https://www.duolingo.com/matthames3

Please make "Words" tab available to all

Dear Duolingo,

I really appreciate all of the hard work you guys do here on this site. It has given me such great insight and knowledge thus far on learning a language. I do understand the A/B test group scenario, however, there seems to be a lot of people, including myself, that would immensely benefit from the "words" tab. Maybe you do not have to make it available to all, but simply just give us an option to activate the words tab. The reasons we desire one have been numerously mentioned in other posts so I will not go there. So, in the nicest and most sincere way of asking, could you please give us the option of the "words" tab?

Thanks! Myself and many other Duolingers!

July 23, 2014

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Pleurocystites

| I do understand the A/B test group scenario, however, there seems to be a lot of people, including myself, that would immensely benefit from the "words" tab.

You do not understand the A/B test group scenario, without an unbiased sample there is no way to conclude that people benefit from this incarnation of the 'words' tab, let alone that the effect size would be 'immense'. I understand that you want it, but, if the reality is that it doesn't help learning, then there is no reason to maintain it. If it does help learning, then that sound evidence will justify its maintenance.

Allowing people to opt into the 'Words' tab ensures a biased sample of highly limited value (i.e. all implications would be conditioned on "People who chose to have a 'Words' tab..." instead of applying to all users).

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kelley1089

Someone post this not too long ago but I forget who it was, anyway, it's a list of all the words used on the duo french tree, so for those who don't have words:

http://www.memrise.com/course/322152/complete-duolingo-french-vocabulary/

It's in memrise so it's a free sign up to access.

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cbriantx

Pleurocystites, I have to disagree with you on this one. The AB test would be to test between variations of a feature, not the absence of a feature versus access to the feature. If you said some people have access to one version of Words tab and other people have access to another version, that would be an AB test. There is no way that granting access to the vocabulary words is going to be detrimental to a learner. Therefore, it tells me they are really testing how much worse off we are when we don't have access rather than how much better off you are when you have it. It's a negative AB test, rather than testing for a positive outcome. In other words, there is no way I am going to have a better outcome or experience on this website because I don't have access compared to someone who does have access to it. If someone has access to it but doesn't like it or doesn't use it, at worst, their outcome and experience will be the same as mine. Unless the feature is so crappy and full of mistakes that they stop using the website altogether, they are always going to be at least at my baseline level (because they don't use it) or at a better level than me. Therefore, we are the guinea pigs being held back from achieving as much as we otherwise could just so they can test how well it works.

They already have access to information that you suggest they are gathering. They have it from when they took away the vocab tab. All the comparative information is available since then. They can compare how well I progressed before and after or they can compare my first six months of progress and activity (when it was available) to someone who started after the vocab was taken away. That's a TRUE test of how valuable this feature is. The more I learn about this AB testing, the more I question whether this is really a test of whether the words tab is effective because I can't fathom a result where you are better off my not having access to the vocabulary words you are learning. The presentation of the words will make a difference in the results but having access to the words themselves will never be detrimental to learning the words.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/bchan

I don't know that it's entirely true to say this is a negative AB test simply because you believe that seeing a word list can in no way hurt the experience. When it comes down to it, we're adding a feature - not removing one. Your experience is left unchanged, and it only feels like a negative test because you're made aware that other users have something that you do not.

They can compare how well I progressed before and after or they can compare my first six months of progress and activity (when it was available) to someone who started after the vocab was taken away. That's a TRUE test of how valuable this feature is.

You cannot really compare one user at different points in time or two users at different points in time when so many variables are changing - it would be impossible to know which factors were attributed to any delta.

AB testing full features is just as valid as AB testing iterations of those features. Despite what it would seem like on paper, adding new functionality can help but it can also hurt, and knowing the value of a feature as opposed to simply how it is presented is valuable as well.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cbriantx

Please read why Pinkodoug wrote! His last sentence is what I've experienced all along. I don't know how you do a snipet but here's the text to focus on:

"A lot of people are anxious to get access to the 'words' feature because they miss the old 'vocabulary' tools and are frustrated by its long absence."

I thought the Words Tab was a replacement of the old Vocabulary tools that I used to use all the time and have been frustrated that they have not been brought back into this site. I recently created a new account and took some lessons so I could see this tab in action. I was disappointed as it is clearly not a replacement of the tools I've been anxiously waiting for :(

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_

While I agree with virtually everything else you've said in the thread, this:

When it comes down to it, we're adding a feature - not removing one.

isn't, strictly speaking, true. You're replacing a set of tools that was removed in January with a new feature that lacks much of the old functionality. A lot of people are anxious to get access to the 'words' feature because they miss the old 'vocabulary' tools and are frustrated by its long absence.

cGlua29kb3Vn

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cbriantx

THANK YOU @Pinkodoug - you just earned the first lingot I've ever given away in the year that I've been using this program!

You're last sentence is exactly what I've been trying to express for many days in many comment streams. I just seem to get distracted and pulled into arguments about AB testing rather than focusing on this feature that I used to use all the time and now is missing.

Thanks again for taking my hundreds of comments and refining them into one succinct sentence! :-)

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/bchan

While what you're saying is true, you're kind of taking what I'm saying out of context.

This was the context from someone else's post:

Therefore, it tells me they are really testing how much worse off we are when we don't have access rather than how much better off you are when you have it. It's a negative AB test, rather than testing for a positive outcome.

