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The 2015 Edition - soft launch!

jason-oxenham-ceo December 9, 2014, 1:21 am

Bonjour tout le monde !

We get a lot of feedback about just how much Rocket Languages has helped people achieve their language learning goals. However, we aren't the sort of company to rest on it's laurels...

In fact we have been very busy working away behind the scenes to make all of our Rocket Languages courses work even better and provide you with the best learning experience possible.

To that end I am really pleased to announce the release of the 2015 Edition of Rocket Languages for desktop computers and laptops. All for free for existing members (note that the iOS and Android apps will be updated as well in early 2015).

So, what's new?

Well, some of it you can see and some of it you may not notice straight away;

  • A lot of the improvements have been made to the way that the code that drives the courses works, so you should be getting really fast page loads.
  • We have revamped the navigation to make it more user friendly
  • A lot of smaller improvements have been made to improve the user experience
  • And, the main thing that we have done is add in Module Tests...

We have had a lot of feedback about the Testing that is available on each lesson, and a few people have suggested that we have a summary test at the end of each section or Module of the course.

So, that's what we have done!

If you go to your Dashboard you will see larger round icons between each section or module of lessons. Click on one of those and you will be taken to the Rocket Tests page.

On the Rocket Tests page you have the ability to test yourself on the Module in question. You will get tested using Hear it Say it!, Write it!, Know it! and the Quizzes, with all questions, words and phrases drawn from within the lessons in that Module.

We have also aligned the lessons with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for Languages levels.

Of course we have non-European languages but the CEFR levels are still fairly applicable to all the languages that we have (except Sign Language).

What's happening in 2015?

The short answer is... a lot! Including;

  • Rocket Spanish and Rocket French members may have noticed the live tutor sessions that have been available in the members area for the last month or two. Due to the positive feedback that we have received about our tutors, we are looking to expand this pilot program.
  • The iOS and Android apps are going to have a heap more functionality added to bring them in line with recent changes to the members area.
  • And, Rocket Russian is due out in Feb/Mar 2015!

So, enjoy the changes and let us know what you think of the new Module Tests!

Au revoir

Jason Oxenham
CEO & Co-founder
Rocket Languages Ltd

The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
leonard--14 December 9, 2014, 2:32 pm
I notice the leader board is not working. I assume this is temporary
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
leonard--14 December 9, 2014, 2:32 pm
Love the addition of Module tests!
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
leonard--14 December 9, 2014, 3:13 pm
Is it possible to produce a program for vocabulary building. I would pay extra for a program that would give me the 1000 most used words in Arabic with the pronunciation of each word? Just a thought, but I think it would be popular.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
leonard--14 December 9, 2014, 3:14 pm
I am looking forward to an arabic tutor
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Tang-K1 December 9, 2014, 3:31 pm
The Module Test is very great and useful! Thank you for your update.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Robert-C7 December 9, 2014, 6:22 pm
Actually, the leader board is still working but a little bit more hidden. You can get to it by clicking on your badge icon on the left. That takes you to this page:

http://members.rocketlanguages.com/Members/Rewards

Good job to the Rocket People. I look forward to seeing all that they have added to the product and will certainly be giving feedback in the future.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason-oxenham-ceo December 9, 2014, 6:51 pm

Hi all - Thanks for the feedback. Yes, Robert is correct, you can get to the My Badges page by clicking on your current badge.

Within the next week or so we will be adding in Rocket Certificates for those that complete a section of Module Tests. Once you successfully complete the (usually) 4 Module Tests you will be emailed out an achievement certificate.

The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
leonard--14 December 9, 2014, 7:05 pm
I didn't have trouble finding the leader board and it does show a record of points, but it seems to be frozen on the one page. I can't get to the arabic section or yesterday, last month, etc. I assume it is a temporary glitch.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Stefanie--15 December 9, 2014, 7:18 pm
Love the module testing SO MUCH.

Huge MERCI.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason-oxenham-ceo December 9, 2014, 7:20 pm

Hi Leonard - Yes, there is a bug there. We are working on it right now!

Thanks Stefanie! Glad you like it.

