First, a simple question: Is anyone else learning a course on their desktop, but are unable to practice the same course on the app version? If anyone else is experiencing this, please reply.
Secondly, I’d like to talk about the implications of this issue.
My experience has been that relatively new courses (less than 3 weeks old) do not appear in language results on the app – and these new courses cannot be accessed on the mobile app. This seems like a major disincentive for content creators.
For example; user @MrMac (not a community member) created a new Cantonese course: http://www.memrise.com/course/1024724/another-lesson-in-cantonese-with-audio/.
It’s exceptional. Takes a novel approach (starts by learning ‘elemental’ characters), has accurate audio from a number of contributors, and it’s robust.
However, the vast majority of Memrise users interested in Cantonese language will never see this fresh content. For the time being, only people that stumble upon it on the community forums (which, I imagine, is a very small percentage of users).
Instead, they’re only going to see old courses. Ones with absentee course creators, a litany of errors, and largely irrelevant content. They’re essentially dead courses (@Hydroptere, I’ve seen you bring this up so I’m dragging you into this).
From what I can tell, the most visible courses on Memrise only have this status due to their course age, and a large number of users which have initially signed-up to learn it.
Though you could argue relevance by “seniority” and the aggregate number of learners, as well as current learners, the current model seems to make new course creation feel like a futile effort.
I’d like to suggest some possible solutions that could factor-in to “ranking” courses in the results
It goes without saying that most of this would require development work. Nonetheless:
- Accountability - a flagging mechanism to open discussion on potential errors in content, which requires some address from course contributors in a reasonable timeframe.
- Allow a certain amount of newer courses to show up higher in results. If they get reasonable exposure and don’t stick, they can gently slide back down.
- Assuming it’s not a “bug” that new courses can’t be learned on the app or appear in results, having more clear parameters about what makes a course “app eligible” would be fair.
- Simple search functionality would be ideal for the app. This would allow people to make more specialized search queries (for example, Cangjie input).
Any objections to any of this? Thoughts?
Thanks for your time.