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Author Consultation Follow-up 1: Defining quality

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by tesAuthorTeam, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. greenAPL

    greenAPL New commenter

    I think this consultation period has been a good exercise but only if action is taken.

    The biggest problem currently, which is causing so many frustrations to authors, is there is no real strategy from the top at tes. In addition, a lack of available data about overall sales, customers, marketing effectiveness etc shrouds the platform in deep clouds of mystery. Nobody is actually sure of what is happpening, it’s all just smoke and mirrors.

    In my opinion, at the top, tes is scrabbling around doing various things (from the look of it non very successfully at the moment) and looking busy. Jobs market and magazine in decline, so they need to replace with a modern business. From the outside looking in: the size of the ambition (to create a global resources marketplace) is a great idea, big in USA already (another platform- naming no names!) so replicate this worldwide and disrupt US market. The idea is mismatched by the size of the personnel team tasked to deliver, the size of the investment in the platform, lack of a clear strategy, the way they go about implementing this lack of clear strategy and achieving the ultimate goal of leading global education products marketplace.

    I think the size of the potential worldwide market is clear to see. So how can we better achieve our common ultimate goal?

    Fundamentally, the success of the tes resources platform will depend on Tes actually committing too and focusing on growing the resources marketplace. Not just lots of sales, voucher codes etc which although produce ‘immediate wins’ is not a viable, sustainable long term strategy. The ‘top brass’ need to assemble a crack team of ‘knowledgeable’ professionals and make a plan. Then they need to communicate a clearly thought out , thorough and viable strategy (the plan) to the author community.

    Gaining the ‘buy-in’ of a growing band of obviously talented, diverse and hardworking professionals is essential. They will then work harder, make more resources, earn more rewards, spend more time marketing etc etc... it needs leading... over to you tes. You may be just the ‘marketplace’ but it is your brand on the line. Copyright infringements, poor resources, fake accounts etc break trust and damage YOUR brand. Clear action needs to be taken.

    I would like full commitment from tes to this project. Resourced with appropriate staffing levels and monetary investment for the scale of the project and the size of the ambition.
    I would like authors banned more quickly for repeated copyright infringements.
    I would like to see royalty levels kept the same.
    I would like to see written reviews for individual resources (no stars anymore) incentivised by crediting a few pence to buyers accounts for a reasoned and constructive review.
    I would like to see author ratings (stars or similar) rather than a star rating based on just one resource. These ratings would be weighted by algorithm on views, sales, reviews etc and not just buyers rating authors.
     
  2. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

  3. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    Obviously if somebody was so keep to use the dark net to add reviews to their own projects then they would not be able to prevent that and those people would always find a way around the system however most teachers (who struggle to unzip a zip file) would be unaware of how to do this. Another possibility is to say people can only leave a review if they have paid for three resources from two different authors. It would limit the number of "friends" who would not want to purchase other resources but would also limit reviews from genuine customers who only buy very rarely. I guess you have to weight up what is more important in getting reviews as no system is ever going to be 100% fool proof.



    Yes but why do you assume a negative review is from trolling? Surely people should not be dis-waded from giving genuine reviews if they feel a product is poor quality. The emphasis on some peoples comments sound as if no negative reviews should ever be allowed even if the writer has a genuine complaint. This makes the whole point of having a review system invalid if people can not put down what they think out of fear that any negative comments will be discounted from the system automatically. I think a negative review is a starting point for a discussion with the reviewer and a way of improving products and although I have had some removed as they had no comments I have no problem with people's genuine concerns if they are constructive.
     
  4. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    I'm not suggesting all negative reviews are trolls. If a resource is not as good as could reasnoably be exected, then it probably deserves a negative review.

    Genuine reviews should be allowed regardless of whether they are good or bad. If the reviewer includes details of what specifically they took issue with, and why, then the author can use that feedback to improve the resource.

