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Possible way to get around loopholes?

So, let me start off by saying that, in my position as a TA, the syllabus is made for the entire department, and test dates are set, so I am not in a situation that, I assume, many others are in where you can really work your class progression around the DL progression. Thus, at present, I am merely encouraging my students to use DL, telling them that any time they spend on it would be beneficial overall even if it is the stuff they should have learned from 101 (this is a 102 class), but I am not -requiring- participation in DL, nor can I require it.

All that said, there have been posts about how to work around the loopholes that students find in learning, and I'm wondering if anyone has tried the idea I have. We're only a few weeks into the semester and no one has signed up yet, so mainly this is more to see if anyone else thinks it is a good enough idea to try, since I haven't even yet asked for permission to implement it.

Since I can't -require- them to do DL, the thought would be to offer some kind of extra credit if they do it, but if the loopholes they can take advantage of are already bad enough in these cases where the class is very much structured with DL in mind, one can only imagine the headache it would be coming up with effective and fair extra credit that safeguards against student ingenuity.

My thought would be that they could do whatever amount of DL they want outside of class, all of it being to their benefit as far as actually learning anyway, of course, but to get any extra credit, one would have to come in to my office hours and take the timed strengthen skills exercises. There would still be a lot to be worked out, do they merely have to do one and get a certain score? Do they have to do a number of them and get some average? The main plus of this idea, though, is that whatever it says their progress is, for all we know they could be getting someone else to do DL for them, but this way, for the extra credit, they are doing it in front of you, you can actually see if their skills match up with what DL says their progress has been.

I know that that was pretty long winded for one simple, probably decently faulty, idea, but I'd love to get people's thoughts on this.

February 2, 2015



I know someone who is fluent in both English and Spanish (native speaker of both). They have a very difficult time with Timed Practiced because it produces anxiety for them. So, they have stopped using it and just do Untimed Practice. (They were a TA and checking out the material.)

I am also a TA for a 102 class, and just walking from work area to work area while people practice, some students tend to do a little worse when they know I'm listening (I know, because they do better when they don't realize I'm listening. The same was true for me when I was a student in that same class.) Performance anxiety can make it difficult for some of them to show their true ability. What I recommend is give them the option to do either timed or untimed practice. That way, students can have at least a small amount of control of their comfort level to give their best effort. :)


Yes, that's a good idea that they should do it in your presence. They can practice all they want beforehand. Timed practice is a good measure of whether they have mastered the material. Some students really stress out under the pressure, but you can encourage them to try it in Basics 1 so they can see how it becomes easy with repetition. I made an assignment where they had to get 16XPs strengthening a skill in order to earn an A (90%). If they wanted an A+ they needed two timed practice sessions totaling 32XPs. I also gave an alternative assignment (for those who dread the clock) to make a Quizlet set out of a Duolingo lesson. You can search for the ones my students created and let yours use them for practice (type in "Duolingo: Spanish").


I am a highschool student myself, I am happy to speak to you about this idea if you wish. Just message me! I think that this is a great idea and I believe that if a student got another person to do their work on DL for them then it would soon become apparent. I also think that the easiest way to carry out and implement your idea would be to set specific work for the students and then get them to simply complete it, the more completed then the more credit they should recieve ? I hope that this will be helpful to you but like I said earlier just message me if you wish to.


I agree with Usagiboy7. The Timed Practice produces anxiety. They are more likely to enjoy it and do it if they can just go at their own pace.

My high school students like doing it. I know a lot of them cheat when they do their workbooks but I feel this is different. I would say, make the extra credit minimal. That way, the less dedicated students wouldn't think it even worthwhile to have someone cheat for them. The dedicated students will actually do it themselves to get even minimal credit. If it isn't worth too much, and someone does cheat, it won't affect their grade too much.

Here's what I would do: take 1/2 hour in class one day and offer extra credit for what they do on duolingo in class that day. Or, if you don't get approved for extra credit, just give them a piece of candy or something when they get lingots! Some kids would even do it for a gold star, ha! Then, they will see how useful and fun it is.

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