https://www.duolingo.com/kernco

Updates to strengthen skills feature/spaced repetition

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It's close to a year ago now that the crown levels update was rolled out to everyone. One of the most common complaints about it was that it essentially removed the spaced repetition learning system (SRS) that is a proven effective method for language learning. The strengthen skills button is still there and does still create practice sessions based on SRS, but there's no indication anymore what skills, if any, need to be practiced. And additionally, practicing a skill through the strengthen skills button doesn't add progress towards the next crown level for that skill.

Very shortly after the release of crown levels, Duolingo announced that they understood and agreed with these complaints and were working on new features to address them. It's been a year now, so is there any progress on that?

3/11/2019, 4:57:38 PM

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/skyflakes95
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I really hope spaced repetition comes back soon. A prompt to regularly go back and review for points would fill in the XP gap created by testing out.

I just hope that if spaced repetition comes back in the form of skill decay, it'll be less obnoxious than before. Limiting decay to only level 5 skills might be a good idea. An idea I had was a sidebar list of the 3 weakest skills of the day that would never exceed 3 skills. That way, you can choose to ignore it and it wouldn't effect your tree or pile up. If you choose to strengthen those 3 skills of the day, they'd disappear or be replaced with a happy owl picture for the day and more skills would appear the next day. Bonuses could even be awarded for consistently completing that strengthen list.

Currently, you can see which skills need strengthening on Duome (for you, that's https://duome.eu/kernco/progress). It's an unofficial companion site that shows you your profile data that actually is already public but not easily accessible through Duolingo's main interface if you're not tech-savvy. On here you can also complete individual skill practices at any crown level, whereas the main site doesn't have individual skill practice until level 5.

3/11/2019, 7:30:04 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/HoeckerCarlos
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The spaced repetition system is still there. in the background.
I recommend you an extension for chrome, look at this forum: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/30293964

It's adds an indicator of strength of each skill. I hope that helps! I believe that not having a visual indicator for SRS is nonsense!

3/12/2019, 2:39:05 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29304553/HOWTO-Different-ways-for-spaced-repetition-with-skill-strength-viewer-user-script-and-extension

The last "XP cap" update finally broke the "Duolingo skill strength viewer" Tampermonkey userscript (Vocabulary overview API).

Well-done Duolingo staff!

In the above thread I had linked two more Chrome extensions which visually changed your "Home" page on the web and skill frontend UI (they may still work or be broken).

3/12/2019, 6:23:42 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/HoeckerCarlos
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Is it broken? At least I can see the bar with the percentage under the skills. The name and number of skills to practice disappeared!

3/12/2019, 2:05:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ToranSharma

version 1.0.7 has just been pushed out to fix this bug. It was caused by duolingo updating the way they present the level of each skill in the user's data file, going from calling it progess_v1 to progress_v3. Hopefully the extension should auto update in the next hour or so.

Thanks again for the support!

3/12/2019, 6:02:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/HoeckerCarlos
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Thank you very much to you!! and CONGRATULATIONS for the very well developed extension! it's quite useful and that's why I recommend it!

3/12/2019, 7:00:23 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ToranSharma

Hi, I just came across your comment about the list of skills that needs strengthening having disappeared. While it still works on my tree I just tested it on another account with the Spanish tree with this new Part 1, Part 2 ... tree structure and it doesn't display!

I'll look into this now and hopefully get an update in an hour or so.

Thanks again for your support of the extension, I saw you have linked to it a couple of times! If it breaks again, I would really appreciate it if let me know either by commenting on the original post or using the GitHub page; I want to work as smoothly as possible!

Thanks,

Toran

3/12/2019, 5:35:16 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/ISpeakAlien
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The problem with having skill strengths decay is that you sometimes have to practice the same skill multiple times in one day to keep it at full strength (and I know this from experience).

3/12/2019, 3:04:28 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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Example:
~7 words x 10 lessons = 70 words

My PT tree lists skills with way more than 100 words!

