Fewer XP for practicing strong words
Over the last couple of weeks we've been testing a change in which you're sometimes given fewer XP for practicing skills or redoing lessons you've already done. The idea is that the number of XP you earn now depends on how weak the words are in the lesson. Lessons in which all the words are already at maximal strength will only give you 3 XP, and lessons in which all words are at minimal strength will give you 10 XP. We thought of trying this to encourage people to learn new words when the words they already know are strong.
The metrics show that on average people are more engaged in this condition, so we decided to make this change for all our users on the Web (the apps will follow in a few weeks).
While we know some people prefer the old way, we think a slight discouragement from doing the same lesson over and over is good for learning -- though, of course, we don't prevent you from over practicing if you so wish.
You basically tested it for a week. The ab_option first appeared last Thursday afternoon/eventing, and yesterday you pushed it live to everyone. That might set a record for shortest duration for an AB test.
This feature initially appeared to be in response to requests such as this one from teachers frustrated with some of their students repeating trivial lessons / reviews for easy XP.
This approach is problematic for a number of reasons. First, because Duo sets a word to full strength after a practice whether the question is answered correctly or not (only the decay rate is adjusted accordingly), word strength is a poor indicator of how well a user knows a given word. When a user is reviewing material that they are struggling with, it's likely, perhaps even probable, that those words will all have full strength even though the user has still not truly mastered them. This approach is punitive in the way it affects such users. I've seen some users in this predicament say that after working through a review requiring 25, 30 or more questions to complete they're only "rewarded" with 3 points.
Additionally, this change negatively affects many** users for the benefit of a handful teachers who are measuring their student's progress with the wrong metric, or worse, encouraging meaningless XP races / challenges (XP is a measure of work performed, not of the quality of said work). Moreover, Duolingo's solution is lazy and ill-conceived; it disincentivizes review by many** students affected by the test. In any event, it doesn't even address the problem of XP grinding because those students can still buy timed practice and churn out timed practices of Basics-1 for 20 points a pop every 2 minutes or so since timed practices are unaffected by this change.
Finally because words in practices currently appear to be selected based on lexeme strength rather than word strength, it's left to random chance whether some weak words within a lexeme get targeted by a practice session. Take a look at support ticket #413574 for some details of what I'm talking about. Trying, unsuccessfully, to revise words that have ZERO strength for a pittance of XP can be a significant issue for many users. It doesn't really affect me because I tend to think XP is meaningless in general and particularly once lvl 25 is reached. For those still trying to level up, I can see where this would be downright infuriating.
** Edit: Changed all to many due to a point that Luis made and subsequently deleted for some reason.
If this is true it's even more annoying as it won't work. I work with kids, if a child is so unmotivated about learning a language that they'd rather grind than do some work they won't think, oh gosh, an exciting new challenge. They'll quit. They'll still sit there and grin basic 1 or they'll start prodding the person next to them instead or whatever. This to enable lazy teaching (yes, if you're judging your kids by how many XP they have instead of how their spoken language is improving that's lazy teaching).
As a motivated adult learner, I liked that I could set my coach to 50 and I knew I had to complete at least 5 exercises to get my streak. It was a great way to motivate myself to do at least those 5 every day. Now I have no way to predict if 5 will get me 50 points of 15 points, since if I want to review material (using the strengthen skills tool, for example) and actually learn it instead of looking at it once then running away laughing I have no control over how many XP I'll get. The coach becomes entirely useless. So you've made a useful tool obsolete for the sake of some children who will likely not benefit anyway. Great.
So, what, you don't find it useful so I shouldn't? I did find it useful as on days when I'm working it can be a real pain to motivate myself to do the full five lessons, even though I know it pays of in the end. HAVING to finish all 5 to get my streak was a real motivator for me and now it's basically gone.
I agree wholeheartedly. The great thing about the coach is that you have a choice. Find it unhelpful? Turn the stupid thing off. Find it useful? (I do too. Coach yourself to kingdom come. Some other Duolingo users dislike the coach feature, but this in no way reduces its impact or the impact of this more recent update on your Duolingo experience.
Exactly. I don't use the coach, because my available free time for Duolingo varies a lot and I like to set my own goals day to day, but I can see how for many people, it's a really great motivator. (It would be for me if I had a more consistent schedule, for that matter.)
I set my Coach to 10XP per day, its an easy goal for rough disability days, then on better days the sections that need strengthen i reapeat all lessons in that category. Not worried about the points more concerned with learning through repatitions a slower learn but gets it stuck in the mind.
As most might agree you need to think in the language your learning (again repatition) & Duolingo can't reward that!
Try a lower coach but give yourself a personal goal of 50XP+, Its helping me learn & as its free can't grumble especially when you get the lingot bonus every straight 10 days.
The coach motivated me to increase my minimum daily goal from 1 lesson per day to 2/day, then 3/day. I often do 5-6 lessons per day and more. But now with no way to predict how many xp will be earned per lesson, I cannot afford to set a high goal for fear that I might lose my streak due to not earning enough points just before midnight, so today I set the coach to 1xp.
it was very important to motivate my child. she's only 6 and i thought it would be a great way to teach her both a new language and to type words in her native language. it was her own initiative (obviously inspired by me - i got here only a month ago, and really enjoy using this platform a lot so far, so she wanted to be here like me). her target was set to 10 XP a day and she did amazingly well, learning new words and revising many times the lessons she had learned, day by day, as it also gave her the same 10 XP.
now she had to quit duolingo, because the last days she felt each time she was not doing well enough to earn her daily streak, and doing three or four sets of exercises would be way too much for her.. it's not fatal, of course, i can teach her anyway and use other means, but it is indeed disappointing, since she was learning surprisingly well here and i was very happy about it. too bad it only lasted a couple of weeks for her. as for me, i don't care much about daily streaks, even though they are good reminders of my goal.
edited: i just saw that it's possible to set a daily goal to only 1 XP, that solves our problem completely! :)
Why does it make the coach feature useless? If our XP are cut in half/thirds, all we have to do is cut our XP goal in half/thirds and it's the same.
"Divide both sides of the equation by the same number and the result is the same, the equation just looks different" This is basic Algebra!
It's not that simple. Due to the way strengthening lessons are generated it's now completely unpredictable how much each will be worth. Also the Coach isn't that flexible, you can set it at one point on the website (but not in the android app) which effectively turns it off or you can set it to multiples of 10.
Putting together "handful teachers who are measuring their student's progress with the wrong metric" and "lazy teaching (yes, if you're judging your kids by how many XP they have instead of how their spoken language is improving that's lazy teaching)" and you have my current fear about Duo: Scholar part becoming predominant in the driving factors of Duo's decisions and driven by "handful lazy teachers measuring their student's progress (only) with Duo's metrics".
I only see the XP being useful for teachers to know if their students at least did some lessons, but this need then a fix number of XP per lesson.
To evaluate school students, XP (or any Duo metric) seems to me a lazy solution.
And to check they worked (or asked someone to do it for them ;)) "having passed Y new lessons (during the class)" would be a better one than XP, IMO.
N.B.: Not talking about Duo test center, this could be used as an (but not the only one) evaluation of a student level.
That said, I don't find the new 3-10 XP system so bad in itself: either you aren't motivated by XP and you don't really care (you can count the lessons you passed each day, decide you practice XX min per day etc...) or XP are what's having you keeping coming back then it's a good thing for you since it'll force you practicing more efficiently (but if only XP is your motivation then there are better way to earn some ;)).
If kids want to "cheat" by doing Basics 1 over and over again for the points, why not let them? They're the ones who are hurt by it. I don't think that the problem is in the teachers being naive or ignorant of Duolingo. Again, if the kids want to "cheat", then let them. They are the ones who are missing out on the fun of learning another language!
I do not care for the new point system. I completed the tree a few weeks ago so I am only working to keep my Spanish strong. I set my goal at 30XP per day and I do not have time or inclination to do ten lessons per day. In addition, I find the strengthening skills questions to be too repetitive to be useful. Why do you have the same two or three phrases presented over and over in these lessons. You could at least change some of the words to make it more useful and more interesting. Make the strengthening skills a challenge and reward them rather than making them easy and lowering the reward points.
Gosh, yes, I've been reviewing the beginning of the tree using timed practice recently. I must have answered 10 questions in a row about vegetarians. She is one, he is one, the children are, they don't eat meat, he doesn't eat meat, the boys are, the girls are, the mother is too. None or very few of the other 15 words or so in the lesson were covered. Maybe there was a question about a lemon.
I agree with you SallyGail. Leave the point system like it was and provide more variation with skill strengthening.
One of the things I love most about using Duolingo is it's reflection of real life learning. Observe how a young child learning a language repeats and repeats and repeats. Since doing exactly this on Duolingo I've gained a much better grasp of Spanish. If that repetition were to include the same words or conjugations within a new context, it would be even more helpful. I believe this approach would also apply within a formal school learning environment.
I definitely agree with you that teachers shouldn't be given any special treatment on here. They bring up a valid point but the welfare of all users should be the goal as opposed to the special interests of students who are required to use Duolingo in class. Things like XP races and prizes to students who get the most lingots are pretty pointless (as hopefully they've found out). How about x number of gold skills? Or how about string together a coherent sentence?
I digress. We shouldn't be pandering to the Duolingo for Schools crowd. That whole thing should probably have been done differently. Teachers should know better what they're getting into, and students shouldn't have the run of the website. And features certainly shouldn't be rolled out JUST for them. That said, if they found that the community at large saw an improvement with reduced XP, then I'll take that at face value and just keep doing timed practice as always.
Exactly! Have 5 lingots. The problem you described was the exact thing I was worried about when Duolingo for Schools came out. It sounds corny, but before the Schools feature, Duolingo was its own little microsociety, where everyone truly was equal. Now, the (seemingly) benevolent owl overlord has created a little special interest group, the teachers. I love Duolingo, but I bemoan the loss of our completely equal little society :(. It's pretty obvious that this change is aimed at fixing problems teachers had with lazy students.
Thank you. I agree with other posters, if a student is grinding out Basic 1 over and over, that is a problem changing the number of XPs awarded will not solve.
That said, I really, really don't like the idea of Duolingo For Schools. Learners are doing this for fun, because it is interesting, not because we have to.
The greatest thing about Duolingo is that we are ALL teachers here. Why not listen to us?
I really believe that someone in Duolingo's office forgot who are the users of Duolingo and thought we are all unmotivated spoiled kids that try to abuse the xp system. When you have a vast majority of adults that are self motivated enough to learn a language online without any tutor, discouraging them to review whenever they feel they should do it, its not a smart move. Also now you can never know how much time you need to get your daily goal, maybe you need 3 lessons and 30 min or maybe 7 lessons and more than an hour. As for myself, I will set my daily goal to 1 xp and from now on set my own goal of 3-4 lessons every day no matter how much xp i get. Duolingo just destroyed the coach feature. We all understand you Dr. Luis that you are exited to help kids learn languages but dont forget the rest of the Duolingo community.