The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
cece35 December 9, 2014, 7:35 pm
I love the new module testing. Many thanks!
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason-oxenham-ceo December 9, 2014, 9:24 pm
Hi Leonard - The My Badges bug is fixed! Sorry for the inconvenience!
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
grahame-r December 10, 2014, 9:33 am
Hi Jason. In module testing, the write it section, sometimes the tutor doesn't speak and you have to press reveal to move on, but it gives you a red for wrong spelling. Would this be a bug or just a slow download response from the internet. It does effect your overall scoring.
A great addition to the course.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Aurora Hemminger December 10, 2014, 2:08 pm
I wanted to use the live tutor but I am not set-up for Skype and I need to learn how to use Skype and be comfortable with it. I use Rocket Spanish exclusively, pretty much for my Spanish lessons. I wish there is just an icon within Rocket Spanish and avail myself of the Skype. Maybe one of the grandchildren would help me. Otherwise, I would just try to look for a tutor locally.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason-oxenham-ceo December 10, 2014, 7:26 pm

Hi Grahame - I think this is a downloading issue. As each track is downloaded as it is played there can be a lag if the internet connection is unstable or the track is a large one. If you just wait then it should auto-play. We are working on a way to better indicate what is happening.

Hi Aurora - The live tutors have proved very popular! We are working on a solution so that we don't use Skype and instead we have the tutors using the members area to communicate. I will keep everyone posted once we have a solution in place.

The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason☺ December 11, 2014, 6:22 am
For the live tutoring, perhaps look at Google Hangouts? One on one or up to 10 people live on a call and you can access hangouts from almost any device (laptop/iOs/Android).

http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/

I understand the sessions can even be recorded and replayed with Hangouts on Air.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason-oxenham-ceo December 11, 2014, 6:46 pm

Hi Jason - Thanks for the info. We are looking at a few options. Ideally, the solution we use will integrate tightly with the members area, so Hangouts may not be the best option. We will look into it though.

The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
maha266 December 12, 2014, 1:48 am
I can't wait the Rocket Russian to come.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Steven-W15 December 12, 2014, 9:09 am
I can echo what everyone else is saying - the new testing feature is terrific.

I find that sometimes a question will "hang": meaning you wait for the system to output audio and nothing happens. I have never given this much of a second thought as refreshing the web page works fine but it is a bit problematic when this happens in the "W" test as a page refresh resets the entire test.

If I close/reopen the browser just prior to taking the test, all the questions work correctly without ever hanging.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
grahame-r December 14, 2014, 8:51 am
Thanks for the tip Steven. I will give that a go
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Janice-Y3 December 15, 2014, 3:25 am
I just started the module testing today. A great way to review completed material. Thanks for the new material.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason-oxenham-ceo December 16, 2014, 8:35 pm

Hi all - As of yesterday, members who complete a row of Rocket Module Tests will get a Certificate of Achievement emailed to them. As mentioned in my original post, the achievement levels are roughly based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and the certificates reflect that. Happy learning!

The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Aurora Hemminger December 23, 2014, 4:11 pm
I got my first module certificate yesterday. Two more to go for the Premium. Thanks.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason☺ December 23, 2014, 8:33 pm
Would it be possible to add a feedback module to the Rocket Module Tests?
I am finding errors like this that I would like to report quickly so that others don't need to experience the same issues. Google has a feedback mechanism for Google Apps that takes a screenshot, collects browser info and lets you describe the problem and blank out personal info, but I will settle for just a quick popup feedback so I can point out a problem and move on to the next question in the test.

Module 1 German - one of the Hear It phrases appears like this:

Tschüss [chüs]
bye bye
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason☺ December 23, 2014, 9:54 pm
Guten Abend tout le monde,

Either it was the bottle of Bordeaux I am enjoying or I noticed something else while taking my first module test.

The Write It portion adds 2 points to my badge each time I hit the tutor play button and 2 more points when clicking the play button next to my recorded audio. 0 points are given for a recording.

However, on the Know It, 0 points are given no matter which action is chosen.

Even creepier is that if I open my French module while still using the German module and return to the German module and hit a play button, the badge remains German (although the browser tab title becomes French) and the score changes to the French one and the points for playing a German phrase are added to my French badge total...Read More
Guten Abend tout le monde,

Either it was the bottle of Bordeaux I am enjoying or I noticed something else while taking my first module test.

The Write It portion adds 2 points to my badge each time I hit the tutor play button and 2 more points when clicking the play button next to my recorded audio. 0 points are given for a recording.

However, on the Know It, 0 points are given no matter which action is chosen.

Even creepier is that if I open my French module while still using the German module and return to the German module and hit a play button, the badge remains German (although the browser tab title becomes French) and the score changes to the French one and the points for playing a German phrase are added to my French badge total.

