Sunday, September 20, 2020

Duolingo and how its "rewards" work

I use Duolingo to practice my Portuguese and Chinese knowledge. I am always intrigued by their reward/point mechanism which uses multiple combinations to reward and motivate the users to continue with the lessons. I find them quite interesting. Especially when you do not have a premium account, maintaining all the rewards are not easy. One day you take a break and you may lose some of those rewards. Duolingo's reward mechanisms are good for motivating us not to give up. But at the same time, they also have the risk of us focusing on not losing the rewards and gaming the system, rather than genuinely focusing on learning the language properly at our own pace. As such, these rewards have received a fair share of criticism.
1. League
It is a 10-level series. Diamond level is the final. I have reached the diamond. To reach a higher level, you must be among the top-10 among your bunch, consisting of 50 learners who learn different language at different phases. On the other hand, the last 5 among the 50 will be demoted to a lower level. The remaining 35, stay wherever they are. Since Diamond league is the last, the top-45 stay wherever they are whereas the last 5 are demoted. So there will always be a competition not to be in the last 5 during the last minutes when these numbers are tallied.
2. Streak
This counts how many days you have managed to continue to practice a lesson.

3. Lingots
If you did not touch Duolingo for a week, you do not enter the week's competition. As such, your league will be preserved wherever you are. But you will lose your streak. This is where lingots come to help you. Lingots are virtual currency of Duolingo. You can earn them by completing the lessons or participating in competitions such as "Double or Nothing." If you are going to be away from Duolingo for a week, you can buy "Streak freeze" to keep your location for a day or two, and keep buying the streak freeze as your previous streak is used. However, once you run out of the lingots, you will come to the difficult decision making. Should you not touch the lessons for a week to protect the league, or protect the streak by doing the sessions but not to the expected speed and lose your league. Since I am in the diamond league, I try to protect my league.

4. Crowns
Each skill gives you a crown. Unlike the first 3, crowns are language-specific. That means, if you study 2 languages, each will have their own crown numbers. Crowns will never deplete unlike the other 3.

5. XP Ranks
How you rank among the 50 in a weekly basis as well as among your friends by measuring the all-time XP (Duolingo points). We can earn XP by completing new lessons, stories, or repeating an old lesson.

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