Update, 3/11: For anyone concerned about losing the ability to practice lists as before, please check out "You Talked, We Listened: The Return of 'Classic' List Learning."
We're excited to announce some changes to how words are learned on Vocabulary.com. With these changes, learning Vocabulary Lists is now fully integrated into your overall progress toward mastering words. The result is a more seamless and efficient learning experience, no matter where you learn words on Vocabulary.com.
Now, when you're learning words from a list, we'll be using the same adaptive learning system that governs the way you play Vocabulary.com from the homepage.
For longer lists, such as the Vocabulary.com 1000, this means you'll be able to learn words on the list more efficiently, since you'll be less likely to see questions on words you already know. We'll also prioritize words that will be the most useful to you, and choose the words that are most appropriate to your level.
For shorter lists, this change means that when you're down to learning just the last few words, we'll round out your questions with ones for other words in your learning queue, rather than returning to list words that you already know.
And speaking of shorter lists, go ahead and make them as short as you like. It's now possible to learn lists that have fewer than ten words. Rather than repeating questions on the words in your mini-list, we'll meld your list-learning goal with your standard Vocabulary.com play.
You'll also notice that progress bars for individual words appear when you're learning words in a list in the same way they do in standard play. That's because your progress on words is now fully integrated into the site overall. When you choose to learn a new list, you may already have progress banked on some of the words on that list. Additionally, any progress you make on words while you're learning a list will count site-wide. Again, this makes your play more efficient and maximizes your learning.
If you want to check on your progress on any particular word, just go to that word's page when you are logged in to your account, and on the right-hand side you will see a snapshot of how you are progressing toward mastery. That snapshot will include all of your work on that word, whether you are learning from a list or from the Vocabulary.com home page.
The integration will affect the way you see words when you play Vocabulary.com from the homepage as well. When it comes time to introduce new words into your play, we'll look first at the words on lists you've started to learn, prioritizing the ones that are most appropriate to you.
This can be helpful to you in a number of ways. If you're prepping for a test like the SAT, you can now add a selection of test prep lists to your Lists queue and let Vocabulary.com sort out which ones you're ready to learn.
Want to stop words from a particular list showing up in your Vocabulary.com play? No problem. At any time you can go to "My Lists" and click the "Stop Learning" button for that list. That way, you won't see any words from it except for the ones you've already made progress on.
Teachers: These changes can help you build differentiation into your students' vocabulary study. Before, we heard that some teachers had a hard time choosing between assigning lists to go along with reading assignments to ensure all students could follow the text, and assigning points so that students would be learning words that were challenging to them. Now, you can have it both ways. When you assign literature lists, students will only learn the words on that list that they don't already know. Want to keep them learning? Assign them a second list stocked with more challenging words, or assign them a certain number of points to earn, and let Vocabulary.com choose the words they're ready to learn.
Update, 3/5: The changes have generated a lot of discussion in the comments section. Thanks to everyone for all of your useful feedback. We're currently working on a solution that will address the concerns that many of you have raised. Please stay tuned for further developments, and we promise we won't leave you in the lurch!
Update, 3/11: The solution is here! Please check out "You Talked, We Listened: The Return of 'Classic' List Learning."