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Quality consultation on Tes resources

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by tesAuthorTeam, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    You can still share free resources. I do too. In my experience people are rarely grateful for them. Maybe that's partially greed.
  2. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    I don't think holding them from publication until they've been reviewed would be practical. For me it's more about the emphasis on building a 'community' between those who need good resources and those who are capable of creating them.

    Currently we have a them vs them vs us type arrangement along with a fair bit of angst and animosity from those who don't approve of a commercial market place (but are happy to log in with a colleagues account to other commercial sites, photocopy whatever they want and email anything they have ) while scrutinising students' work for any hint of plagiarism.

    I'd like to see that tackled by helping all parties see the benefits of building an education publishing market place that can benefit all parties.
  3. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    For some time now, there have been 'rent-a-coder' type web sites, where prospective clients can put a 'spec' for whatever they want developed, then interested parties quote them for the job, and the client picks whichever provider they like.

    I suppose there could be a similar type of arrangement, but without the 'quoting for the job' part. In essence, a 'wish list' for the type of resources teachers want, providing a 'pull' model for the resources rather than the current 'push' model ?

    But who exactly determines whether a resource is 'good', and do all resources have to be 'good', or can they sometimes be simply 'good enough' ? Once again this comes back to the notion that without subjective reviews, it would be difficult to benchmark submitted works.
    HSX and kibishipaul like this.
  4. rowenamdialino

    rowenamdialino New commenter

    I have to agree with this. Personally, most of my resources are for single activities or lessons, and as such I feel they should be priced at around £2. I have very few resources priced at £3 or above.
  5. mrsquenan

    mrsquenan New commenter

    When I buy something from Amazon, I get an email a few days later asking for a review. Maybe an email sent a week after downloading that includes an incentive of some sort would help increase reviews. The buyer has likely had a chance to use it by then.

    Another idea is that perhaps TES could choose an author of similar resources and ask them to review a product for an incentive of some sort.

    I think different people are looking for different things - like someone else said, i have little use for fully developed lesson plans, as I'm going to have to rewrite them anyway. I am also frequently looking for something to supplement a lesson, so something like a lab activity, game, or even review worksheets on a single topic is more what I have my eye on. I don't think that makes these products a lesser quality than something that covers more.

    I could care less about covers, but I do think there need to be some standards for copyright & terms of use. A checklist when uploading could be helpful.
    dzil, CurriculumForAutism and Kazg1 like this.
  6. kibishipaul

    kibishipaul New commenter

    I agree with alutwyche on this. I'm wondering why any resource older than 3 years is considered outdated and rubbish. There are lots of lessons out there that would be just as useful, updated or not. Another point here is that a lot of lessons just get lost in the vast number of uploads that have taken place over the last couple of years, along with the failings by TES mentioned in this forum of giving recommendation ticks to a favored few mega uploaders.
    dzil and mathsmutt like this.
  7. kibishipaul

    kibishipaul New commenter

    One thing I would like to see changed is the tick system with the simple line; This is a TES recommended resource. Why not give a few sentences explaining why this particular resource is so useful? One thing I noticed with my own resources back when there were separate US and UK sites was that the US TES reviewers would go out of their way to provide a compelling reason why they thought the product they had chosen was a good buy. If they could do it, why not the UK staff?
    Kazg1, elder_cat and mathsmutt like this.
  8. ConwayCoulter94

    ConwayCoulter94 New commenter

    Agreed!! I think 99.9% of authors join for altruistic reasons. A better way of rewarding authors would be to share out the TES Resources advertising revenue between the authors who have most FREE downloads each week.
    dzil, krisgreg30 and mrajlong like this.
  9. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    I would like TES to make the conversion rate for all resources accessible to authors. In this way, I would be able to identify and monitor more readily and accurately my least performing resources and try to improve them.

    Also, I would like the facility to 'not show some of my older resources' ie out of date resources such as the Olympics etc until I have the chance to update them. I don't particularly want to remove them though from my resource manager - this is a feature of *** which I like.

    I do feel that TES should take more responsibility and spend more time on making proper reviews of resources in terms of quality and contact authors who have either outdated resources, resources containing glaring errors - spelling and typos or blatantly copied resources and those that breach copyright.

    The search system also brings up a lot of old, out of date and poor quality resources to key landing pages. Surely someone from TES could scan these pages regularly and somehow 'remove' these sorts of resources from appearing in such prominent positions.
    HSX, EC_Resources and mrajlong like this.
  10. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

    If Tes don't address the ongoing issue with authors' revenue being less than the same period in the previous year, despite having more resources on here, then this is all moot! Improving the quality of resources is dependent on financial reward and growth for the individual author over time. If the financial rewards are less and growth does not take place then individual authors will stop uploading quality resources on this platform altogether.

    I also agree that the price restrictions and transaction fee for resources priced under £3 is a deterrent. I have so many "smaller" resources that I would love to sell for a quid, but find my self packin them up a bigger bundle to justify the £3 price. This makes them harder to find and casts a smaller "net" than if I had been able to upload them individually.

