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

Do you think 1 point is enough for streak to go on?

Hi everyone,

I've been thinking about the current "streak" conception which is tuned so that even 1 skill point a day is enough to make your streak go on without starting anew.

Now, this 1 skill point is very easy to obtain: it is enough to launch a timed practice and answer one question correctly or to open Immersion and just confirm any sentence. I wonder if there are people actually doing this to keep their streak growing. If there are, the streak is not very helpful to motivate people to actually study every day and in some cases it may only show that a person cares for the streak, not necessarily the studies themselves.

What are your thoughts? Don't you think the minimum number of points for the streak going on should be increased?

What exact number do you find just enough to be really motivating? 1 point as it is now? 10 points? 20 points? 100 points i.e. a full coin stack?

I'm just curious to hear from other community members.

Update: Thank you guys for your helpful insights and opinions about the streak concept!

May 6, 2013

30 Comments


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

I think leave it as it is. If continuing your steak encourages you to come onto Duolingo and do something worth only a few coins I think it has achieved its goal. It has made Duilingo a daily habit. If you are more motivated you can set your own goals of 20 coins or 100 coins.

May 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rocko2012

Yeah streak is more like a point for class attendance not class performance.

May 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mforster1uk

Definitely leave it as it is. "Streaks" are an important motivational method, aimed at keeping you going. The point of a streak is not to brag to your friends but to keep you studying. If you do something every day, no matter how little, your skills will keep growing. If you keep missing days, gradually the gaps will get longer and longer and you will stop altogether.

For an article on the subject of "streaking", see: http://lifehacker.com/281626/jerry-seinfelds-productivity-secret

May 6, 2013

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

Thanks for the article! I agree that doing something every day is the one of the best ways to success.

There are even sites, apps and calendars with "Don't break the chain" slogan! https://www.google.ru/search?q=don't+break+the+chain. I think I'm going to have a closer look at them to have some "streak" indicators for my activities outside Duolingo.

May 6, 2013

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

I like to keep my practice bar to full each day, and I love the streak idea.. But the problem I face is that I am going on a student exchange trip in a few months.. and then I fear I will not have time to practice enough daily and maybe even to have internet at all.. o.O (at least I will be immersed in french xD)

Once concept I just came up with is perhaps also have a counter of how many days you have actually used duolingo? Not necessarily in a row, but just as an overall.. I thought this would allow people to see how active a user is aswell, since maybe there are set days they do not have time for duolingo but they use it every other day?... Any thoughts?

May 6, 2013

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

I think the overall activity is quite well shown with the number of skill points.

May 6, 2013

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

Just to clarify - confirming a sentence will not continue your streak.

May 10, 2013

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

I know what you are saying, but I think leave it as it is.

I don't have problem with a regular user coming on and just getting their one point to keep a streak going if they are having a busy day or not feeling well or the like, and as the streak only has meaning when set in the context of learning languages, I don't see see that people who are not interested in the learning would have sufficient motivation to keep a streak going for very long.

My main problem with the idea, is that for raw beginners who aren't used to learning languages, for the first few days on basic it can be quite hard to get 15 to 20 points, let alone 100. I remember when I first came on the site thinking that 100 points a day was an unrealistic target, and it was only after 10 days or so that I started hitting it regularly every day. Removing the opportunity to get a measure of progress from beginners by setting a higher points limit would remove a useful motivation, just at the point where they are most vulnerable to just chucking the towel in.

May 6, 2013

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

I usually do a minimum of 1 lesson or 1 practice when I come to Duo. I might have done several sentences of translation only on some occasions. I think just coming onto Duo to keep in contact with the material and to maintain the habit is a good outcome for those who are encouraged by that, so am not in favour of setting a minimum.

Personally I'm not fussed by the streak because my intrinsic motivation is sufficient. Duo practice happens all things considered, sometimes once a day, sometimes once a week. The main thing for me is that it happens until the entire tree is golden. :D

May 6, 2013

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

It doesn't matter to me. The scoring system doesn't motivate me at all.

What motivates me is the fact that I am making progress and getting better at German. Also, this is easy to do, and I can do it during lunch time at work.

However, that's just an anecdote. If it helps people then by all means, it should be there! You could always "cheat" or work the system if you want (edit: if it is possible). It really doesn't matter.

May 7, 2013

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

This is pretty much my way of working too. I don't always have time to accumulate a lot of coins and for me it's more important to actually show up and do at least a minimum of a couple of lessons every day. The streak makes no impact on my study at all - I usually ignore it - but everyone has a different way of working. If it is useful motivation for others that's good but I wouldn't like to see those of us who aren't interested being pushed into using it.

