Concerned Learning Material Developers

Your rights & responsibilities in a Platform Economy

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  sylvia hammond 2 months ago.

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  • #71099

    sylvia hammond

    We have heard lots of media reports about the 4th Industrial Revolution & also how the world of work is changing. One of the major changes to the world of work is the Platform Economy.

    Skills-universe is part of that Platform Economy – members make contact, advertise their services, and others looking to purchase – post details of what they are looking for.

    Skills-universe offers the platform for members in the world of skills development, training, development, and education, to make contact, to meet their needs, and to support their businesses.

    BUT we do not quality assure the posts. Our responsibility is to take down illegal, or discriminatory posts, or other contraventions of our Constitutional rights.

    We are not censors – so we need members to provide us with evidence before we can remove posts and delete and block members. Thanks to some of our members, we have been able to delete and block previous members.

    Training material sales are a major problem.
    There are plagiarised materials, there are poor quality materials, and there are materials where the intellectual property has been infringed – all are on the market.

    We are not the quality assurance body – so please before you buy – please check what product you are buying.

    A good subject matter specialist developer will take time and care – and the materials will justify a higher price. A relationship will be formed. The developer will then be available to you when you need to modify, and update the material – changes are always necessary.

    If you buy from a training material broker, who has a list of materials, over a range of subject matter areas, they may not be able to provide you with that form of relationship.

    So the platform is here – but you are responsible for your own financial security. Think before you buy.

    I think the correct Afrikaans term is goedkoop is duur koop.
    I’d really like to know the equivalent in isiZulu, or other African languages.

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  • #71213

    Nigel Shipston

    Goedkoop indeed Sylvia!

    Having specialised in the field of lifting machinery (forklifts and cranes) and dangerous goods for the last 20+ years, I am reluctant to embark on programme development in fields outside my expertise. It is important that a developer has subject matter expertise along with input from other SME’s. When I see these prodigious lists of material available from some of these companies who have only lately popped in the market, I am wary. How did they get a list so long in such a short space of time? Did they develop the material themselves or was it obtained by other means? Do they have the support resources to address issues after purchase?

    If you look at some of the companies who have been offering learning materials for say the last 15 years, you can accept that their list of available materials will be long, having been added to year after year. They will also offer (and actually supply) support services following purchase. However, having relocated to Gauteng in 2012, I have had numerous confrontations with a number of these miscreants which involved totally sub standard material or proven plagiarised/stolen material.

    In other instances I have heard from providers that, having purchased material, they eventually give up trying to get material amended to SETA requirements and even give up getting a refund. The stress of dealing with constant excuses, time restraints and other factors push providers to literally write off the cost to experience and go elsewhere.

    But most certainly, this cannot be the responsibility of SU. Irrespective of where the details of a supplier are obtained, it is the responsibility of the buyer to exercise due caution. Do not be deceived by unreasonably low prices and shop around. It would be interesting if we could get stats on how many providers have been caught like this and just how much money has been lost.

    I can personally list 2 big providers and at least 10 small providers who have been ripped off in this manner. Some I could fix, but most come to me too late.

    Buyer beware!

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  • #71217

    sylvia hammond

    Thanks Nigel. I appreciate your response.

    If you have contacts who have complaints about material from skills-universe members, I would be interested to hear from them.

    I am particularly interested in any misuse, or copying or appropriation of material.

    I do also think we should distinguish between brokers, who sell long lists of qualification material, when common sense indicates that they cannot possibly be subject matter experts in that vast, disparate range of qualifications – and genuine subject matter developers.

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