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I want my dashboard to notify me if students turn their mics off.

Please help me as an educator. I have some students who keep turning their mics off. I am monitoring them closely but I want my students speaking Spanish and not just typing it. Thank you! I love DuoLingo and am excited about the positive changes you all are making. :)

April 9, 2015



I would verify why they're turning off their microphones first.

I have to turn my microphone off when on the website. The microphone exercises work fine on the phone app for me, but they never work on the website. They just freeze and I have to start the exercise over again. It has been so frequent that I just leave the microphone off all the time now when on DuoLingo.com. (Restarting the browser, clearing the cache, and all the regular trouble-shooting doesn't seem to have any lasting effect.)

Anyway, you might find they're experiencing similar issues. :/ I honestly can't get through an exercise on the website with the microphone on. On the phone, I'm fine. And the questions aren't wrong they just... sit in grading limbo forever, or the sit never seems to acknowledge that I recorded something.

I 100% understand, speaking is crucial to learning a language, I'm just saying they may be experiencing technical difficulties as opposed to being lazy because that's certainly where I ended up turning off the microphone.


I understand that the mic function does not always work. A lot of times though, this is because a person is pronouncing the words wrong. My students and I are using the website and it's working quite well. I let students skip a mic section if they try it at least 5 times. :)


I don't know, that's definitely not the problem I'm describing. What I mean is, very frequently on the website (not the app) it doesn't even acknowledge that I've hit the grade button, or that it has recorded anything. If that doesn't happen (which is the most common offender) it just sits in grading limbo forever, never turning green or red.

So I end up having to refresh the page or re-start the browser and try the entire exercise again, at which point, it usually freezes again on the first (or sometimes second) microphone question.

Obviously if it "sounds wrong" it turns red and says "That doesn't sound right" - that is not what I'm referring to. Hence, turning off the microphone and only doing microphone exercises on my phone now.

But if you know they're just irritated by it going red than I support that, I just mean on the website I'm always having technical difficulties with the microphone. Heck, most of the time I'd welcome the red banner since it would mean I could continue the lesson past that question.


I use google chrome as my browser. It seems to work very well. I agree, it's not right to penalize someone if they are having technical problems. I've used duolingo for a week. So far the audio has worked fine 99% of the time. I have my students use apple earbuds with the built in mic. It works awesome!


Hm, I'm using FireFox, maybe I'll try Chrome. (I've used Chrome before, but so far it's actually... not as impressive as I've been told it should be, so I still prefer FireFox.) To be honest, my suspicion to this point has been that it has to do with highly increased traffic, because I've noticed it often comes with heavy lag-time for grading anything.

But I've been using DL for a year+ and over the last 2-3 months it's just been so common I only use my phone for microphone exercises now. XD

But I wanted to point it out lest some kid is having to re-start their exercise every two minutes whenever a microphone exercise pops up and is taking an hour to do a five-minute lesson.


Definitely. I'd recommend google chrome hands down! My students use chrome books and I have a macbook pro. Trust me on the google chrome. :)


I am replying to you here because I can't below, but... I did try Google Chrome and I found it very underwhelming which is why I went back to FireFox. I'll test it and see if it's better for DL, but for me it would be an exception rather than a rule. In spite of all the hype it gets, I've usually found it slower and more prone to freezing than FireFox than other websites.


Are you using a PC or MAC?


I don't ever do the microphone exercises. Some people have great luck with it, but it seemed too lenient to me and so one day I was supposed to say something in Spanish and I made up some nonsense like "Turtles are green" and I was marked correct.

On that day I turned off my mic and began saying the sentences along with Duo. It's amazing how quickly my bad vowel sounds jump out at me when I'm trying to say something in tandem with Duo. Rhythm and emphasis, too. I just much prefer this method; I think it does a better job of helping me spot my errors and improve them.

If your students try five times and don't pass a mic section, this method might help them.

Out of curiosity, how do you know they've tried a mic section five times without success, but you don't know whether or not they're using their mics?


I am monitoring my students and helping them as they work through the DuoLingo course. I often can see and hear if they are speaking to their computers.

I want to be able to monitor them from my computer though. I have a program called hapara where I can see their computer screen in real time. Since my students know I am watching them on my computer too, this helps them focus on the activities.

Your experience with DuoLingo is valid. But my experience is that DuoLingo's audio works well. If you don't pronounce it correctly it won't accept it. I have students who will ask for my help to pronounce certain words. It will accept the words I speak most of the time.


Thanks for the reply. I wish Duo's audio were a little more strict with me; I've used other applications with that kind of feature and enjoyed them. I also see the merit of being able to monitor this from your console. It's another useful tool in your arsenal, so so speak. It sounds like you are pretty creative in getting your students engaged. Best of luck to you!

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