https://www.duolingo.com/Matt_Duarte

Changes to Duolingo - For better or for worse?

For those of you that haven't seen it yet... "Now, instead of losing hearts, you have a strength bar that goes up and down. You complete the lesson once the bar reaches full strength." As a user, I like that this is incredibly more challenging than it was before. It's kind of like building a streak within lesson.

However, as an educator, I think my students will find this incredibly disheartening (pun completely intended). The "heart" motif not only it gave a more video-game like feeling, but the system was more encouraging. They knew exactly what they had to do, how many questions to avoid getting wrong. With this new system (from what I have seen - please correct me if I am wrong), you need to get around 18 questions right AND for every one you get wrong it means you need to answer an additional one. Like I mentioned in the intro, definitely more challenging, but it also means that lessons could potentially be a LOT longer. I could definitely see students getting frustrated and just quitting a lesson.

Plus, it also means that there is one less thing to buy from the Shop (and one of the ones they used the most).

Thoughts?

3/26/2015, 8:30:02 PM

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Majka.leta
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Funny, for me I've found that the new system actually makes me go through lessons faster rather than more slowly - with the old system, if I made four mistakes and happened to lose my last heart right before/at the final question, I ended up having to redo the entire lesson, which means 18 + 18 = 36 questions (not sure if it's really exactly 18 questions per lesson, but it sounds about right) - and that's provided I didn't lose all my hearts again during the second try, in which case I would end up with 54 questions.

With the new system in which my four wrong answers get simply added to the total, I end up with a total of 26 questions to finish the lesson - 10 fewer than I would have to answer if I had to redo the entire thing.

3/27/2015, 7:09:41 AM

https://www.duolingo.com/Macjory
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I wonder if Duolingo would ever consider making this the user's choice? Younger users could choose the heart system (which many people appear to miss a great deal), and users like you could choose the strength bar. I can think of a bunch of interesting research questions that could be investigated by comparing the two choices. Allowing choice would also demonstrate a commitment to honor the well-known adage that people have different styles of learning. Interesting question.

3/26/2015, 9:36:36 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/BryanAJParry
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Err, I haven't had hearts for months... A-B test? In other news, I was overjoyed when they knocked hearts on the head: I found it the opposite to you -- frustrating!!

3/26/2015, 10:32:49 PM

https://www.duolingo.com/Revengeress
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I don't really know which I like better. The old way I was always really worried and stressed so at first the new way was a relief to me. But I think I would have gotten used to that way and lessons probably would have been more fun. Also, now, I often just quit the lesson because it just gets so discouraging. I think the best way would be that learners be able to choose. Maybe even with individual lessons.

3/27/2015, 6:21:56 PM

[deactivated user]

    I do not really mind it.

    3/29/2015, 11:20:15 PM

    https://www.duolingo.com/ToddPhillips
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    I think if you explain language acquisition and the rationale behind it, they will buy in.

    3/21/2017, 12:42:22 PM
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