Main Site Blog Help

Editor's Choice Lessons

How about a little box somewhere on the home page for an “Editor’s Choice” lesson? ChinesePod is like a massive gold mine, and some of the better nuggets are hard to find on your own. For example: The Newbie lesson “Turn on the Light, Turn off the Light,” the Elementary lesson “Why, Why, Why??,” the Intermediate lesson “Fat Camp,” the Upper Intermediate lesson “Turbulence,” the Advanced 小太监进宫 series… Real classics.

By the way, I think the “Playlists” area needs some work. There are a few story-based series in there, but most of them, including 小太监进宫, aren’t there. These were highlights as I was working through, and it’s sad that they’re going to be so hard for newer students to find.


Good Idea ewilc773. I’ve just finished listening to the ‘Missing Person - JiZhou’ series in the Upper Intermediate level. I think I stumbled upon it by accident but I really enjoyed listening to it and learnt a lot. There are 6 or 8 lessons so a lot of the language gets recycled. By the way, what has happened to the Upper Intermediate level on CPod? There have been no new lessons at this level for over 6 months!!


Funny you should mention JiZhou - I just played the dialogues for my kids last night. They were hooked from the beginning. Maybe I’ll see if ChinesePod will let me contribute a blog post on all the different story-based series on the site.


I’m curious, in general how does everyone choose what lesson to listen to next? I’m an elementary student and my fav way is to just choose an elementary lesson randomly, or sometimes I’ll try a random lesson from level 2 or 3 of the HSK playlists. But my main way of choosing what to listen to next is pure random/shuffle .

1 Like

Choosing the next lesson by what topic interests you is the way cpod was designed to be used. The series, ‘How to Use ChinesePod’ explains in more detail how to choose the next lesson.

I use the playlists along with one lessons that interests me. Sometimes there are several that catch my eye. I bookmark those and study one of them on that day. I choose this way because I like, (don’t need), structure. The playlists give me structure and choosing what interests me keeps me interested.

1 Like

I’m rather weird - I schedule my lessons months in advance. I also tend to do them in order they were published. This way, I’m sure to do series in the order they’re supposed to go, and I also hit on every subject - whether I’m interested or not.

Planning ahead also lets me put the text and expansion sentences into a PDF I can send to my tutors ahead of time. They always know what we’ll be studying next.

1 Like

I have to admit, I’ve been a ChinesePod user for around 3 years and I was always confused by the differences between playlist/course/shows and how to use self-study and bookmarking options.

I thought it was interesting how they said ChinesePod was designed with 2 main ways to find what to study next: Browse courses/levels/playlists or Search. In my daily life, I usually use searching to find what I want, but on ChinesePod I haven’t used search really, instead I would just randomly browse a level or playlist. Maybe I will also begin to experiment with search too.

They also mentioned the lessons were designed to flow in any order, which is nice for learners who like that free style, and then the playlists have structure for those who like more structure.

That How to Use ChinesePod series you pointed out is a really good intro series that I never came across before.


Hey guys great discussion. Elijah I was thinking about your original idea, perhaps a way to do this Editor’s Choice is maybe something like ‘likes’. Then you could see a section like when shopping- most liked. Definitely something to think about because I think there are some real gems that people just stumble on and some may not find for sometime.

1 Like

For the “likes,” it might not be a bad idea. I think right now lessons have a star system, which I doubt many people use. 1, or 2, or 3, or 4, or 5. Too many choices! “Like” or “Not Like,” Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down… Those are the kinds of options people tend to use.

1 Like

I agree. Sometime with options 1-5 people may not bother, but with a simple option they be more inclined to just click a boiled down option choice.

Is there a way to see how other users have scored the lessons? All I ever see is a number that seems to indicate how many students have reviewed the lesson. Or am I missing something?

If the lessons have already been reviewed then it seems to me that a simpler solution would just be to build it into the search criteria so that users can order lessons by their average review.

1 Like

HI, Elijah,

How about that blog post on JiZhou? We’d love it!

I didn’t even know there was a rating system for lessons! I’ll check it out next time.

I’m working on it! Almost done.

I use the star system. It has helped me to qualify the lessons I study. It would be helpful for my studies to see one of those “percentage of people who chose this rating overall” scoring tables.

We all learn differently. To me simple likes and dislikes are only a blip on my learning radar, not a way to rate the content.Switching to a simple ‘yes/no’ doesn’t pass my common sense instructional design test. All the data collected for ten or more years disappears. When that data stops being collected it invalidates all those ratings to a certain degree. When you’re evaluating a lessons effectiveness more data is better!

I like the Editor’s Choice idea. CPOD’s learner orientation and subscriber responsiveness are ideal for this! (Edsko’s HSK driven lessons initiative led to the great HSK categories CPOD put up!!)

Heh, glad that my HSK lists are still appreciated :slight_smile:


I totally agree stevinsjs. The star system is useful and helpful.

1 Like

Is there a way to actually access that information? When I look at that part of the screen, all I see is a number, which I presume is the number of people who have chosen a star rating.

@edsko We LOVE your HSK lists! Thanks again for all your hard work!