This Q&A gives our readers the opportunity to learn about one of our specialist ILM tutors; Ashley Lloyd. Ashley discusses her professional journey sp far, what learners should expect from her as a tutor, her thoughts on distance learning, and more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello everyone! My name is Ashley Lloyd, I am 34 and live in central Liverpool. I am a mum of two children and part of a very big, close family. I enjoy challenging myself and continuously developing myself professionally, physically, and mentally. For example, enrolling on courses to keep my knowledge up to date and completing challenges such as Ben Nevis last year. I like to make the most of life and believe that I can do anything I put my mind to.
Can you tell us why you joined UniCourse?
I had heard good things about UniCourse from past colleagues and learners. An amazing opportunity to work close to home delivering qualifications to working professionals arose in 2017. From my first step in the office, I got a great first impression of a strong and friendly team.
Can you tell us some details about your education and experience with teaching this subject matter?
I believe using my first-hand experience of studying while working and juggling a family makes me suited to this role. I manage all ILM programmes at the moment. I have completed numerous ILM qualifications, and I’m currently working through a Level 7 ILM today. I believe in the impact of continuous development for learners, employers, and the organisation as a whole. I have seen first-hand how vocational qualifications can help you to gain knowledge and skills to help you work your way up the ranks, which I did, up to strategic management where I gained experience in the strategic process, including analysis and planning for organisational change. Also here I learnt to understand the importance of people management and communication.
My previous role was as a Vocational Coach/Assessor. I was responsible for training and development programmes which aimed to provide employers with qualified and skilled employees; helping them to meet the business objectives effectively and efficiently. I worked around Merseyside delivering a range of programmes (including ILM) in the learner’s workplace, ranging from large enterprises such as Shell, to small family-run nurseries and call centres.
The experience gained from having a range of learners from all different backgrounds/industries helped me to see assignments from different perspectives to guide learners in the direction to become successful in their area of interest.
I have completed a Certificate in Education a TAQA (teaching and quality assurance qualification), business qualifications and have almost completed all the ILM qualifications relating to Leadership and Management.
“I have seen first-hand how vocational qualifications can help you to gain knowledge and skills to help you work your way up the ranks”
What are your thoughts on the emergence of online distance learning as a viable alternative method of study?
Online learning is the future. Although not suited to all learning preferences, resources can now be adapted and changed to suit all. The online resources and classrooms can be just as effective as face-to-face delivery. Vocational/online qualifications allow learners to learn theory (via the online resources) and put what they have learnt into practice instantly. This practical approach to learning is great as learners can not only see their own competence but employers can see how the online course can impact the individual and the organisation.
Online flexible study is great for busy working professionals as it allows them to manage their own time, their own priorities and gives them ownership of their own professional development.
Tell us about your experience.
I have worked in various roles in different industries over the years. I have worked in sales, been in the military, taught in a foreign country, worked remotely delivering qualifications. This has led to a variety of experience in different areas of work. I have delivered ILM qualifications since 2013. Qualifications gained in school have been updated and upskilled, leadership qualifications gained through the military have stuck with me. Management qualifications gained and experienced while being a learner and assessor have also been beneficial. In addition, having first-hand experience of working my way up through the ranks due to study and determination has helped me to understand how this can be achieved.
What will a student experience when studying with UniCourse?
UniCourse offer a flexible, online learning platform that can be adapted to a learner’s needs, meaning all courses are specific and tailored to each individual. A personal and direct approach to learning that is convenient for working professionals wanting to develop and upskill previous knowledge and abilities.
How is UniCourse different from other distance learning companies?
UniCourse offers a personal and direct approach to learning. At UniCourse we understand the juggling act that is work, study, and family time. For this reason we guide learners in the direction they want to go in and assist them with developing their own targets. We offer full unit specifications in the programmes we deliver, meaning all learners get a unique programme tailored to them.
UniCourse also offer career advice and support even after the qualification is complete, as we care about our learners progressing and fulfilling their dreams.
We offer flexible payment options too!
What should a learner expect from you as a tutor?
A heart-warming welcome, an in-depth conversation about my learner’s goals and aspirations in order for me to support the delivery of their exclusive programme. On hand for support, guidance and feedback throughout the qualification.
“A heart-warming welcome, an in-depth conversation about my learner’s goals and aspirations in order for me to support the delivery of their exclusive programme”
What would you say is the best way as a tutor to deliver the information in a way that people can understand?
It depends, you need to understand the learner’s preferences before (initial assessment), and then adapt the mechanism of delivery accordingly, or provide a range of resources that could meet different preferences.
What would you say about the effectiveness of online tutoring, compared to classroom contact lessons?
Extremely effective, you get out what you put in as with classroom contact lessons, however, you will not have to wait around for feedback on assignments.
What are some of your favourite strategies for teaching materials to students?
A great starting point for ILM learners is for them to gain self-awareness. I will ask them to complete self-assessments and gain feedback from peers and managers at the start as this helps the learner build a picture of themselves, this can be done at the end of the qualification. Learners are pleasantly surprised to compare and learn how their leadership and management approach and style can change.
