Suggested Change for SC rules (2018)

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rdearman
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Suggested Change for SC rules (2018)

Postby rdearman » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:21 am

I would like to suggest a change to the SC rules for reading and get opinions. The current rule is that a book consists 50 pages of 250-300 word pages. This works out to books of 12,500 to 15,000 words. In reality a novel is typically above 75,000 words. The actual breakdown is:

Novel | 40,000 words or over
Novella | 17,500 to 39,999 words
Novelette | 7,500 to 17,499 words

So you can see that the current definition of a book is in fact a Novelette. The completed wordcount of someone who completed last years challenge with 100 books would have been just over a million words. But the original challenge was to read 100 novels. Since the average published paperback book is greater than 75,000 words, then you'd have more than 7.5 million words. The original SC winners would have encountered 7.5 times more words than last years winners.

I'm proposing that we change the page count of a book on the SCbot to be 175 pages of 250-300 words is equal to one book. This would mean 100 books would be equal to 4.3 million words. Still half the original challenge, but better than last year.

Changes to the rules have to be cleared with Christina, but I'm looking for a discussion.
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Re: Suggested Change for SC rules

Postby Brun Ugle » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:08 am

It’s fine by me, but I think in the original challenge 100 pages was a “book”. We had talked about 100 actual books, but quickly realized that that would be virtually impossible for most people. It’s more than a book a week and I usually don’t get through that many even in my strongest languages.
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Re: Suggested Change for SC rules

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:32 am

Ultimately it’s just reading time that matters to me within my study routine (not book length). Nevertheless, with the SC I tend to just log the pages straight after a reading session after just having read them, so how long a book is bears no impact - I just log the pages, the leaderboard tells me how many books that equates to as per the definition of a book programmed via the bot. Whether 50 pages or 500 pages is what constitutes a book doesn’t change my position on the leaderboard, nor the number of pages I’ve read.

However for definition purposes 50 pages for a book has always seemed far too little, so anything longer is better imo. If lengthening a book means I have to read more to finish an SC, again it won’t matter as I study as best/the most I can with the time available to me. I won’t read more if the SC reading component is suddenly a lot larger in order to complete a full challenge, I’ll just do what I can with the time I have whether I finish the SC or not. So, by all means make a ‘book’ longer, it seems logical.
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Re: Suggested Change for SC rules

Postby Whodathunkitz » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:36 am

Change the target to words but express in equivalent units like books/pages?

In some languages, the bible is the only book.... and sometimes then, only the new testament!

Does anyone have a good link to the current Superchallenge rules? Not sure if it covers video, audio or reading, I suspect so, but am not sure of the targets and restrictions.
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Re: Suggested Change for SC rules

Postby emk » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:43 am

rdearman wrote:So you can see that the current definition of a book is in fact a Novelette. The completed wordcount of someone who completed last years challenge with 100 books would have been just over a million words. But the original challenge was to read 100 novels. Since the average published paperback book is greater than 75,000 words, then you'd have more than 7.5 million words. The original SC winners would have encountered 7.5 times more words than last years winners.

As Brun Ugle said, the original Super Challenge used 100 pages = 1 book. This was partly to take into account that many people were reading children's chapter books, or other works shorter than adult novels.

I was one of the people who completed the original Super Challenge. At the time, I estimated that I had read 10,000 pages and about 3.5 million words, give or take. And when I started, my French skills were near the limit for that version of the challenge—I was a strong B1 at the time. Very few people actually finished that version of the challenge; I remember there being about 6 of us.

After the challenge, I argued that even though I'd read 10,000 pages, I had actually seen maybe 75% of the total benefit by 5,000 pages, and that many more people actually reached 5,000 pages than 10,000 pages. This works out to about 1.25 to 1.75 million words over 20 months. And for comparison purposes, quite a few schools promote "Million Word" reading challenges for native students, typically around 12 years old. These typically last 9 months to a year.

Personally, I think it's more useful to keep the main challenge in the ~1.5 million word range. It's historically been enough for many people to see huge jumps in their language skills, and it's in line with challenges for native students. And if you double that to 3+ million words, then not nearly as many people will complete the challenge, I'd guess.
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Re: Suggested Change for SC rules

Postby rdearman » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:57 am

Whodathunkitz wrote:Change the target to words but express in equivalent units like books/pages?

In some languages, the bible is the only book.... and sometimes then, only the new testament!

