An Update on Beta Learning Sessions

Hi folks :wave: ,

Over the last weeks we’ve been rolling out some improvements to our Beta Learning Sessions on the basis of your feedback. As always, thank you for your input! :slight_smile:

Keep reading to know about the recent improvements and the next steps for the beta programme. :point_down:

List of recent improvements to beta

  • You can now always go back to the course you are learning by clicking the title of the page. Don’t worry, your progress will be saved!

  • You’ll now be shown what you answered when you make a mistake so that you can learn better.

  • It’s now easier to read the keyboard shortcuts, with better contrast on Multiple Choice and Tapping Tests.

  • You can now navigate through the answers in Tapping Tests through the arrow keys as well as by number - especially useful for when you have lots of options! You can also use the backspace to remove the last word you’ve added.

  • You can now access the description of the keyboard shortcuts to help you find the fastest workflow that works for you.

  • We’ve rolled out beta to Groups!

  • You’ve provided some feedback that you’d like more control over your learning experience. You can now set the length of your speed review sessions to as little as 10 or as high as 150 items.

  • To simplify the settings page and align it with our mobile experiences, we’ve retired the presets for learning settings - don’t worry this won’t change your settings and you are still fully in control of adjusting them to your needs.

  • We’ve fixed a few bugs and improved stability

Next steps
We’re excited to announce that we are planning to bring Mems to the beta learning sessions! Stay tuned for more updates in the following months.

Incorporating Mems back onto the product will be a major milestone for the beta programme, after which we’ll retire the old learning sessions experience.

This does not mean that improvements to the new experience will stop - by making it the default experience, we’ll be able to reduce efforts in maintaining two different experiences which will enable us to be more focused and making improvements across our entire product!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to post them here.

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Thanks for update Luis, and for the helpful way you have set out the latest changes so that we can see what they look like before we try them out.

That is great news about bringing mems to the beta version. Can you confirm that all the mems that we created (or selected) in the previous version will transfer across when this happens? I don’t want to lose them. Also, can you confirm that there will be a parallel running session before “retiring” the previous version, so that we can be sure that all is well?

Thanks

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Showing mistakes is important and mems back would be nice.

Two other points:

  • Why does the beta keep asking to set a goal for completed courses?
  • The beta is still not usable for answering audio questions in courses which contain multiple columns.
    Which answer was requested used to be clear from the column label, but in the beta there is no column label in the question.
    For example:

    Should I respond with the composer or the title of this musical piece?
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Neat!
A question about navigating tapping tests with numbers, will it also work for accents and letters and not just specific tests where you build a phrase out of words?

I must admit I get confused.

There is the original web version (which of course has had many changes).

The optional Alpha which is still being modified.

The optional Beta which is still in development.

Can you explain why we have three versions, please (ie what’s the difference and the different status of each).

Do any comments we make in Alpha feedback get considered and put into Beta if you approve of them?

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Hi @DW7
The short version is that alpha is an opt-in system so only a relatively small pool of users see it, and this enables us to get feedback at an early stage on the dashboard without disturbing too many users.
The beta is seen by more people and is enabled by default for all new users. Users can still disable the beta if they wish because it has been a work in progress and hasn’t had all the features like Mems ready yet.
The original version is there as that has the full functionality for those who felt the alpha and beta aren’t yet ready for them to use full time so can still use the product while we continue on the new versions.
If you’re keen to learn more about the general concepts behind it the Wikipedia page is pretty good https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle

To your final question, they absolutely do, this very thread is about the changes we’ve made in response to feedback, and I hope you’ve seen many changes already made to the dashboard since the alpha came out. I know we don’t respond to every post individually but we do really appreciate your comments, every post is read and the feedback from the forums and other areas like surveys is collated to help us understand your needs better and prioritise improvements appropriately.

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Thank you so much @James_g_memrise for your helpful and clear reply.

As you know I am an ‘old-timer’ and keen to support and promote MemRise and have really appreciated the way you keep us informed and appreciate to our comments.

I just get a little confused as to which version and thread is best to reply to!

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Having tried the beta, it notably increased the amount of time it takes to review each word. There’s a few factors causing it, but the most notable for me was that it now cuts out any playing audio when it starts to load the next word. Using the previous UI, the audio would continue while loading up the next word, whereas under the beta UI, you’ll need to wait the extra second or two after listening to the audio for the next word to load before continuing.