Live Wiz-IQ sessions are a great way to get the learners interacting in real time with their peers and myself. The fact these can be recorded and sent out to learners makes this mechanism of delivery even better.
How can you determine if a student understands the material or needs additional instruction?
It’s important to be approachable from the start, so the learners are confident to approach me whenever they are having difficulty understanding. Offer support and feedback throughout.
“It’s important to be approachable from the start, so the learners are confident to approach me whenever they are having difficulty understanding.”
What would you say to a learner who wanted to give up, believing they are not capable of acquiring the qualification?
I would say that giving up is a state of mind. Anyone can complete a qualification if they put their mind to it. I would ask them to consider doing a self-assessment to consider their strengths and weaknesses and determine ways to overcome weaknesses. I would put together an action plan for them with small, realistic objectives based on the time the learner can allocate for study.
How would you describe your style?
I do not have a particular style; I work in many ways and adapt my approach to the learner’s needs.
Can you tell us about the challenges and opportunities ahead? What lies ahead?
People’s lives have become less rushed due to limited plans and minimal schedules. This has not had an effect on distance learning and could be seen as an opportunity to develop oneself.
Face-to-face delivery for short award courses based in Liverpool was approved in 2018-2019 but due to the recent pandemic, this opportunity has been delayed. This opportunity could arise again and marketing in the business quarter in Liverpool could be useful.
Who has served as a form of inspiration to you in terms of what you do?
My dad is a great inspiration, he is a self-employed tradesman. Over the years he has taken on many apprentices to help them to start their own careers. He is 65 and is still hardworking and motivated and has such determination to get the job done whatever problem arises.
What motivates you to keep going?
I enjoy seeing progression whether that’s the learner’s progression or my own progression. I find achieving goals and objectives pushes me to challenge myself further.
Learners’ success stories over the years have given me the enthusiasm to continue on the path of teaching.
And finally, what do you like to do in your free time?
Family time is really important to me, we like long walks and adventures. I am a fond runner and also think mindfulness through yoga and meditation is a great way to find balance as a busy mum.
"You are provided with all the resources you need and the support is fantastic. I would recommend Unicourse to anyone looking for distance learning at their own pace."
"I have enjoyed my course so far with Unicourse, I have found it a lot more flexible and can fit it around my hectic lifestyle a lot easier than attending college with assignment deadlines. Any problem I have had with the course have been answered very quickly. I would recommend Unicourse to others who are busy but want to carry on with education."
"From the start of the enrolment phase, UniCourse admin team made everything simple and clear how the course would be laid out with the program ‘Moodle’ I would be using. The course is a very convenient way to study even if you are already fully employed like myself and lecturers were easily contactable and friendly. Overall I had pleasant experience with unicourse and would recommend them to anyone looking to improve on their education"
"My dream of finishing my studies has been possible only because of Unicourse, they have given me the opportunity to be flexible with my studies and hold a full time job all at the same time. I would highly recommend them for anyone looking to study and work at the same time. I have found them to be very helpful with all my queries and they are quick to help me solve my problems. This is so convenient for me I can study in my own time and in my own home no need to travel to college at a certain time. After finishing my current HNC course I hope to start HND with Unicourse they are fantastic i am very pleased with them."
"With a full time Job and 2 very young kids a normal 9-5 course was not an option. It was becoming increasingly difficult to better my career options. Finding Unicourse on the internet has really opened up my learning potential. Their professionalism, knowledge and flexibility are really first class. To sum them up in one word.... Awesome!"
"I have found Unicourse to not only be a very convenient way to study as I am a self employed full time electrician, but also the course tutor to be very helpful. Whether I require help by phone, email or a live web session he is always available. The tutor also returns marked work very quickly allowing me plenty of time to make any adjustments. I have found Unicourse to afford me the best opportunity to progress my career whilst also continuing to work full time. "
"I have really enjoyed my experience so far with Unicourse.org even obtaining a Distinction on my first module. The staff and lecturers are quick and helpful with their responses to any and all enquiries and the video conferencing platform is very helpful when discussing intricate subject matter. I would highly recommend the course to anyone wishing to broaden their horizons whilst holding down a full time job."
"Great tutors, easy to follow workbooks, great support, would highly recommend."
"Time and place were severe obstacles to me achieving a HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Thankfully, the flexible options offered by Unicourse have allowed me to undertake my HND from home with them while working full-time. They have personalised my HND, allowing me to choose from many optional units. The traditional colleges I looked up did not offer option choices at all. I have also managed to complete my HND with Unicourse in a fraction of the time that would have been necessary at other colleges. I am really pleased that I made the right choice. The support I got was fantastic."
"The flexibility of the courses and the professionalism of the staff make UniCourse a great way to improve your personal skills with a chance of a future career."
"If you want to succeed I personally suggest you apply to UniCourse. Why? After many years away from study I did my HNC. It was hard work but with superb help and guidance I obtained 8 Distinctions. This year I am doing my HND in Electrical & Electronic Engineering with UniCourse. Again, UniCourse are pulling out all the stops with high quality assignments, a one-to-one videoconferencing platform, incredible feedback and comprehensive support when needed."