I'm still pretty new to Duolingo, but it's been a great way for me (a self-motived adult with no extrinsic reason to learn German except to try something new) to get started. I start my time every day with a Strengthen Skills because my short-term memory is great and I can run through lessons like nobody's business. However, I want to actually KNOW the language, and I know the repetition is good for my long-term learning. It's annoying that I don't earn the XP points when Strengthen Skills is a genuine effort to strengthen my skills, and not a cop out. Someone above also pointed out that the Strengthen Skills doesn't actually cover all the material you've learned, so maybe Duo should just increase the difficult of SS instead of lowering XP's.
Agreed. I like to keep my tree gold, especially since it starts telling me that the amount of French I understand is going down if I don't. Because of this, it will take me twice as long to level up in the future. That's incredibly unhelpful and pointless. I used to be able to get 39 points by reviewing three lessons, but I'm now getting 15....
I'm trying to keep my tree gold too. When I first saw this feature when I was strengthening an exercise, I thought I was because I was doing bad in the lesson (it took my around 30 questions to finish it.) The thing is, I have to keep repeatedly strengthening the same lessons; so if Duo is telling me I have to keep doing that-that I have to keep strengthening the same lessons, then why am I not getting the 10 points when I do strengthen the lesson? I see what they are trying to do, but the application isn't working for me.
Totally agree! For someone such as myself that has a learning disability not gaining the former 10XP points does nothing to encourage strengthening exercising which are I need to do daily, its just the way I learn. Now I have to struggle for about 4 hours daily to get some points--see I am unable to go on to new lessons until the old are firmly trenched in my mind. I'm not spoiled & I do want to learn French but I am finding it disheartening to have to work so much longer to get a quarter of the points I used to strive for daily. I had not realized that seeing those points add up was such a motivator to me until we lost them. I, for one, really need them back.
I have stayed at the exercises for Spanish present tense verbs for quite some time. I've repeated the lessons, even though the concept is at full strength.
Why? Because I still don't really KNOW the concept. I can translate a few isolated words in specific sentences. But I don't really know how to conjugate these verbs. I don't know which ones fall into which conjugation pattern (in part because the conjugations are never shown with the infinitive or as a whole chart). I can only guess which ones have a direct object and which use a prepositional phrase where English would have a direct object. I don't even have a good understanding of when to use ser and when to use the other verb for to be (which I can't even easily look up, because I don't know the infinitive form).
Using interactive and innovative means of practicing language shouldn't have to come at the expense of actually introducing grammatical concepts in an orderly way. I shouldn't have to rely on someone pointing me to some other explanation on the internet. Why is grammar here crowdsourced instead of actually explained systematically?
thanks a lot for sharing your experience, i'll try that website too! even though i'm really happy with duolingo - only here i'm finally learning spanish for which i never had enough patience, but here it's somehow magically happening pretty fast and easily.. :)
as for XPs, i'll obviously lower my daily goal to 30 - that will compensate the lost XPs that i used to get on strengthening skills, so that i'll do the same amount of exercises a day and still feel good :)
That is one thing I don't 100% like about how Duolingo teaches. Without previous knowledge of French conjugations I think it would have taken me a lot longer to master the conjugation patterns.
But that said, Duolingo just isn't the site for grammar. And I don't think that it's trying to be designed to revolve around grammar skills. That's just not Duolingo's aim in teaching us the language.
Personally I use About.com when I need to figure out how the charts work, and they do a really good job of explaining it. I also use Lingvist, but that's only for French.
This point is brought up a lot, and I have to say it doesn't really bug me because conjugation charts and grammar points for language students have been all over the internet for a very long time. There are plenty of resources for those things. Duo is providing something innovative that had never existed before.
I think I agree with that. There are features of Italian that I can't seem to remember, but I also use About.com to pull up charts and whatnot when I want to refer to them (and, happily, my need to refer to them is getting less and less!). I also think there's been some change between courses - the Swedish course has quite a few tips and notes which I find helpful - many more than in the Italian course . But the Swedish course is a lot newer, so apparently they've learned from experience.
Thank you for articulating this so well. Word strength shouldn't jump straight back to full after you get a word wrong. German is the first language I'm really learning on here, since I already mostly knew French and Spanish before I stumbled on this site, and I need a lot more vocabulary review to get any of the words to stick in my head than the site recommends. And now it basically punishes for that.
I'm basically in the same boat. I have gone back to the beginning because I needed to work on spelling. I am repeating lessons until "I feel I have got the spelling down". That is something ONLY I can determine.
It would have been nice if they would have notified us of the change before they implemented it. I was a bit shocked yesterday when I only got 5 points rather than 10 for a lesson. It was a verb lesson where I really need to work on spelling changes within the stem of some of the verbs.
The way that actually seems to work is that word strength jumps to full any time you've just seen a word. HOWEVER, that word strength doesn't really reflect how well Duolingo thinks you know the word.
A word that you get wrong will jump to max, but it will also decay down again and become eligible for practice again quickly.
I personally think that the SRS implemented in Duolingo seems to have some issues, because I definitely had to go to other sites and tools to reinforce some words, but the functionality of that word strength bar is pretty consistent with how SRS is generally done.
Every other SRS makes you get the word right before it stops making you review it that day. The timing is fine, but it shouldn't go back up when you've gotten it wrong. Because you see a word for the first time, your brain has no time to absorb it, but Duolingo puts the bar up because you've just seen it and you don't see it for days after that. The first day, you need to review it until you get it right, and then you need to see it the next day, then the intervals should start increasing. But they need to reset when you get the word wrong.
And if word strength doesn't reflect that, then we literally don't have a count of how many words we actually know.
I find that Memrise is a great place to drill vocab as a complement to Duo. I know somebody's made a Memrise of all the German Duolingo words, although I'm working on a different one right now, so I'm getting some overlap of vocab and some new.
Edit: And as somebody said elsewhere in this thread, the SRS on Memrise is a lot better.
I'm perfectly happy using other resources for my language studies, that's necessary no matter what, but Memrise just isn't really my thing and I've debated starting an Anki deck of the German course because there isn't one posted yet on shared Anki decks. But what annoys me isn't that this isn't a service Duo doesn't provide, in which case I would just make do, but they do provide it and yet I'm still debating going somewhere else because it's not working well enough.
Maybe they've got data on why their SRS works the way it does, but I would really like to see that, because from our perspective it looks like it's barely doing the bare minimum as far as an SRS program goes.
I do agree with you that the test was fairly short. Maybe Duolingo could have announced it with a notification or have posted this discussion before the test? But I don't think that leveling up is that big of a problem. I am at Level 22, and have been doing Duolingo for a month. Leveling up is also not the goal, mastering the language is.
I agree that xp and leveling are poor at measuring progress, while progress on the tree is a somewhat better measure. But this change seems to be an attempt by DL to take a step in the direction of correcting this. That is probably a good thing, as it does tend to make levels and xp a little better measure of progress.
If you want xp and levels, it is pretty easy to pile them up doing translation and timed practice. I'm near the end of my Spanish tree and have been doing a lot of those lately, not because I want to level - frankly I have come to conclude that leveling isn't really meaningful, though it is sometimes encouraging - but because I have lately found them interesting and productive.
You have to recall that DL is at least in part designed to be funded by student translation. Because of this, it rewards translation heavily in order to encourage it. And progress on the tree is not always equivalent to mastery. I am much less advanced in German than my tree would indicate - those declinations still baffle me. On the other hand, when I was at a similar level in Spanish my level of mastery was much greater, as I had studied that previously in school.
Giving more weight to progress on the tree and less to repetitive practice, as the new system does, is progress in the right direction. It could be more finely tuned, and I expect that DL will continue to work in that direction.
First a technicality, it's been a month and four days. The largest reason is that I upload, translate, check, and edit children stories in Immersion (that's where the most points come from). This helps me to practice my German and learn new words. Also I don't play video games and watch little-to-no movies to make time for my Duolingo. This enables me to do 300-400XP every day on average.
Leveling up isn't that hard. It's a matter of setting priorities and making time for what you really want to do.
Also in Timed Practice for each skill, it takes about 120 seconds to finish one round (it's more like 90). At 20 point every time, that makes 600XP in an hour! It all adds up.
Off topic again, levels don't reflect how much of the tree or the language you know. I've just gone over the 1/3 mark. Instead, levels should be based off of skills learned. For example: the German tree has 74 skills, so every 3 skills learned you would level up. I've completed 24, so I would be Level 8.
According to the current guidelines, using immersion is prohibited for everyone who uses immersion whereas he either lives in or is using DuoLingo within the EU. We are forced to use the normal course. Playing with timed practice all the time isn't working because you tend to skip very long sentences - you'll probably never learn them thoroughly. This being said, the only real choice to learn something as an Europeen guy is to obtain 3 XP all the time. I don't mind the XP system, but kids do. They are punished by only getting 3/10 (!!!) from what they achieved before. Conclusion: They are demoted and will leave DuoLingo. Fantastic. Well played. NOT.
...and I wrote this in order to show you that climbing up until level 25 will take a loooong time when you're from the EU.
EDIT for adlihtam (see his question below): If you use immersion, you are able to climb up translation tiers. Each new tier up to tier 4 helps you gather a lot of XP. When you reach tier 4, you could gather hundreds of XP within minutes! But since you are from the EU, using immersion is prohibited for you according to the guidelines.
According to the Duolingo Terms:
"Temporary Restrictions on Users from the European Union
Users within the European Union are not presently allowed to submit materials for translation or translated materials to Duolingo. While these users can continue to use the educational services offered through the Website, they will not be involved in the translation of any documents. If you submit a request for translation or translated materials to Duolingo, you thereby warrant and represent that you are not currently within the European Union, did not translate the document within the European Union, and will not be within the European Union when your translation request has been finalized."
Also, check out the AMA link in MultiLinguAlex (I know this is a directly reply to you, but we are out of room)
What do you mean immersion is prohibited? Sorry - this isn't intended to be snarky but I'm genuinely curious. Are people in the EU somehow blocked from immersion? I find that sort of surprising, since it seems to me that people from the EU have posted about their experiences on immersion. But maybe I'm misremembering . Or maybe I thought those people were in the EU when they weren't. Or maybe Europeans aren't "supposed" to use it, but some do anyway? (There are some BBC videos where you get all sorts of warnings about how these videos are only watchable if you in the UK - but then you click on them in the US and they play just fine. But maybe that just goes to show that I'm not particularly law-abiding..... I hope nobody from the British government is reading this!)
The problem with putting the level cap at the top of the tree and not beyond it is that it wouldn't encourage any article translating, or any review of previous material.
If one just had to get to the top of the tree and nothing more, I think a lot of people would put less time and effort into mastering their skills.
[Edit]: Also, not all language trees have the same number of skills, I think french has a base of 68 with 3 bonus lessons.
