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Quality consultation on Tes resources

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

  1. LivelyLearning

    LivelyLearning New commenter

    Yeah, that would be the mega number of huuuuge ads that cover most of my screen on pretty much every page I click on - the phone ads are horrendous too, taking over a large part of the bottom of my screen - the ad revenue is funding what exactly?
  2. LivelyLearning

    LivelyLearning New commenter

    Sorry but no, a tier system based on a chaotic, shambolic and non-transparent set of parameters, and at times seemingly flagrant favouritism in terms of promoting certain resources, would be in my opinion absolutely disastrous
    Kazg1 and kibishipaul like this.
  3. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    It would have to be very fairly set out and transparent. Completely agree @LivelyLearning
    LivelyLearning likes this.
  4. KS2History

    KS2History New commenter

    Yes you raise a good point @LivelyLearning, it would certainly need to be fair and transparent and that is not easy to achieve. I think there are potential issues with basing the tier on any one of those points I exemplified, but I was just thinking that if a checklist could be drawn up rather than basing the tiering on a single focus, it would create a more rounded system.
    EC_Resources and LivelyLearning like this.
  5. wendylk

    wendylk New commenter

    I really don't think I can add much to this discussion and we are all saying the same things over and over again, but maybe tes wants to see a majority opinion, so for what it's worth.....

    How to define quality

    I really don't see how this is possible - quality is entirely subjective and unless TES employed hundreds more staff, I don't see peer reviews working. I would not like to see a secondary teacher reviewing my primary resources and vice versa. My resources are made according to the needs of the age group I teach - I am the one on the ground and I know what is needed for my pupils. My opinion on a fully rounded resource has been mentioned in an earlier post and I follow the same checklist for every resource I create. My checklist is based on what I would want to see in a resource as a teacher/buyer. However, most of that checklist is 'fluff' and not absolutely necessary - it does not speak to the pedagogical content of the resource, so a resource should never be written off because it doesn't follow a checklist - not every seller/creator thinks this way or may not have the design capabilities.
    I feel tes ticks, as an indication of quality, don't work, as many of the resources that get chosen, in my opinion, are not quality at all. It also feels very randomised and often only happens if they suit the next blog post coming up or if you are currently selling well.
    Quantity shouldn't come into any checklist at all. Nor should downloads or sales. My personal opinion is that quality does not lead to sales. Promotion by tes leads to sales and we all know this promotion is not equitable. The only time I have had a big number of sales was when tes made a video of one of my resources - I was astonished at the response - it was also a resource that I wouldn't have said I was particularly proud of. I do think the majority of my resources are 'good' quality but given that many are currently floating around Page 153 (hyperbole :D), how would buyers ever find them?

    I realise what I have said is very negative, but I honestly don't know the answer to this question. My only suggestion is that authors pay for their shops - a yearly (affordable fee). I know if I had to pay for something, I would be making sure that I am doing everything possible to show my shop in a good light.

    How to encourage more reviews
    The only way to encourage reviews, in my opinion, to to incentivise buyers. Points given for monies paid, on a scale depending on cost of resource. On another site I use, I buy a lot of clip art. I get points when I review every resource, which helps me greatly to cut the cost of further purchases. On another note, I feel buyers should not be allowed to just leave a star review, they must leave a comment too - this is a must - which leads to buyers and sellers being able to communicate - again a discussion for another day :D

    Removing resources
    There are so many reasons why free resources need to be addressed on the tes site and most posters have already made these arguments. I really feel this has to be addressed before moving forward. The abundant free resources muddy the waters and make it virtually impossible to see the whole picture. I am not saying they should be removed (or that there aren't some hidden gems), but they to need to be moved - to another section of the website. If someone is looking for a free resource, let them go find it. It is virtually impossible at the moment to find good quality, affordable, complete resources because of all the free resources taking up valuable real estate - how can we ever hope to increase earnings when we can't get eyes on our resources - big knock on effect for tes business goals!

    Author royalties
    I would be happy with a flat rate of 85% :) I really don't see how authors can be rewarded, unless promotion is equitable for all. If royalties were ever based on sales and downloads, the only winners would be the already top sellers.

