Mike Jones, our Commercial Director, visits a group of learners and their tutor.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with one of our latest recruits in the Commercial Tutor team, Lianna Day, and a lively and energetic group of self-funded learners who were on the 3rd day of their practical Level 2 Fitness Instructing course at the David Lloyd Club in Cambridge. Lianna joined the Commercial Tutor team earlier in the year so it was the perfect opportunity for me to hear first-hand feedback from her and some of our learners on how change is landing, as well as generate a bunch of fresh ideas about what else we should be evolving as we move into FY18.
Upon arrival at the venue I was very impressed with the learning environment I walked into which included a spacious classroom and a nice outdoor break out area overlooking the club’s tennis courts. The gym area the learners use for their practical learning was equally as impressive, with a vast range of equipment and learner facilities including car parking and a café for learners to grab lunch or a coffee to keep them going throughout the day.
I joined the session as learners were running through some of the key areas that would be covered throughout their imminent practical assessments, including the paperwork they would need to submit on assessment day. What jumped out at me was the high quality of teaching and learning I witnessed to meet the different needs of a really diverse group of learners. Lianna did a brilliant job engaging the whole group (including several challenging learners) to contribute in the session and I was really pleased to see that our fitness classroom delivery remains a core strength that we can all be really proud of.
Before the learners broke for lunch I invited them to openly share their experiences of Lifetime and here are my three key take outs from what was a very insightful session…
“Lifetime should be proud of the key role you play in helping and inspiring us as learners to fulfil their goals and passions”
The group shared a wide ranging spectrum of motivations for choosing the course and I was especially inspired by one learner who personified why what we do is so important.
Charlie, a 40 year old mum, is currently juggling her studies with a full-time job working with children. When she sadly lost her partner last year she felt a burning desire to take her passion for fitness into her career path and she approached Lifetime when considering the options. She was initially very apprehensive about enrolling on a course as she said that, in her mind, she felt that she would be too old to work in a gym and was concerned that she didn’t have the stereotypical “six-pack” of a gym goer. After speaking to our course advisor team, hearing about the opportunities in the sector and the diversity of learners on our programmes, she is now delighted that she was able to overcome her initial fears and is currently considering specialising in working with older adults when she qualifies.
“When your learners have regular and motivational contact with tutors we are more engaged and progress quicker!”
Several of the learners I spoke to had been supported remotely by Sarah Menheneott. They could not speak highly enough of the support they have received prior to joining the course, including motivational communications from day one and having really clear expectations set out regarding marking timeframes and what to expect throughout the programme. They each cited that the motivation and support from Sarah was one of the key drivers to their progression. Well done Sarah!
For me this highlighted the need for us to continue driving consistency across the learner experience with standardised (yet personal) learner focused interactions so that every learner gets this same high standard of service and expectations met every single time. This is a theme that our Area Managers will be building out further with the tutor teams so that we launch a Lifetime Learner Engagement Standard that will wow every learner who joins one of our courses, across fitness and beauty.
“Your classroom experience is a winner, although stronger online and video content upfront could enhance the MyLifetime experience from day one”
I wasn’t surprised to hear that one of the most enjoyable parts of the programme for learners is when the group comes together in the classroom. I explored the theme of “learning community” further and when I asked the learners how this translated online the key message I took away was their desire for more video content to help bring the theory to life on topics like Anatomy & Physiology and the Core Units such as Health & Safety.
Given the vast amount of content already hosted in our Online Personal Training Diploma community, the curriculum team now have on their roadmap to make this video content available to all learners. Longer term they’ll be enhancing online content and workbooks with more bite size learning and in the future all learners will access content through Lifetime’s unique Learn, Share, Apply, Dig Deeper approach which is now common across our Apprenticeship Standard online communities.
Thank you Lianna for a tremendous experience on course and also for sharing your reflections on the transition to the fast-paced and exciting world of Lifetime. I left Cambridge feeling really proud of the classroom experience you are delivering to our learners and I look forward to heading out to see more Tutors and IQAs soon.
If this sounds like something you want to be part of take a look at our commercial course and apprenticeship vacancies!