    Agreed. But by the same token, the system should not blindly accept that any negative review has merit, and automatically dish out some for of punishment based purely on whatever algorithm has been used, without any way of ascertianing whether the bad review is justified or not. I am simply saying that I do not see how you can build that justification process into an algorithm, it would have to be done by a human.

    Agree absolutely with that.
     
  5. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    [QUOTE="elder_cat, post: 12375145, member: 22293632] the system should not blindly accept that any negative review has merit, and automatically dish out some for of punishment based purely on whatever algorithm has been used, without any way of ascertianing whether the bad review is justified or not. I am simply saying that I do not see how you can build that justification process into an algorithm, it would have to be done by a human.[/QUOTE]

    By this token positive reviews should not automatically reward authors. I notice that authors are happy for these to automatically be advertised but they feel that negative ones should not. In order to get as honest reviews as possible all reviews should be seen as valid unless flagged up as otherwise, which by definition would be after they were posted. The problem with human checking is the staffing that would need to be in place and the costs this would incure would be prohibitive. As an active author you are notified when you get a review and should flag up any you deem unfit yourself rather than rely on TES to do it. If there is a common theme for the negative comments the author should be looking at the quality of the resource which is, after all, the whole point of this discussion group. :)
     
  6. ResourcesandCourses

    ResourcesandCourses New commenter

    In a nutshell. Well said.
     
  7. mikeshaw

    mikeshaw Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you @greenAPL - I promise you a much fuller response to the points you raise in your excellent, thoughtful and challenging post when we get closer to the end of the consultation. But I just wanted you to know that your message (like all the responses on this and the other quality threads) it is being read carefully by the team at Tes, taken very seriously, and is hugely appreciated.

    We genuinely want to ensure that the material on Tes is high quality, and will absolutely be taking clearer action to tackle certain of the issues you describe. But we still want more feedback from authors - and from downloaders - to ensure we get the details right.

    michael@tes.com
     
    Kazg1 likes this.
  8. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    I would like to make the point that there should be a quality award for the best authors in each subject and not just the standard subjects that TES seem to take more note of.

    The arts and computer science should also be in with a chance to be awarded as they are often overlooked but for teachers of those subjects they are still needed.

    Once TES decides how it will award the quality mark maybe the top 5% of teachers in every subject should be awarded and not just the standard ones that are constantly mentioned in TES posts/emails.

    Maybe the award should be re-calculated and re-issued each week based on whatever criteria TES eventually decide on. This way authors who constantly have great downloads, reviews or whatever the criteria is, maintain the award and those that drop out of the top 5% have to work a little bit harder to get back into it. This way, if it is based on downloads, etc it will automatically ensure the most relevant resources that teachers are downloading are getting recognised and not just resources that have been around for years and never updated.

    Seasonal variations will also mean that teachers that create a great Christmas activity that is downloaded loads at that time of year but never again for the rest of the year have a chance of getting the quality mark when it is relevant to the resources they create. I had originally thought the quality mark should be recalculated monthly but I think weekly would keep it more current, after all it is no good getting a Christmas resource recommended to you in January unless you really like to plan ahead!

    I agree the quality mark should be awarded to the author and not the individual resource which is why I think an average score for that author taking into account several factors of all their resources (after all it is their resources we a judging the quality of and not their tea making ability!) would give a better indication of the overall quality of that author. I don't think a "would you recommend this author?" tick box would achieve the same indication of the quality of their resources as somebody might tick for one good resource when the rest of the resources by that author are rubbish.

    By using an average you are not unfairly weighing things against authors who have just 1 or 2 resources and similarly it may make some authors who have thousands of poor quality resources to go through them and get rid of the ones that may be making their score lower and filling TES with the drudge we all detest.

