[Site Feedback] We can now make better course reviews, what should they look like?

We can now sticky posts and also turn posts into wiki’s. I think then it’d be nice if the language categories each had a wiki sticky post with reviews of good courses for those languages. What should such reviews look like? What items should they include? Can you make a mock-up? Perhaps we can decide on what items reviews should include and put a guide for making reviews at the top of the review sticky/wiki/thread.

I’ve pinned this topic in the General Discussion area – until June 4th – and made it a wiki, to demonstrate. Go ahead and edit.

Template / Guide / FAQ / for making a user review below

[5-14-16] Test Edit by Kuah
[7-25-16] Test Edit by Joey


That’s quite an awesome idea!
What I would like to see in a course review is something like this:

  1. The level of the vocabulary (is it a course for beginners trying to make you learn how to say “dog” or is it more advanced course with abstract words)
  2. How correct the course is (did people notice many mistakes in definitions)
  3. Is it well organized? (Are there repeating words, are words with similar meanings distinguished)
  4. What differs it from other courses?
    Surely, details would be awesome (how fast / slow paced it is, how fun it was, did it have good mems etc.), however I think those 4 points are the most important ones for me.

I would really like, using Mandarin as an example, a more thorough description of how things are organized in the course. For example I am working through the HSK 5 course right now, and I learned multiple bigrams which contained 1-2 new characters, before I learned the single characters. It would have been nice to know this before hand so I could have skipped to those levels and saved some learning time.

To expand on this, For courses with thousands of items it would be nice for the course creator to logically explain how they justified ordering things. Sometimes, I thought of organizing a course using semanto-phonetic characters so that way I could quickly learn the pinyin for a family of characters (which, for me is the hardest part of learning Chinese). But I currently have not found a course which does that, but it may exist and I just don’t know. This is because the descriptions for courses are often quite vague, or just lists.

Another thing I would be interested in seeing, is some sort of metric for how many people have been recently active in making edits to the course. Because this might imply that a course is not active, so if you find that there aren’t a good number of alternate meanings, it might be agitating to go through. Especially if these courses don’t “link up” with previous courses in the database. So the same word may have a slightly different meaning in this new course. These types of things I would like to see.


Where would course reviews for non-language courses go?


Up to you. Perhaps in the General Language sub-category (iirc there is such a thing)? And we can tag what it teaches to find them more easily.

I’m thinking a review should perhaps include:

  • A short list of required points (every review should at least have this) and optional points (consider including some of these points)
  • Does it have audio or not
  • A rating of the different elements, and of the total course from 0 to 5 stars
  • Is it a multiple choice or typing course
  • A very short general commentary from the reviewer (and anyone who would like to comment as well)

There is a general category in languages, but is that a good place for reviews of geography courses, or nature & wildlife courses? Maybe Community Hub > Learning Central is better.

What does that mean?

[quote=“cos, post:7, topic:147”]
Maybe Community Hub > Learning Central is better.[/quote]

I don’t agree. I think we both know what the best solution would be (an extra category for non languages), but until that is implemented I actually don’t care.

For language courses any review I think should include whether or not the course includes audio, if it is a typing or multiple choice course, and perhaps some more points.

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Oh! It looked like “a short list of required points” was one of the items you thought each course should have, in addition to “does it have audio or not”, “is it multiple choice”, and so on, because it was one of the bulleted items. But now I think maybe you meant that to be the heading for the list of bulleted items, rather than an item on the list itself?

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I would also like a star rating along with the ability to leave comments for the course like you would on Yelp or Zomato. But more than that, I’d like these reviews accessible from the course information screen since that’s what I’d be accessing when I’m looking for a new course.


I don’t want any review system, stars or not.

I don’g believe in swarm intelligence (I did read my Schätzing, although:-))

For ex: I am taking now two Dutch courses with barely 4-5 users, although the courses are great (this from an old user of Memrise, and from somebody who lived some (not so few) years ago in th Netherlands, and has Dutch relatives. This is not the first time I find excellent courses with almost 0 users.


