Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ It is like a friend to me: Critical usage of automated feedback systems by self-regulating English learners in higher education

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I have a subscription to Duolingo and it gives me feedback and tries to get me to continue my long-languishing Spanish lessons (I have no planned visits to any Spanish speaking areas and this might explain my lack of motivation). It has a cutesy little character unimaginatively called 'Duo' to try to make it like a friend. I can see that it could be like a friend, if it were better designed. Anyhow, this article interviews all of seven people (so few it actually names them all) and interviews 32. Compare this to "data from over 500 million Duolingo learners around the globe." I don't want to criticize these researchers in particular, as they are just doing what is expected of them in academia. But I ask of all academia, especially in the field of education: what are you doing? How is this helping? Why not just write some speculative fiction: wouldn't that at least be more interesting? Journal editors: are you being responsible when you request and select this sort of study for publication? I wish I could force the entire discipline to stop and reflect on its methods for a bit.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 20, 2024 02:59 a.m.

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