CLO User 133's blog

Remembering Login

There was a bug that we had in the past, where the site said that you weren't logged in, even though you were. I believe it's fixed now, so hopefully that will enhance your user experience.

Wordbank Sidebar

You may have noticed a new "Wordbank" item on the sidebar after you login. It is not functional at the moment, but we are working on having it up as a quick way to access the word bank. I'll post an update when it is ready.

Update: The Quick access bar on the right is now functional and includes an option to search the word bank directly. Enjoy!

Course Outline Problems

Due to an internal glitch, the course outline pages for levels 3 and 4 became corrupted, so I have taken them down for the time being. Rather than rebuilding them manually as was done in the past, I'm going to use this opportunity to create an automated version that should hopefully speed up the loading of pages as well. Please bear with me as we work on this.

Update: Ok, the pages are up again. The level 2 page needs some formatting, but all the content is all there. Thank you for patience!

More Updates

We have made a few updates to the site design.

- You may have noticed a new landing page greeting you when you first get on to the site. Users who are logged in won't see this page. The idea is to introduce new users to our site with this page, rather than throwing them right in the midst of the latest lessons like before.
- Related to this is a (long due) "Remember password" option that has been added under the main login window.
- A "Vocabulary" option has been added to the Wordbank. This way you don't have to specify whether you're searching for Pinyin, Simplified, Traditional or English - all should work from that field. If not required, the other options may be removed.

You will start to see other additions to the site over the next few weeks. More information will be provided here as they are released. As always, please continue to send me feedback on what you like and / or what can be improved.

More Descriptive Course Outlines

Thanks to your user suggestions, the course outline pages have now been updated to also include the title of each lesson. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to scan through lessons from here on. As always, please keep such suggestions coming.

Level 1 and 2 Updates

I'm happy to announce some updates to level 1 and 2 of our course. In the past we have announced new features that have been implemented for future lessons, but not for earlier lessons. These include Chinese characters in the complete transcripts and the Fill in the Blanks exercises.

I'm happy to say that over the break, we have added Chinese characters to all lessons in the course including all the earlier lessons. Users can now begin learning characters from the very beginning. New PDF versions of these lessons have also been added to the course outlines for these levels. The bulk level downloads have also been updated with the new transcripts. You will also find Fill in the Blanks tests every few lessons starting from lesson 4 on to check your understanding of recently taught vocabulary.

As always, if you something is missing or doesn't look right to you, please let us know. Happy learning!

New Premium Feed

The Premium feed has been updated to provide a better experience for the user. Previously, it was hosted on a separate site that required a separate login. I'm happy to say that the new feed is now integrated within the main CLO site, so by logging in to the main site you are also logged in to the premium feed.

The old feed and the new feed are identical so no changes are required from the user.

Bulk Level Downloads

As announced earlier, I have now updated the pricing page with new options for our subscribers. Once upon a time, we offered online, offline and one on one plans that were all recurring. The one on one plan was then replaced with a one time payment option that offered more flexibility by letting you just purchase the time you needed, until it ran out. Well I'm happy to say that the offline recurring plan has now been replaced with a level download plan that is also a one time download. Each level has been reduced to 4 zip files that together contain hundreds of PDFs and review audio files for all the lessons in that level. The individual levels are priced at $19.95 USD each.

Note that these level downloads are also optional purchases for existing premium subscribers. While online subscribers can still download individual PDF and audio files for each lessons, the convenience of downloading them all together will be a separate option. As older lessons are updated, the relevant PDF files and audio files for them will also be updated. You can see the sizes and latest update dates in the level download chart on the bottom of this page. Users who purchase level download access, will have access to the directory for 30 days from purchase in order to take advantage of any updates that may occur in the near future. Enjoy!

Simple Podcast Reviews

As our lessons have moved from typical conversation based lessons to articles and discussions, we have been looking for a new podcast review format. The one we have decided on (suggested by one of our long time listeners), is to offer a simple review of vocabulary for each lesson - first in female Chinese, followed by male English translation and then male Chinese. Hopefully putting together a few podcast reviews together can provide you with a good review playlist. You can find all this goodness on the premium review feed (the first four lessons of level four are available free to all listeners). Enjoy!

Premium Offline Pricing

This is a notice to let you know that I will be removing the premium offline plan from our current pricing plan options next week. The plan will be replaced with the option to purchase PDF and review audio sets separately for each level. Current premium offline subscribers will not be affected and can continue to keep their plans for as long as they want.

This change is being made in response to demand for bulk PDF downloads. As a result, both bulk premium audio and PDF sets will soon be available for purchase separately by level. More information will be announced here when the new packages are ready.

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