May 8, 2013

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

As a non-English native speaker I don't understand what that 'streak' is supposed to mean. The graphics make it look negative. I don't like it, and it doesn't appear to me like something useful.

May 10, 2013

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

I found a useful purpose for the "streak counter". I use it now as a "take a day off reminder". If the counter gets over 10, then maybe I should take a break :-)

June 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mforster1uk

Good thinking! :-)

June 5, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gustav46

Just a comment - many of us try to make progress every day. If we are not active we may have a family emergency, have to travel -for either work or other commitment, or be sick. If a learner is not on Duo for the day they should lose one point of their total streak total each day, instead of everything. The streak total concept should also ultimately be optional, and not something we have to have on our home page.

May 13, 2013

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

I don't agree. The very word "streak" means that it shows the days of studying in a row. The reason for missing a day does not matter - either you study and keep your streak growing or you miss a day and lose it all. It won't be any motivation otherwise.

May 13, 2013

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

I agree with this. I don't find that "streak" stuff any encouraging at all. I'm here for my own reasons (improving a language or two). Not to impress or keep up with anyone.

May 13, 2013

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

Just to separate my personal opinion and practice from the questions:

I've been making my coin stacks full every day. When the concept of streak was introduced I was sure my practice was the only way to keep the streak from starting anew and I was rather surprised to learn that one point was enough. Of course I'm not going to change my daily routine because my main goal is to learn.

However, while I find a full coin stack an absolute minimum of daily studies for myself, I don't mean to push it to everyone around. I think a minimum of 10 points a day would be enough to make sure people really learn or practice anything if they are keeping their streak.

The only problem I see is the possible confusion that will arise if the minimum is changed.

May 6, 2013

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

I see what you're saying, I didn't even realize until today that the streak was a thing and I'm not even sure how it works now. Does the streak give you any benefit besides just bragging rights?

I doubt that many people go to the trouble of actually opening duolingo and confirming one sentence just to keep their streak going, but I could be wrong. Anyway, if they are doing that, they probably aren't learning for the right reasons. I say they should just keep it the same and if someone wants to keep their streak going but learn absolutely nothing then it sucks to be them.

I don't open duolingo every day. Some days I spend reading or watching movies in other languages and I feel that it heps me just as much (but in a different way) I might care about this sreak thing if it game me more points or unlocked certain levels or something... I'm not sure.

May 6, 2013

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

The streak does not give you anything, it is just an indicator of how many days in a row you have been studying. Thank you for your opinion!

May 6, 2013

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

I think that anything that motivates someone to do a little more training than they would have otherwise, is for the better.

May 6, 2013

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

Well I don't care. Sure, I'd like to hold the biggest streak record, even if it means to practice just one phrase. But if I really need to learn for the sake of learning, I will do the lessons independently of the streak meter.

This is all about priorities. Some people may find it challenging to practice every day just to increase their streak meter, otherwise they would practice once in a while only. But all of this is independant of the streak meter.

Moreover, doing one lesson is sill not enough, since the "practice skills" is quite buggy and sometimes gives you only one word to practice... So it's an affair of who really wants to learn and who don't.

May 6, 2013

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

My opinion is that the streak helps people keep duolingo in their mind, and try to find the time to practice even on days that their schedule is heavy with other obligations. From that respect, as it is now it serves its purpose. For the "cheaters" no matter what you put as a minimun, or restriction, they will always find a way to cheat, it is not that hard, considering that they are sitting in the privacy of their own space. I really do not see any advantage in increasing the number of points. Making it 100 it will only invalidate it's purpose because not everybody has everyday enough time to collect 100 points, so it will only help create an elit "snob" class of duolingo practitioners. I do not think that this should be in the creators planning (if people want to create such a strict working group, they can organise it independently, you can see for every user how many points they collected the last seven days, and if it drops bellow 700 kick them out of the private study group).

May 6, 2013

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

By the way, is it possible and in agreement with the developers, to use a bot to collect stats for users or other info from duolingo pages?

EDIT: I actually remembered that this information is available from the server, and is seems that Duolingo policy does not allow bots.

May 6, 2013

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

Using bots may affect Duolingo's performance. I think it would be best to contact Luis: http://duolingo.com/#/Luis before doing anything like that.

May 6, 2013

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

I agree completely with ajohndee. I do as much as I have time for - less during the week and more on weekends -but the streak keeps Duolingo a daily habit. If the number of coins for continuing a streak were set, you would lose motivation and impetus and gain nothing. Set your own goals if you want, but we are happy with things as they are.

May 7, 2013
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