The help item “How does the LingQ status change when I use flashcards?” (http://www.lingq.com/help/en/vocabulary/#vocabulary_2) is misleading, in that the half status-points it talks about for correct and incorrect answers are not applied to the stored LingQs.
In fact you must run through the flashcards at least twice to accumulate whole status-points before any changes to the LingQs occur.
My suggestions would be to do one of the following:
Change the implementation to agree with the documentation - which implies a database change from whole numbers to fractional numbers (in SQL a change from NUMBER(1) to NUMBER(2,1)) and apply each answer to the LingQ.
Apply the correct and incorrect responses as whole integers to the LingQ, which would be the logical way to do it, instead of the hidden half points that need explanation, and in fact have the effect of doubling the number of correct responses required to advance an initially unknown item to the known state (from 3 correct responses to 6 correct responses) which seems a bit excessive.
Change the documentation in the help screen to agree with the implementation by adding text like
“Note that you must run through the flashcards twice before any twice-correct or twice-incorrect responses will alter the LingQ status and all knowledge of unused half status-points is lost when you navigate off the flash card exercise page.”
I suggest option #2 as the simplest and most straight forward approach, but failing that, updating the help as described in #3 may be acceptable to some users.
If we were to do anything I would favour solution 3. I am curious to know how others feel.
I feel that I need the required two runs through the flash cards. For me works 3 fine. But it would be nice if the system could give a hint when the third run starts because if you do run through the flash cards until there are no more flashcards the status off all LingQs increase. I always stop when the third run starts.
It is even worse than I originally reported.
Apparently, the incorrect/correct answers are also remembered, so you need to correctly answer three times in a row to alter the LingQ status. In effect you need to dig yourself out of a hole before you can make progress. For example, pick a single LingQ and click the flashcard link, answer incorrectly once and then correctly twice - the status does not change. You need to answer correctly three times after an incorrect response.
So option #3 would need some added text something like:
“Note that you must run through the flashcards twice before any twice-correct or twice-incorrect responses will alter the LingQ status and all knowledge of unused half status-points is lost when you navigate off the flash card exercise page. Incorrect and correct answers are remembered as half status-points, so you will need to make three correct or incorrect responses (respectively) to change the status, if the initial response was incorrect or correct (respectively). In other words, only two incorrect or correct responses in sequence without a prior history will change the LingQ status.
Note that you can always manually change the LingQ status if this is too confusing, by selecting the LingQs from the vocabulary list and choosing ‘Change Status +1’ or ‘Change Status -1’ from the ‘More Actions…’ drop down menu.”
For what it’s worth, I always go through my daily cards twice to get the “proper status”, but more importantly, to see the words and phrases once more.
Most people do not read instructions. Most people just want to get on and use the site. Most people use the Flash Cards without difficulty or complaint.
For those reasons, and because of the long list of things we have to do, I am not in favour of making any changes right now. We will in the future look at refining some aspects of the system, and we will keep your point in mind.
Thanks for the responses. I think I understand the system now.
As SanneT has said, it isn’t really important, I was just wondering why my progress wasn’t being recorded and why the “Remove flashcards from session after testing correctly twice in a row.” wasn’t working for me.
I guess I got off on a tangent because of the frustration.
It’s not the site’s fault, it’s my fault as a novice user.
In case anyone else wants to benefit from the experience I had in figuring it out, the key take-aways are:
Deal with your vocabulary in small bundles, since intermediate work is lost when you navigate away from the page.
Never use the Check button unless you’re absolutely sure you know the right answer, because you’ll dig yourself into a hole.
Run through the vocabulary at least twice, preferably grinding the set down to zero items by testing correctly with the “Remove flashcards from session…” checkbox checked, in order to advance your LingQ status values.