Suggestions: Levels(or another rating scale) should be changed to indicate proficiency and coins(or another rating) indicate effort
I think that as the levels just inflate and reach to a peak where they don't climb anymore, the users may become demotivated from using duolingo any further.
Much like how when an individual finishes an rpg (role playing game) there comes a point when the repetitive exercise becomes tiresome and users(gamers) quit.
The model used by MMORPG(Massively multiplayer online RPG) is to always add new content and continually increase the level cap. This keeps users interested and makes them use it more.
So my idea is that either new content has to be added for advanced users who have completed the tree, to ensure they have new challenges. I'm aware that the immersion is useful, but frankly it becomes tiresome overtime. There are many challenges that can be added without even adding new content.
Challenges such as finishing the tree or a number of skills within a limited time, showing the users who have the top score and challenging the user to compete with them. Or doing an ironman challenge, like doing as many lessons from the beginning without getting a single question wrong.
If that is still too complex, the levels could work something like a chess rating.This way the current points or skill level varies depending on how well one goes through the lessons. Therefore the level can be reduced or improved depending on the performance. The points may remain in coin form so users are not de-motivated from using duolingo.
Another method could be a ranking type where one could challenge another user or an AI (such as a bot using google translate, or randomly getting correct answers from the database too) in timed tests or normal lessons in order to proceed to another level.
This would ensure that users would continue using the program even after they complete their respective tree.
Summary of Suggestions:
- Separate rating scales (levels rely on mastery not on coins)
- Introduce new challenges for users who complete trees
- Introduce ranking based on proficiency
- Reduce or increase levels based on lesson performance and proficiency.
- Introduce challenges to players or AI-Bot to advance levels.
- Introduce IronMan/woman (IronPerson challenge mode) for users who complete tree.
One thing to consider is that not everyone might like having their assessed proficiency on display. Luis seems to have some sensitivity to this, since neither our scores on certificates are displayed nor our Lingot totals, which can vary based on performance. I think any possible changes to the level system should only be made with that in mind. Having levels linked to tree progress might not be bad idea, but a level system that changed all the time based on performance? That might add an element of unwanted pressure and potential embarrassment for some users.
I agree that levels in their current implementation don't make any sense. They are levels of skill points, not levels of language skill.
Maybe the tree could be split into levels so that every level meant a certain position in the tree. In this case, you'd look at the user's level marked in discussions and think, like: "Level 5, aha, she's made through one third of the tree", or "Wow, level 15, this guy has completed the whole tree and I can trust his answers".
Upd: I don't think levels should indicate how successful the user is with his lessons. This is too personal information. Levels are public, so they have to convey some useful information to the others, not embarrass the learner.