Suggestion/Concern (something to be aware of)
First for a suggestion: -It'd be great to have the ability to comment on student work built into the dashboard. But then, the question becomes how does the student end up interacting with this information. Ideally, I'd like them to have their own Dashboard page with this information and the ability to see and respond to my conversation in real time.
Then something for teachers to be aware of:
There is a glitch that allows users to finish lessons without actually doing anything involving messing with wi-fi connection during lessons. As teachers, you can safeguard against this with vocabulary check-ins/dictations and discussions on integrity. :)
Sure! I believe it has been described before but no problem!
To my understanding, if a user begins a lesson, then turns off their Wi-Fi right on the first question, they can then just enter random answers which are always accepted. When they get to the last question, they turn the Wi-Fi back on, and they pass the lesson.
This is problematic for the testing out feature. It'd be great if an internal fix was possible (on your side), but of course the understanding is Duolingo was created for a group who see the value in language-learning but with a bit of teacher accountability we can also keep track of it.
Sorry for the rushed response. Gotta teach!
Not OP but I've noticed the same thing. When using the website if you start a lesson or a test and then turn off your wifi connection / if the internet goes down then you get every answer correct regardless of what you write allowing you to pass the lesson / test without knowing / doing anything.
My students have figured out that if they get to a later lesson, go through a few questions and then turn off the computer without finishing or logging off, everything will become gold. I have never seen them do it, but have some suddenly impossible scores. I require notes in addition to lessons mastered, so maintain some integrity.
Long ago when I was in elementary school we had this program called "Accelerated Reader" that awarded points redeemable for real life rewards. Though I was quite good at reading I was also quite good with computers, pair that with some laziness and it wasn't long before I had found a way around their system. Of course it didn't take long before the teachers figured out something wasn't right and started to keep an eye on me, and the only thing that taught me a lesson was their decision to revoke all rewards I had earned and have me publicly apologize for my actions.
Moral to the story: If someone thinks cheating is a good way to get ahead remind them that in the end a cheater walks away empty handed, add in some shame when the other students find out and chances are they will learn their lesson
I assure you that the teacher's decision to hold me publicly accountable to my classmates was the right one, it not only taught me that cheating doesn't pay but it also permanently changed the way I viewed my education as well as competition. So the next time you catch a student cheating, perhaps the best way to handle it is to remind them of the cost of such an action, and if need be show them how their choices can adversely affect the education, and even confidence of their classmates.
Maybe a "classroom feed" where the teacher can see the combined feed of everyone in one class in one place.
As for comments, maybe something like the "top of tree" popup which the staff use on occasion? Teachers can place, say, 100 characters which will be visible to the student when they log in.
I think the one problem that some are having is that neither skills nor XP really maps well to amount learned, especially when you put incentives on either you end up with people cheating. Maybe, some day, this can be addressed by allowing teachers to dole out one "language progress quiz" every month or so to get a more accurate feedback on progress. Teachers can then use those scores to judge progress over time. Honestly I don't see why they don't do something like this already so that they can give users a clear, long-term, feedback on their progress.