Does anyone have a good link to the current Superchallenge rules? Not sure if it covers video, audio or reading, I suspect so, but am not sure of the targets and restrictions.

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =21&t=2664
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Re: Suggested Change for SC rules

Postby rdearman » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:03 pm

emk wrote:Personally, I think it's more useful to keep the main challenge in the ~1.5 million word range. It's historically been enough for many people to see huge jumps in their language skills, and it's in line with challenges for native students. And if you double that to 3+ million words, then not nearly as many people will complete the challenge, I'd guess.

Did some quick calculations from the DB. It seems that of the 153 Participants last year, 82 of them read at least 100 pages (e.g. won the challenge) in at least one language, some won in multiple languages so more than 53% of the people who participated won. There were 11 people who posted a result in reading, but didn't win. The rest didn't post any pages at all, e.g. signed up but didn't read.

This means a whopping 88% of people who took the challenge and posted at least 1 page in the results won. In my humble opinion if 88% of the people who take the challenge win, then it isn't very challenging. If we use word count 1.5 million words at 250 words per page = 6000 pages. We had 10 winners in that scenario and 5 winners if you go up to 10,000 pages. So more than 10% won at 1.5 million words.

CAVEATS:
* I'm using 250 words per page.
* Some people signed up for films only and never posted a page count.
* I have concatenated all reading together, so if you're like me and were reading in 2-3 languages your page count was combined.
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Re: Suggested Change for SC rules

Postby tiia » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:10 pm

I think Serpent had explained the reasons for the changes to 50 pages as one book already here and here.

When I'm looking at how many participants have read how many pages I can create this little graphic. (There were 277 registrations for this Super Challenge according to the list of participants. I sorted them by the books read and multiplyed the number by 50 to have a rough estimation of how many pages one read.)

llorg_superchallenge_1.png
llorg_superchallenge_1.png (16.6 KiB) Viewed 613 times


The main thing visible here are the many people how registered themselves for a language and didn't really read anything in that language.

But if we take a closer look to the best 75 participants/registrations, it still looks like this:

llorg_superchallenge_2.png
llorg_superchallenge_2.png (24.99 KiB) Viewed 613 times


When I look at the graph, I think that the current 5000 pages is actually a good amount - obviously not too easy, but not too hard either.
If we take 175 pages as one book, so that reaching the goal would mean reading 17500 pages, that would mean that only three (!) participants would have actually reached the goal.

Of course one can increase the size of the book-unit, but it is also a question how inclusive we want to make the challenge, when one doesn't decrease the amount of books at the same time.
(And then there are still people who only did a half challenge.)
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Re: Suggested Change for SC rules

Postby NoManches » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:30 pm

Whodathunkitz wrote:Change the target to words but express in equivalent units like books/pages?

In some languages, the bible is the only book.... and sometimes then, only the new testament!

Does anyone have a good link to the current Superchallenge rules? Not sure if it covers video, audio or reading, I suspect so, but am not sure of the targets and restrictions.


I like this. If I remember correctly, I only kept track of pages that I read. I made it easy by only sticking with novels that were no less than 200 pages (on average most were about 250 pages).

I read plenty of magazines but did not count it towards the challenge.


It seems like the original goal was to make it a 100/100 (books/movies) kind of challenge. I like the idea of using a nice clean number like 100, but many people will read smaller books and will watch TV shows instead of movies (personally, 90% of my "movies" were TV shows.

So I think the idea of allowing people to read the EQUIVALENT of 100 books and allowing people to watch the EQUIVALENT of 100 movies is a good idea.
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Re: Suggested Change for SC rules

Postby rdearman » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:37 pm

NoManches wrote:So I think the idea of allowing people to read the EQUIVALENT of 100 books and allowing people to watch the EQUIVALENT of 100 movies is a good idea.

Yes, but my point is. What is the definition of a book?
Women’s fiction usually runs from about 75,000 words up to about 120,000
Crime novels usually run a bit longer anything up to 130,000 words is pretty standard.
Fantasy novels can be long – up to 180,000 or even 200,000+.
Most memoirs are in the 70,000 to 100,000 word range
Popular non-fiction 70k to 120,000 words is about typical.
Young Adult fiction usually is in the 50k to 70,000 word range

If the lower range is 75k, then with 250 words per page then a "book" is 300 pages. We currently use 50 pages for a book.
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