I think entering the Members area after studying a different language causes the program to become confused as to which language I am studying. Perhaps the info is stored in the same cookie and the cookie doesn't know with which tab it is associated? Is the system not designed to learn multiple languages in separate tabs perhaps?

Also, the scoring should be consistent with each activity. I'm not quite sure why any points are given to the badges during a test, in fact, but if they are added in one activity, they should be added in another also, right?

Probably was the wine, but I'll let you guys have a look, nevertheless.

Thanks,
Jason
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason☺ December 23, 2014, 9:59 pm
Oh - the Tschüs problem I mentioned above appears nice in my message here (a lot of help I am eh?), but not on my screen during the lesson.

It appears as if the ü was not escaped. I will add spaces: c h & u u m l ; s

This problem doesn't occur in the other lessons, just the new module tests.

-Jason
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason☺ December 23, 2014, 10:25 pm
Hello again,

Unfortunately, I didn't manage a perfect score on the quiz portion (92%). Drat!

How can I review the questions I didn't get right?

As far as I can tell, there is no feedback during or after the test other than the score.

Thanks,

Jason
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Gypsy-P December 26, 2014, 7:28 pm
Catching up on updates. Have been out for some time with kidney stone plus surgery. Good to be back.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason-oxenham-ceo December 29, 2014, 9:29 pm

Hi all - A quick update; the issue with certain special characters displaying incorrectly should be fixed, as should the loading delay that was happening with the odd phrase. 

And we are working on adding the ability to save a Test part-way through, and a method of displaying your score for each segment of the Test e.g. Hear it Say it! = 84%. These features will be rolled out over the coming weeks!

The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Carl-B December 30, 2014, 12:33 am
I have both French and German Courses. I am very pleased with both. However, for some reason, the German Courses have ceased? Please advise.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Dan-H24 December 30, 2014, 11:53 am
Jason: thank you for listening to the critiques of the users.
Dan
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason☺ January 25, 2015, 4:19 pm
Three easy things to fix regarding the Rocket Tests:
1) Hover Bubbles do not show properly.
2) Size of Rocket Test icons varies.
3) Typo in instructions for "as a minimum"

1) Little thing I noticed with the German Rocket Tests.
http://members.rocketlanguages.com/rocket-test/578#start

You can hover your mouse over each test to see what score you received on each lesson component (Hear/Write/Know/Quiz) and they appear in a little bubble window above the lesson called Ratings.

Module 1 and Module 2 both show Ratings with a blank window. Perhaps a bug?

Module 3, 4, and 5 are just fine. That is as far as I have progressed.

Maybe fix the ratings bubbles or, I would prefer, that the information is shown inside the circles in a way similar to the H/W/R/Q indicators that are used in the lesson plan...Read More
Three easy things to fix regarding the Rocket Tests:
1) Hover Bubbles do not show properly.
2) Size of Rocket Test icons varies.
3) Typo in instructions for "as a minimum"

1) Little thing I noticed with the German Rocket Tests.
http://members.rocketlanguages.com/rocket-test/578#start

You can hover your mouse over each test to see what score you received on each lesson component (Hear/Write/Know/Quiz) and they appear in a little bubble window above the lesson called Ratings.

Module 1 and Module 2 both show Ratings with a blank window. Perhaps a bug?

Module 3, 4, and 5 are just fine. That is as far as I have progressed.

Maybe fix the ratings bubbles or, I would prefer, that the information is shown inside the circles in a way similar to the H/W/R/Q indicators that are used in the lesson plan. I think that in designing the presentation of information, it is important to avoid hidden things like the hover. That way there will not be trouble when trying to move the interface to a tablet or touch environment.
Also, note that the bubbles are not available on the dashboard screen so all I see are green circles:
http://members.rocketlanguages.com/german/Start/28/rocket-german-premium
I prefer the green squares that contain the HWRQ and my ratings along with the rocket that shows if I have rated everything. Maybe we can do the same for the Modules?

2) The Rocket Test Module 1 icon is a little bit larger than the others. Just weird.

3) There is a small typo on the Rocket Test description. It appears twice so needs to be corrected in both cases on that page http://members.rocketlanguages.com/rocket-test/577#start

"as a minimum" doesn't not exist http://www.thefreedictionary.com/as+a+minimum
please instead use "at a minimum" http://www.thefreedictionary.com/at+a+minimum

Thanks for looking into those things. Probably all easy to fix.

