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Quality consultation on Tes resources

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

  1. happyeducators

    happyeducators New commenter

    I think that having resources reviews is too much like OFSTED police even if it is teachers. I don’t create resources for ofsted. I create them for the kids and to support other teachers by making lessons fun instead of test teaching.i also think that ofsteding resources could be the downfall of TES because most good resource authors do this for a fun way to earn money without STRESS! I do think an incentive for buyers would be useful. I also believe that there needs to be more communication and collaboration with TES. authors on TES resources social media. So resources get showcased properly to the right market. If anyone would like to chat further please feel free to email me athappyeducators@outlook.com.
  2. Resource_Creator

    Resource_Creator New commenter

    I've been on here nearly a year and am very grateful for the opportunity provided. My goal was to become a Gold Author. I thought that this held some prestige, but once I attained it, I realised that it just means that I uploaded a lot of resources! Being able to attribute some sort of quality rating to it would be beneficial to sellers and buyers. Even if you had to submit 1-2 resources once you reached the gold level and they were peer rated. It is unrealistic for all resources to be checked, but at least you could show that the author is capable of producing quality resources and had met a set criteria. (that would be agreed dependent on their subject matter). Just an idea! These are great discussions to have. All the best :)
  3. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Hello everyone, thank you for watching the live Q&A and for your feedback. Please keep posting your comments and suggestions.
  4. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    Just watched the live feed - I think making individual resources have a level or badge based on downloads rather than an author themselves is a BAD IDEA. Unless you wants millions of English and Maths resources and no relatively niche resources (Citizenship / Drama / PSHE) created. I make lots of quite niche PSHE resources. Some I sell one or two times a month. But they are the only ones on that subject - and they are really good. Compare this in terms of downloads to something like a phonics resource and it would look like mine are terrible - but they're not, they're niche (so not many people would ever download them anyway!)

    I completely agree the Gold author thing means nothing. It just means you have 100 resources.

    I wonder how a peer review system would work with hundreds of resources being uploaded daily. I don't think this is feasible really, is it? I agree some sort of rating system for authors is needed for quality. They should look at the author's resources as a whole and then maybe give them a mark - to be reviewed yearly perhaps. To do this for every resource individually would be insane.

    I worry a flat royalty rate means that the top authors rates will come down - I hope not. Let's be honest - no one would be happy for that to happen. I work incredibly hard for Tes at the moment. I don't see how a flat rate would incentivise authors to improve at all - maybe I'm missing something obvious here?

    I agree something needs to be done about poor quality uploads - and certainly plagiarism - but please not at the expense of people who put their all into working for the platform every day.

    dzil, jayto, Krazikas and 4 others like this.
  5. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    Linking royalties to sales will mostly benefit whomever TES choose to favour in their promotions. It will move TES towards what already seems to be a decreasing open marketplace.

    I agree with the concern about a flat royalty rate.

    I don't like the idea of a small group of super peer reviewers - that's already a real problem with the present top pick/TES recommended system.

    For me the emphasis should be to help teachers see value in the fact that if they buy a resource it can be an actively developing resource that can be improved over time. Somebody should be able to buy a resource from me, provide me with feedback on how it could work better for them and receive a response and then benefit from future updates of that same resource (that they don't need to purchase again because they can download the latest version). This would take full advantage of new media and help teachers benefit in ways they can't with traditional publishing options.

    I really like the suggestion of options for people to attach photos to feedback - really good :)
    Maths_Shed likes this.
  6. mrajlong

    mrajlong Senior commenter

    If my royalty rate comes down, I will remove all my resources and go it alone. Now way, Jose!
  7. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    As someone who has only recently started uploading resources, I have been following the posts on here, many of which put forward some good ideas. At the risk of being branded an upstart, I would like to add a few comments.

    I think there is a need to clarify exactly what role the TES resources section is meant to play. If it is indeed a 'marketplace', then that would seem to imply that some form of payment is expected for the goods made available on it. Alternatively, it could act as as a repository of resources that can be freely exchanged. Personally speaking, I would think it made sense to separate the paid for resources from the free resources, so they can be administered separately, with a different set of rules.

    If paid for and free resources were separated out, then I do not see any reason why there should be any requirement for reviews of free resources. They are what they are, and given that they haven't cost you anything, you should not expect any guarantee of quality. That's not to say that free resources cannot be quality resources, simply that there should be no expectation of it.

    For the paid for resources, could there not be an option for users to choose between a 'review' and a 'recommendation'? For a 'user review' to be meaningful, it requires more than simply ticking a number of stars. But by all accounts, that is asking too much of some people, which given the demands placed on teachers, is perhaps understandable. So why not replace 'review' with 'recommendation', where they have the option of simply ticking a single box marked 'Recommended'? No need to give detailed feedback, but at least it's an indication of satisfaction with the product.

    The 'recommended' tick-box called also be used with free resources, as a quick way of allowing someone to express their opinion of the resource.

    This might also remove the irritation of troll reviewers leaving unjustifiably bad reviews of a resource.

    There could be a simple link to the author's shop, enabling users to submit any comments, queries, or suggestions for improvements.

    An author uploads a resource, which then gets placed onto a server. However long that resource sits on the server, and however many times it may be downloaded, there are operating costs that need to be met, including maintaining and administering the servers themselves, and the service they provide.

    Those costs will not be met by providing an 'exchange' service where users can download free resources. Therefore you have to recoup your operating costs from the paid for resources. If a paid for resource is downloaded multiple times, with a charge only being made for the initial download, how are the operating costs recovered for all subsequent downloads? Or are they simply written off? Unless TES is prepared to operate their servers as a charitable act, under some kind of subsidy, then I cannot see how they could cover the costs of multiple downloads with no charge applied?

