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How to Solve the Review Crisis

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by godwin86, May 8, 2017.

  1. godwin86

    godwin86 New commenter

    In my humble opinion, the issue with reviews is the most significant challenge facing authors on TES.

    Some of my FREE resources have been downloaded 1000s of times and not a single review has been left.

    The solution is pretty obvious: incentivise reviews for premium resources.

    "Get 10% of your purchase back [AS TES >CREDIT<] if you leave an accurate and helpful review for your purchase"

    One or two less "25% OFF SALES "(as much as I love them) would cover the costs. At the moment, reviews are worth their weight in gold, and customers have very little way of discerning "I've spent 4 hours making this" lessons from "I made this during registration whilst drinking coffee" resources.

    Any other suggestions for how we can systematically improve the review system?
  2. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

    I think the problem is that, with teaching resources, you may not use them for days/weeks and can't really review them until you have used them. And then can people really be bothered to go back and review them? Evidently not!
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  3. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    I'm not going to comment on financial incentives as my own TES teaching resources remain free. I do think, though, that all resources should be treated equally, whether free or paid-for, when it comes to reviews. Money may only colour people's judgement.

    There are still non-financial incentives to be explored. When I order goods online using eBay, Amazon or other sources, there is a robust system for reviews and feedback. One feature I like is the ability to rate reviews as well as products with a simple "Did you find this review useful?" A subsequent points system allows the reviewer to be rewarded with accolades such as "top reviewer", recognising quality as well as quantity of reviews. This way people are likelier to write longer, more considered and constructive reviews rather than the average sort here of "Thank you" or "Great". This will provide the resource writer with a "critical friend's" perspective and advice that may lead the author to make improvements in the resource. All resources would benefit from a little "tweaking" after being classroom tested.

    I would also like to see TES do more to encourage dialogue between the resource creator and the resource user. Maybe a mini-blog could be featured on the resource download page where people can give their "first impressions" before posting a full-blown review later. I would expect the resource creator to monitor and respond quickly to comments and if they are feasible, the author should be prepared to make amendments in the light of those comments. Resource users have a voice too and they like it to be heard and their views duly noted. I recently contributed suggestions during the public phase in the development of a European Standard. I spent plenty of my own precious time studying the draft Standard and I carefully filled in a table chronicling improvements, which included such things as replacing the Continental European "decimal comma" (e.g. "1,2") with the decimal point (e.g. "1.2") as befits an English-speaking readership. I submitted my response and received an assurance that my corrections would be brought to the attention of the relevant drafting committee. Imagine my disgust when I saw the final European Standard document costing over £100 and found that all my suggestions had been ignored and the publication was now on sale, still full of errors. Perhaps all our teaching resources on TES should go through a draft phase where anyone is free to suggest improvements or make corrections before the final stage of publication. A review after the event can come too late in the process of materials development, particularly if the author is reluctant to make changes.
  4. teachercellar

    teachercellar Occasional commenter

    Have to agree with all above making sales but getting nil reviews
  5. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    I agree with this - an emphasis on developing resources based on their use rather than the thing of some people sticking them up and other people using them.

    I don't get any sense that TES has any interest in taking it in that direction though. There is no easy way to contact an author. Simply finding the option to 'follow' an author requires some dedication. There is no option for an author to notify people that a resource has been updated/improved.

    The current 'stick up as many resources as possible because somebody somewhere will buy some of it' approach seems very short sighted.
    magicinkstand and Dodros like this.
  6. Shamster

    Shamster New commenter

    all these solutions have been mentioned but TES are not listening, too many sales and very little reviews, nearly 1500 sales for 130 very good reviews, the percentage has to be higher.
    THERE HAS TO BE AN INCENTIVE... Come on @TES Resource Team @charliep86
    joannammarsh likes this.

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