At the moment level 25 is the top level. Some people hit this before they get to the top of their tree, others after, it would seem a shame to merge two "goals" into one. But there is something after, or at the same time if you prefer. Getting to the top of the tree and level twenty five are not the only goals in Duolingo. You also have the challenges of "keeping your tree gold", "increasing your streak" or once you get in immersion "improving your translation level" (this gets harder to do as you move up the levels but I've seen someone on level 55!). Also there is the challenge of "the reverse tree", then keeping that one "gold" too, and for those more adventurous souls there is always the lure of another language, where you have all these challenges again. I am only concentrating on one language and it's so long ago that I completed my tree and reached level twenty five I can't remember when, but I know one thing for sure and it is that I put in no less time and effort now than I did then.
pinkodoug, you've made the point. But well... I guess that Duolingo will keep focusing on this easy-to-do but pointless changes. Just see: it's a way easier to change number of xp than changing all these repetitive sentences and so on. And now they can say that Duo is changing and making so called 'progress'. I really wouldn't bet whether the staff is reading these posts and is caring about what we think of their changes. They don't even care that there's a Duolingo Tweaks plugin with features they should've come up a long time ago since it was reported countless number of times what would be REALLY useful.
I agree 10,000%. Duolingo desperately needs a system that distinguishes words the the user actually knows vs the ones they're struggling with.
In comparison, this is where Memrise excels. It knows when I got a word wrong, and makes me practice it more often until I get it consistently correct. Duo just shows the word and apparently assumes that by just LOOKING at it, I've done all the work I need to do. And yet, for problematic words, I consistently get them wrong, month after month, seeing them only once every few weeks or so.
Until Duo manages to get a system like this working, the new XP system is rather pointless.
I haven't been this disappointed in Duo since they made that silly competition game in the mobile app.
Wow that change is not going to work out for me at all. I am an adult learner and the coach was a fun target each day. Now I am forced to set it to 1 point a day, because I can
t be bothered trying to figure out how many lessons I need to do to hit my target. Im learning a language and making it fun, not doing math!!! So disappointed. Still, computer programmers have to earn their living somehow and making changes of little or no merit gives them something to do. Fail.
The algorithm for a word's "strength" needs to be changed. For example, when I practice using flashcards, the same words appear every single time even though I have mastered them many times over. At the same time, the words that I haven't mastered yet appear as "strong" on the list of words, and I never get to practice them in flashcard sessions.
Your point also applies to those of us who are older, and often require more repetition to get a word to stick. Someone recently told me that you have to repeat something as many times as you are old to retain it. Probably not literally true, but it feels that way. This definitely makes XP less meaningful or useful.
@jovenstein - I completely disagree with the person who suggested to you that as we age we are faced with a possible impediment on account thereof. I am nearly fifty seven and have been a member of this wonderful community for just over one year. I had no prior knowledge of either Dutch or Portuguese before joining Duo. And I seem to be making some progress here on Duo perhaps? Let's see whether any of our younger members have any alternative thoughts about this. I have sent a message to Support at Duo in order to resolve the problem about them not showing level 25 on my Dutch icon.
I HATE the change. I find it discouraging and insultingly paternalistic. If some people want the option of deducting points, create an option. I've been doing this program for over a year and I have to repeat and repeat. Some of it is due to old age memory and some due to long terms of being too tired to do more than a quick review of an easy section. If I work to finish a unit, I want 10 puts. I don't want Duolingo devaluing my efforts.
Couldn't agree more. I don't know why (because I'm learning either way), but it's absurdly frustrating to battle through a particular strengthening exercise only to get 3 XP.
My goal is 60 for per day (4-5 strengthening and 2 'new' lessons), and I'll often grind out 10 lessons and still not be at 60 XP. It shouldn't matter or feel frustrating, but it does!
So, let me see if I understand this.
If I complete a lesson that's currently gold, I can get no more than 3 XP?
And if it just changed from gold, I won't get 10 XP either?
So if I want maximum XP, the best thing to do is to not do any exercises at all for months on end so all my lessons decay to a "weak"state?
I don't really see how that helps me in my real goal here, to become truly functional in a 2nd or 3rd language.
Well, actually there is some experimental evidence that the BEST time to review something, at least in language learning, is just about the time that you have almost forgotten it. This kind of review creates the strongest reinforcement and helps get the information into your longterm memory most efficiently.
So to slightly reword your comments, the best way to really learn a language is to not spend time reviewing the exercises that you already mostly know, but to use that time to push ahead, then come back later when the older exercises are weaker.
OK. Thanks. That's good to know for when I start a new language.
But there is no way to "push ahead" in the two languages I care most about. I've finished the trees and they're both all gold or near it most of the time.
In Spanish, I rarely miss anything. I do like keeping the tree gold though. But if it's not doing me any good ... perhaps my time would be better spent doing more reading, listening to songs, watching movies and trying to talk to people in Spanish.
In Dutch, I still make all kinds of mistakes whether the lessons are gold or not. I often find myself not remembering or mixing up words, even though Duo tells me that I should know them. So, I have to question whether or not these words are really strong.
Ultimately, I think the solution is to not worry about XP, set my goal to 1 XP to maintain my streak (a minor point of vanity and pride), and do the lessons as many times as I see fit until my Dutch is as strong as my Spanish.
I know how you feel. I'm in the stage of deciding whether it is worth keeping my German tree gold or not. I finished it a while ago and the reviews are feeling easier and easier. I feel like I should keep at it for a while yet, but at some point pretty soon it won't make sense. I'm not sure how to gauge when that time comes exactly. It's mostly a matter of confidence, I guess.
I feel that Duo's implementation of the spaced repetition and review method could use some more fine tuning. I know that there are words that it hasn't asked me about in months while I seem to be endlessly regolding certain other skills.
There is another option besides doing strengthening lessons, especially for high skilled learners like you. Using the Immersion section you can earn XP as well and eventually get far more XP than you ever could with strengthening alone. So if you are worried about XP, check out the Immersion section. ;)
(1) Not every language currently has an immersion section. (2) Immersion is not available on [at least some versions of] the Duolingo app. (3) As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, users in the EU are not supposed to use the immersion section. (4) Some of us find translation really, really boring, and after we do the translation exercises that are part of the tree, would rather not go and do yet more translation. (I've been a paid translator. It's not that I'm no good at translating. It's just that it's really, really dull.) I don't mind that Immersion is not for me (I go and do other things to practice my languages), but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Irrelevent in what sense? If it motivates you to come work on DuoLingo every night...how it is irrelevent? For you it is the driving force to go learn. Why remove it? Some people are motivated by a metric on their performance (I am). If I hadn't had a grade system to motivate me to learn, I may never have even messed with school.
Other people are different, but there is a large minority of the population who are results driven.
Or do you deny that 10 million people play WoW improving skills and getting gold even though it is, in the long run...entirely irrelevant?
MMORPGs are proof to me that metrics on performance are a good way to motivate a large minority of people to perform tasks.
While I was doing okay studying on my own, the gamification really helps me to remain consistent with it. There are so many other things I could be doing with my time than working on my language skills (not necessarily more important things, or better things, just OTHER things), and so the gamification helps.
Good point, Vedun.
I am just trying to wrap my head around the changes.
Part of the attraction of Duolingo is that I can do a lesson anywhere I have a phone, anytime. I have a pattern of daily practice where I was trying to get in so many XPs a day, beyond my daily goal for maintaining a streak.
But I guess I need to rethink that. I'm not certain what the best daily practice routine might be.
I have the same problem. I had coach set at 30 xp, and often did 60-70 xp per day. Watching the line graph of daily xp with daily progress was a fun motivator. But now I can't trust that I can always earn 30 xp per day, because the time required is not predictable. So I'm going to transition to focusing on # of lessons per day. It's harder to keep track of -- I will have to take notes on the side -- and I won't have the fun of watching the line graph, but what other option is there?
I am leaning toward that also.
I was doing at least five lessons a day before; I guess that's a reasonable goal now.
But in Spanish, at least, I do need to do more challenging tasks.
I hate to say this "out loud," because it seems ungrateful even to me, but I can't get into immersion here. The core problem I think is that most of the articles come from Wikipedia and just aren't interesting. I am trying to translate a bit each day from online news sites instead. Since most of that is copyrighted, I can't post that here.
I don't like immersion either. First of all, I think the name is misleading. That's not immersion; it's translation. Secondly, I just don't enjoy translation. I've done it before, I've done it as a job, and it's just not something I choose to spend lots of my spare time on. The exercises are fine, but then I'm going to go watch something in a foreign language, or read a book or news article, or talk to someone if possible--and try my best not to rely on translating things into English to understand them.
I know it's an important part of the site, and part of how Duolingo earns its money, but it's just not something I enjoy.
"We don't prevent you from over practicing if you so wish"
What about time? Some people have the time to spend hours on Duolingo every day -good for them. But what about the others? Taking the time to do an entire lesson and getting only a few xps sounds quite discouraging. Many users set goals in their learning, to reach a certain level for example. It will take longer for them. Discouraging people is not the way to get them to come back on the site.
I feel like there are more and more double standards here. Duolingo claims to be a community where respect, tolerance and communication are important. Yet decisions are made hastily and promoted in positive posts from the staff. In all honesty, it makes me feel like a consumer a huge company wants to convince their idea is the best.
Yeah. I have work and school, yet I was still able to do the insanity 50 xp point goal. Now it is a struggle because I can't learn new lessons everyday, plus i don't like doing too many lessons at once because it will fall out of my head. I had no choice but to reduce the goal. When you're doing 3 skills strengthening and only get 10 xp points combined, it is a little disheartening.
This new feature is uncomfortably heavy handed. :(
With the removal of the hearts system, I had sighed in relief and gone back to what felt like a healthy mixture of both Timed Practice and general practice, resulting in more exposure to Spanish than I was getting with just the Timed Practice.(I find XP motivating. But less XP for more effort? Not so much.)
This new feature appears to be at odds with other features, including the aspect of the Coach that allows busy people to estimate how long they will need to study to reach a given number of points, and the way skills are strengthened. This is a little confusing.
I'm unhappy with this change :(
>discouragement from doing the same lesson over and over is good for learning
I am amazed that an 'educational' website does not realise that repetition IS how you learn. Just ploughing on through lessons to complete the tree does not help you retain the vocab.
There are two problems with this change: first, I do not care how much XP someone else is earning by choosing to do basic lessons lots of time. I encourage them to do whatever they like to get however much XP they want, maybe they'll even learn a language at the same time. (I don't actually care about how much XP I have either, I just quite like the fact that there is a counter that keeps track of how many lessons I have done today.)
I only care about my own progress in the language. Pinkodoug suggests this is a change made for teachers with classes on duolingo - fine, implement it for them then.
Secondly, duolingo has no way of knowing how 'strong' certain topics or vocab are for me. It's formula is garbage - completing all the lessons in a unit gives you a full strength rating, but there remain dozens of words in the unit that you were not exposed to. (My particular gripe about that relates to the second present tense verb unit it the Italian tree, which at my count contains twenty-three verbs. It took me over two weeks of 'strengthening' that skill every day before I was exposed to all of them. I don't mean all the conjugations, I mean exposed to all the verbs at all.)
I will be turning off my daily XP target and continuing to do three exercises a day as I have been doing anyway. Congratulations, you've made duolingo a little bit worse.
I think the idea could be better. It makes sense to encourage us to continue learning, but I hope people don't feel forced to move ahead when they aren't ready to continue yet.
I don't always have all of the words from a lesson memorized when the skill is gold, especially immediately after finishing a lesson. I usually do new lessons twice if they are difficult or if I make a lot of errors the first time. Sometimes I feel that I need to review a lesson while it still shows as gold for me.
