What do you think about the new timed practice?
We are working on a new feature to make practicing more fun and to help you learn better: timed practice. Half of you are now seeing it.
Here's how it works: You have to finish before the time runs out; every time you get an answer correct, you get a point and a little more time.
The timer is completely optional for those who want to do things at their own pace. However, we think that real world settings have a time pressure, so we hope this type of practice helps you master the language sooner.
We think it's a lot of fun, but we'd love to hear your thoughts.
I like it, but a problem for me is that when I make a mistake, instead of looking to see where I went wrong I hurry to the next one. I would recommend at the end of the timed practice, have a summary of the ones that were incorrect so we can see where we went wrong.
I like the idea, but there are a few times I think the timer should be paused.
When I get something wrong, I need time to read what the right answer was. When I have to speak in Spanish, there is always a delay before the record button shows (and on my system it varies all the time). It used to be slightly annoying, now it is something that loses me many seconds that I can't control. The same happens when it "can't hear me", I am doing my practice at 5:30am, and I don't want to shout in panic to get a lesson done!
If a sentence is long, it takes longer to type, so I don't think that is well balanced either.
Maybe we can start with a more generous timer, and as we get better at beating the clock, lesson by lesson, the total could be lowered.
In its current incarnation, I don't find it useful. I type fast, but not that fast. And since Duolingo is very, very, very sensitive to typos, it's kind of a recipe for frustration.
I could get behind a timed version that was entirely multiple-choice. The timing needs to challenge my listening and comprehension, not my typing skills.
I'm enjoying the timed practice, however I do have one minor concern. Because we have to HURRY, I omit accent marks and tildes as they take more time to write. Perhaps they should be mandatory on the timed practice as a way to ensure that we learn proper spelling and not cut corners.
@pjreads: The lessons are not timed precisely because of that. However, we feel that part of knowing a language well is being able to think about it quickly, so one of our goals with timed practice is to allow you to more closely resemble a real-world situation (where time does matter).
Hm-- I must be part of the 50% who doesn't have the timer, but I'm definitely interested in trying it. My biggest concern (and I'm not sure, maybe you've already thought of this and have a solution, I can't tell til it's open to me!) is about giving feedback on sentences Duolingo doesn't accept as correct. I have to do this at least once every lesson/practice session. Does the countdown clock pause if you click the Feedback button or "Still think you're correct"?
I like the timed practice. It forces me to more quickly recognize the meaning of the words, instead of falling into the habit of just translating in my head. The sense of rushed hurry forces better association between the target language word and the concept behind it. Even if the racing to beat the clock is stressful, I find it a productive, positive stress.
I tried it about three times before going back to un-timed. 30 seconds seemed way too short and / or maybe the credit for getting one right was too small. I don't like HURRYing either. I'm not positive, but I thought <Enter> didn't work for the submit button and that threw me off at first too. Let me know when you have a new version :).
I like it. But I would prefer to have a little more time; my typing speed is not great. But otherwise it is entertaining. I would also like to have some old school grammatical reference menu the same way you have vocabulary menu. I think it will be very helpful for some learners. Just to see the whole structure of things.
Thank you for your amazing language platform, I am a big fan of what you do!! Do you plan to add Russian sometime)))?
I love how quickly you & your team add new features, and based on our feedback as well!
I would love something like a Duo tech twitter stream, where we can keep an eye on all of these changes. Maybe even just a small sub page where we can see what new features are available to us (and marked if they are in beta). Hey, it could even link back to the discussion topic for that exact feature, for further feedback ;) :D
Sorry if somebody have already noted, but: It is terribly disturbing that you close the test when the time is up. It is motivating otherwise great fun, but I WANT to finish the last few tests over time as well. This setting gives me a feel of terrible uncompleteness no matter how much point you give me! (Sorry for my English I am native Hungarian. :-)
While I like the timed practice and the challenge it presents I think it could be better if the lesson kept track or rewarded you based on how far you got in the alotted time. I would be more motivated to keep trying to beat the clock if I could try to beat my best instead of constantly struggling to get all the way through and failing.
@Luis I'm sorry. <Enter> seems to work fine. Maybe at first I got caught with the delay expiring just before hitting Enter. With the audio only, I frequently have to replay it several times or more slowly, so 30 secs isn't even enough for one extra point. I like the concept, but could only get about 3 points before the time ran out, then one or two clicks to start again - it wasn't worth it. On another subject, I do like the improvements to the regular un-timed practice - the display of what words we practiced, etc. And as always, I love Duolingo, and think it's the best thing ever! :)
For the practice section that sounds interesting/a good idea. However, for each individual skill page - I'm not too sure about that. When you first go through a skill it's nice being able to take your time getting your head around new vocab and sentence structure. That would be difficult if you have a time limit.
