No Listening Skills on Decks

Hi all,

I wanted to give you a heads up that we’re planning to remove / not have Listening Skills on Decks web and mobile and the reasons for this.

Listening Skills is the least popular mode for community course learning by some distance. It accounts for between 1-4% of community learning sessions on Memrise and Decks, depending on the platform (1% for iOS and Android, 4% for Web). This also holds for community sessions done by Pro users.

The other 96-99% of community learning sessions are Learn, Classic Review, Speed Review, and Difficult Words.

The logic behind removing it on Decks is therefore to simplify the community learning experience, given it is used so little, and to reduce maintenance for us.

Listening Skills will continue to be on Memrise, where it is used much more.

I’m sorry for anyone who likes Listening Skills for community learning. Decks will still have Learn, Classic Review, Speed Review, and Difficult Words, so I hope most of you will not be much affected.

Thanks, please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

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Any chance of doing a grace period on that and hold off until after the app is released, and then if still low then nix it?

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I would like to see the actual numbers of community sessions done by Pro users; group of people who access Listening Skills. It may be the less used mode for pro users in community sessions, but to what percentage? If that value were something around 20% percent, It would not be a good reason to remove that feature.

Also, to quote the figure of “1-4%” is misleading. In fact, that number is more close to this meaning: “From all community learning sessions on Memrise, less than 1-4% comes from Pro users or people who have access to Listening Skills”.

What I want to know is (repeating): from those Pro community sessions and from sessions of people who have access to Listening Skills, what percentage comes from this learning mode? Stratified by MemRise and Decks. Show us graphics.
Considered what you disclosed, what I am asking is nothing. Can you help us with that data @kevin5284?

Decks is a new website, and the free users are not used to listening skills. Probably the majority of users of community courses haven’t migrated to Decks yet, so they are not aware that feature is now free and they can use it. Just give us time.
Please, let to decide it after community courses be definitely moved to Decks. I promise you, Listening Skill will be used when people realize they can use it in Decks.
But, if you are greedy, this feature can be paid in Decks.


From the beginning, at the time we were informed that Decks wouldn’t have an app, MemRise, already had the intention to remove Listening Skills. But, because of the bad reaction of the community and that they have failed to communicate the removal of Listening Skill properly they just delayed it. Now they are taking action, removing stuff… using the same excuse when they said decks would not have an app because mostly [sic] of the community sessions were made in a browser.

I am giving up on MemRise. Disappointed. They keep failing on us.

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It is probably true that a lot of users have not realized that Listening Skills is freely available on Decks.

Another problem is that Audio Mode needs to be enabled in the course settings for Listening Skills to work. A lot of the older courses don’t have this setting enabled. And the setting can only be enabled by course creators not by contributors. So if the course creators are not around anymore… only Memrise could enable it.

Take for instance this popular course (that I support) for which Listening would be useful. Unfortunately it is not enabled.


Also, none of the other courses to which I contribute have it enabled.

The lack of access to this setting greatly reduces the opportunities for learners to use Listening Skills on Decks.

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Whoa. I may only use listening skills for 2% of my sessions, but that 2% provides interest and variety that enhances the other 98%.

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I am a heavy user of listening skills, especilly for Asian languages, but not only. I am so very sorry that you decided to take yet another feature down…The auditive comprehension is such a basic in learning languages, that i cannot get it, how a site for learning languages can do without …

maybe the feature is not used by a majority because of is main flaw: one cannot see the item one wrote after the “dictation”; so, basically, i did write ok the kanji or whatever, but if do not remember what is means, who cares… memrise does not show me the translation… Or, in non typing audio skills, I cannot see the kanji, hanzi etc.

how does having listening skills on decks increase the maintenance?

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Hi Kevin,

Listening Skills cannot currently be run on some very popular Spanish community courses because course creators have not ticked the Audio mode enabled check boxes, and the feature cannot be turned on by contributors. So, your stats could be seriously underestimating the potential popularity of this feature.

Here are a couple of examples of courses with active contributors but inactive course creators, where Listening Skills sessions can’t currently be run.

90.4k subscribers:
*https://www.memrise.com/course/193647/aqa-gcse-spanish-vocabulary-10/

33.2k subscribers:
*https://www.memrise.com/course/737/first-5000-words-of-spanish/

I would like to suggest that the Audio mode enabled feature should be switched on (by Memrise staff) for all community courses. After a couple of months, you might then see a much higher usage rate for the Listening Skills learning sessions. Just a thought.