    Thoughts and opinions - don't shoot me :p
  6. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    As an adult children's/adults poet, I absolutely HATE feeling that I am in a competition with anyone and my work is judged against, for example, people who are giving other resources. I never even enter poetry competitions because of my hate of competitions and ratings. I am more than satisfied that the thousand people who come to my main poetry website every single day (more on some days and some less on other days) and take my poems to the children in their classrooms, are enough thanks for my liking. The fact that I skype into schools worldwide (188 countries) and I meet the children who love my poems is enough thanks too. The poems are written for children and therefore it is the children who judge my work and not adults I would like to feel. The fact that they are published in Oxford University Press school books that sell well is another fact. I don't need stars or ratings and would rather not have them. Just a word of thanks from teachers and children is enough for me.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  7. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter


    Agree agree agree!

    Do TES want to change that or not? Is there a genuine interest in developing a marketplace in which teachers can influence what is regarded as quality via their feedback, suggestions and purchases? So far I have no clue as to what it is that TES is working towards with this??
    mathsmutt and kibishipaul like this.
  8. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter

    "The abundant free resources muddy the waters and make it virtually impossible to see the whole picture. I am not saying they should be removed (or that there aren't some hidden gems), but they to need to be moved - to another section of the website. If someone is looking for a free resource, let them go find it. It is virtually impossible at the moment to find good quality, affordable, complete resources because of all the free resources taking up valuable real estate - how can we ever hope to increase earnings when we can't get eyes on our resources - big knock on effect for tes business goals!"

    This is a good idea Wendy!
    kibishipaul likes this.
  9. Krazikas

    Krazikas Occasional commenter


    - Give incentives to reviewers - points or something that can be exchanged for products.
    - Make it easier to provide a review technically instead of having to go 'all around the houses' to give a review ie by enabling the purchaser to review on the actual resource page.


    - Rationalise how reviews are done. They are very ad hoc and lots of poor resources earn the TES tick - not a good indication of quality.
    - Provide easily accessible data for conversion rates for all resources so that authors can more readily assess their resources and make improvements to those with poor conversion rates thereby improving quality (I have lost count of the number of times I have requested this!)
    - ability for authors to remove older resources from showing till they have been worked upon but still in authors dashboard (as in ***)

    3. General

    - Update the resources on the carousel more frequently giving more authors the opportunity to have their resources in prime selling spots.
    - Allow the facility to communicate more readily with purchasers.
    - 13-month calendar in analytics/overview section
  10. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    those suggestions are all fab ^^^^
  11. MosaiK

    MosaiK Occasional commenter

    Coming into this discussion rather late I have to admit I did not read all contributions, just skipped over some to get to page 7 and write this... I have enjoyed reading many a contribution and agree with several.

    However, one question on my mind which I have not seen answered yet (please put me right and sign-post, if this has been said or answered) but might it be an idea to hear from TES how resources are being rated by TES at the moment?
    Surely there must be a system in place which is used to choose those 'pick of the week' resources and those making it to the top of the search results.
    Are TES reviewers qualified teachers? Long-standing authors? Do they follow a set list of points and features to look for in resources?

    I hope that the current criteria will be published in February together with all of us authors' suggestions to enable all to draw our own conclusions and to forge a way forward. If all cards are not on the table I feel very much at the mercy of the TES rather than enjoying publishing and sharing my teaching resources.
    Whilst I am not in this for the money, I do agree that it is nice to get some money back from all the hard work. However, I cannot help feeling that royalties and that 30p fee taken by the TES are quite high when balanced against the work that I put in.

    Thank you for reading. ;)
    thinky likes this.
  12. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    I ompletely agree with @EC_Resources for the reasons above and for my own.

    I don't produce a stack of resources, I take on big tasks and have a number of resources on here that took over 100 hours to make* . I don't sell a huge number of these resources but get thousands of downloads on free items that I throw together and put on there to try and get people looking in my shop. This is supposed to be about quality and any suggestion that something I have spent a couple of hours on is anywhere near the quality of a 150 hour excel spreadsheet is just plain wrong and insulting.

