I just created my first Chinese custom flashcard as a test and it works. I made it public so we can test the sharing function.
It's just one card that says Chinese person in Hanzi, Pin Yin, and English. Please let me know if you can import it and use it.
PS With regard to Flashcards making it too easy for avid users to top the Leaders boards, one simple fix is to simple redo the points system making points more proportionally reflective to the effort or value of the activity.
For example, I like to start each day by reviewing all the Flashcards in the entire module of 8 lessons I'm working in. Sometimes even for the entire course. At approx. 2 seconds per card one can rack up 1800 points or more per hour just flipping through flashcards.
On the other end of the points spectrum, if one tries to do the new 2nd Write It section in the Chinese course which is in Hanzi, it took me at least 8 hours to gain my first 2 points which required figuring out how to use the internal Hanzi look up software keyboard in the Rocket Course, which is not explained anywhere to my knowledge. Although that time included about an hour where I wrote up a feedback essay complaining that it was broken. (Have you ever tried to use it?)
Only by accident did I discover that the software keyboards in the Write 1 section and Write up 2 were different and I only discovered that by going back to produce specific examples for your software team for the essay complaining that "it," the software keyboard, was broken. It is actually quite clever, although slow., Robert, your number 2 all time Chinese student tells me he uses the Google translate box in a parallel window for Hanzi entry. I use that for writing Hanzi in messages because that clever little look up keyboard does not appear in the Forum note box. I only learned this from Robert after a month of frustration when Robert responded to one of my Forum cries for help. I still have not heard from anyone from Rocket on that series of exchanges.
Getting back to recalibrating points. Even after learning how to enter Hanzi with your software keyboard, trying to complete a lesson of the Write Up 2 section in Hanzi can take hours or more for me as one most know how to recognize the radicals inside the characters even to choose between the dozen or so possible Hanzi that might be implied by a Pin Yin word or phrase without the tones. I am about 50 hours into learning how to do this in other courses, like the Memrise.com HSK Level 1 course which is free and I would recommend as a prerequisite or parrallel supplement to this Rocket Mandarin course, which probably requires about a 300 to 500 word vocabulary to do in Hanzi the way nong fu suggests is the right way to do it. As a CEO you should try getting through just the first two Modules.
As a datapoint, it took me 100,000 points and 1 month to get through the entire Level 1 Premium Rocket German course and pass the Level full course test, but I had three years of High School German 45 years ago. I believe I am over 200,000 points and almost 2 months into the Chinese course and still working on just the second Module of 8 lessons. (But I have been doing the Spanish course at the same time which has slowed me down some.)
So just as a somewhat loosely remembered example one might get 50 to 100 or maybe 250 points per hour doing that task, compared to 2,000 reviewing flashcards one already knows. This would imply a potential 10 to 1 miscalibration of the point system.
Or one could get 100 points for writing a 5 minute Forum note. Which by the way, I think is fine as Forum notes have additional community and psychological value of improving motivation and identification with the community.
I might even suggest granting 250 points for a Forum note for a User answering a plaintiff request for help that someone else graciously takes time to answer, especially in "real time." In fact, I would have happily transferred 1,000 points or more from my account to nong fu, Robert, Dan, Steve or many of the other extremely helpful grandmasters who were kind enough to respond by explaining answers to my questions, or sharing acquired knowledge from their years of experience here.
I have high praise for the responsiveness of Magaret, and many others on your Rocket Team who have been spectacularly helpful in getting questions answered or problems fixed, but you simply do not have enough people to cover all the bases, especially in the middle of the night on weekends. So awarding high points to "user assists" seems both fair, fun, and strategic. It could be an entrepreneurial solution to create a User based network into a Rocket Learning Community to overcome small business resource constraints.
One could do some statistics on how much work on average different tasks takes, but perhaps completing a Section 2 Write It in Hanzi should be worth 50 or 100 points per card if a flashcard flip gains two points.
As another example, I think it is great that the Play It tests give 10 points per successful completion. But if just play acting a part by just reading the test in the Level 1 part play is worth 10 points, which I think is fine, there should be a lot more for the higher levels. Like 50 for level 2, and maybe 100 for level 3 and 200 for level 4. Where one is playing the role through eight interactions entirely by memory.
There are some Level 4 Role plays in the Chinese course and mid-level German 2 lessons that I do not anticipate successfully completing in my remaining lifetime. I'm not sure I could perfectly memorize such long sentences and interactions even if they were in English. And if I did, it might take hours, and I would certainly expect more than 10 points as a reward.
You already show a willingness to award points for "community value" by offering 500 points for a review. This is fine too, I think the points system should be fun, and motivating not excessively rigorous. Compare the information content and average effort people put into reviews compared to this note.
And finally, I think you, Jason, and Magaret, ought to have your own CEO discretionary point banks where you can recognize and encourage contributions to building a learning community. Maybe users should be able to "uprate" comments they found helpful.
Perhaps, you could add extra "pep" to the points system by offering a coupon credit one could apply towards the purchase of additional course we could give to family and friends.
I'm tempted to buy a copy of the Spanish program to every member of my family so I have more people to talk to, and as an experiment in Word of Mouth Advertising. Maybe such a coupon should be awarded every 100,000 or 500,000 points just to jazz things up to make things like this possible. Acedemic research indicates that in many software companies, word-of-mouth advertising from the Installed Base can be the primary driver of the growth of future sales. (See John Sterman, MIT)
I just made my first Custom Flashcard public maybe that should get some points.
I better stop now as I am just getting warmed up. In a humorous vein maybe you should award me points for every suggestion for improvement I don't write up and send. LOL
Cheers, and keep up the good work.