I've been doing Duolingo Italian for a couple of years and am (or was) eleven lessons from the end of my tree. I had to take a couple of weeks off. I now discover that all my strength bars have disappeared and to get them back I must do the whole lot again.
Rosetta Stone, here I come...
No, you don't have to redo everything. The strength of your skills is now expressed in the number indicated in each crown.
In order to move on to a new skill, you need only one crown in each of the skills on the previous row.
I'm searching the Crowns FAQ thread for you, ... just a minute ... Here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26739837 (Please note that this link takes a certain time to open because there are so many replies).
The first post of that thread, together with the thread it links to, gives a very good explanation of the new system.
Heike - you say that "The strength of your skills is now expressed in the number indicated in each crown." But I've just done 4 lessons of Basics 1 and my "strength" is only 2. The only way I can get Basics 1 to full strength is to do the whole lot again. Revision is all very well but I can already say "I am a man" (Io sono un uomo). I'm not bashing my head against a new system. It might be fine for those coming new do Duolingo courses but it has wiped out everything I've done so far. I've learned a lot from Duolingo and I'm grateful. But I don't like this new development and, as I say, I'm out.
You don't have to bring all your skills to full strength (5 crowns). In particular in the Basics, this doesn't make much sense. I focus on the higher skills that have more interesting material to learn. (And in the scope of the change to the new system, a lot of material was added. We all got level 3 at most because nobody had reached level 4 or 5 before. This is really new stuff, in particular much more translation into the target language.)
This is my approach: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/26919711 ("Relaxed learning with crowns").
But if you want to use other resources, no problem at all. I just didn't want to let you go without knowing what's happened. :-)
My point is that this new system has completely skewed any idea of progress. You say "doesn't make much sense" to have basics at full strength? OK - I know my basic Italian is OK. It would be nice if the system acknowledged that. But this wiping out of progress is far more problematic in the intermediate stages. The previous system did give a fairly good idea of progress. The present system doesn't.
Thanks anyway, Heike.
I am currently in dabate with myself about Duolingo, BUT, no matter what they do with our trees, our progress is never lost. Its in our heads, not a piece of software.
You just have to reorient how you're thinking about it. In the past a golden circle represented a temporary point of strength. A gold circle meant you had recently interacted with the skill, and so that circle would stay gold for today, maybe even tomorrow or for the next week, but at some point that circle would degild and at some point you would invariably have to return to the skill to regild it.
Under Crowns the gold circle represents a culmination; a lasting achievement. It indicates that you have plugged away at that skill many times (ideally) over a long period of time, and now you are rewarded, in essence, with a trophy which acknowledges that achievement.
In terms of interaction, you're supposed to be plugging away at the skill more or less every day through the first two levels. When you hit level 3 it should be a skill you're returning to maybe every couple days or once a week. By the time you hit level 4 it should be a skill you're sufficiently familiar with that you realistically only need to visit the skill once or twice a month to remind yourself of the vocabulary.
I think in the Platonic execution of this system you would be revisiting each of these skills periodically as you progress down the tree, such that hitting level 5, even on the most basic of skills, should be the culmination of a year or more of chipping away at it.
I'm not sure how much XP exactly it takes to gild the whole tree, but I've heard it cited at ~40,000, which would be nearly double what it takes to get to level 25. It's very much a long-term goal.
Guys - re. "our progress is never lost. Its in our heads, not a piece of software": of course that's true. I couldn't agree more. I've leaned a huge amount from Duolingo and I appreciate that Duolingo want to improve and progress. The previous guide to progress was only approximate but the new system just seems bizarre. In order to get back up to level three in Basics 1 I had to repeat all 10 lessons. And this was in spite of having completed three quarters of my tree. There may be a case for strengthening the absolute fundamental basics but repeating the whole thing is silly.
I'm sure there are real improvements in this re-vamp so I may not quit just yet (and Rosetta Stone courses are not cheap). But some more sensible way of strengthening learned skills would be a good idea. Thanks, All.
Please consider just to finish your tree without going to more than level 1 for each skill. This has basically the same meaning as unlocking the skill in the old system. You're still free to exercise and review old skills, but the new system doesn't force you to do it, because your progress is never lost at the moment. I try to keep same style of repetitions like before, that means I just do one or two review lessons of the same skill at once and then I go on to the next one. I admit that I'll have to wait for years to see everything golden now, but this is not a problem for me. I'd just like to have an additional indicator similar to the old strength that could tell me if a skill would need some practice because I didn't review it recently or because my error rate is still high there.