I have a suggestion: maybe, instead of reducing the points for reviewing an already gold skill, the points for reviewing will be reduced based on the part of the tree:
For example: reviewing a gold skill before the first checkpoint gives 3 XP, reviewing a gold skill between the first and second checkpoint gives 5 XP, etc.
I like your final suggestion a lot. It is true that it is possible to complete a lesson without even having seen all of the words in it, so the first few reviews are still like new material. But as time goes on there is less value in reviewing those early skills, except perhaps for drilling with timed practice.
So true! I've just "redone" adjectives 1 trying to get some words that I didn't learn the first time around and I couldn't get the lesson to even give me those words. Specifically, I wanted the lesson that introduces the word "devant" and I hit the redo button on that one three times and still didn't get the word but I sure learned "au-dela de" about 10 times!
That's a good idea. I've heard of some people (who shall remain anonymous) doing Basics 1 over and over again for more XP. Perhaps a more complicated and useful method would give you 10XP the first time that you did the gold skill, and then 3-5XP for every time after that. This would prevent people from doing one skill repeatedly for points, and even though they could do all of their skills once to get the 10XP per skill, this would actually be good as it will have them refreshing on more than one skill.
Or after you get a lesson perfect, you then only get 3XP, but then you could mess up on the last one on purpose so as to continue to get 10XP...
Duolingo has good motives in doing this. Thumbs up for all of their efforts in improving Duolingo.
The thing is, if someone wants to repeat Basics 1 over and over for the points, why don't we just let them? Presumably they are more interested in a meaningless number of XP than they are in actually learning the language. Who does that hurt except themselves, for wasting their own time?
It only seems to be since teachers have been using Duolingo for their classes that this has been seen to be a problem. Maybe Duolingo needs to educate teachers by telling them to measure a students golden skills as a level of progress, rather than just looking at XP earned. Then if some still want to get to level 25 by repeating Basics 1, then just let them waste their own time. Or, put some kind of limit in so that once all words are at full strength, you can't practice that skill until it decays again.
Duolingo would have to be very careful with this, as everyone learns at different rates, and especially as their current system marks a word as strong once you have seen it in a practice, even if you get it wrong, but there must be a way to block off a lesson once someone has done it more than say, 50 times (or any more than reasonable number) even when it is gold. It seems currently that they are changing the system in a way that effects (and apparently discourages) a large number of people, for the sake of a few people trying to play the system. It's not even effective, as pinkodoug points out, as they can just do timed practice instead.
The issue of DL marking a word refreshed even if you get it wrong seems to be a common theme in this thread. And one I have had myself. I will often go back to refresh a lesson and miss a few words, while easily getting the others. Then DL keeps feeding me the ones I already know rather than the ones I missed. I might see the missed words only once or twice in the lesson. But then it's gilded up, these words are at full strength, and I am not put in a position to practice them again for weeks. Ideally, DL would track missed words, and even words that the user mouses over to look up, and focus practice on these.
Oh, ok, I didn't know that. It's not like they're that helpful anyway. I used to use them just to strengthen words the program said were weak when my list of words was short not knowing that Duo was supposedly using the weak list for practice. I say supposedly because it doesn't seem to be the case in my experience.
I must admit that I have done this before. Last summer, I was down the shore with my 3 year old grand daughter. The hotel we were in had sketchy wifi and didn't work at all in our room or just outside our room. I had to sit outside the office to connect and the baby was asleep for the night already. In order to keep my streak, I sat outside the office for a few minutes and did a basic exercise because I knew I could get through it quickly and get back to my sleeping baby.
I know this is sort of vain, but I did it to keep my streak, not to gain xp though.
I saw no announcement of the test or of the change. But I certainly noticed when the strengthening exercise with which I start my newest language's daily practice resulted in only three XP.
Like many others who have commented, I don't believe this change was well thought out or well implemented. The change seems to benefit beginning or lower-level students while penalizing those who are more advanced and/or trying to maintain their language skills. Those who have completed a language tree, or have nearly completed it, and are trying to keep up their skills sharp should not have to repeat ten levels every day to earn 30 XPs.
Duolingo does not seem to have a good way to measure knowledge of a skill. For example: According to Duolingo's strength bars, I have a full understanding of nominative, dative, and accusative pronouns in German. I can tell you with certainty that my understanding is nowhere that good.
Like several others, I wish the strengthening exercises were not so repetitive. If I translate something correctly the first time, there is no reason to ask me to translate the same sentence three more times in the same exercise. Please, make the strengthening exercises more challenging and reward those who do them accordingly.
There was no announcement until a couple hours ago. I've been on this site all day today looking to find out why I only got 5 xp for my strengthening lesson this morning. As you state, Duo needs to improve the strengthening of lessons that we've already learned and not so much on those who just want to gain xp.
As a direct reaction to this change, I have just checked to make sure my coach settings were at 1 XP per day.
Now instead of working on a new skill here, I'm going to some other sites, to work on verb conjugations and other topics that I don't think I've mastered well.
Duolingo is a tool to help me meet MY goals of language learning. When the tool isn't appropriate to the task, it's time to take up a different tool.
If I was an educator, I would probably back off from the schools feature until it was fully developed. But that's just me. This is not a criticism; I'm just saying that I personally wouldn't get started on the schools feature until it was time-tested and proven to work.
I still lobby for a separate interface for students, though...
"While we know some people prefer the old way, we think a slight discouragement from doing the same lesson over and over is good for learning"
In summary of all the replies posted on this thread Luis; It would appear that MOST Duolingo users prefer the old way and that repeating lessons IS good for learning. I hope you read the remarks and listen to the community.
I have gained so much insight into DL by reading this discussion thread. I now understand better why I've been so hideously frustrated with the French tree while I've sailed through the Spanish tree, for instance (DL says I'm at nearly the same level in those languages, when really I'm more than twice as far through the Spanish tree as I am through the the French tree - leveling up ought to be based on tree progress rather than XP anyway). And I really value the recommendations people have provided for alternative websites for learning languages - I'll definitely be checking those out, and may even discontinue using DL if they prove to be more useful for me.
My take on all this: when you "gamify" anything, especially a learning situation, making changes to the system risks breaking the game. For me, this game has now been broken.
I find the concept of experience points (XP) to be unclear and not well thought out in DL. So, I don't use XP as anything other than a measure of how much work I've put into a day (and yeah, the "gamified" challenge of keeping a streak going). I prefer to repeat lessons immediately after learning them, sometimes multiple times if I had any trouble grasping the material. I also review frequently, almost obsessively. It's what works for me when learning a language. (Away from the Internet, that's how I've learned languages IRL.)
Monkeying with the XP earned for each lesson (review lesson or new lesson or Strengthen Skills or Timed Practice or whatever) does nothing other than irritate me because now the arbitrary measurement of "progress" is even more arbitrary and meaningless.
So, to make this tool work for me, I plan to reset my XP goal as low as I possibly can (since it's irrelevant to actual learning, and is apparently arbitrary anyway) and will use some other measurement of my own devising to keep track of how much work I'm getting done in each language each day. And I'll definitely be checking out the competition to see if they do any better - I love the tools and approach DL has provided, but if irritation at DL + competitors being better outweighs DL's usefulness, I don't mind switching midstream.
I spend a lot of time reviewing skills because I want to master the language. This update kills me. It unevenly rewards learning a new skill. I know what I need to be doing. I am weak on adverbs, objects, and verb 2 present. Until I master (really master) those skills I should not move on. I already know how much my time is worth and I had a system where I would continue to review till I could recall, for an English word, the Spanish equivalent. That is the goal.
I am disappointed with this update. It basically tries to force me to play by DuoLingo's algorithm which is inherently flawed as all algorithms are...since they cannot take into account the subtleties of human behavior that are specfic to each individual (I should know I am an applied mathematics major). It also encourages us not to review catagories of skills till they are deprecated enough to be worth 10 xp. My goal was to keep them all gold as well as work on specific words whose strength has been reduced via my words list, but now I am encouraged not to do that. That by my definition makes this a bad update.
Why can we not opt out of this system? Why not just split the site so that educators can specifically choose for their class a system (xp deprecation or not)? I don't understand how this benefits the average motivated person who wants to learn a language that comes to this site. We know what we need to work on, better than Duo does. All I have to do is be given an English sentence that I want to translate to Spanish. If there is a word I cannot recall, I need to work on it.
I respectfully ask that you come up with a way to allow users to opt out of this update or drop it all together. It is poorly thought out and not well executed. It was not tested well, and we were not given advanced notice for those of us in the beta group.
I'm quite new to Duolingo, and I am new to language learning. I have really been enjoying Duolingo, primarily because I can proceed at my own pace, with some gentle pressure. This new system of changing the XP is extremely demotivating for me, and has soured my experience of Duolingo. It doesn't suit my learning style.
PS. I discovered this amazing website after hearing you (Luis) interviewed on the radio here in Australia. You were inspiring and amazing. Thanks for this great platform; I don't wish to sound negative or ungrateful above, but it is my honest opinion.
The idea is good in theory. But for example, I just completed a new skill and got high XPs for it. I then re-did the skill immediately, because I still did not know all the new words, I had to check some, yet I got low XPs the second time as the skill was gold…… I still don't know all the words, but Duo is not encouraging me to keep practising. Howevr, I am going to try and ignore the XPs and just practice what I need to.
Thanks for making the lessons longer again!!
I found exp runs a two key purposes here, one it provides a reward for doing actions good for learning(even if it is useless outside of duo, admit that getting exp for your hard work feels great).The other function is to sets users priorities(high exp rewards for immersion entices more users to try). The new experience system screws up both of those functions. Review is important. Review makes users commit important information to long term memory. Lower rewards makes that grinding process so important to learning just that more tedious. It also sends the message that running though a tree is what users should do ,something I found was a lousy strategy and caused new lessons to be harder and more frustrating than needed to be. If anything the moments where I rushed through I felt the closest to wanting to quit. Which is why review needs a priority. The other part of the problem is that duo does not always know what I do not know. I have had lessons or concepts I am terrible never go weak while lessons I knew were weak. I know what I need to review and I like to be rewarded for reviewing that content.
Also a "couple of weeks"(so when is one week a couple?) is not a sufficient study period for the new exp system. It barely suffices for technical testing, let alone the impact of learning on users. Short term effects might suggest more engagement, however it could just be an immediate reaction. It probably will fizz out and long term consequences will kick in. It will not accurately measure the difference of long term quit ratio for the control vs the test group. It will not give an accurate measure of tree completion. It misses too much information. As a mathematician this bothers me. You can not claim more "engagement" until you have studied the long term effect. This is just another ill conceived, poorly thought out feature that is being shoved onto users.
You know, a lot of times, I might know the words, but choose to drill because of a need to reinforce grammar. Have you made any adjustment for whether someone is working on a "vocab" skill or a "part of speech" skill (for lack of better names)?
ETA: I'd also love to know if word strength is measured only by whether or not you've gotten the correct answer, or if peeking at hover hints is taken into account.
