I love WaniKani. I use it every day consistently, and I’m on level 15 right now.
One thing that bothers me however is this: at the end of each level, I’m often stuck with only 2 or 3 vocabularies / Kanji, and only once I get those right as many times as required by the SRS, I can move on to the next level. Then, I get a bombardment of new items to learn (sometimes >100). Because I want to be as quick and efficient as possible with getting through all WaniKani levels, I tend to learn all of those items at once, just to be able to finish them quickly. I feel compelled to do so because I usually feel I’ve already wasted time being stuck with the odd vocabulary from the last level. However, this often takes a long time, and it’s something I cannot properly plan, because it depends on my reviews performance whether the next level will be available or not.
In terms of convenience, but also in terms of didactics, this seems like a huge flaw to me. Wouldn’t it be much more convenient and efficient to have a constant stream of new items to learn, instead of learning nothing new for multiple days and then getting a huge chunk of new information at once? I assume levels are mostly there for motivation, but in my eyes it actually threatens user retention, because getting a big pile of new vocabulary might overwhelm people and that could be the final straw that makes them give up. I also understand that there are some dependencies: can’t learn the kanji before the radical (although, this rule strangely seems to be broken sometimes), and can’t learn the vocab before the kanji. But most new items of the next level aren’t exactly dependent on the items of the level before.
So at this point I’m not really sure why there even are levels. I guess it’s a motivation thing and it makes it easier to keep on track with learning and to celebrate the user’s progress. But you can still do that without having to force the user to wait for new items even though they’re 95% through with the last level, and then to present an overwhelming amount of kanji / vocab at once. You could for example spread out the new items and present them to the user, even if the user is not completely finished with the items of the last level. And once all items of some level are done, you can still do the whole congratulatory thing and everything.
This is really the biggest thing on WaniKani which I’m consistently frustrated by, and I wish I had the option to “peek ahead” to the next level, just so I don’t get +100 things once I’m finished with the current level. Maybe there’s some handy userscript out there already? I tried to look in the forum for something like this, but didn’t really find something.
Are there any other people on here feeling like this? What’s your solution? And what is the rationale behind the strict level structure?