I think that reviews might work well for the same reason you express concerns. As it stands, the de facto review standard is just the number of people in a course; courses with the most people taking them are pasted front and center, which - although not a direct review - grants them an air of legitimacy that they might not deserve.

A different review system might allow users like you to notify others about good courses like the ones you mention.

That’s not to say any review system would solve all the issues or avoid new ones, but I think there would be a benefit to some other way to manage and sort the courses beyond what we currently have.


That might very well be, indeed, but don’t we “notify” we like a course by having it on our dashboards? :slight_smile: Beginner learners cannot appreciate indeed the value of a course; but how many truly advanced learners do you think would have the nerves and time to go through courses they don’t need, in order to deliver reliable reviews afterwards? And asking natives to do that does not deliver a guarantee either (being native of a language is no guarantee that you speak that language correctly or that you can teach it.) Both categories, advanced learners and natives, would have to get motivated to do such work. How you’d motivate them?

My concern can be summarized very easily by the old saying: “the hell is paved with good intentions”. Id est: I am sure that some reviewers would misuse absolutely any review system, by transforming it into an aggressive rating system and afterwards exacerbating what ratings are anyhow: exclusionary mechanisms. I am also afraid that a review system would determine many potential course creators to simply abstain from publishing their courses. That would be such a pity…

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I missed something. I don’t see how this ressembles a wiki ??? ;-(

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While it looks nothing like a regular wiki, you can edit the opening post by pressing the … and then the pencil icon.

(Updated this post after rereading)

I think the risk of abuse is probably fairly low, at least given what @Arete_Hime is proposing here. It requires a bit of an investment in time and energy, which I am not sure someone looking only to smear others would use. Furthermore, anyone pointing out a link to smear it would in fact draw attention to the course.

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My idea was to gather ideas for what a review should ideally look like in the comments, and then for anyone to be able to change the top post to make a guide/template, which we all could ideally use in making reviews. I was planning to make a start with changing the top post myself someday, but haven’t got around to that yet.

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Course Title

Course Link

(Original Review/Update+Date (of last update)) - (if updated: reason for update)

Brief explanation of what the course claims to do.

Direction: (Language->Language, Audio->Language, Image->Language)

Status of audio: (Complete/Partial/None) (Voice, TTS) (good/variable/poor quality)

Organization style: (Topical/Even Divisions/Graduated Complexity) (Level Size)

Course progress: (XX/XX) [how far the reviewer is in the course, lessons completed/lessons total]

Errors noted: (types of errors, frequency of errors) (response time on corrections)

Overall impressions.


Similar course title/link. Reason for endorsing above course.
(repeat this last as needed)

Example (using a new course in a language I am studying):

Vietnamese Numbers


Updated Review, 5/10/2016 (fixed two typos)

This course aims to teach numbers in Vietnamese, through the use of a semi-random number collection.

Direction: Numeral->Vietnamese

Status of audio: Complete (TTS), good quality

Organization style: The 4 levels range from 46 to 160 words. There is a bit overlap among levels, with larger numbers appearing later in the course.

Course progress: 1/4

Errors noted: no errors encountered so far.

A fairly straightforward course, this one provides a useful coverage of numbers. A particular strength is the use of large random numbers, which helps to reinforce both recall of the base numbers and the method of forming more complex numbers. The lack of viable alternatives makes this currently the top course for learning numbers in Vietnamese on Memrise. The young age of the course has it sitting on the bottom, so be sure not to miss this hidden gem.


Vietnamese Numbers. This course is similar to the above course, with a few notable exceptions. First off, it has a smaller range of numbers covered. Audio for at least two items is incorrect, and have not been corrected by the course creator.


6 posts were split to a new topic: How to make a post a wiki and how they work

i am in favour of a system similar to @lmashton. just take the example of http://www.memrise.com/courses/english/memory-training/

the only two metrics there are are the number of people in course (i now realize who might have added this course, not completed this course) & the time to complete the course.

without any proper feedback section, may be a simple comment section to say what is good versus bad i have no idea on which are good or bad. i dont have to stress on how bad it is to use trial and error on a live site, it will only test people’s capacity to persist rather than help in any way :slight_smile: