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Let's go streaking!

So I've been thinking about Duolingo's streaks as an incentive, and while I think they are good for encouraging users to keep logging in every day, I'm not so sure they're as helpful when it comes to quantity of learning.

I have two problems with the current system: - Streaks can be cheated. For example, I can complete "Basics 1" of each languge every day and keep my streak up - Missing a day causes your whole streak to reset and discourages further study (trust me, it's upsetting)

My suggestion would be to introduce a scoring or percentage type system i.e. "keep the bar full" or something similar, perhaps this could be completely based on overall vocabulary strength and made more obvious to the user in the way that the streaks and coins are.

I hope this is constructive; I do love Duolingo. I'd like to know if others agree and if anyone has any ideas, share. Oh.. and if you think I'm being an ass, please put that in the comments.

All my love.

August 8, 2013



> Streaks can be cheated. For example, I can complete "Basics 1" of each languge every day and keep my streak up

But is that really cheating? Streaks are an incentive, not the goal. The idea is to practice a language every day. Doing "Basics 1" over and over is still practicing the language. Only someone deliberately out to "game" streaks would do that for very long, anyway, and even then, by repeating the lesson they would learn something. Completing just one lesson a day is still consistent practice and has a cumulative positive effect, although slow. IMHO doing only and not much timed practice is more "cheating." But even then, it is practice, which is the goal.


I saw your title and thought you wanted me to get naked. Good idea though.


While I get where you're coming from, it's good to keep in mind that we need to hold ourselves accountable not to cheat. For the record, it is also possible to maintain the streak by reviewing known words in vocabulary that the system says are due for review. I do think you're onto something here, but anyone can find a way to cheat a system if so inclined.

I'm curious, though. You said you have two problems with the system. What's the second? It didn't seem to make it into your comment.


Sorry, the formatting didn't turn out as expected.. The first was about streaks being cheated, the second was about streaks resetting and making me want to give up.


I see. That gives me an idea, actually. What if we could have a record of our previous streaks that we could look back on? This way, for those who appreciate streaks it will be possible to look back on old streaks as a record to surpass, thus turning a broken streak into a motivator instead.


I think that could be achieved easier by having two icons, "current streak" and "longest streak" - that way you could compete with your best streak, and people could see how active you are now and also how active you've been in the past.


Yes, exactly like Codecademy or Github implemented it. The latter also has a nice visual representation of the activity during the last several months, taking into account the intensity of the work done (and visible to everyone).


Recently i have been finding a lot of the lessons difficult, so i go on timed practice, get an answer right just to keep my streak going, I still attempt the lessons, but they are getting much harder. I'm starting to feel somewhat ashamed of my large streak though. I have a huge streak but have barely progressed. I often see people with around 10 days who are 3/4's through the tree (i know that dosen't mean they have only been on Duolingo for 10 days). I still believe i should go at my own pace, but i think the large streak and lack of progress makes me look kind of unintelligent. The streak isn't so motivating any more.


Here's another tip for cheating: do timed practice and complete one single question. However, the only person that you're cheating is yourself. Me, I'd rather fail and start over than keep on going on a streak including 1-20 points on some days...


adseva, Yes I realized that after you mentioned timed practice in another thread. I was amazed to see that one question correct would count as practice.

> Me, I'd rather fail and start over than keep on going on a streak including 1-20 points on some days...

Me, that's all I get on most days, nowadays--10 points or more, 17 correct answers or more, for completing a non-timed lesson, just barely or better. . . . Or was that your point, that I donĀ“t do a lot of points per day? It works for me. I'm doing it for the spelling practice in French, and even 20 questions provides a little of that. FWIW, Russian is what I'm studying right now, not French, and unfortunately Russian is not offered here.


There was no point made to your specific record - which I only noticed now; the point was that, yeah, you (anyone) can keep up a streak by just getting one point per day, but why would you want to?

Why you mention Russian I have no idea.


> you (anyone) can keep up a streak by just getting one point per day, but why would you want to?

Agreed. But a few of the posts here seem to indicate the streak as what is important.

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