The reason that I mentioned that we're adding a feature, not removing one, is in relation to it being a positive or negative AB test. I meant this in terms of "we're testing what adding the vocabulary tab does, not what removing it does" - if that makes sense. We are literally testing adding the feature. Yes, it is related to a feature that once existed that many asked us to bring back, and yes many users will see it as a want-to-be replacement for the old feature. That doesn't change the fact that we are going from a state without the feature to a state with the feature in order to see what the result is.

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_

I understand. I just know from reading some posts made in other threads that some of the frustrations you're seeing voiced in this thread extend beyond merely feeling "like a negative test because you're made aware that other users have something that you do not." I was just trying to point out that making a cogent argument for why AB testing is beneficial alone isn't going to satisfy some of these commenters.

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_

Nice infosec in this post, with not spilling the beans that most of the features I described as missing from the words tab would be going into AB testing within 24 hours of the post haha.

July 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cbriantx

Isn't there a way that you could provide us with access to the individual vocabulary list without actually giving us access to your Words tabs? You can still test whether the features on the words tab work well or not using the AB testing. I don't necessarily need access to that tab, but just give access to the words in a list or something.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/bchan

If we were to spend development time for each AB test to make sure that they were "fair" in terms of neither bucket feeling like they were missing out on a feature, then that would overall be very time consuming.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cbriantx

I completely understand your point here and agree with you. I guess I'm just thinking that the current website is flawed and missing a standard component when it doesn't have a place to go to view your vocabulary. My expectation as a user is that it should be available in some form or fashion. Testing the way it is available is great, but having access to the vocabulary is a basic tool that I think is a reasonable expectation when trying to learn a new language.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Never is a looooong time. Access to 'words' would be detrimental if learners diddle around using the 'words' option rather than engaging in activities that promote more rapid/thorough learning. It is possible that some people learn faster just plowing through the lessons. Just because we like something or think it has value (placebo effect) does not mean it actually has value. Those of us that used to have vocab, and now don't, don't know exactly what the folks that now have 'words' are getting. It may be very different from what we had, and what we had may have been of little quantifiable value.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kdgarris

Well, I think that could be solved by not counting the results of those who asked to opt-in to the words tab feature. Effectively, those users would go into a group "C", which would be ignored for statistical purposes.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Pleurocystites

That is still biasing the sample (selectively removing people who would opt in from one of the samples), it solves nothing.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/kdgarris

Oh - a fair point. I hadn't considered that.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/C02JPXCWDTY3

In an imperfect world this solution may not interest you. But if you wanted to have the Words list then all you have to do is make another account. You might have to repeat that once or twice but A B testing means eventually you'll get an account with the Words tab. Then test out of your language if you are interested in pursuing a language you already have and don't want to take too much time going through the tree again. And you can take advantage of the Words Tab. It's not perfect it doesn't violate any terrible rules as far as I can see most people just want to keep their streak and do strange things to do with OCD but if you wanted to learn with DL and take advantage of the Words Tab then that would be an solution given all is dukkha and nothing is perfect. No need to give me a lingot. It's yours.

August 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/bettina87

hello! sorry to jump in so long after this discussion started... I just discovered NOW that I had the words tab in Spanish and German and I thought "oh cool!! this will be absolutely vital for the my Irish!"... except I just noticed that they will not implement it in the tree 2.0. Now, my comment is not to ask otherwise, but could someone just explain the topic about the tests groups and the final decision? I am a bit lost.... :) I suppose that it was not very successful, considering they are not implementing it in the latest course, but what will happen to the languages who already have it? Thank you!

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CWKCA

Can you provide any update on the results of this A/B experiment, after two years? Also how much work is involved in maintaining this tab? It seems that many people still want it.

July 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/StefanoSolgreno

Who are in A and who are B? Does it depend on xp or time at duolingo or something like that?

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ColinIR

Nope, just random

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Cris_Grey

More than a year later, and this feature still is not available for everybody! Duolingo, please please make it available!! I am learning 9 languages and I cannot afford to start over with all of them in a new account to just try to get the Vocabulary....

November 7, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/duaine2

Duolingo seems to be selecting who gets the words tab randomly. Anyone knows why? and if it can be manually enabled or disabled?

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/_pinkodoug_

Duo has recently been doing another round of AB testing to determine whether the feature is beneficial.

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/duaine2

Words tab allows you to review the new words you would have covered in previous categories and show you a strength rating per each word with the meanings etc.

February 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/cbriantx

AMEN! I'll go on record that I 100% agree with you!!!

Maybe if we all keep commenting and requesting it, they'll speed it up or at least tell us how long this testing is going to last.

July 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

In its current state the "words tab" is just a list of sorted words with the ability to practice them using flashcards. If people are in such a rush to get it they can extract the words from each skill and add them to excel or anki. Otherwise they should simply be patient.

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/cbriantx

You are correct. I created a new account and then took enough lessons to build up a decent word bank for Italian so I could test the Words Tab. I was highly disappointed based on the build up I've heard about it. It is clearly not the feature that I miss from the old version of DL. On the other hand, at least it is an improvement over not having access to this list at all. I wish they would bring back the old way you could go into a specific unit and then see just those words for that unit. It really helped me to see them and their conjugations all in one compact place. That's the tool I was hoping Words would replace :(

July 24, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/SabrinaHanning

what is the words tab anyway?

January 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/loki1985

seconded!

February 12, 2016
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