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Suggestion: Speed of modular strength deterioration changes based on Daily Goal

Someone asked in another discussion (which I'll link below) if one could change the speed in which the strength of modules deteriorates. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23848573

I quickly came up with what I think is a good idea. As this individual mentions, some people don't dedicate the same amount of time to language learning or have busier lives that require them to cut back occasionally. Personally, I have just changed my daily goal when that happens, but I, too, have noticed that all my module strength is gone after about two days (a little bit of exaggeration has been used).

What if the speed of deterioration (a phrase which I have said too many times in this article already) was based on one's Daily XP Goal? Someone whose goal is 10 XP modules weaken slower than someone with a 30 XP goal, and you get the point. It makes sense, right? People who do less per day take longer to do their modules.

What do you guys think?

August 5, 2017



I love it. I think that's an amazing idea and should absolutely get noticed! :D

You have my full support! :)


Duolingo's algorithm is far from perfect. Long skills losing strength overnight is understandable because of the sheer amount of words but how strengthening the exact same 15 sentences every time helps with remembering the other 50 words I never see is beyond me (special mention to Greek Present 1 that always gave the same questions in the same order. It's bad enough when you don't understand a sentence and remember the answer based on the other words but knowing the answer based on the previous question is on another level).

But what it tries to do is to tell you when those words start to fade from your memory and that's something your daily goal has no effect on. It would be nice to be able to choose how quickly you actually forget words (in which case why would anyone choose 50XP instead of 1XP) but that technology doesn't exist yet.


My suggestion wouldn't require anything fancy. For example, let's say Duolingo decreases one 'strength bar' on a module if you haven't seen those words in 3 days. If you change your XP Goal lower, it would be four days, or five days. And if you increase your goal, it would be two days or even one.


Again, the system tries to estimate when the words fade from your memory (with emphasis on tries). For them to implement the change you suggest, they would have to give up on that key feature of the system, as your system doesn't reflect actual fading.


You need to fight against your forgetting curve.

This curve has nothing to do if you set your DuoLingo daily XP goal to 1XP, 10XP, 30XP, 50XP or if you even do 100-300 exercises per day.

This is the reason, why Memrise introduces even short-term intervals like 4-5h, 12h, 1 day, etc.: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/23908676$comment_id=23912161

And as Memrise concentrates on each word per level (one level = one skill) you will not just see 10-15 words from a skill on a review exercise, but all ~70 words from e.g a Present 1/2/3 verb skill on each review. They all have to watered.

By adjusting the spaced repetition algorithm per single reviewed word, you will simply have different SR invervals per level/skill for reach planted word, as the words might have a different difficulty to remember or even better: to RECALL them in the L2 target language.

DuoLingo is not known to test RECALLING words for normal/forward trees very much.

The funny thing is that I sometimes would be able to RECALL the L2 word in Portuguese on Memrise for a given English word, but I struggle to simply remember the L1 Portuguese meaning when DuoLingo asks me for PT-EN translations ;)
I guess it is best to use multiple software programs in parallel.

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