Notice something different with your tree?
We are excited to let you know that we’re starting to migrate all Duolingo accounts to the new way of tracking progress that was announced a few weeks ago: http://duolingo.com/#/comment/180620
Many of you won’t notice any difference because most of the accounts created in the last two months were automatically updated during sign up. However, if you signed up before February, you will most likely see a change in your tree. Here are the improvements we’ve made:
A better way to keep track of your progress
It’s easy to forget the material in all the skills you’ve “mastered” when you don’t practice. That’s why we’re rolling out a new way to help you track your learning better.
Now, instead of a progress bar on each skill in the tree, you’ll see the average word strength of all the words in that skill (which goes down over time when you don't practice these words!). Also, instead of seeing hearts in the notebooks once you’ve finished a lesson you’ll see a ‘strength bar’ that shows your average word strength. At a glance, you’ll be able to see what your weakest skills and lessons are and be able to practice them. The more you practice your weakest words, the more complete the bar will become, and the better you’ll know the language.
One thing to mention is that if your account is being migrated, some of your beautifully golden "mastered" skills may turn out to have less than perfect word strengths. Even though this may affect your sense of past completion, it’s a far more accurate reflection of what you actually know in the language. We hope this will help you better understand your progress.
One of the main goals of learning a language is being able to apply it to real-world materials. We want the real-world content to fit naturally into the learning process, so we are testing different ways for learners to access it.
Rather than seeing real-world documents inside each skill, where they did not always match the skill you were learning, we are trying different approaches of where you come across them. You can always go to them using the tab in the top bar.
These updates have been tested with hundreds of thousands of you, and we believe they will make the language learning experience much better. We’ll continue to make improvements and keep you in the loop the entire way :)
I will get used to the new tree, but I miss certain features a lot, such as the ability to practice my weakest words in a given category without having to click on a particular lesson. I miss the hearts that indicated where I needed to review. Most especially, I am frustrated by receiving an automatic four gold bars when I have barely been introduced to new words. This is a really negative change, and I hope it is just bug that you will be able to address very soon. There is no way for me to know whether the program will actually show three, two, or one bars when time has passed and my retention might have slipped. I know you intend for that to happen, but given the unearned automatic four bars now on everything, including new words, I am less than optimistic right now. I have really enjoyed Duolingo up until today, and I have only skipped three days in the past 89.
I think I found a way to practice the weakest words in a category. Click on the desired part of the skill tree, e.g., "Conjunctions." On the right, toward the bottom, there is this link: → View full vocabulary from Conjunctions. After you click on that link, there is a blue button to the right that allows you to practice your weakest words. If you want to practice your weakest words from a particular lesson, click on one of the lesson links below.
I am also a big confused on the automatic full gold bar and mastering of the lesson, when I have barely practiced it. It seems like there should still be a default of 2-3 practices needed to pass. Though I did notice that words from the past sessions came up more frequently, so it wasn't like they were gone once I mastered the lesson but keep coming up to keep the practice of them while I move onto other skills. Maybe that is the concept?
I have a few comments about the new design...they are worries I've had since the day it was announced that a new system was going to be put in place. I know you're meant to try it out, and change is not always something easy to accept at first, but I hope my feedback will be helpful to the staff. Know that I mean no offense and it is meant to be constructive criticism and sincere opinion.
One thing that definitely irks me are the lowering golden bars. I know it was done to motivate you to practice more, but I feel it to be more demotivating than anything. Especially if we go onto the topic of "gamification", which is what duolingo is based on, correct me if I'm wrong. If in ANY game, the developer decides that one of your mastered skills goes down with time, there would be a lot of unsatisfied people. Mastering skills is like obtaining a trophy, taking away the trophy with time makes it feel like you don't really earn it, its just for rent. You might forget some words if you don't practice it, yes, but duolingo is a learning platform, not a language tracker...it doesn't keep track of what you do outside of it, and thus I feel like the system should keep in accordance to that, instead of trying to reflect a person's learning experience overall (in and out of the program). To be honest, with the current setup it feels more of like a gimmick to keep people using duolingo longer than they might have had with the other system. Similar to a game that makes you spend hours doing something you've already done, to obtain something, in this case, reobtain something. If the intention truly was to learn a language, then the learner will come back and review words on their own.
I often hear that badges, achievements and visual progress are more appealing to the younger generation, and maybe thats true, or maybe I'm part of the small minority that likes them, but I always felt like the game-y feel of duolingo was what set it apart from other sites or learning methods, and in my opinion this new system is a step towards conventional methods of learning languages.
I totally agree about the less game-y feel, this is what made the program so different and exciting. I fell like Duo Lingo is losing that a bit with the update.
Maybe if they would add 'Trophies' like they do in modern video games it would balance out what they lost in the update. So giving people trophies they can show off and having stats to see how close they are to them, examples of come could be - finished all lessons in a skill with full hearts - completed a lesson in under (some amount of minutes) - completed 100 lessons - 200 lessons - 500 lessons etc. - translated (however many) sentences - 'super grand master Trophy' completed every lesson in a language with full hearts. - completed the skill tree for 2 languages, etc.
And then maybe you can choose like 2 or 3 trophies or badges (depending on what they are called) that you are most proud of to be under your username whenever you make a comment on a thread.
hmmm, this would actually be a very powerful tool to make people feel a great sense of achievement and want to keep learning and repeating.
The problem is that learning a language cannot be directly translated into a game, because language learning IS NOT just a game. You DO have to refresh your skills and review. To me it doesn't seem like a gimmick but that Duolingo is trying to replicate how language learning truly works. And that is much appreciated. With duolingo I have come much further with my Spanish than when I took it for a year in college.
The skills where my bars are the lowest are accurate to what I need to work on and refresh. To me that is not demotivating, it's showing me where my weaknesses are right now. It doesn't seem like the bars go down at some super fast rate either.
Instead of focusing on the trophies I like to focus on the coins and language levels because that just keeps going up.
I think there is a balance between giving everyone a pass and motivating people just the right amount. It's hard to find that balance but I think duolingo's "gold bars" are excellent motivators. And remember, you have to keep remembering those words for later lessons. So it does make you retain those skills and keep them sharp as you go along. I LOVE the gold bars and I don't feel they demotivate at all. I find them totally fun. If I don't have gold bars I can go back and win the gold. It's just more of an extra incentive, the cherry on top more than an award. Also we aren't really competing here, it's more about self improvement, so I think that's been retained.