ETA: I'd also love to know if word strength is measured only by whether or not you've gotten the correct answer, or if peeking at hover hints is taken into account.
A word's strength is measured with a fractional value from 0 to 1. Any time a word is targeted by an exercise for improvement, it is adjusted to full strength (1) whether the user answered correctly or not. Word strengths also have a decay rate associated with them that over time (and apparently non-linearly) reduce the word's strength score. The rate is Duo's true estimation of how well you know a word - words it thinks you know well decay more slowly than words that it thinks you don't know well. According to previous statements by Luis and other devs, peeking at hover hints causes the decay rate to increase faster than if you don't use them.
According to previous statements by Luis and other devs, peeking at hover hints causes the decay rate to increase faster than if you don't use them.
Really? Has anyone else found this to be true? I haven't found this to be true at all. For example, I can't seem to get the many different forms for the word "return" but it doesn't appear more during strengthening lessons at all. The same for words like appartenir, essayer, laisser, and s'enfuir but I sure got lots of practice for il doute, il ment, c'est dur, il joue, je me repose, etc.
Yes! And it throws the same questions in there instead of the ones you know you need to practice. And, the timed practices are different from the untimed. The timed are more advanced it seems to me but you can't get any feedback from the comments for those lessons, which is frustrating. I will try to use the hover hints more than my written notes to see if it makes a difference from now on.
I would like to suggest that DL create a separate login area (something like www.duolingo-for-the-classroom) for teachers to use for their students. It would use the same language database but would operate in a manner that would better serves the needs of teachers within a classroom. The lessons would operate the same but the scoring of the lessons would be tailored to the classroom environment.
I just checked my "words" tab and found that most of the words that were "weak" were in the verbs present 2 lesson so I went there and did a couple of strengthening exercises within the lesson and got 4 xp each. As I stated before, I don't really care about the xp, but the so called "weak" words weren't even brought up. This, again as I stated before, is one of the things that desperately needs to be fixed.
I am assuming that most users of Duolingo are adults. It seems unfortunate then that Duo has decided to treat us as school children. As others have pointed out, there are definite ways to improve a program that is a good language learning tool. This is not one of them. A simple solution would be to give users a choice whether they wanted the old system or the new. Adults can handle that.
I haven't read all the comments yet, but wouldn't this encourage people to NOT strengthen a skill until it's at it's minimum? I current strengthen skills when they first begin to fade (i.e. when they show a strength of 4/5). I rarely let any skill dip to 3/5. This means I practice a lot, despite it slowing down my progress in new areas. I'm OK with this tradeoff, as I prefer to have a strong foundation and add to it gradually. If I understand the change you're proposing, it sounds like I'd get less points for my method, versus leaving skills to wither until they reach 1/5. That would cause some people to practice less, wouldn't it, and thus develop less fluency?
Absolutely. A single completion of a lesson makes it gold, but try asking anyone who's done the Italian clitics section whether they feel like they understood it all... Duo gives very little explanation and is more of a memorization/translation tool than one to properly learn a language. This change will just encourage people to do skills the minimum amount of times they need to in order to keep it golden.
So, lots of good points have been made, and even though I'm late to comment, I figured why not.
On the surface, it doesn't personally bother me. I wasn't part of the test group, so my experience is limited to the work I did today.
After reading a bunch of responses, a few questions came to mind. The first was, what does the XP now represent. I always used to look at the streak as an indicator of consistency, the tree as an indicator of progress, and experience points as an indicator of time spent.
Now that this is no longer the case, I'm not really sure how to categorize XP. It has become a wild variable that cannot really be pin-pointed.
I think a major issue here, as pointed out by pinkodoug (who's opinion I always respect, even if I don't always agree), is the space repetition system (SRS). I won't write much about it except that it has always been buggy. This new method of rewarding points could upset users unnecessarily due to something that is out of their control.
I wan't a fan of the coach update, and therefor kept mine set to zero, but I can see how this new change will lead to the removal of the coach feature (which I think was a botched test anyway). When a person cannot count on a consistent return on time put in/point got out, it makes it hard to predict each day if they will be able to achieve 10/20/30 points. This is result in many users changing this to 1XP a day.
As far as 'cheating' goes, everyone is now on the same playing ground now. So a student doing basics 1 over and over again to gain points, can still do so and gain 3 point.. the same points as a student trying to reinforce their knowledge of Past Tense Verbs. This change will do very little to reduce the frequency of users who choose to cheat the system (not to mention users who actually cheat the system by playing with their wifi setting-actually, I wonder how that will work now..).
There is always Immersion to earn quick points if you really want. While it is my opinion that to do Immersion correctly, it can easily take longer than completing a practice, it is still there for quick points. Timed practice is also a place to go for quick points.
I don't see people leaving right away because of this change. I wouldn't be surprised if users didn't stick around as long, or began to practice less each day. This could be a good thing if you are of the mind set that 'once you have completed the tree/learned all that duolingo can teach' you should move on, but many use duolingo as a motivator to return to the language/compete with friends/be social in other languages and I'd hate to see that disappear.
There has been one major change at duolingo that I really didn't like (and spoke out very vocally against), and that was the "new" format rolled out in December 2013. I am used to it, but I still hate it. I would choose the other in a heartbeat. When I see screenshots of the old format, I wish nothing more to have it again. But, I did get used to this new format, and I adjusted (even if I *still have to use F11 to full screen the web page, because the practices don't fit on my screen). I'm sure the same thing will happen to users here as well.
edit (as if my post wasn't already long enough):
To everyone touting that this is a 'free' program and "ask for your money back" or "if you don't like it leave", I think this is a very poor attitude. For one, it has been said over and over again, but if a program is free-you are the product. Duolingo depends on retention for their business model. If they create a change that causes a max exodus, they may never be able to regain the momentum and loyalty they have spent the last 3 years (and a lot of money) building. It is in everyone's best interest to create a program that best meets the needs of its users.
I am currently doing 4 trees, one which I completed and 3 that I'm still working on. I use the method Moomingirl and Greg proposed for keeping the tree gold. I only strengthen weak skills and do general strengthens when my tree is gold. I am no longer getting 10 xp for each lesson I complete when the skill has decayed. I just did two different decayed skills and got 9 for one and 6 for the other. Since I only received 6 points for a skill which was degraded then it appears to me that the words that came up weren't significantly weak. So this change doesn't motivate me to keep a gold tree when Duolingo is telling me that I know too many words for that skill. Hopefully Duo will change the decay rate of the skills now that they have implemented this. Or they need to make sure only the weak words come up in the questions.
That's interesting. I'm doing two general strengthens per day on my reverse tree (it hasn't degilded in about a month), the odd skill specific strengthen on my forward tree as it still loses a skill per day on average, plus two general strengthens on that one too. So far I've been given ten points for every practice. My skills / words must be weaker than yours.
Not necessarily... it seems to be mostly a case of luck of the draw. If your strengthening lesson is presenting mostly weak words then you get full points, but if it's only presenting one or two weak words (regardless of how many weak words you actually have, that should be strengthened) then you get less.
I think the strengthening lesson generation code needs to be reworked so that it always gives you a lesson worth 10 points unless you don't have enough weak words to do so.
Exactly. I would have no argument with Duolingo if it gave us less points for practicing things we were genuinely strong in. There are two problems here:
1) Words are reset to full strength when you see them in a practice whether you get them right or not. This means words you have only just met, or are still shaky on, are reset as strong, even if they are weak. I'm not sure why this is still an issue on DL. Memrise have it working perfectly. If I get a word wrong, it comes straight back up for regular review.
2) The 'strengthen skills' exercises do not bring up your weakest words, or enough weak words. In a practice of 17 questions, I often have the same question 2 or 3 times. If I get it wrong that is fair enough, but if I get it right first time they need to be testing me on something else. That's an opportunity to test me on 2 or 3 other weak words that has been lost.
I completely agree on your second point.
I'm not sure the first would really be so much of an issue if the strengthen skills feature did what it was supposed to do. As long as hovering to view definitions of weak words and getting words wrong really does lead to faster decay rates, then one's weak words would naturally sink to the bottom of the list regularly.
That only helps though if the bottom of the list actually gets the attention it needs, and those are the words that are showing up in practice sessions.
Luis, the lesson i revised the most in my German course was "Colors". Colors are pretty easy in any language, and, in fact, I already knew them from previous study, and I really didn't need to revise the words. But it was the first time I have ever seen the concept of weak and strong adjectives, and, after 11 other skills, it is by far the best place to practice them. I will always know what "gelb" means, but I often need to revise the lesson to relearn if it is gelbe, gelbes, gelben or only gelb. So I ask you: why have Duo team made this change?
The new point system is very discouraging. I usually do two review lessons and one new lesson every morning but always felt that I'm walking on thin ice and should step up the review frequency. Now the new system further discourages this. Of course I could ignore the XP system altogether but it was fun to have a friendly XP "competition" with other people. The new idea seems to be to rush into the tree as fast as possible and then crash. Learning a language takes time and repetition&review are key ingredients.
Regarding the school issue: it seems that the expectations and needs are different from those of (mostly self-motivated) adult learners. Perhaps two separate platforms might be a better way of tackling this. Also, I don't believe that students can be forced into a machine-like learning environment that replaces motivation.
Many thanks to the DuoLingo team but please rethink this change.
I'm ok with this, I just wish we could establish how many xp every lesson gives us each time in a more 'neat' way, instead of relying on the unpredictable "algorithm" of strong words vs weak words. I know this is a very personal issue for me and I don't expect anyone to actually do anything, but not being able to 'control' my xp and my progress makes me very uncomfortable. Now I never really know for sure how many xp I'll get. 3? 6? 8? I had legit anxiety today because I got stuck at 59 xp - I started rewieving everything like crazy until I got back to a multiple of 10.
As I said, it's a personal issue so I apologise if it makes anyone upset. It's not the change that makes me feel uneasy, it's the uncertainty of the system.
I strongly believe that people in general, learn at different rates and paces, further, to ( in some minute sense )"penalize" those who learn at a slower pace would in my opinion, be counterproductive and discouraging to some. There are enough members of the "stigma" society floating around in so many other fields of interests. Doing something that is supposed to be fun, should not become the society's latest recruit. Just a thought El Devorador, K. Andre Molina Garcia DeBarros, RN
It makes no sense to me why to discourage anyone from repeating lessons since it is the ONLY way for the words to stick in your memory.
I believe that you should nudge the student to repeat the lesson more right after he DID it, since the optimal number of repetition (learning curve) of lesson is (I assume) decreasing in time where it falls quite quickly in the beginning (so its convex ). This would mean to push student to do it again very soon (next day) with a reward considering the importance of first repetition, so the difference in gain should be highest at that time (t+1) and should decrease in time once he makes the repetition.
Since we do not want the student to repeat it every day, the day after repetion (if it is not the first repetition which in my case is right after the lesson was done) the reward should go down below learning a new Skill so he is motivated to learn New things. But this has to hold only to the point when is optimal to repeat it again, when the XP reward of repetition has to exceed the XP reward of learning new things. So in this model once you SHOULD repeat, you SHOULD be incentivized with higher XP. It makes no sense to show someone that he should repeat but not motivate him to do it; so the algoritm of optimal repetitions has to be tuned in a way that the Call for repetition comes when you need it and rewards you for doing it.