    Finally, I would like to be able to see the scores for my individual resources on my dashboard so I could monitor if they are deemed to be good quality or not so I could purge the ones that are not working well. I would also like to be able to see my overall score and where I am in the ranking. This would help me work out which resources were working well, which were not and so I could hopefully improve the quality of my own work. If other authors also did the same it would improve quality overall on TES which can only be a good thing. However, I would not want this data made public and only if I was lucky enough to deserve the quality mark would I want this displayed publicly.
     
  9. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    I am not sure about these 'quality marks' and 'ranking' for authors. I think it would be quite divisive, difficult to administer and that authors would get hung up about their ratings and rankings etc. Be careful what you wish for! I really think it should be a 'level playing field' and the issue of quality addressed by other methods. I believe that one of the best ways of deciding if resources are performing well are conversion rates. Having this data could help authors easily and quickly identify which ones they need to work on.
     
    CurriculumForAutism likes this.
  10. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    The information needed for this is already on the system.

    My issue is not the conversion rates, it's the appalling number of views that some products are getting especially when you look at what is getting the attention, it's the lack of people coming onto the forums, Conversion rates become meaningless when the number of views are as low as they are.

    My best conversion rate is 12%, I have no idea whether this is any good and I'd be delighted if there'd been an enormous number of views but it's after 700 views over two years, that's terrible for a 'resource of the week'.

    Come on TES, get the footfall and many of these issues will go away. All the arguments over quality and commissions will disappear if a healthy return is seen but you can't do that on such poor viewing figures.
     
  11. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    Conversion rate is really more an indicator of how effectively somebody has been persuaded to buy. That might be due to quality, but it could equally be due to a description, an advert, a TES recommendation.. a nice cover (that turns out not to be representative of the quality of the resource itself as per many of the *** style covers).

    Repeat purchases/willingness to buy from an author again are perhaps better indicators.
     
    Maths_Shed likes this.
  12. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    Where are the conversion rates?
     
  13. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    They aren't presented as conversion rates but it's pretty simple to calculate them.

    Go to Dashboard - Resource Management and then click the export csv file you'll get a spreadsheet with views in column E and Qty sold in column J.

    Go to a blank column or insert one (let's say it is column K).

    Click in cell K2 and type in the following; =J2/E2 (it's important to start with the equals sign)

    Go to the bottom right corner of cell K2 and drag the cell contents down the length of the table,

    Highlight the whole of column K and format it as percentage which can be found under 'Number'

    Apologies if anyone thinks I'm teaching granny to suck eggs but some may find that a mountain to climb. I'll get me coat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
    thinky likes this.
  14. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    Thank you - but it's so time- consuming. It would be great if conversion rates could be added to the filter on the resource management page (along with sales / views / downloads etc) so that a click you could see them all. I am sure that it would be easy to set up as they do have the information anyway.
     
  15. MosaiK

    MosaiK Occasional commenter

    Erm... about that point of buyers buying and downloading a resource and then asking for their money back... am I missing something here or would that not kind of encourage malpractice in that once word gets around buyers can buy, download, use and keep yet ask for their money back... however clever that computerised system might be, it won't be able to check whether buyers are genuinely not using the resource after asking for their money back... however it will dutifully penalise the author.
    ;)
     
  16. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    Are you a 13 year old pupil? It takes less than a minute.
     
  17. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    I considered a range of responses to your retort but decided on civility. Conversion data is constantly changing. Also, I would rather get live information in 2 seconds as opposed to 60 seconds. The point I am trying to make is that I feel that this data should be an integral part of the author's dashboard.
     
    EC_Resources and MosaiK like this.
  18. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    Just came on to apologise, uncalled for, bad day etc
     
    EC_Resources, mrajlong and Krazikas like this.
  19. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    Thank you!
     
  20. MosaiK

    MosaiK Occasional commenter

    Might it be an idea to have conversion rates displayed alongside the Sales information? That way we wouldn't have to keep downloading it (not that I sell enough to worry about conversion rates...). I agree that they change all the time though and am thinking ahead here to when my sales suddenly take off around the world. Well, just staying positive. :)
     

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