Suggestion: ability to unlock skills
As an educator I would love to have the ability to unlock skills for my students, so that they could work on Duolingo lessons which would enhance the concepts that are being introduced in the textbook. And, as many other teachers have mentioned, I'd also appreciate being able to see my students' trees and daily XP achievements. Thanks again for the dashboard! The DL team is awesome.
The problem is that later skills rely on words and grammar learned in earlier skills. So if you unlocked a skill, say half way down his tree, your student may face exercises well beyond his ability.
If you feel your student is capable then he could test out of individual or a group of skills, but otherwise keep him on an orderly progression of skills.
On the other hand, I've been trying to introduce this into the college level 102 class I'm teaching. Not as a requirement, but as something extra that can help them (of course, seeing as it isn't required, no one is doing yet, typical). While I've even told them that I'm confident that any time spent on DL would be overall beneficial to them, the fact of the matter is that if they are already in 102 but are just starting DL, they can only test out of so much. We are starting the imperfect tense just 4 weeks into the semester, yet on DL the imperfect is 32 skills -after- the last available one to test out of. (which, of course, I find to be a little silly that it is taught to far after the preterite...)
The point is, there do exist reasons for wanting to unlock things for students.
Thank you for your supportive comment. Most teachers and professors follow a textbook, which these days are the cumulative fruit of decades and even centuries of research on linguistic acquisition. It's discouraging that other teachers don't speak up in support of this proposal. I have no idea why the Duolingo team would be against it.
I have been using Duolingo for some time now and I agree on having the option to unlock some of the topics or vocabulary to enhance my class. I understand DL is designed by accumulative structure but it would be so helpful to unlock and assign different levels according to the level of my students. I have students with very different learning levels and style.
The progression of vocabulary that has been introduced is accumulative, as well as some of the grammar. However, it seems that structurally it would lend itself well to the possibility of opening up a skill needed by a certain teacher (or syllabus) even if some of the previous skills have been skipped.