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