How We LearnMemory

The Half-Life of Memory

Over 300 million users, 99 language courses available, machine learning driven lessons and one very persistent owl.

DuoLingo is a pretty impressive resource, but what makes it special?

As one of the foremost language education platforms in the world, DuoLingo provides top quality tuition for over 300 million total users. Using an eclectic mix of written answers, multiple choice questions and even tasks requiring speech you can perfect that sleek Spanish accent while tying up the finer points of German grammar.

Behind the Curtain…

Behind each lesson is a team delving into the theory (and reality) of how students learn. Recently, DuoLingo adopted a revolutionary approach to reinforcing learning by examining the way that memory decays over time. Based on German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus’ “forgetting curves”, DuoLingo bases its lessons on the exponentially decaying probability that a student could remember a given word over time known as the ‘half-life of memory’.

The DuoLingo team determined that the best time for a student to practice was when they were on the ‘verge of forgetting’ a topic. Determining where this perfect point is located for each individual is a challenging process. Utilising the vast amount of data generated by DuoLingo users every day, a model was created to predict the ideal time to maximise progress.

In Theory and Practice

DuoLingo’s simple, robust approach to memory is pretty exciting (for an academic paper). If you have the stomach for statistical models and some intimidating notation you should check it out. For those not interested in the magic behind the curtain you can still be excited about the direction in which ed-tech is heading. Every day the best services are becoming more personalised and having greater impact for students.

At Chooter we’re committed to embracing this new data-led approach to education and we’re incorporating it into our adaptive approach to online tutoring. Every lesson and class provides students with the resources they need to improve their performance, nothing more and nothing less.

Get ready to experience the future of education, sign up now.

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