Is Clozemaster boring?

I have never felt that way, but I often found some negative feedback comments on Clozemaster especially from Duolingo users like this: “Clozemaster is so boring that I cannot keep practicing on it.” I recommend fellow learners to practice with Clozemaster, and such a negative comment hurts me a lot :smiling_face_with_tear:

How could Clozemaster possibly make itself more attractive to such prospective users? Any thoughts on this?

The only reason/solution I can come up with is the playing mode. Duolingo randomly throws you different types of questions such as single-word type-in and full-sentence transcribe modes. On the other hand, you need to stick to the same mode in the same round on Clozemaster.

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Personally I cannot imagine how ClozeM could ever be boring. There are so many ways to work, from using Favourites to Listening, from Collections to Fast Track and so on. Cloze knoze how to keep us happy :wink:

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Do multiple-choice which is straightforward enough that you can watch stuff in the background. YouTube, TV series, movies, you name it. Might be distracting, but do laddering, turn on subtitles in a target language and do enough of it it all works itself out in the end.

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Great name. Good thinking. It’s Lavazza Rossa for me☕

I think we are talking about different expectations here.

Clozemaster does offer more modes and a multitude of material to learn the target language compared to Duolingo. Floria7 is right: People looking for that will not find it “boring”.
However, the layout and the progress visualization of Duolingo is much more game-like. Maybe some (younger?) people expect that. They will find the more austere outlook of Clozemaster “boring”.

But, if anyone thinks about a new game-like look for Clozemaster, please make it facultative! I do not need jumping funny animal faces or the like as a motivation to learn.

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@MRgK
I guess the complainers I saw online are none of the cases you pointed out… They actually hate the recent change in the tsunami of gamifications and childish animations after Duolingo’s IPO, so they are looking for alternative apps. They are also hard-working learners who proactively look up in dictionaries and textbooks, take notes, seek opinions from native speakers and share interesting linguistic studies with fellow learners.

I remember one of them said “Clozemaster is a good app but the drills on CM are monotonous/flat and make me sleepy.” I don’t think she referred to CM’s visual design. That’s why I assume it’s due to the lack of randomized mode.

The regular posters here on Clozemaster forums, including me, don’t feel that way. But apparently there are some good learners that Clozemaster hasn’t fully reached out.

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I must admit, these days I don’t feel the same enthusiasm as in the beginning. I think it has to do with the recurring reviews that keep mounting up. And, being stuck with the one-word clozes. The thing about Duolingo is that it gives you some variation, with different types of exercises; if one wants something similar on Clozemaster one has to be quite creative. But I would never go back to Duolingo, ever!

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Concordo!! Please no dinky animation! Give me plain solid Cloze any day, me grown up person, don’t need purple Lilly or cute animals to make me learn😅
About Reviews, I was initially a paranoid completionist, had to keep them updated, then suddenly decided to break free, moved on and now do reviews as a kind of past-time. My learning improved and worrying went out of the window.

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I do not understand your beef with the reviews.
Either you don’t feel confident, then you need the review.
Or you feel confident, then you are free to mark the cloze as “known”.
Finally, you can also just ignore them.

The one word cloze is sometimes really arkward or unsuitable…
Then I change the cloze to more than one word, move the sentence to my personal collections and then remove the original one.
This is, however, quite a lot of work and I would like to have a more comfortable editor (“drag-and drop”).

In principle you can even create complete sentence clozes this way (but then the “Duolingo-ambiguity” will hunt you).

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@morbrorper
You made an additional good point!

I recall many Duolingo users complaining about the “cracked egg” system in the old tree format. Soon after fixing eggs by completing reviews, the system started cracking another egg. It seemed to be an endless whack-a-mole game and demotivated diligent learners rather than brought a sense of achievement.

Even if you customize the interval days for review on Clozemaster and mark some as “known”, it merely makes it slower and doesn’t stop reviews piling up. Some Clozemaster users under pressure may want to choose the easiest and most time-efficient mode to lower the number of reviews. If so, I can fully understand the reason for their boringness. And “just ignore the number of reviews” isn’t a practical advice to them…

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I like Clozemaster and I think it is very useful for learning words and phrases, but the repetition method which is certainly very useful for learning is also a bit boring. Especially when there are a lot of sentences to manage. In my opinion obviously.

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it’s subjective, but sure, i think it can be boring for some. suggestions to make it less boring:

  1. add achievements, like ‘did 1000 clozes in one day’ for example. if people had certain medals to reach for, they might try to do new things, as a challenge, and that can be exciting, to gradually do all the achievements. that can be a gamification method that doesn’t get in the way of people who enjoy cloze as it is.

  2. add more themed categories. instead of just ‘5000-10000’ and ‘2000-3000’, do categories with more interesting names, like ‘animals’, and ‘plants’, ‘professions’, and stuff like that. that way you get a sense of achievement from having ‘mastered’ that category. like ‘i now know the names for every color in spanish!’ feels better than ‘i now know all the most common words up to frequency 500!’ – and yes i realize users can add their own cloze collections and do that themselves. but people don’t want to do that work. they want a ready-made set of vocabulary categories by topic.

