As part of our philosophy to provide the most effective language courses that we can, we are always looking at different elements of the learning experience and trying to improve them. A lot of the time these are relatively small things that members may not pick up, like page load speed, and improved voice recognition algorithms.
However, recently we have implemented a few significant changes that I think are worth describing in more detail.
Rocket Chinese Level 1When Level 1 of Rocket Chinese was originally done (many years ago!), one of our narrators was a fluent yet non-native speaker of Mandarin. To make the learning experience better we re-recorded and replaced the non-native Mandarin spoken with a native speaker throughout the Interactive Audio lessons and corresponding transcripts of the main conversations.
Rocket Japanese Level 1We are most of the way through a similar process with Rocket Japanese Level 1. Currently the conversation transcripts have had a native male Japanese speaker added.
Early in the New Year we will have all Japanese Interactive Audio lessons updated to include audio performed by a native speaker.
Layout and Getting startedYou may have noticed that the members area looks a little different! A couple of weeks ago we improved the process for new users in particular, and made how things work more consistent.
There are a lot more changes to come over the next couple of months as we take a step back and look at the overall user experience and interface.
Points systemThe purpose of the points system is to reward members for using the different elements of the course. However, after listening to feedback from members and taking a close look at just how points are being accumulated it appears that some people are trying to game the system. Of course for the majority of people this would seem weird since gaming the system is only cheating themselves (and wasting a lot of their time by the looks of it!).
So, we have put in place a few things to more appropriately reward users for using the parts of the course that more directly lead to actually learning the language, and at the same time making it harder to accumulate points in a nonsensical way.
Here are the major points changes;
- Play Rocket Record audio = 1 point (currently 2 points)
- Record using Rocket Record = 3 points (currently 2 points)
- Complete Play it! (either person) = 25 points
- Rate a FlashCard = 1 point (currently 2 points)
- Answer any question in the Forum = 100 per answer (currently 50 points)
- Ask a question in the Forum = 100 per thread (currently 50 points)
There are a few more subtle changes coming as we balance gaining points versus learning efficacy.
The futureAs I mentioned, we are continuously looking at ways to fulfil our aspiration and make the learning experience as effective as possible. To that end we will be working on a major app upgrade starting early next year, which should add in a lot more of the current desktop functionality to the app.
All the best with your language learning!