https://www.duolingo.com/MagneRyset

Lessons completed offline should get backdated to the day they were completed.

I was on day 6/7 of a Double or Nothing challenge yesterday, and lost my internet connection before I could finish today's lesson. No reason to worry, I thought, I have the entire lesson on my tablet. So I completed the lesson on the tablet and went to bed.

But today I was notified that I lost my streak, as well as the Double or Nothing challenge. Why? The tablet app knows that I completed the lesson yesterday, but it attributed the lesson to today, instead of yesterday. This is very frustrating, and I hope it can be remedied in the future.

October 8, 2014

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete

But if you had been using the web to do the exercises and lost your internet connection midway through the exercise you would be in the same boat and you would loose your streak etc.

October 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MagneRyset

No, the next few lessons are saved on my tablet, so I can simply switch to it and start the lesson from the beginning.

October 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete

What I meant was that if you loose your connection half way through a lesson, and cannot reconnect until past midnight then you will loose your streak whatever method you use to do the exercise.

On the web version you would also have to re-do the exercise from the beginning, whereas with the app you can complete the lesson and have it counted when you get re-connected. It is just not counted for the previous 24 hour period and therefore for your streak.

The simple way round this if you have a dodgy internet connection is to buy a streak freeze, so if you cannot make the midnight deadline then not all is lost.

October 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MagneRyset

The problem is that Duolingo won't recognize that I actually didn't break the streak. The streak is about studying every day, not connecting to the Internet every day.

Paying 10 lingots to win 5 lingots is no simple solution, it's just a cop-out that solves nothing.

October 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete

I agree, if it was just a case of paying 10 lingots to win 5 would make no sense at all, but the 10 lingots is just an insurance policy, the streak freeze is only used when needed. And when you have a streak of 100 days or more, it begins to make sense to have it.

October 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

Except that it makes no sense. Users can set their cellphone to any time they prefer, and claim they completed the lesson the previous day. In addition, since the user is offline there is no way to double-check the correct time using the internet. There are many other reasons to keep this as it is, and very few reasons to change it.

October 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MagneRyset

I agree - the date issue is a problem, but can it not be dealt with somehow? What other reasons are there for not implementing this?

October 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

Well, if someone changes timezones, and for example their time changes then Duolingo can't possibly keep track of it. People could also fast forward their time for whatever reasons, and the streak may end far earlier than expected. They can also hack the duolingo file and make changes to it.

This can't be overcome simply because time is relative, and there would have to be some common constant that can't be changed and all services reliably use. Even internet time may be incorrect if for example a virus affects the site and changes it.

Short answer, the problem can be mitigated but not eliminated. The best approach would simply be for Duolingo to fully work offline, then it wouldn't matter if users make wacky changes to their cellphone as it would affect only them.

October 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MagneRyset

Almost all the issues can be fixed by simply knowing the last time the app was in contact with Duolingo servers. Synced lessons can only be dated between the last connection and the current sync. If dated outside this period of time, the lesson is dated to the time of the current sync.

The only way to cheat through hacking would then be to attack Duolingo's servers, which would mean that they could cheat in a number of other ways as well.

Thus, only a small time window remains for cheating by date spoofing, and the issue will be very minor compared to the benefit to users who won't have to be connected to the internet every day to maintain their streak, as long as they still complete lessons every day.

October 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

Well, these are two different things. The last time the user was in contact with the servers and whether a student really made any effort. Like I said, all it takes is to switch the date to something else to confuse the servers.

Really it is not worth the effort. If a user knows they did the actions that's all that is necessary, a streak is simply an extra validation of that work, no different from ticking it in a calendar, unless of course the user is gunning for lingots or wants to show off. But that's another matter all together.

Currently all you need to do is logon before midnight in your timezone for the streak to take effect. That should be enough for most people.

October 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MagneRyset

Explain what you mean - 'whether a student made any effort'.

The Duolingo servers keep track of the last app sync - if the lesson date doesn't fit in the allowed time frame, the lesson is timestamped in the present.

The streak and 'Double or Nothing' challenge are exactly to help validate the effort that is put into practicing every day. I believe my suggestion will make the extra motivation of the streak available to more people who for some reason can't reliably connect to Duolingo every day.

I feel confident that I'm not alone in practicing in the evening. If for some reason internet is not available then, I've lost my streak. I'll have more than enough time to complete a lesson, but no way of turning it in and continuing my streak.

October 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Dessamator

> Explain what you mean - 'whether a student made any effort'.

Well, it is still up in the air whether the student really did the work or not. At least if they log-on before midnight there is some chance the effort was made.

>I believe my suggestion will make the extra motivation of the streak available to more people who for some reason can't reliably connect to Duolingo every day.

Well, app users already have the benefit of working offline plus the added benefit of their streak counting before midnight. Web-users don't have such perks. It is a fair tradeoff.

Ultimately we are here to learn, I suppose. Neither streaks nor lingots indicate any learning. So even if Duolingo contemplated adding your suggestion (which I believe they already did and chose not to) it will be extremely low priority.

October 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/MagneRyset

Why is it up in the air? A lesson still has to be completed. How is it easier to avoid completing the lesson if you do it offline?

>plus the added benefit of their streak counting before midnight. Web-users don't have such perks. It is a fair tradeoff.

I'm not trying to make this into an app vs web-debate, but that is misrepresentative of the facts. You only have access to a fraction of the web experience on the app. A limited discussion board, no tips and notes (this is sorely missed), among other things. It is not even remotely a fair tradeoff. Of course, the offline capability is nice, but attributing the lesson to the correct day should be an integral part of the feature.

Steady, daily work is the best way to learn, and that is why the streak feature is so important. Streaking indicates better learning than binging. Making the motivational boost of the streak unavailable simply due to internet issues is counterproductive.

October 9, 2014
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