-Jason
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason☺ January 25, 2015, 4:49 pm
Hello,

1) Include certificates on the Profile Pages.
2) Certificate achievement information.
3) Link to another student's comment.

1) I received my first certificate on the 13th of January.
It's very pretty and I wonder if it would be a nice idea to include those on our profile page like the badges. What do you think? Sort of a status on the site.

I would like to think they are accurate. For example, mine says I got 100%, but that's not the case except due to a rounding convention:

(98+100+100+100)/4 = 99.5

Oh well. I think it would still be nice to put them on the profile pages. Then once we get the wording ironed out and correct (see point two below), we can reprint the certificates...Read More
Hello,

1) Include certificates on the Profile Pages.
2) Certificate achievement information.
3) Link to another student's comment.

1) I received my first certificate on the 13th of January.
It's very pretty and I wonder if it would be a nice idea to include those on our profile page like the badges. What do you think? Sort of a status on the site.

I would like to think they are accurate. For example, mine says I got 100%, but that's not the case except due to a rounding convention:

(98+100+100+100)/4 = 99.5

Oh well. I think it would still be nice to put them on the profile pages. Then once we get the wording ironed out and correct (see point two below), we can reprint the certificates.

2) Maybe something simpler. For example, two achievements are printed on the certificate:

Introduce yourself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where you live, people you know and things you have.

Understand numbers, tell the time, ask questions and basic sentence structures.

They look like first draft material and seem to be copied directly from wikipedia in some form:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_European_Framework_of_Reference_for_Languages

Would it be better (I'm just asking) if instead they would just say:
This achievement contributes to CEFR: A1, A2

I know that seems dry to just list the level and not describe it, but I'd rather have a clean certificate without typos and run-on sentences.

3) There was a student that had a problem with the audio playing in one lesson. I wondered if anybody would like to go over to that thread and comment on that problem. I worry that if we can't save the lesson, then a simple refresh will cause us to start over and lose our place. http://members.rocketlanguages.com/your-community/french-feedback-and-comments/rocket-test-module-1-quiz-question-regarding-audio. I will add a comment to that thread that mentions that the save option is coming soon.

Thanks,
Jason
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason-oxenham-ceo January 25, 2015, 8:12 pm

Hi Jason - Some good ideas in there!

1. Empty hover bubbles; Tests done before our last release will have empty hover bubbles because we weren't recording that information permanently. The only way to fix that is to re-do the Test.

2. The slightly larger icon signifies that it is selected. We will look at the color scheme to see if we can make that clearer.

3. "At a minimum" typo; we will get this fixed. Good spotting!

From your last post;

1. Certificates into My Profile; We are about to release a significant forum upgrade. This item will have to go onto a wishlist.

2. CEFR references; As each set of Module Tests is not necessarily a full level of the CEFR system, I think this will cause more issues than it resolves.

3. Save option; This should be up and running.

The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
James-R5 January 28, 2015, 12:18 am
I like the idea of having online tutors and I signed up with one of your tutors. I really liked her and I felt like I was going to improve my spanish, but I missed the second lesson due to a personal problem and was reminded that I had to give 24 hours notice in order to miss a class. I went ahead and paid for the next 2 classes even though I didn't attend either one. I dropped the online classes because I don't like the admin interfering with the classes unless there is a real problem. I don't like the idea of the classes being about money. If the student has problems making his/her payments, the tutor should notify the admin so that the problem can then be solved in that manner. Otherwise, I love Rocket Spanish and I think you guys are doing a great job. Keep up the good work and keep the updates coming. Jim.
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
jason-oxenham-ceo January 28, 2015, 12:58 am

Hi Jim - We recently put the "24 hour notice" rule in place because a few people were canceling at the last minute, meaning that the tutor has wasted their time getting ready for the lesson, setting aside time, etc.

Also, our tutors still need to be compensated for their time, I don't think it's right that the tutor or Rocket Languages is disadvantaged by last minute cancellations where the student then re-books.

I am happy to hear of any alternate options that you have, or anyone else has, about the best way to deal with last minute cancellations.

The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Steven-W15 December 9, 2014, 7:36 am
Very nice! Way to go Rocket Languages!!!
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!
Aurora Hemminger December 9, 2014, 12:57 pm
Love it!
The 2015 Edition - soft launch!

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