Example of the algorithm: Days/Points 1 10 XP (You learned a new skill) 2 15 XP (the day after) 3 8 XP (It is too early to do it again) 4 9 XP (One day to go!) - If you do it now, it is like to start on 5, so you (lost) 5XP. 5 14 XP (Second repetition) 6 7 XP .... 9 13 XP (Third repetition) 10 6 XP .... 15 12 XP
and so on... You have always incentive to learn new skills and also to train hard the old ones which is necessary for you to master it. The information about XP should then be clearly visible next to the SKILL icon, anyway Losing the gold color would symbolize that is time for repetition and that he will get more XP for doing it. Thanks
This would be ideal. The way Duo has it now, not getting you to repeat for a long time, and then getting you to review lessons months after you have them down-pat (and have done them repeatedly with a couple to no mistakes) isn't very useful. It would be far better to gradually increase the amount of time between each review (based on the number of mistakes with the lesson/review), and get you to review right after learning it, rather than a week later, when you almost have to learn it again rather than refreshing your memory.
Maybe a mutual walk through as opposed to a push from behind might be a little more of an appropriate approach to the issue. I find it a bit too " Big Brother-ish" for Duolingo to determine when and where users should move on to the next lesson. Duolingo is free, this is true, however, without its users, Duolingo would cease to exist. I believe that it would serve Duolingo much better if they would try to fix the current glitches in its system before attempting to re-write the rule book mid-game. Duolingo should be fun and entertaining, as well as work. When dictatorial elements enter into the equation, the "fun" and "entertaining" components are soon removed. Duolingo, please listen to your members. Please don't allow your members the opportunity to regret knowing you !
I don't care for this change. I went through my Spanish from English tree five times start to finish. Now I do several strengthening exercises each day. I'm on my third time through the English from Spanish tree. I try for 250 points or more each day. I was hoping to make level 25 in English from Spanish this century. I get all the conversation practice I need from neighbors and friends, and I'm an avid reader so translation immersion is not my interest. This change does not fit my need or study method.
I agree, I feel if DL can do A/B tests, then they could have the app customize to the user. DL can do what would be very difficult for a human teacher, and time consuming for each student: DL can track and adapt to how each of us learns. Not just assume 1 audience for thier product.
I wouldn't mind as much if I could tell in advance how many points I would get for reviewing a lesson. That would be valuable, because it would tell me where I have more weak words that would benefit from practice. As it stands, I can redo one lesson in a topic and get 8 points, while the next within the same topic is worth 10. Points aside, if I knew that in advance, I might skip straight to the one that needs the most work.
Only problem is, I am not redoing old lessons. I am strengthening and not getting old, weak words. When I go to the words tab and sort by strength, I have dozens of weak words that are weeks out of date. Does Duo strengthen them on the practice? NO! It is very disappointing to go from "Serious" to slacker because duo can't give me the right words to work on. Your computer algorithm does not know my mind. It cannot tell if I am having trouble with some words. It cannot tell when it is time for me to move on. Maybe if I were a youth in school using this as a drilling tool in addition to my Spanish lessons, then force-feeding might be appropriate, but I am a 59 year old that wants to learn at his own pace and take the time to get things right. I am at the point of starting past tense verbs and doubling the number of conjugations. I want to be rock solid with my present tenses before I go there.
I hope you are going to change the length of exercises. They are too long, and contain too much repetition of questions already answered correctly. You also get penalised too heavily for typos when extra questiions keep getting added. But todays went a bit too far. I finished one in 5!
The change to fewer xp for review led me to more timed practice which I think has been beneficial. I was reluctant to do it previously. So I think it is a good change, although I understand why people are peeved when they get less xp for an exercise that was chosen for them by the strengthen skills button.
You are right about the length of the exercises. I am happy to keep answering questions if I am making mistakes - I obviously need the practice. But it is frustrating to get the same question two or three times (or more) when I got it right the first time.
If we get it right then we know it, and should be tested on something else. This especially applies in the general strengthen skills, when all your skills are gold and you want to review as many weak words as possible in one practice, not keep repeating the same ones over and over.
I'd swear this is getting worse. :-( Tonight I had whole lessons each dedicated to one word. First it was voilà, then donner and then déjà. Granted each of these needed strengthening, but having almost every single exercise of the lesson being a variation on the same theme is incredibly frustrating... all of these (and other besides) could have been (and should have been) worked into the same lesson.
Could you explain how i can determine which lessons to redo because the words are weak (BTW my tree is gold, but under the words tab, i have several hundred weak words) or how to avoid redoing lessons where are the words are strong?
In another , but similar vein, have you changed the flashcards review? The other day I was trying to bring all of the weak words up to the strong level, but as I went through the flashcards, the number of cards in each exercise started to decrease. It started at 15 cards per exercise, then gradually decreased to 10, then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and finally to zero cards. In other words, it wouldn't allow me to keep going even though there were still weak words in the list. (Today it is only allowing 5 or 6 cards per exercise.)
Thanks. I spend about 95% of my time doing timed Strengthen Skills exercises each day and 5% on new lessons (I need and a lot of repetition to understand and retain what I "learn" after doing a new lesson). But every now and then, I feel that a specific area needs strengthening and I go back and redo the appropriate lesson. I was just wondering if there was a way that Duo could correlate the weak words in the Words tab with specific lessons that I should redo, even though the lesson appears gold.
By the way, this is a rather minor thing. All in all, I think Duolingo does a great job, especially since it is free.
Duolingo doesn't provide that information in the Words tab. It'd be a lot of information too since words in the words tab may be in anywhere from 1 to all lessons. Take the word "the" for example. I'm pretty sure it occurs in almost all lessons for the languages I'm studying. I'm not sure why it'd be helpful anyway considering you can used Strengthen Skills to practice all the weak words.
At the beginning of each lesson, the 5, 6, 7 or so new words to be learned are listed. Most words, including "the," are only listed in one lesson. My experience in German, is that a very small number of words, mostly verbs, may appear in more that one lesson, but not in very many lessons, 2 or maybe 3. So it shouldn't be very difficult for Duo to determine in what lesson(s) my weak word(s) was/were first taught and direct me to the appropriate lesson(s), versus the other lessons that word may have been used. Like I said above, this is a rather small issue for me, but one that could make my review a little easier and more directed.
If you click on the underline under each word in the list the first skill that word appears in will be listed on the right.
I've been doing exactly what you describe over the last few days... It's been really time consuming but ultimately I think it's been rewarding.
It's certainly been an eye opening experience. and I've noticed several issues in the process.. One example is that Verb lessons don't always show all conjugations for the verbs they are meant to teach. For example I had to repeat Verbs: Present 3, lesson 10 several times before it presented me with the "vous" form of enfuir even once.
That being said I can't keep this up for long, but I've completely lost confidence in the "Strengthen Skills" function...
I'm looking into whether the recent test might be the reason I've been stripped of my streak (currently 420+7 and counting). If so, I'd like to request it be restored, because this mechanic altered how I've become accustomed to gaining experience/day for months now, and the unspoken change rewarded me less for the work I've known to do daily, thus directly costing me my streak. It's like going into a store and selecting a TV, plunking down the money, but at the register they quietly say "it's not enough", and then they arrest you for attempted theft. Perhaps a bit dramatic but it makes the point, I trust.
If I've lost it due to a freeze bug, clearly I should get it back. If there is some other reason yet (user error, though I doubt it; a handful of others lost streaks at the same time), then it's fine. The fact is, a streak is not really vital. However, it is a motivator and there is a sense of violation if the streak is taken away unfairly. Definitely a blow to the morale.
I've written to bchan about five days ago as suggested but have not gotten a response so far.
My relevant thread: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/7033452
Duolingo is deteriorating... They keep implementing small, maladaptive changes based on "metrics" - because those are completely reliable. If they don't take on board the feedback they've got here simply because of a few teachers complaining and the metrics apparently showing it's better, despite the majority being against it, I may lose hope that Duolingo could ever be as good as it once was.
It's pretty much punishing your regular user base, along with punishing good students who are using the Strengthen Skills button correctly, creating more work for them and us. And why? Because some students are unmotivated and aren't doing their work? Back in my day (which wasn't too long ago), they flunked and got the grade they deserved, instead of being catered to at the expense of all others. I do not like this change. I hope it gets changed back. Powering through the tree for points, as this encourages, isn't good for long-term learning. You simply won't retain it.
Wait, this is now permanent? That's a terrible idea. I've been far less engaged since this happened. I used the "Strengthen skills" button, so it's not like I'm deliberately practising old skills, instead I'm practising the skills that the algorithm is saying that I need to practice. To do such a practice and end up with 4XP is completely demoralising.
In a few short days this site has gone from being something I actively enjoy to being something I see as a chore, and looking at the statistics of how often I use it, my usage has dropped by half. Surely that's the opposite effect from the one that's intended?
I've taken 2 years of a second (2 for Spanish, 2 for Japanese) language in university and got straight A's. I was not able to speak the language. I could pass tests, but there wasn't enough time for review. Duolingo was an oasis with nice built in encouragement. I agree, I prefer the 10XP.
Hi Luis, I am glad you offered some information. I was getting confused with the changes. I am extremely grateful for Duolingo's opportunity to learn new languages. I only started 39 days ago (39 days streak) and I have already reached level 12 in German. I just love the fact that I can do it anywhere, anytime. Thanks for creating such wonderful tools. Carole
But I do daily review with the strengthen skills button, So I get random tasks based on the algorithm. I am not going over things I know on purpose. This is demotivating me greatly. I enjoyed doing 50 per day. now it is a toss up what my daily scores will be. This is crap.
I don't really care about the XP, but I used to use the number as a double-check for how many lessons I've done that day. (E.g. Have I done two review lessons or just one?) It would be nice if Duo had a feature where you could see a log of what you've done in, say, the past 24 hours. e.g.
7:45 AM 2/21/2015 French Strengthen People 2 errors 10 XP 7:55 AM 2/21/2015 French General Strengthen 1 error 3 XP 8:50 AM 2/21/2014 French Lesson 7 Medical 0 errors 10 XP
Then it would be easy to look through the log and see what I've done that day.
It does, it is called Duolingo for schools. According to some users adding oneself as a student allows one to keep track of ones progress and activity. Although I don't think it keeps tracks of errors.
It should also be possible to create custom stats using a userscript that stores that info.
This new features is awful, I mean until now I've been doing 310 XP for a lesson, and doing plus 410 xp for practice. I just realised (starting from yesterday) that I only received 18 XP (!!!) for the same amount of practice (4 times), still I do not feel motivated at all. I do not feel the effect of doing 4 practice!! By the way, just to mention, I have absolutely no idea why the practice does NOT include those words that SHOULD be practiced. I'm getting back the same words every day, and honestly I do not see the reason to use the Flashcard option...Maybe if those 2 could be connected, so that the words 'overdue' and so are the ones that appear in practice, and not the ones I've been practicing for the past 4 days...! Thank you!