Luis, a mi me ha parecido genial. Pero precisamente porque es opcional, a diferencia del otro cambio más reciente. Me gustaría volver a completar las lecciones mediante practicas, no mediante traducciones. Todo añadido es bueno siempre y cuando den la opción de elegir. Por lo demás me encanta Duolingo y estáis haciendo un gran trabajo, pero por favor, echarle una revisión a lo que te he comentado. Gracias ;)
I am looking forward to trying this new feature! I think it is an excellent idea and a great addition. I have a few thoughts about it. I don't see this feature but I am assuming it is available in the practice section of the vocabulary? But I think it would be good to use this for lessons that were done previously. This brings up something I had wanted to mention about practice (so hopefully this won't be seen as off topic). I was hoping that we could get points for doing completed sections over... when I go back to the older lessons and I see fewer than 3 hearts, then I think it is a good idea to try to do them over to get better at them, but you do not receive any points so that is disappointing. So perhaps we could get points for that and this could be a feature added to that? In other words, first you complete a lesson - then if you have 3 hearts, you can do it with the timer to achieve fluency.
I can see my using timing sometimes but I would hope it remains optional so I don't feel rushed in difficult sections. Also I make notes as I go and look up and record plurals and verb conjugations as well as other things. I'd hate to be penalised for doing this as it helps me fix what I'm learning in my mind.
As a fun exercise something like a race or a competition in a classroom it sounds like a good idea. But in Duolingo´s case it is only you against the time, so where is the fun of winning, except for congratulating yourself what a wonderful person you are :-); from practical point of view it rewards the people with nimble fingers and fast computers, not the person with nimble brains; is this Duolingo´s aim ? In addition it favors a rather haphazard spelling (as someone in this thread mentioned already) like "no capitalization, no punctuation, but you must use accent. This gets even more confusing when you switch between languages (eg. accents are a must in Spanish-English; not necessary in English-Spanish) Thank heavens it is still only an option and not a must!
Thanks for adding this feature! I like it. It is great for building fluency. I just think it should be added as an option for sections that you have had time to practice a lot.... when you go to the regular vocabulary practice it is a mix of new and old. The older words are the ones I am able to deal with successfully under the timed mode. The newer words make it harder, so I can see why people get frustrated. I use both timed and un-timed modes for vocabulary practice.
The time trial is challenging and fun but like another user said, in order to complete it under pressure one starts to omit the accents and punctuation marks. The reason is that most of us are using US English keyboards. To scroll the mouse to click on the special letters for a word like Atencao or maca would take so much time that it would make the time trial obsolete. Other than that, I enjoy it, it's pretty challenging and I never quit until I get it done before the 2 minute mark.
Great job guys, this makes learning fun!
While I understand the idea behind the timer, I really don't like it. At least for me, it's far too much pressure (and entirely too little time), and I find it more frustrating and discouraging than helpful. Moreover, as a few people have mentioned already, the timing component encourages speed rather than accuracy, and I end up rushing through the exercise without really learning anything.
Much better than before! This really solves the problem I was having of losing time and points because I couldn't type accurately enough at speed. Now there is enough time to read what I've typed before hitting 'enter'. Many thanks for this improvement: you are doing a splendid job.
I think it's great, good for fluency as well as fun.
A couple of comments:
a summary of the questions (maybe just the ones you got wrong) at the end would be great
some questions should give you back more time than others - writing a long translation or dictation should pay more time than choosing 'el' or 'la'
I have found sometimes the enter key is adding a new line instead of submitting the answer, this is a real problem when working against the clock
I am working through the beta version of Swedish and there are still some issues (ex: Translate "a crab" gave an error when I answered "en krabba" even though that is correct. I went to report a problem but since I was doing a timed test, the timer ran out and I was unable to finish submitting the issue (or the test, for that matter).
When in timed tests, if people are submitting an issue it should pause the timer or somehow indicate that the timed test is paused to allow for errors to be reported!
I know this is an old post, but i figured id respond rather than start a new one. I have one suggestion about timed practice: i think the timer should pause while you look at the discussion about a sentence. if i have a question that may be answered in the discussion about that particular sentence, i cant really look because the timer is still going.