I think, so I might of course have missed it.
I guess communicating with the users on here might not be -- and should not be -- part of every staff member's job description. That's at least how it works in other organizations.
Interesting. I hope people will be able to create custom Icons for their teams. Also considering that they are teams, it seems that they will be collaboratively attempting to achieve something?
So I'd theorycraft that most likely the teams will be used in immersion, and for schools too.
Hopefully it comes with some teams activities too. Maybe the team can set goals that every member should achieve a certain amount of XPs per week or month, and challenge other teams to see who is in the leader board. If it came with an API, it could prove interesting.
But I'm not holding my breath for that (API).
My guess is that it will be a lot like the Freerice team format, where there are closed groups and open groups, and everyone works towards getting the highest aggregate score for their group, with a leaderboard anyone can access. You will probably be able to click on the individual groups and see who the highest scorer is within the group as well.
Duolingo has people working in small teams on different projects at the same time. So in fact that doesn't mean they are ignoring the vocabulary section.
Btw only 2% of web users were actively using vocabulary section when it was there.
I'm pleased to hear about teams - because I know there are a lot of language teachers & their classes out there just waiting for something like this!
However, I add to the pleas regarding the vocabulary section. In another thread, someone asked if it was worth them creating their own Excel spreadsheet for vocabulary and it was hinted that it wasn't. However, if teams have been announced and vocabulary hasn't - and if teams are still weeks away from happening (due to announcements being spread over the coming weeks) - then, how far off is the vocabulary section? Also, is it definitely returning at some point? I'm another one who is starting to doubt that - and I loved it.
I tripped over some words in my practice just now - and if I want to work on a word, I currently have to figure out which skill sub-lesson it is part of and do a whole lesson of which, maybe one or two questions will be the word I actually want to practice.
More and more, I'm winding up looking up problem words off-site, because there is no current way to do that via Duolingo. I imagine that forcing users to leave the website for a site that might be a rival language learning site is not a good thing!
So, please, can we have some vague idea about when (and if) we might see vocabulary again. Even if it's a long way off and a deadline that is subject to change. Having some idea of timescale will allow us to figure out how we want to work around its absence in the meantime.
It is interesting how any announcement about a new feature has people requesting another, and especially asking about the timetable. I hate to break it to those that don't understand software development, but it is not a straight forward thing you can estimate accurately. If they say for example they will deliver it next year, would it make people happy?
Chances are that people will probably then complain that it is too long, and they should do it faster, especially since most people won't see the thread.
I totally agree with you, Dessamator.
Okay, let me make a sincere plea to all those who are visibly upset with the 'supposed' unresponsiveness to all the feature building / reinstatement requests: Overall, Duolingo has been providing an extremely engaging and rich experience. And remember, they have made a commitment that Duolingo will be be free for ever - free of any hidden fees, fee of any ads. The learners are not paying any $$$. Neither is Duolingo collecting their personal psycho-graphic data other than their language learning habits, unlike the "other" "free" websites / social networks.
They know where they are heading with their priorities and they are the best judge to decide what they can share and when. How many companies take the 'paying' users down a path they don't like? How many companies force their customers to buy costly upgrades? What does one do then? Many companies don't even nurture a forum such as this. And if they have a forum, very few users can dream of the team to be responding regularly the way the Team Duolingo does.
The only thing that the learners provide (to Duolingo) is their love, support, and commitment of time to improve their very own language skills, and each time they use the website/app, they get a larger value in return.
So, please have a larger perspective and give the team more freedom in going about serving all the learners with their innovative platform. They are changing the world and let us join hands in helping them do so faster.
"The only thing that the learners provide (to Duolingo) is their love, support, and commitment of time to improve their very own language skills."
I have to disagree with you here. You are building a course as a volunteer, which I also hope to do at some point. At the same time I am contributing to the development of another course which is currently in beta by reporting a lot of problems with it. Many others are right now translating documents, which is how Duolingo actually makes money. The users are a huge part of Duolingo!
Duolingo is partly crowdsourced, and part of that model of functioning is to manage the crowds that are contributing to one's product. Th biggest problem with the vocabulary list, in my opinion, is not that it was taken away, but that it was taken away before an alternative had been developed, and (in my opinion the biggest no-no) that requests for it have been either left without response or, like in this thread, given snooty replies from staff members. So it is not so much a resource problem or a technical problem, but rather a communication (and possibly an office culture) problem.
That is why I am extremely happy about kristinemc's polite and clear reply in this thread! It feels good to be taken seriously...
annika_a, you are right. The relationship is more symbiotic than what I suggested. And clearly the learners fill up the whole spectrum: those who are immersion 'LingoSharks' (as Tariqnisarahmed recently coined), those who are active participants on this forum, those who are contributing/testing upcoming courses, "real world practice" learners, and basic learners.