The more I think about this the more I'm thinking about new users coming in. Imagine you've never learnt a language on your own before and you hit duo lingo. You complete the first few, get a load of XP, then realise that practicing is giving you almost no XP. So you think, well, obviously this is designed for me to keep moving, not to go back and practice. And this is a well-regarded language learning website so it should know what I need to do to improve. So you keep moving. You power through however far though it's difficult but you keep shoving new vocabulary in and getting XP then you notice you're losing strength so you go back to re-try some old stuff and realise that actually you've absorbed nothing. And then you quit.
I would understand the system if it actually reflected how well you know a word or if there was a kind of system of diminishing returns where, say, the first and second time in a day you did any particular quiz you got 10, then it dropped to 9. Then to 8 and so-on down to, say, 5, to encourage a little repetition but not grinding. All this system does is penalise people who need to see something more than once to memorise it, which is everyone.
One, why prioritize learning new words over strengthening old ones? I can do five lessons, 'learn' 50 words and, by the next day, maybe remember five of them. Or I can do one less five times, fully commit 10 words to memory, and remember most of them tomorrow. When it comes to learning a language, that's the goal. I remember in high school, we were given vocabulary for a new unit and then spent the next few weeks or months actively working that vocab. 80% of our time was spent on those words. That's how I base my practice on Duo, and now suddenly I'm not getting rewarded for it.
Two, when every lesson was worth 10 exp points, a quick look at my exp graph was a big motivator. If I saw several days in a row with low points, I made it a point to find time to practice several lessons to get back on track. Today I reviewed several difficult lessons several times, trying my best to master the new vocab, spending probably 20 solid minutes, and I have less exp than on days where I used maybe 5 minutes. With this change the graph is now meaningless to me.
Each day I would try for two strengthening sessions and then either learn something new or review whatever my most troublesome spot was. I set my daily goal to 30 exp, so I could easily track it. Getting 30exp is now a chore, so I must abandon this approach. That's dispiriting.
I can only repeat what so many others have already said, I find the new system thoroughly demotivating. I am also finding that instead of the site feeling like a group of self motivated adults with a common purpose I have been jettisoned back into school.
I think it is laudable to want to engage with youngsters at an early stage but frankly, from what I can see, all that is happening is that the site is gradually being converted into a schools platform full of bored children and teenagers.
Far from engaging with them, it seems more than likely that they are being put off for life and unlike your adult users they will not see Duo as a valuable part of their continuing education in adulthood but a part of school that they will want to leave behind as soon as possible.
Clearly this is a generalisation, there are and always will be self motivated youngsters but they would have come here anyhow. At the moment, at least in my personal view, we are getting the worst of all worlds, the adults and motivated youngsters are becoming increasingly frustrated and the reluctant schoolchildren are becoming increasingly bored and therefore looking for ways round the system.
Please, separate the voluntary Duo users, we'll call them "Duo adults" but I include the motivated young, from the Duo conscripts in the schools. At the same time bring back the 10 xps per lesson, we Duo adults are capable of deciding for ourselves what we want to practice most and we have good reasons for our choices, we do not either like or need to be treated like recalcitrant schoolchildren.
I apologise for the rant but Duo has so much going for it and you and your team have worked so hard that it is painful to see it being dismantled.
I basically agree with the majority of these other comments. Switching to this new system seems silly. I don't worry about it too much because points aren't really my motivating factor, but it does seem to be a rather silly move, especially after taking away the 3 hearts option.
I like this idea. I'm so glad you guys are continuing to improve on every aspect of Duolingo. Quick clarifications though:
This doesn't affect Strengthen Skills right? I assume it shouldn't because Strengthen Skills both isn't just doing a skill or lesson I've already done and it should only give you words at minimal strength to practice.
You say "you're sometimes given fewer XP for practicing skills or redoing lessons you've already done". Is it really only sometimes that this happens? If so, what's the reasoning behind that? Are you going for stochastic rewards?
This is only anecdotal, but the last couple of days when I've done "Strengthen Skills" from the home page, I have gotten 10XP for the first lesson or three, and then the amount of XP start dropping off. I assume it's because I've worked through the "old" stuff and am starting to get into the "not old enough to really need to review it" stuff. Lots of conjecture on my part there, and a sample size of about two or three days, so I could be totally off.
Wouldn't it be better to do analysis on lesson objectives often gotten wrong and group them together? Essentially, you'll see something like "these are the areas in which you are weakest" and group them in to a "strengthening" objective. Then when redoing skills which are already strong - do as your are now and give less XP, while giving top XP for those objectives in the "weak" group as they are mastered. This would make the lessons more dynamic and tailored to the learner.
I've completed five lessons today, all for a miserly 22 xp. What's the point in having the feature at all? It will take me years to level, and takes any and all gamification out of the equation.
Please listen to your community and return the xp to the way it was. It's up to teachers to teach, if that was the prevailing reasoning behind your decision.
I personally don't like it. I think that there should be an option to disable this in the settings. It's not so much that I don't like to do more lessons, but rather that I hate ending up with a weird amount of xp, and it messes with your goal.For example, the other day, I was strengthening lessons, and ended up with 49/50 xp, which is really annoying.
After thinking about for a day I thought I'd reply to clarify my point. I count on being able to click the strengthen button and get exercises on the words duolingo thinks are the weakest for me. If there really nothing so weak that it's worth more than 3 or 4 points then I guess maybe I should take on more new material sooner. But I don't see how it can tell how good I am at retaining stuff versus another student. Or can it?
That's the thing of it though, Duo does have a method of identifying weak words, It's using that data to choose how much XP to award but it doesn't seem to be using it when generating lessons. I actually think this particular change to the XP awards would not have been a problem if the strengthening lessons were always presenting known weak words.
I was wondering why the practice mode was testing me on the exact same material over and over, as opposed to going through my weak skills like it used to. Please bring that feature back, I preferred to use the practice to re-strengthen my weak skills as opposed to going through them one by one, but now I spend twenty questions dealing with different sentences using the same word. There are only so many sentences you can make with bear, or cold, and so on... This may not have been intentional, but it is the way the German practice is doing for me now. I start a practice and it is repeating the exact same material for the entire test, instead of varying it and hitting more on my weak areas, it now goes over incredibly simple material repetitively.
I'd noticed that sometimes my progress bar would jump further with some questions and not so much with others. If I really want to try to learn something, I'll go through a lesson without doing any peeking. Then I'll need to spend 45+ questions on trying to get to the end. That should work better than not "rewarding" people who make the effort to come here to practice on a daily basis. I get really frustrated when I see that I have three skills that have slipped, especially since I set my daily goal so low at 20. I like to try to keep everything gold as much as possible, and not feel like I'm not moving ahead with my lessons.
I applaud Duolingo for trying to devise a method of encouraging learners to strengthen weaker vocabulary, but as others have pointed out, i suspect the majority of users are strongly self-motivated folks who already have that intention, and it appears the new system could be "gamed" by the less motivated. To truly facilitate learning new words, how about developing 2nd or even 3rd trees in each language, maybe an "intermediate" and an "advanced" tree with longer sentences, more difficult vocabulary, and higher rewards?
I enjoy the fact that less XP is given for repeating lessons, however, Duolingo doesn't measure word strength correctly. There are a number of words/phrases that I continuously get wrong when they show up because they only appear occasionally. I know that I can seek those irksome words out on my own, but it would be nice if Duolingo could keep track of the words/phrases I have trouble with and make THOSE the weaker words, not just ones I haven't seen in a while.
When it comes to the coach, I didn't think it was necessary at first, but over time I have come to enjoy it. I would like to keep my streak running, and when combined with the lowered XP for reviewing lessons, it forces me to put at least some effort into day to day learning in order to achieve my (50xp/day) goal.
All in all, there are still things that could be done for improvement, but I like where it is going and thank you, THANK YOU so much for keeping Duolingo alive. You guys rock. Gracias! XD
Thank you for letting us know what you were doing there in Owl Central. It is, however, a change for the worse. I'm a professor, and I teach for a living. There is nothing wrong with a student reviewing material until s/he decides s/he has done enough. Duolingo users can be trusted to do this. The great glory of Duo is that it is a community of learners who are learning languages BECAUSE THEY WANT TO! (Yes, I am shouting here). I have heard that some of the motivation for this change is to "motivate" (sic) school children into moving on and not gaming the system by racking up XP points by doing Basics 1 over and over. Let them, for heavens sake. Duolingo should not be used in an environment where it is obligatory. A special treat after one has finished the lessons for the day, yes. PArt of the lesson? Absolutely not. I don;t ever want to hear ANYONE say "I mean, like, do we like HAVE to learn the subjunctive?" when doing Duolingo. Keep Duolingo's great strength - that it is a language learning gadget people enjoy, and feel passionate about, alive. If you want more "engagement" bring back trophies or something.
For what it's worth, if this has been pushed to me, I haven't seen the effect yet. I exclusively use "strengthen skills" if I'm not doing a new lesson or strengthening something that was degraded, so that's probably why. I'm in firm concurrence that this is a positive move for the platform. It is moving slowly and steadily toward a place to gain and maintain a skill instead of "get points for showing up."
I agree to a point. But this change is more like making it a place to gain but not necessarily maintain. It might be that they are going to change the algorithm that works out which words are strong and which aren't so that this feature works, but at the moment it doesn't.
I haven't really got to grips with the last French lesson I did at all. I really don't know the vocabulary taught well. But because it's the last lesson I did those words are showing as strongest. So I get more XP for moving on even though I don't know this one than I do for stopping and making sure I know it.
Personally I don't care about XP or my streak, I just want a secure grasp of the language I'm learning, however long that takes. But as a teacher, I'd have a huge problem with a piece of software that essentially sends out the message that moving on quicker with a shallow knowledge is better than consolidating and filling in the gaps where there are any.
I understand where you're coming from, but for me I go in waves of wanting to push forward to learn new stuff and stopping for awhile to solidify where I am, and that tends to coincide with my tree's stability falling apart anyway. I guess my philosophy is that I'm not done learning everything Duolingo can teach me when I get to the end of the tree, nor do I think that it would behoove me to make sure that I have the subjunctive present as perfect as possible before ever touching the subjunctive past, even though it's farther down the tree with other verb tenses/moods in between. I'll keep strengthening the whole thing for months down the road until it's no longer challenging. I completely agree that they need to change how they strengthen words (and rework the flashcard part of the app).
The reason that I'm fine with awarding fewer points for lessons that should be easier is that I can't reliably use XP to determine how much effort I put into the day. For example, somehow Basics 2 was degraded this morning, so I did that first and finished it without error in 2 minutes or less. Then I worked on the Subjunctive Past as a new lesson for 20+ minutes until I finally "won". I got the same 10XP for both. They weren't the same level of effort and I didn't gain an equal amount of "experience" with the language from each.
Will we be able to set duo to give strengthening exercises only on weak words? I am finished my tree it is all gold but I am still a ways away from being fluent working every day to get to level 25 keeps me motivated. After 25 that my next goal will be the reverse tree. It would be nice if the levels actually confirmed your level of skill in your chosen language. Thank you so much for this opportunity to learn languages for free! This method suits my learning style and my lifestyle.
