Repair the community courses, 3: Show one photo, not all

[Several years ago, in their leap to mobile and memrise-sponsored language courses, Memrise made a series of changes that completely broke many, perhaps even most, of the community courses. Many course creators spent hundreds of hours of their own time building and supporting those courses. In the hopes that Memrise might decide to care about about a platform for community courses again, I’m going to post some feedback here about the biggest categories of breakage they could fix. This post is part of that series. If Memrise takes these posts seriously, and responds seriously, that could be an indication that they care about this again.]


In my tropical fish course,

I set up a lot of levels where you see a photo, and have to type the name (the species). Each of these levels has multiple photos, all of the same species.

When I created this course, and for years, the way this worked was that Memrise would show you one randomly-selected picture from the set, and you’d have to answer. If you got it wrong, you’d get the review screen, where you could scroll through all of the pictures, but when you were being quizzed, you only saw one.

In fact, this was the whole reason I created this course in the first place, and it’s the reason I started being a course creator on Memrise. I had seen a lot of fish identification quizzes online elsewhere, but they all suffered from the same flaw: you learned to identify photos, not fish species. You’d see the same photo you remembered, and you recognized that photo. The point of my course was that there would be enough photos of each species, that you wouldn’t be able to recognize every single photo, and you’d have to learn to recognize the species to actually get the answer right.

But now, Memrise lets you scroll through all the pictures when you’re being quizzed. If you don’t know what species it is from the first photo you see, you can just look at more. Until finally you reach the photo that has that red coral at top right that you remember, and you go oh, right, the picture with the red coral at top right was a redlip parrotfish! You no longer have to learn the fish, you only have to remember a particular photo - the very thing I was trying to get away from.

What Memrise should do:

At this point, there are probably some courses created with the assumption that the course taker would be able to scroll through all the photos, so simply undoing that will just break those courses. Instead, as with commas and parentheses, Memrise should make this a per-course setting, or better yet, a per-level setting. Let me choose, in my course, to show the user only one randomly-selected photo when quizzing them, and only let them see all the photos on the review screen if they get it wrong.

“Repair the community posts” series:
1 - Repair the community courses, 1: "multimedia" levels
2 - Repair the community courses, 2: commas and parentheses
3 - Repair the community courses, 3: Show one photo, not all
4 - Repair the community courses, 4: Course forums

@MemriseSupport @JBorrego

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I totally agree with the suggestion that the number of photos/images viewed by the learner should be set by the course creator. It made me sad to discover that the Preview function in the new beta version lets the learner only see ONE photo accompanying a vocabulary item even though the way it worked in the older version was that the learner was able to view all the different images provided for that vocabulary item.

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It seems that this problem has been solved. I’ve tried your fish identification course and this art course of identifying (post-)impressionist painters, I’m presented with only one photo each time, on both the app and the website.

PS Hats off to you for the tremendous effort spent in creating this course! It’s inspiring that you photographed the fish yourself.

Nope, I just tried it again, it has not been solved. When you are reviewing an image-to-text item, it shows you the first image, and there are angle/arrow icons you can use to scroll through all of the other images. What it should do is show you a randomly selected image, not the first one, and not allow you to look at the others until after you answer. If you give an incorrect answer then of course the review page you get that tells you the correct answer, should let you scroll through all the images.

So, this is still as broken as it was when I posted it.

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Oh, this is indeed the case in the classic mode (Beta unchecked), but not the case in the Beta mode and the Android app. In Beta, there are no arrows, and it shows a random picture in both the review page and the test page:

Ahh, good to know. Hard to tell if that’s accidental, or if they made a product decision to actually fix this and it will be working properly in the future.

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