Losing hearts and not being to continue has just appeared on my app. This seems to be change for the sake of it, I use duolingo with my classes and this is just off-putting and confusing. It worked without hearts for me, this makes it more stressful. Please don't become like Memrise with silly changes just to keep someone busy.
Staff did quite a lot of A/B testing before rolling hearts out to everyone. There was an announcement about it a while back that I can't put my finger on at the moment but the short version is that the data shows the hearts prevent "binge learning" where a user tries to forge ahead as quickly as possible w/o actually learning.
It is a misconception that you can't continue learning after losing all your hearts. You can earn all of your hearts back again in three ways:
- review lessons
- wait for time to pass
- buy hearts with real money
The point here is to encourage people to review or to give the new lessons time to "sink in" before moving on to new material.
The hearts method also forces learners to slow down and review their work before submitting it. This encourages thoughtful learning rather than careless "try it and see if it works" learning.
I agree, 100%. I do it a lot if I can't figure out the answer.
Eventually, though, it ceases to be a good tool for understanding and retention. Though there are, of course, the odd phrases that you just have to memorize because they don't translate well and are seemingly impossible to understand!