    The problem is that TES is a business. It may be aimed at the educational sector as an audience, but it is still a business, and subject to the same constraints as every other business. I do not know how TES charges compare with charges levied by other platforms, but I suspect they must all have some way of covering their operating costs efficiently.
  8. nick_redshaw

    nick_redshaw Occasional commenter

    Hi Guys just a quick one on the money back thing ------sorry by the way for not contributing for a while been selling my house - offer 22 Sept only just gone through/well couple of weeks until we move....grrrh - so back to the money back thing DO we still get paid?????? do TES take the HIT Hasn't happened to me but if we take the hit I assume the customer has downloaded the resource and walked of with our material........Nick
  9. nick_redshaw

    nick_redshaw Occasional commenter

    Me too I sell both privately and on TES will simply remove (Is this actually just about TES reducing our Royalties AGAIN) - who are they going to employ to check the quality (random) - I offered a year a go they thought it was a good idea - but nothing came of it.........
    CurriculumForAutism likes this.
  10. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    My point with this was that it's already the case that once a buyer has paid for a resource they can download it multiple times. What's lacking is any way to communicate with buyers to inform them that a resource has been updated/improved therefore the benefit of being able to access the latest improved version is currently irrelevant.

    In terms of the factors of cost they're pretty negligible. I serve files for my own sites via Amazon and the costs of doing so are barely pennies. In any case TES has long provided a form of charitable act with regard to these costs via the huge library of free resources.

    I really like the idea of this - buyers could choose whether to recommend a resource (rather than the present stars system).

    I'm hoping TES will do much more than this.

    The present system is so clunky:
    • Links don't always go to a buyers shop (sometimes to a search page of their resources instead)
    • The search listings for a buyer offer filtering options that aren't available in a shop
    • Messaging an author requires tracking them down in the forum
    • I often miss messages because they appear as little yellow notifications hidden among other forum notifications
    • There is no way for authors to message buyers of a resource
    • The 'follow' an author option is barely noticeable
    & so on & so on

    Basically TES is a long way from being set up to encourage and facilitate a sense of community between authors and purchasers/users.
    CurriculumForAutism likes this.
  11. KS2History

    KS2History New commenter

    I agree with previous posters that cutting royalties would be a bad thing. Even if the gold/silver/bronze structure is no longer the best tier system, the fact that it WAS introduced meant that many authors at the time worked hard to achieve gold to receive the 85% royalty. It would be extremely unfair and misleading to lower this now after offering it as an incentive. I think authors who have already earned this rate should definitely not have it lowered now, even if the tier system itself needs to change going forward.
  12. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    My bad....I wasn't aware they could do that.:oops:

    Could there not be some sort of 'auto-update' feature, so that say once a month, any updated resources are emailed out to the list of people who have downloaded it previously? :D But perhaps restrict this to paid for resources, to reduce the amount of traffic generated? The free resources could just get an 'Updated' tag displayed on them when viewed ?

    Fair enough, but I assume you don't serve as many as TES on a daily/monthly basis ?

    Not sure that's a charitable thing, more like a way of enticing folks onto TES in the first place, which probably benfits them more than the resource authors.

    Therefore recommendations come from the buyers themselves, rather than TES or an anonymous panel.

    Neeeds sorting out :(
  13. nick_redshaw

    nick_redshaw Occasional commenter

    Kazg do you mean personal Tax or the Tax TES charges?? If personal TAX - because its a taxable benefit + earnings - If you mean the TAX TES Charges its to simply pay their VAT BILL (not yours) Regards Nick
  14. nick_redshaw

    nick_redshaw Occasional commenter

    Yes my limited experience of horrible 1 star comments is when you investigate they are posted from someone who has no resources of their own - I leave them on and just write a 'suitable' comment back - i.e. 1 Star touch harsh all my other teacher and students love them.....
  15. nick_redshaw

    nick_redshaw Occasional commenter

    I have moved into 'semi retirement' living on my TES royalties since Sept 2017 - I have volunteered to review resources on a random basis for quality - Natalie when she work for TES really like the idea but nothing came of it.....
  16. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    Here here - at least have it as an available option to work towards! I appreciate this would need to be reconfigured though so somehow it was available to those who produce quality over quantity.
  17. KS2History

    KS2History New commenter

    Another idea for consideration would be to have a gold/silver/bronze author tier system that is based on more than one criteria - perhaps a checklist and you have to tick everything to move up to the next tier. For example, x number of resources, x amount of 5 star reviews, x number of sales/downloads, x amount of recommended resources etc. The requirements would need to be well thought through, but what do people think of having a more rounded tier system not just based on one thing as a means to encourage quality not just quantity?
    mrsquenan and EC_Resources like this.
  18. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    What she said ^^^^
  19. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    I think the idea of a more sophisticated way to recognise/reward authors makes sense - but...
    - number of resources: the emphasis on numbers has been a large part of the problem to date
    - amount of 5 star reviews: further encouragement for the 'review my friend' approaches (or by my imaginary friends)
    - number of sales/downloads: my best selling resource is no way near my best resource - it just happens to be the only one I have that's ever had a TES recommendation

    If there were more genuine feedback/reviews it's a good idea though, albeit perhaps off putting/daunting for new authors?

    Out of interest I wonder if the same efforts are being made to consult with buyers as there is with sellers?
  20. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    I wouldn't be here if so :D

    Nowadays yes - but I was meaning more that the infrastructures are already in place and must also be already factored into TES's overall business model & costs.

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