I agree communication can help, but I also see the world rapidly evolving to move much faster than before. Sometimes the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. How many times Facebook has modified their design that has left their users perplexed because their actions/comments of the past now get displayed in a manner the users never intended? How many times the same network has brought obscurity in their privacy settings to leave the users totally confused? Even though their (Facebook's) actions might not have been ill-intentioned, they can be perceived to be such.
I imagine Duolingo to be in the 'typical' startup mode of high speed action and sometimes communication falls behind because so many things are changing. We had a similar experience recently with the incubator update. Things appeared to be broken. For a short duration, severely broken. But in the end, their team pulled off the upgrade brilliantly.
I have confidence that they will deliver all the goods that the community is desiring and much more.
Aiming to be fairer and better at listening to their user base than Facebook is a good start ;-)
Edit: On a more serious note, I do trust hope you are right, jitengore. I have worked for a startup, and can remember that it's not always easy, but it is certainly important to learn from early mistakes. The expectations of the users are huge...but that is a positive thing!
@jackelliot If you start learning a language that I am also learning, I will pick you whisker swish
(Of course, i don't know if this team thing is a classroom thing or an all user thing yet. Rest assured, if there is a competition, I'm calling dibs on revdolphin, Trang, and Hohenems lol! Though, I'll have to up my own contributions by a few thousand points a week to be worthy of an allstar team like that... >.> ☆☆☆☆☆)
Oh! And dibs on the globe! xD
EDIT: I'm just playing around in this comment. I really don't know have anymore insight into this Teams feature than anyone else.
LOL, I find that almost impossible. You're an incredible good learner and a nice person. I would totally add you to my team, @jackelliot. (If you are ok with that, of course). But I don't know how this new feature is going to work yet, I'm so excited. There are always surprises in Duolingo.
(^.^) Thanks for the Lingots, it's a pleasent gesture :) And...yeah, I think I've read it somewhere, you finished the polish tree, right? English from Polish speakers. I don't recall very well If I read it in the activity or in discussions...Anyway, I don't think I have said it to you: "Congratulations on your first tree!!! It must have been really exciting and I know you like Polish a lot."
Love it and I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival. This feature seems like it will be great for me (a teacher), the students I teach, and hopefully countless others.
Maybe it would be helpful for us to keep in mind that there will always be different types of users: those who actively support all that you and the Duolingo staff do, (i.e. recognizing your motivations and that all you're doing is in the name of making for a more-effective language learning platform), those who offer constructive criticism, those who complain without much tact, and those who just throw stones while having nothing to offer (and more in between). Not to mention thousands more users who won't say anything at all but will happily make use of the service. Yes, this is about crowdsourcing, and it seems as though knowing who/what to ignore will be essential.
The service being offered, the widespread impact it's having already and will continue to have, plus the constant effort to keep improving is nothing short of amazing.
I just noticed this other related picture:
Obviously it is somehow related to teams' achievements.
Just throwing out ideas, maybe we can figure this out? We have the following:
French team = Eiffel Tower
Italian team = Colosseum
Spanish team = Aztec Temple
Portuguese team = ???
German team = ???
Multilingual team = Globe
Then we'd have the following left:
Knight chess piece
I like the idea of teams -- sounds fun and motivational! But I'm going to be honest: I'm a little frustrated that the redesigned Duolingo is still very slow/unstable on older versions of Firefox (for Mac), and you're rolling out new features instead of returning every user to pre-redesign levels of usability.
Should I just accept that unless I purchase a new computer, I won't be able to get as much out of the site? At this point, I'm doing the bare minimum on my phone each day to keep my streak and basically nothing beyond that.
After a few months of no new news about this feature, kristinemc was asked about this on her stream and she gave with this brief reply:
The feature is in the works, however, it has been postponed. We want to get it just right! We plan on having more features that help in the classroom.
As far as I've seen, there hasn't been anything official on the subject since then.
Teams sounds pretty agreeable to me. I have good enough numbers and high enough respect among the French and general forum communities to either lead a mediocre team or be the bottom of a really nice one. I approve of this so far.
A) Why on Earth would there be something so specifically Pokemon? If you want a French Pokemon experience do what I did and tell X or Y that you speak the language. B) I hope they have a team chat, but will probably just do team forums.
So... Instead of being ungrateful about this and bashing each other about the vocab page, what do you guys think this entails? I am genuinely curious :) And, I think that linking people into teams could be much more valuable than a vocab list (which, by the way, you can find by yourself in a Spanish dictionary or on the net and memorize XD)
I'm inclined to think that if teams are to become a formal feature of the site, that feature should include the ability of a team to control access to its membership. Just as a class teacher would no doubt want to be able to prevent some 50 year old weirdo latching onto his or her class of 12 year olds, a group that isn't bothered about the gaming elements should be able to restrict its membership to those with a similar approach.