I'm not a programing genius but I wonder how hard it would be to give teachers the ability to customize how the students enrolled for their class are scored / rewarded?? On one hand I am proud of Duolingo's commitment to education, I have never seen anyone reach out to teachers like they have, and I would hate to interfere with anything that can help teachers be more effective. But on the other hand I am a part of the adult community of users and can see that reducing the XP reward can be de-motivating to some.
I only know that I will continue to use Duolingo regardless of the amount of XP's I'm rewarded with. For those who are so upset about this that they stop using Duolingo, I'm sure you can get a refund of the purchase price
There seems to be a bias in these comments towards " this ain't the way to go". Fix it! This XP point change detracts from the fun.
I suggest other measures of success for those teachers grading their students: How much gold is on fhe tree, how long does it stay that way, and how many new new gold icons appear in a given time. I assume teachers are providing support for the grammar that is included in the curriculum and learning outcome levels they are managing.
This sort of thing is why I'm moving away from Duolingo and onto other language learning sources... How do you guys conduct and process these AB tests? How did you deduce that people were more engaged with this process? Does that just mean people stopped doing golden lessons and moved on to new lessons/timed practice? How do you correlate this to improving the language? It isn't all about new vocab...
Why prevent people getting XP anyway? I could understand it if duo was a freemium game where xp = new game levels and it was to prevent xp farming and subtly encourage purchasing of in game extras but... you're not. XP for many is what keeps them here and learning, and now you're potentially taking a large chunk of that away.
Two cents ... the first night I was upset a little by the change... more annoyed than upset. After thinking about it, the change just means I downgrade to Basic (1XP) for a goal and life goes on. I'm not motivated so much by xp or currency. It is the daily streak that keeps me returning. Some days I can spend more with time with duolingo than others; I'm a full time college student and study priority goes there. The streak helps me to remember do a little French everyday.
While I don't mind the change, I wish more time was made to make the Strengthening exercises more useful for people learning it. If people XP farm, well, that is upto them, but it shouldn't be the guide toward the application development should it?
I think DL has an opportunity to create a better learning experience, by doing several things, some of which are mentioned in this post:
- Accurately track how well I know a word, rather than just mark it gold because I complete the strengthening exercise. I personally am struggling with Vous and Nous conjugation, and I think DL could be focusing on that more, since they have seen me fail consistantly.
- Focus on the latest words I have learned. The reason I do so much Strengthening, is to get to the new Food words I am learning, but I have to wade through Pomme and Orange, over and over and over again. I really do know those!
- Only check a phrase once or twice if correct. I did a lesson where I correctly translated "I eat an orange" 4 times, yet I got "You eat an orange" wrong 1 time and didn't see it the rest of the exercise.
- Force people to use a specific conjugation. I could in theory only every translate to You to the Tu conjugation, but the exercise and lessons could certainly say "You (formal)" or "They (masculine)" etc. DL should know how well I know those different conjugations and help me focus on my weak points.
Right now, I find the Words page to be fairly useless. It just tells me if I have seen the word in an exercise, not how well I actually know it, and I think DL could really be helping me more. Thats why we are here, to improve ourselves with the help of DL and that should be the focus of DL application development.
If the intent is to get people to learn new words, then it is failing, since I have two ways to "learn" new words (I am not counting learing a word as being exposed to it once, I am counting learning as actually know the translation, without hints). By redoing the lesson or strengthening, and strengthening could be focusing on all my weak points, not just making me translate Baguette for the hundreth time.
Just... No. I am a fairly slow and repetitive learner and like to review lessons every day until they're all at maximal strength before going onto new ones at all, and I'd hate to have my streak affected by that. The thing I liked best in duolingo is that I can plan for myself, learning comfortably at a personal pace without anyone judging me- We aren't schoolchildren who need a push by some authority figure to study hard. Users should at least be able to toggle this option.
I find this change demotivating for French. I repeat lessons for several reasons. First, I find the pronunciation difficult to understand so often miss dictation. It takes repeated listening to distinguish words in many instances. Second, in many cases the French expression is different from a verbatim translation from English, so it takes several repetitions to memorize the corresponding phrase. Finally, since Duolingo does not include grammar rules, it sometimes takes more than one pass through a lesson to figure out what's going on or to go to another site to get the information. In addition to getting different XPs for repeating a lesson, I've gotten different XP for practices under "Strengthen Skills" without a timer, and I have no control over what shows up in those. All in all, this is an unfortunate change for a language like French, where learning more new words really doesn't help you learn the language.
Sometimes I don't have enough time to keep on doing activities in my language, so sometimes to reach my goal I review some basic lessons to review old words and reach my daily goal. Now I have to do three old lessons to reach my goal, and I don't always that much time on my hands!
I'm very disappointed in this change. I am an adult learner, and take it very seriously. My wife, children and I are using Duolingo to learn a new language together. I typically try to do 4-6 lessons strengthening my skills in addition to 1-2 lessons of new words each day. I find in my case any less and I quickly start forgetting what I have already learned. However, when I go to the list of words I know, I have a number that show they haven't been strengthened in 9 months. Yet, I am getting fewer XP for strengthening. I do not go to a particular lesson, but use the Strengthen Skills button on the home page, trusting that it will choose the words I need the most help with. I also find it frustrating that I will typically get words I do well on 3-4 times in a lesson, but ones that I get wrong will not show up again.It seems to me the algorithm for choosing words needs improvement. If the XP was based on actual comprehension of the word, not just how many days since it was last presented, I would be OK with it. However, I find the current change a very poor choice, and one that I should be able to opt out of. Perhaps have it a choice for teachers to impose on their students.
As someone who has used duolingo on and off for 2 years now, I strongly disapprove of this. If you are going to be scaling the XP based on word strength, 10 XP should be used as a median, with new and weak lessons worth more than 10 XP and strong lessons worth less than 10.
This is not a good system, because clicking the practice button results in a lesson randomly selected by Duolingo.
I am frequently frustrated by the fact that I seem to get the same lessons over and over, and I don't want to now be penalized for Duolingo's poor selection algorithm. I'm more than happy to do fewer, more difficult practice sessions in order to keep the XP reward points high and maintain my daily requirement.
Please fix this.
I find it rather discouraging that I will get more lingots if a task is practiced less. When I see a skill is at 2 bars I think "Oh no! How did I let a skill go down that far!"and rush to do it. Now, I find that small part of my brain saying "You could do it... or you could do fun, new stuff, get more lingots so you can do that practice quiz, and wait until later to do that review."
I don't know about everyone else, but I hate to review. I hate having to redo words that I mastered, and sometimes, words that I didn't master. But review is necessary for learning. Without it, new tasks could not be understood and my spanish would be terrible.
Not reviewing spanish is like not doing fractions or negative numbers through all of middle school and expecting to get an "A" in an algebra class.
1) How are we to know the strength of each word in a lesson ?
2) Multiple run-throughs of the same lesson reveal different usages of any given word and these are immensely useful. The whole lesson cannot be learnt from one pass.
3) The summary lesson at the end of each module does item 2) in spades, more often than not introducing new sentences and contexts not in each lesson on the first or subsequent passes.
Why are we not given encouragement for exploring these rather than just each word strength ?
Pienso y creo firmemente que Duolingo es un equipo que sinceramente se preocupa por nuestro aprendizaje y busca todas las mejores formas de motivar nuestro interés para no perder el paso andado. Es por esto que no me siento afectado en lo más mínimo, pues el objetivo es llegar a aprender con esfuerzo propio y con la ayuda desinteresada de duo. Quiero una vez más expresarle mi más sincero agradecimiento y espero que así como yo, muchos puedan beneficiarse de este excelente programa. Gracias.
I really hope your metric thought about the difference between practicing-via-app and using-the-website. I really hate that. With 20xp set per day I knew I had to do 2 lessons. Of course, I often did more (1500 XP this month), but only in the app. I use the coach to motivate myself to do more than one lesson.
3XP for 5minutes work instead of 10 is not a slight discouragement. Why don't you put the new average on the old one? For example : new words learning: 15xp. Old, weak words: 10xp. Old, well-known words:5 XP
I just don't understand why you want to lower the gained XP so badly.
As much as some of us may hope that Duolingo will listen and change things, at least for individual account holders who don't hold school accounts, I doubt anyone will take too much stock in how we feel. Duolingo is rapidly changing from a site for language learning and collaboration to a classroom aid. Those of us who don't hold school accounts are increasingly of secondary importance. While we can't fault Duolingo for looking to the future of their site as they wish, we can be disappointed and frustrated at the change of mission of this site we have used and loved. And we can and will move on. Whether we will missed or not is to be seen.
Speaking only for myself, now that I'm at level 19, I don't use Duolingo to learn words. I use it to learn grammar. It's beneficial for practicing various tenses of verbs, in addition to improving listening skills. Maybe the points should be graduated after each checkpoint. Sure, I know the vocabulary, but I haven't mastered verb tenses. I'm getting 3 XP for practicing something I genuinely need to practice. It isn't "over practicing" to review portions that aren't fully understood or mastered.
The timed exercises give a lot of points, but when I make a mistake, I like to analyze what I did incorrectly. That's how I learn. In the timed exercise, I can't stop and see what I did wrong.
Maybe if you can give 5 XP from the past tense verb area on down, that could be more motivational than 3 XP. I get 3 XP on the subjunctive past and, believe me, I haven't even come close to mastering subjunctive verbs.
If by "more engaged" you mean "we forced you to stay on the site longer by reducing the number of points you get for doing anything" . . . this has nothing to do with learning. Am really disappointed in this site . . . do any of you know anything about actual education? your "metrics" seem to have nothing to do with learning. Just going to lower my goal.
I think this is a good change. I go back and practice quite a bit, and need to, but to earn a lots of points for review doesn't seem necessary. When the points get really low, it is a nice subtle hint for me to move on :) I don't particularly want to level up when I haven't learned a bunch of new skills !
...And when I came back to DL from a six month absence, and the hearts were gone, I was over joyed! There are some lessons that are just demonic, like French pronouns! Oy... One feature that I miss was the ability to practice selected words, some new words just flow in and others balk, and fight back, c'est aleatoire. Thank you to all the DL staff that keep improving this awesome language learning site!
Thanks for the explanation Luis, now it makes more sense :) I thought the lower XP were a way to punish us for bad performance in lessons... :/ I adjusted my daily goal according to how many XP i get on average after the change. And now with lowered XP-expectations, attempting new material becomes more enticing relative to just strengthening skills. Almost like a special treat. Isn't it weird how well those virtual rewards work?
Years ago in high school, a foreign language teacher reminded us that the scores on our tests and grades will not matter in the future. Our level of fluency would be the only thing anyone would care about; five years down the road. While reward systems in learning are nice the ultimate motivation for the hard work that proficiency takes in any discipline must come from within. Also, as a life-long learner, I have noticed that regardless of the skill I have acquired, I must use it to maintain it's use and ready availability.
If by "more engaged" you mean "we forced you to stay on the site longer by reducing the number of points you get for doing anything" . . . this has nothing to do with learning. Am really disappointed in this site . . . do any of you know anything about actual education? your "metrics" seem to have nothing to do with learning. Just going to lower my goal.