  1. you know those ‘level up’ messages that give you animated gifs? those gifs are clearly from movies and memes and other sources. it might be interesting to replace them with something themed, like images created just for this website, rather than generic animated gifs that people saw a thousand times on facebook or from movies. i realize that art costs money, but it isn’t that expensive to hire an artist to do a set of 20-30 congratulation images for leveling up to different milestones. you wouldn’t need a different one for each level, just for certain milestone levels (like level 10, 20, 50, 100, etc.), like if you are going to have intrusive animations that pop up when you gain a level, why not have them custom made by an artist for this site, rather than some generic gif you copied and pasted from somewhere else? little touches like that add polish to a website and make it feel professional.

  2. speaking of polish, there are aspects of the website and app that feel rough. like why do we have to wait 2 minutes to check our position on the leaderboard, why hasn’t that been optimized so it shows up faster? whenever i want to check my leaderboard position in the past, i have to click it, go make tea or something, come back, and then finally it shows up. why is it so slow? little bugs and problems like that add up and make the site/app feel unprofessional too. someone coming here from duolingo would feel underwhelmed. like there, their leaderboard is very smooth. it scrolls and shows your name physically moving up the screen when you increase your place. here, you need to click it, wait a minute or two, and finally it shows up, and you can’t scroll through it, you can only see the few people above and below you. it doesn’t show your name moving up the leaderboard when you go up in position. it doesn’t let you know when you finished a week first or second in a leaderboard. it leaves it to you to check. if you got first on last week’s leaderboard on duolingo, it gives you a little trophy image. here, nothing happens, you might not even know.

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Boring? Never, there is sooo much on the menu😅!

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That’s exactly what I meant by “different expectations”.
Don’t get me wrong, I am sure a lot of potential users are feeling just like you and I respect your point of view.

But for me personally, none of the things you are expecting are of the slightest interest.
Medals, nice images, fast leaderboards, other gamefications … I can do without. Due to the exponential point system nowadays I need three weeks for the next level and the next animation and I am missing nothing.

I would rather like clozemaster to improve on linguistic quality (like solving the old problem of male voices uttering female grammar and vv) than on layout and animation.

It sure is logical and a proven method to learn a language by word frequency. Why should I learn the translation of an obscure colour before the basic food? Or an obscure food before a basic colour? What is sometimes really problematic is that here in CM “simple” words with general high frequency pop up very early in special, difficult and figurative meanings.
In my opinion that is the price we pay for the immense amount of sentences. It is unreasonable to expect always excellent quality in almost endless quantity.

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Agree @MRgK Also tbh it is the acknowledgement/support of fellow learners that makes my day which I heartily reciprocate, that’s reward enough for me.

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yeah that’s why i also said it was subjective. the thing is, most of the people using clozemaster right now, like it as it is. it isn’t boring to regular users. so we have a bias because we don’t find it boring. but about 1000x as many people use duolingo as use this. so obviously our opinion is in the minority. i was just suggesting things that would make it less boring to those people, not less boring to current users. while also being things that would not make it worse for current users.

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I suppose those ppl who wan’t something less “boring” will stick with Duo anyway for all the bells and whistles and leave us happily as we are. The occasional green-tie man and Kevin Bacon are just enough for me😅

I really don’t think Clozemaster should be doing anything particular to attract Duolingo users. Duolingo is way more gamified and I see people end up getting caught up in the gamification aspect of it, focusing more on winning their diamond leagues and tournaments and boasting about their thousand-day streaks than actually learning the language.

Clozemaster is great for what it is. It can definitely be improved. I personally would love to see longer dictations and texts to be transcribed. As a Smartergerman user I really appreciate the dictation exercises in that platform and how useful that is. But unless you get the more serious language learner and not someone chasing virtual badges for the brief dopamine hit I don’t Duo users would like Clozemaster.

An updated and sleeker UI might appeal more to some users, I’ve heard that criticism before some people regarding Clozemaster.

And on a final note, why would you be hurt by negative feedback on Clozemaster? People after all have their preferences.

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Hi all,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns. Re: gamifications, here are the FACTs you may find interesting.

  1. Mike (or wakawakafoobar on Reddit), the admin, recently announced the short/mid-term development plan. Whether you like it or not, more gamifications are coming.

  2. Gamification haters should not be overly worried about it. Clozemaster usually gives up options to turn off/on gamifications.

  3. A large-scale academic research in South Korea shows that gamifications impact on brains in different ways between good learners and underachievers.
    In detail, IT programs for learning do attract more attention from students than traditional printed textbooks (i.e. customer acquisition). However, there is no significant difference between learning apps and printed textbooks in improving students’ academic scores. Rather, learning apps often contain too many graphic/visual effects (largely attributed to gamifications), which merely consume students’ “working memory” in their brain and become distractions. On the other hand, such graphic/visual effects contribute to improving performance of underachievers who cannot keep concentrating or lack self-discipline.

  4. As for AI generated images for sentences mentioned in Mike’s announcement, it won’t contradict the abovementioned findings in South Korea. A five-minute video by BBC explains that once one’s cognitive neural network has been build in one language, it’s harder to build another one in a different foreign language. I believe images associated with sentences may help us overcome this cognitive neural network issue.

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add more themed categories. instead of just ‘5000-10000’ and ‘2000-3000’, do categories with more interesting names, like ‘animals’, and ‘plants’, ‘professions’, and stuff like that. that way you get a sense of achievement from having ‘mastered’ that category. like ‘i now know the names for every color in spanish!’ feels better than ‘i now know all the most common words up to frequency 500!’ – and yes i realize users can add their own cloze collections and do that themselves. but people don’t want to do that work. they want a ready-made set of vocabulary categories by topic.

I agree your suggestion

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