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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IrenaBieli

Any researchers here?

I generated a report from Duolingo for Schools about the progress my students made during data collection for my research paper. However, I need to decide which numbers to use for my study. The report shows: days active, lessons, course progress and XP points. I also managed to copy/paste into a spreadsheet an activity of each student (telling me the days they used Duolingo, but not really possible to count the time as it only shows time stamps but not the actual duration). Can anyone tell me what Course Progress represents and can it regress in case a student e.g. didn't use Duolingo for a few days?

July 7, 2019

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadameSensei

Excellent question, IrenaBieli! I would also like to know the answer. I have to admit that I normally rely on the Weekly Progress Reports that Duo sends, since I have trouble navigating the other views. As for "course progress" regressing, that no longer happens with the new tree. (But you and I know that the students will forget if they do not keep up.)

Let me pose a question that hopefully we can get some good discussion on this forum about: Does the duration matter? What if you have a student who is a slow typist? What if you have a fast student who doesn't think deeply and makes lots of mistakes, versus a slow student who wants to make sure that they know what they are doing before they hit "submit?" And conversely, of course, what if you have a student who takes a long time because he is using Google Translate?

I suppose if you want to track duration, you could have the students self-report, or do timed practice and send a screenshot of their final time. Or of course, you could set the assignment to XP instead of a skill, and just assume Duolingo's estimate of 20 minutes, etc. Just a thought.

I am interested to hear other comments on this thread, because I don't think I utilize the data as much as I ought to. Thank you for posing this question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IrenaBieli

@MadameSensei, in the end I was advised to use number of lessons covered as my quantitative data for the research. BTW, in case of my study, the number of lessons showed statistically significant correlation only to the Reading part of the Proficiency test designed for this experiment and the overall score. Language accuracy (grammar) did not improve in this case. But I know it was a very small scale study. I am planning to develop something similar with larger sample of students.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadameSensei

Thank you for telling us (or at least me :) ) your findings, @IrenaBieli! I guess in hindsight it is not surprising that reading would be improved. I'm disappointed to hear what you say about grammar, however.

There is large debate going on in the teaching community, as I am sure you know, as to whether grammar should be taught explicitly. The idea is that babies don't learn grammar explicitly, and so therefore there is no reason to teach it.

I have always been in the camp of "I have an adult brain. I have pattern recognition. I also do not have a mother repeating the same words and phrases over to me for 15 million hours." So I have been explicitly teaching grammar to my students, all the while showing them the patterns and the mnemonics and other mental gymnastics that we can expect from teenagers, as opposed to babies. What you say reinforces my opinion of the importance of teaching grammar explicitly. But I am still disappointed, since it would be so very nice and easy if grammar were that easy to pick up from environment.

I don't suppose you have posted your paper anywhere online? Or perhaps you would be willing to join the Duolingo Educator's Network and post your findings on our Slack channel? I think I could learn a lot from what you have done.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MadameSensei

That sounds selfish what I just said. :) I think I --and our colleagues, of course -- could learn a lot!

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