The UI also seems to be lacking some hotkeys, forcing you to jump back and forth between keyboard and mouse. Multiple choice tests force you to click the button rather than typing the number. The Enter key no longer takes you to the next word, instead requiring you to click the ‘next’ button using the mouse.

These changes only amount to a few seconds per word, but it really adds up, especially if one is learning a lot of words – looking at my stats, it’s not uncommon for my daily leaning events to exceed 1000. I’d likely need to spend an additional 30-60 minutes a day to stay at my current pace. I don’t really think that’s feasibly for me currently, so that means I’d probably need to reduce the new words I learn considerably (or maybe turn off audio?)

A few other minor quibbles/nit-picks:

  • The UI seems to be using a different event to determine if the correct word is entered – I use a Japanese IME, and the previous UI will mark an answer as correct while still in conversion mode. The beta UI won’t recognize the answer until I exit conversion mode. This only requires one extra keystroke, so not a big deal, but it does add up.
  • Capitalizing attributes has made certain shorthands harder to distinguish – for example, a number of Japanese courses use “v1” to indicate an ichidan verb, and “vi” to indicate an intransitive verb. V1/VI is harder to read at a glance.
  • It’d be nice to have the option to turn off multiple choice when reviewing words.
  • Overall it’s very yellow. Have some fun and use some color!
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Hi @silgtt. You mentioned not being able to press enter to move quicker through a session. We’ve tested this on all modes and can see that the enter key is working as before. Can you confirm if this is still an issue for you and if so, what browser you are using and on what mode this occurs?
Just to add, we’ve collected and categorised all of your other feedback and comments on this thread. Thanks :slightly_smiling_face:

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The issue is still pretty much there.
It occurs in classic review sessions in firefox for me.

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Thanks @Eltaurus, I’ve been able to reproduce this issue on Firefox and will let the team know. It should be working on Google Chrome and Safari.

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I have a course containing long audio files but the file is not played completely in the classic review sections. The next questions are always popping up before the audio files finish. Could you please fix this?

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The beta version seems to handle difficult words differently in two ways. When you select “difficult words”:

  1. It leads you through multiple ways of interacting with the difficult word. Previously, you just typed the difficult word in. Now, you see the word, type it with a prompt, choose from multiple choice, etc.
  2. Once you have finished with the difficult words test once, all difficult words are no longer marked difficult

I think (1) is good, but (2) is bad. Having remembered a difficult word for the five minutes of prompted learning doesn’t mean you’ve committed it to memory. It would be nice if it stayed difficult for a few days.

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@user13 can you please link the course you see this issue with? We are aware with some inconsistencies with audio being played in review and have an open bug ticket.
@carzt thank you for your feedback. The team will be reviewing the way Difficult Words works in the coming weeks.

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Hello,

I see that after my feedback the difficult words are still automatically removed from the difficult words list. Is Memrise still going to change the use of the difficult words back to the way it was?

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Totally agree. The flow from ‘classic review’ to ‘difficult word’ to suddenly not difficult at all is nonsensical. As an example:
a) I got a verb conjugation wrong in classic review. I don’t get to type it again in the classic review because when it comes back it’s in a ridiculous multiple choice, which obviously I get correct.
b) the verb is now ‘difficult’, so I go to difficult words,
c) first I get to see it (which I don’t need)
d) then I get to overtype it (which I also don’t need),
e) then finally I get to type it unprompted, which is not hard given that the previous 2 steps all happened in the last 5 minutes,
f) and now by magic it is no longer ‘difficult’.
In this whole process I got to type the thing unprompted just ONCE since I got it wrong. I mean - who thinks this stuff up? Obviously no-one who actually uses this system to memorise things!

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I agree @Mishamus, rather too simple.

Perhaps we ought to have a choice “Test again” or “Learn” which would be the long version. :bulb:

But you can always mark it as difficult at the end of your session.

Cc @MemriseSupport

i’ve been trying again beta -hoping to get used with - but it is still simply a nightmare… huge letters, 0 customization, the dashboard so difficult to navigate… user scripts futsch…

Why these huge letters??? and why are you patronising the user with the lack of customization?

this time seems the last time…

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Please restore the audio provider.
It was very useful.

Could you also restore the option to edit a word while we’re in a review session, display back the time and accuracy percentage at the end of a review session as well as streaks for every single word?
Thank you in advance.

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