When we only have 17-20 questions (per review session) and quite often multiple sentences or challenges for the same view (much less) words, it becomes pretty clear, that we cannot keep up with the "words decay" very well.

Even after I hit the practice button 20+ times on a single skills, it still had 4-6+ DEAD words in it which I would not re-strengthen on the same day.

And now do the math for 91 (PT) to 96 (French tree3) skills or way more than 113-119 / 156 skills like the newer staff ES and FR trees.

The practice algorithm and re-strenghten code is just not as efficient as it could be and how it works right now and other tools like Memrise/AnkiSRS/SuperMemo are IMHO just more efficient as we can e.g have a single 50-100 words review session in one round and not too many word (error) repeats if we get the typing (RECALL in the L2 target language) right the very first time.

3/12/2019, 6:49:17 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/HoeckerCarlos
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I agree with you, the Duolingo algorithm is and has been always broken.
Memrise, Anki, Lingvist, etc. have very good algorithms and they work fine.

3/12/2019, 7:03:39 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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@HoeckerCarlos

....Lingvist, etc. have very good algorithms and they work fine.

I used Lingvist end of 2017 in my challenge (with Carlos) to learn my first 1000 Spanish words in 11 days and 20 hours: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/25606961/Challenge-Learn-3000-5000-words-in-12-days-on-Lingvist-until-end-of-this-year-2017

I needed to push the limit of 50(-100) words / day and wanted it as "Lingvist Unlimited" was introduced in January 2018.

I can honestly tell you, and I wrote about it on the Lingvist community forum, that I personally was not a huge fan of their "repeat practice stack" which dynamically and constantly REFILLS itself quickly all the time (example: one 45-90 minute break and you basically have to restart reviewing from scratch once again).

For some reason I am more used to the Memrise progress bar and defined and user customizable 25/50-100 words review vs 10/15/20 words learning sessions.

On Memrise no SR algorithm fights against me when I only want to learn 20 NEW words for the next couple of 5-10 minutes and continues to drive me crazy when I cannot remember the same single word (in the very same sentence context) over and over again ;)

A Lingvist staff member has looked at my profile data and told me that my Spanish correctness rate was too low and because of this my repeat practice stack was quickly refilled.

Perfectly understandable as a "power user" who needed to push the 20words/day limit.

Well, sometimes you actually need a break from 3-6+ word repetitions either on Memrise (in a review session) or on Lingvist with their stack...

......but ALL available software seems to fail to give you that required "SKIP this word for the next couple of 1-4 hours" option.

At least Cooljingle was successful in modifing the Memrise review (web) code to tame down the error repeats from 3-6+ to 1 and Memrise staff has nowdays adopted it; this greatly helps when your backlog queue has more than 100 words.

But if you constantly get this one word wrong, the repeat doesn't really stop.

Multiply this with 3-5 words and multiple error repeats (you do not get it right on the first repeat), and you will recognize that there often is almost no end in getting forward with cleaning your huge 100-300 or 600 review backlog queue, even on Memrise.

I cannot use their Memrise system because of the above reasons with the missing "Overduess" SR code for completed course I have made a longer break (weeks or months).

I really wish there was an

  • a) auto-end words error repeat (e.g 4th try)
  • b) option to move these "special" words to very end of the review queue or
  • c) at least a SKIP button on the web for the current session.
3/13/2019, 3:32:10 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/KatrinaTheLamia
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Part of the issue is creating an interface for it that doesn't confuse the crud out of new people.

Yes... I play games that are just meters, numbers and ascii graphics all over. I am also aware that if I play them in certain places people will think I am hacking a bank so hard that the FBI are on their way. "Yes... Nethack... it is a super secret hacker code for haxxoring bank gibsons across state lines with all the ice, j0j0j0"

Once they've figured out how to have the interface there, without having to have five thousand help files, be able to translate the interface into other languages without issues and have it not clutter screen real estate too much... then it will return.

3/14/2019, 2:55:38 AM
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