    As for older resources with few downloads and poor reviews and no activity from the author...maybe these should be archived and the author contacted - they can then request it to be reinstated. Hopefully this would mean that popular and useful older resources (such as by the late Bev Evans) would not be affected.
  11. ConwayCoulter94

    ConwayCoulter94 New commenter

    It's not rocket science! If you incentivise quantity then teachers will upload their second-best resources as well as their best. Teachers don't spend their weekends thinking how to improve their resources just for the TES website!! They create tailored resources for their own lessons - some are mediocre and some are outstanding.
    #FreeResources - pay the top authors a proportion of your advertising income!!
  12. mrajlong

    mrajlong Established commenter

    This is a very interesting idea..a bit like Youtube?
    ConwayCoulter94 likes this.
  13. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    You would do well with this system with the number of free downloads you get!
    ConwayCoulter94 and mrajlong like this.
  14. ajs12345

    ajs12345 New commenter

    I think a key theme that is emerging amongst many of us is the fact that TES really doesn't have much of a handle on its own platform. Good authors are now swamped out of the market by a raft of mediocrity and are struggling for exposure. If quality is the game then there needs to be more emphasis on quality control. Maybe they need subject specialists to monitor content, suggest improvements and to review good resources in depth? However, this would require significant investment from TES in its own platform and I don't know what sort of appetite they would have for that...
    elder_cat, mrajlong and mathsmutt like this.
  15. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    Apologies if my explanation was too blunt.

    Of course there are older resources that remain valid and are useful.

    My suggestion was on the basis that the simplest approach to clear out the far greater number of resources that are neither would be to filter them via whether or not those resources are actively managed. It wouldn't take very much more to add to that a check as to whether or not a resource has been downloaded in recent times (and therefore still of use).
    mrajlong likes this.
  16. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    There are a lot of good ideas here.

    Just to add - I don't think removing 1 star reviews is a good idea at all. These are usually technical glitches where people leave a review saying 'I can't download this.' Removing these wouldn't be fair to the authors (I know this has been said but I'm reiterating it).

    What could be done instead is - the author receives an email saying words to the effect of 'Here's your review. Here is a link to the resource to respond or take down to improve if you wish to.'

    I agree reviews need to be incentivised in some way - I believe *** gives credit for reviews.

    There are still loads of resources that gained 50 or so reviews when it was still possible (3 years ago) to turn free resources into paid ones. These are outdated in many cases but appear all over the place due to their unfair headstart. I think these need to be seriously looked at. People see all the reviews and buy them still - market forces are not enough to bring these down because they are 'pinned' up due to their massive headstart. People may buy these and then think, hang on this doesn't meet the 2017 curriculum at all - and then don't trust Tes reviews - or even don't return to purchase again.

    I agree there are still many useful resources from 3 years ago - I am talking about the free turned to paid ones here.

    Actually I think the quality of resources has improved across the board over the past two or three months, due to the end of incentives for mass uploads. I agree copyright is a massive problem. I know Tes's stance is that authors must police this as they don't have the staff for it. Fair enough, but there needs to be far more in the way of a warning for people nicking the resources of others / using copyrighted images - the current tick box is no incentive not to do this.

    Maybe a dedicated team of trusted author volunteers to spend a couple of days a month removing blatent copies/copyright infringements from exam boards / very old, poor and outdated resources might be an idea? Realise this could cause conflict though so the rules and methods would have to be very fair and transparent.
    TeachElite and mathsmutt like this.
  17. krisgreg30

    krisgreg30 Occasional commenter

    I think we need to be very careful about ideas of removing 'older' or 'outdated' resources as from what I am aware of there are still people using these. I know myself that resources I first put online three years ago are getting downloads/ sales so would be very annoyed if they were suddenly taken down purely because of their upload date.

    The idea that covers also demonstrate the quality of a resource is nonsense as well. I never make covers as I feel the time can be better spent on making good resources and I still have high download and sale numbers from these. Unfortunately, as many have previously stated the issue here is then a lack of reviews from those downloads and sales.

    I also think we need to be careful about removing resources based on reviews as it has been clear for a long time that there are troll reviewers out there who are sticking 1 and 2 stars on resources for the sake of it without offering any kind of comment or constructive criticism. I do worry that these people will gain more traction if developments aren't handled carefully.

    There has certainly been an improvement in the quality of resources since we saw the end of incentives for uploads e.g. £2 per resource which of course led to an influx of wordsearches and half-completed pieces.

    Personally, I LOVE the idea of some ad-stream revenue related to free downloads in a YouTube style as it would certainly add an incentive for sharing resources freely between people whilst rewarding hard work.
  18. mathsmutt

    mathsmutt Star commenter

    There are at least three categories of sellers :
    • Teachers running small businesses who use the TES platform as an additional outlet.
    • Teachers who enjoy creating resources and purely use TES as their outlet.
    • Teachers selling classroom resources.
    Sellers in the first two categories tend to take time crafting their products and take copyright issues seriously - since reputation is at stake. Some sellers in the third category appear unaware that materials created primarily for use with their own classes - or created in school - are copyrighted to their employer.(Unless an agreement exists)

    A question to be asked is what is the core purpose of TES Resources ?
    Is it a depository for classroom resources or a global educational resources outlet ?

    The royalty fees applicable at present are very good compared with other outlets. However, publication is immediate resulting in some quality control issues. Perhaps the current Bronze, Silver and Gold structure should be abolished - with all sellers being awarded the same rate. This would allow TES to fund staff to sift through resources submitted for publication . ( This lack of instant publication is consistent with other large outlets and would provide a degree of quality control.)

    I also disagree with having a time limit on resources. There are so many resources available it is often very difficult for resources to be viewed - let alone downloaded. Rather than the current "TES Picks", I would suggest a totally randomized resource spotlight.

    Finally, I would suggest separating the viewing pages for free and premium resources.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
    kibishipaul, elder_cat and hoppytimes like this.
  19. ajs12345

    ajs12345 New commenter

    I think you've hit the nail on the head here. I don't understand how/why this happens considering it states in the terms and conditions that turning free into paid will reset the star ratings...puts everyone else at a major disadvantage and like you say turns people off the platform if the resource is outdated.
  20. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    I didn't state that a cover demonstrates quality.

    I did suggest those covers that illegally use copyrighted images would suggest an author hasn't given full consideration to what they have offered.

    The point about older resources has been explained in earlier posts. More than once now I think.

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