I think the rules of the contest need to be thought over by italki, as someone who competed in the top 10. I propose these initial ideas:
- Contestants in the competition will automatically have all their lessons accepted at once. This ensures transparency for all participants. Because currently, the ranking system is meaningless, when contestants can stealthily save up 3 days worth of un-accepted lesson hours which others do not know of. Thus you could be number 10 on the list, but in reality the others have already overtaken you: they just need to accept their lessons. Alternatively, the ranking system *must* show (current number of hours studied) + (hours of pending lessons). This way others can add the 2 numbers together to see where a contestant really is in the list.
- Italki should consider some sort of tracking system for the contest, which for example tracks if each individual lesson saw 2 people enter the lesson. This is to prevent ghost lessons, where a contestant simply agrees with their teacher to have lots of fake lessons which they don't attend, in order to inflate their numbers on the list.
- Italki should make clear that only 1 person may use an account and that if caught doing otherwise, a suspension from the competition. This is to prevent multiple people from using an account during the contest, because of course it's easier to achieve a high amount of studied hours, if it's spread across multiple people.
- Italki could consider increasing the initial achievements, beyond just 24 hours. Because in all honesty, a 24 hour badge in a competition where it's normal for people to add hundreds of hours. So why not add a 50 hour badge, a 150 hour badge and maybe a 200 hour badge as a maximum. This is attainable, without being overly extreme and would add to the sense of achievement for most people.
- More info: total number of contestants, different rewards and acknowledgement of the teachers too, in the ranking list.