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the audio mode could be on by default, and be turned off by creator if she so wishes. Generally, i am against contributors with too many rights, i made twice rather unpleasant experiences… had contributors with little knowledge but plenty of opinion

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Exactly what I thought. And @kevin5284 I ask myself why you would want to take away a feature that you keep on the “sister website”. Code and layout are there (well, almost anyway :upside_down_face:) and it feels a bit like, instead of starting to remove things, you should rather put your efforts into fixing the things that aren’t working.

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well, the official site has to be “better” than the community supported one… probably. For that, one takes down feaatures that did not bother one for years and never were mentioned in connection with “too much capacity consumed”…

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Contrary to your claim, nothing in that statement reflects the application of logic.

  1. “to simplify the community learning experience” - Why? Who complained that it is now too complicated? Is the supposed “simplification” an improvement or a degradation of the service?

  2. “given it is used so little” - So what? You have not established any logically valid connection between frequency of use, and value of the function. We are all familiar with many valuable services in our daily life that are used infrequently, such as the fire service, ambulances, emergency wards, SWAT teams, etc. Should they be abolished too because they are used infrequently? The same argument could be used to eliminate less popular and uncommon languages from decks too, given that they are also used infrequently.

  3. “and to reduce maintenance for us” - How? The client and server code for the function already exists, and nobody has called for any changes to the functionality. Given that code doesn’t go rancid or expire, and doesn’t require routine maintenance, like changing the oil in a car, if you don’t mess with the code and break it, it will continue to work in the future, just as it does now.

Your claims just don’t make sense, and I suspect you have a not so veiled ulterior motive for further degrading the community learning experience.

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Dear MemRise Staff, I would love to see some engagement from your part with your beloved users in this important thread, showing how caring you’re to our community, showing how the opinion of our community matter, showing how the connection between people can truly shiny.
@kevin5284, @MemriseMatty, can you alleviate our anxiety shedding some light on the issues we raised?

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Hi all,

Thanks for the comments. I think a few things were misinterpreted, sorry let me try to be clearer:

Decks is a new website, and the free users are not used to listening skills. Probably the majority of users of community courses haven’t migrated to Decks yet, so they are not aware that feature is now free and they can use it. Just give us time.

  • @lucasheber The stats are from community learning on Memrise, not on Decks. So there isn’t an issue of users not having migrated to Decks yet.

Also, to quote the figure of “1-4%” is misleading. In fact, that number is more close to this meaning: “From all community learning sessions on Memrise, less than 1-4% comes from Pro users or people who have access to Listening Skills”.

  • @lucasheber this interpretation isn’t correct. The stat is - of all community learning sessions on Memrise, Listening Skills accounts for 1% on iOS, 1% on Android, and 4% on Web. This holds whether you look at Free sessions only, Pro sessions only, or both together.

What I want to know is (repeating): from those Pro community sessions and from sessions of people who have access to Listening Skills, what percentage comes from this learning mode? Stratified by MemRise and Decks. Show us graphics.

  • @lucasheber I don’t have data on what % of courses have the ‘Audio mode enabled’ check box on, which I need to calculate what you’re asking. But to reply to what I think you’re getting at and what @duaal and @ian_mn mentioned - a big part of why Listening Skills is used very little is because most community courses don’t have audio, and those that do are often not configured for it to appear (‘audio mode enabled’).

  • @Angharad.Merfin @Olaf.Rabbachin it’s a feature that is used very little in community learning but it interacts with other features (like whether the user has sound enabled in their settings) and so creates edge cases and bugs. This is why there’s a maintenance cost for us.

The test types in Listening Skills are also present in Classic Review, so we’re not removing any unique auditory experiences from the product. Could you not use Classic Review instead for auditory comprehension @Angharad.Merfin ?

Thanks

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Hi Keven,

Thanks for the detailed reply - I appreciate the time you spent on it.
I have two specific requests:

  • Please could you arrange for all the features on the Decks platform (including Listening Skills) to be left as they are for now, as well as after the shut-down of community courses on the Memrise platform?

  • Please could you arrange for “Audio Mode Enabled” to default to “on” for all community courses?

I think, from a business perspective, doing this would generate considerable goodwill for Memrise, with very little effort required from the company.

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Anyways, your priorities are quite concerning. You prefer to eliminate functionality rather than fix it, your prefer to make cosmetical changes (eg, new avatars and leaderboard view in the Android app) rather than fix up year-old bugs. Even if your team is understaffed for the time being, it does not mean you will be understaffed always. I suppose this community could wait until you have a free hand. This particular move is not a problem (at least for me), but tendency to eliminate features is disappointing.

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It doesn’t matter how small the percentage of people who using it removing a feature is unacceptable .

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