    *I don't recommend this as a business model as you work for far less than a pound an hour.
    mathsmutt, EC_Resources and Krazikas like this.
  13. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    If TES are looking to increase sales then one of the things you need to consider is the fact that some of the subject specific forums are dead others are ticking over. You could add a sub forum to each subject forum pinned at the top but specifically for discussion and recommendation of resources. But without the traffic in the first place that would be pointless.

    I have also tried to encourage people to commission me - they tell me what they want, I write until they are happy, they get it for free,I sell it. No takers!

    Teachers visit to get resources because they have nothing suitable and are unable or unwilling to make their own. All they see is what is on top of the pile or which author is the flavour of the month with TES. The only way anyone seems to be succeeding at this game is
    a) to throw on so many resources from which they get a small income from each
    b) have patronage of TES
    c) to get enough followers who will regularly download from them
    Only c) is through quality.
  14. StartEducation

    StartEducation New commenter

    Is there any chance of increasing the range of analytics? It would be really useful to be able to see data from “the beginning of time” also ability to see royalties in graph form as well as sales. Information is power!
    Krazikas and EC_Resources like this.
  15. StartEducation

    StartEducation New commenter

    Also, it think that there should be expert panels set up to advise Tes on every subject area ... I believe maths and English are covered, but how can tes be expected to have in depth knowledge of the intricacies of every subject. A case in point has been the recent issue with the Art Gcse exam - resources popping up that have been breaching exam regs .... no way of Tes knowing this. Preemptive communication with subject authors cautioning then against infringements could be useful .... I know that from an art point of view there will be more problems at the start of February when the A level exam is released ..... so let’s get on it. I am sure that other subjects have their own particular issues that could be resolved through targeted communication.
    MosaiK likes this.
  16. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    To go back to what has been said about analytics - this could help massively with improvement of quality too; if I could see the conversion rate of each of my resources I'd know instantly which I need to improve and which are fine as they are.
    Krazikas likes this.
  17. kibishipaul

    kibishipaul New commenter

    Looking at what seems to be a theme here relating to the mixing up of free and paid for resources in the ranking system, in that most of the posts suggest that these should be separated, allowing the paid for products more visibility. I agree entirely with this idea. However, I don't think it will work because both sections will still be available to visitors to TES. Here is a radical thought. Why not divorce the paid section completely from TES and set it up as a company in its own right, still related to the parent, but with its own name, branding and policies. Sellers could still provide a limited number of free resources to act as promotional material and perhaps then the site would act as a marketplace should, with quality materials of any subject rising to the top without artificial interference. Like other similar education stores, there could be options for paid for and free promotion of resources to give more exposure to those products. Just a few late Saturday evening thoughts. Feel free to lambast ;)
    dzil, CurriculumForAutism and thinky like this.
  18. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    I actually think the way free and paid are mixed up now should definitely be kept. The reason I think this is because if you could search ONLY for free stuff, then that is exactly what people would do.

    We would not sell very much at all.

    The way things are set up by relevance now means people have a good choice of free and paid side by side. People may be looking for free resources, then a good value paid resource catches their eye, and instead they make a purchase. I imagine this is how most Tes sales happen.

    It is the free resources that attract people to tes in the first place. They are not detracting from our sales, they are making our sales happen.
  19. krisgreg30

    krisgreg30 Occasional commenter

    Completely agree! I seem to find spikes in sales even when I'm uploading a bulk of free resources as it seems to bring people to my other resources, as does tweeting them.

    It's one of those things where I think people need to be careful what they wish for as if free resources and paid resources are split I do think there would be a drop off in sales.
    Kazg1 and Lead_Practitioner like this.
  20. elder_cat

    elder_cat Lead commenter

    Separating free and paid for resources, by physically placing them on different sites may not be the best way to go. But is there any reason they couldn't be separated on the same page ? If you want to look through free resources you click on Tab A. If you want to look through paid for resources, you click on Tab B. Authors could still present a clickable link alongside free resources, that would allow people to browse their paid for work.

    I think maybe the real issue is not whether free and paid for resources are presented together, but how to prevent paid for resources getting 'buried' amongst zillions of free resources, some of which may be of questionable quality.
    krisgreg30 and kibishipaul like this.

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