It's been awhile since we've had an update like this but our changes to the progression system have finally arrived. Let's dive in and see what’s new!
Through student feedback and monitoring the data in the platform we have worked out an improvement to our system that results in longer retention, better recall, and an overall more enjoyable experience learning Japanese. This has been the major pushing factor behind this rework.
The new system works directly for you and the workload that you can handle. This is to reduce the chance that we become overwhelmed with a ton of reviews in a single day, while feeling like you have to also learn new material or you aren't "progressing". Solidifying your knowledge, improving your confidence and increasing the likelihood that you'll be able to study daily is real progress. The system will not assign you new material until you are comfortable enough to receive it.
Review ThresholdEvery individual has a certain amount of material they can handle in a day before feeling like they are burnt out or overextended, at which point learning new material (or recalling previously learnt material) begins to become a struggle. In order to prevent this, we’ve implemented a key component to our system that we’re calling the Review Threshold. This is a number that is fully configurable by you, though we provide suggestions of 50, 100, and 150 by default. As a general guide here, less is often more when it comes to sustainable studies. If the reviews that you have the following day are at or past your configured threshold, then you will not be assigned new material. Rather than having to figure out yourself when you need a break from new material, the system will automatically give you what is called a “review only day” where you will only be reviewing the cards you’ve already learned, based on the threshold you have set. Ultimately, it is one step closer to having a system that works for you without you having to devote energy to wondering what to do next.
In the past, we had a pace system where we provided hard-set intervals for people to work with. These intervals proved to be convenient for some, overwhelming for others, and underwhelming for the remaining users. With our new system we wanted to overhaul this approach to make a system that allows you to move at the speed you want to while still guiding / balancing / adjusting your workload for a higher chance of success.
The intention here is to assist with going faster or slower than previously possible while remaining consistent. To go slower, you're able to reduce the review threshold to whatever is the most manageable review count for you. If you'd like to go faster because you're already familiar with some of the content, you will be able to more easily archive things that you already know, reducing your review count in the system. By doing this, you will keep your total review count below your configured threshold. This allows you to continue progressing through the units until you've encountered enough new material that you have hit your configured threshold.
To make this experience better, we needed to make it easier to archive content.
Archiving EarlyAlthough our previous learning experience allowed you to archive new words and kanji as you encountered them, our new learning experience allows you to save even more time by removing them from your learning session entirely.
In addition to that, we wanted to make it easier for you to archive lesson flashcards immediately rather than waiting for them to come up in your reviews the next day. Previously, lesson flashcards would have artificially prevented progression since it was impossible to archive the sentences without either waiting until the next day or going into your flashcard browser and manually archiving them there. Now, at the bottom of any lesson that will assign flashcards, you'll be able to toggle off any that you don't want.
Another thing we wanted to accomplish with this update was making it easier to see what you have to do and what you have done in your current day. We found that it's easier to get excited about what you'll be learning for the day if you can get a little tease before you jump in.
Let's break down the changes now!
Maintaining Your StreakAn issue we've had in the past was making it easier for people to understand when they've maintained their current streak. The system requires a minimum of 5 reviews (or however many reviews you have if it is less than 5) to maintain your streak, but it did not present that information clearly.
On your new dashboard, you are presented with a progress bar that fills up as you do reviews, that way you know exactly when you've reached that goal!
A Transparent Look at UnitsOn the previous dashboard, it was confusing to see what was in each of the units you had as well as what you would be learning. We provided limited information such as 5 kanji and 7 vocabulary words, but it didn't give you anything to get excited about.
Our new Unit view (which you can see by clicking on a unit and expanding it) clearly shows you any lessons, kanji, vocabulary, dialogues, kana sets, and notifications that you will be seeing. Not only that, but you can expand all of these for more insight behind what's waiting for you!
The other sections are quite straightforward, so we won't be including screenshots of them, but please click on them to see what may be there!
What's Up Next?
At the bottom of your timeline you'll see what's in store for you in the future as well as what you have to do to get there.
Our goal with this update was not only to provide a smoother experience for learners of all levels, but also to enhance its functionality where possible. We took some time to explore new ways of presenting information and had several iterations before landing on something that fit into the existing design while also reaching towards the future.
This update was a long time coming but we hope it continues to show our commitment, our willingness to listen to feedback, and our drive to provide the best learning experience we can.
With all of that said, keep any new feedback you may have coming and we'll keep making changes as we build towards our ultimate vision!
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