Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS


Course Handbook



PTLLS course information • Tutors • Progression routes • Level of course • Course hours / home study • Portfolio • Reading list • Summary of course content • Assignments • Plagiarism • The appeals process • The assessment process • Assignment writing guide

The awarding body for the PTLLS course at Hopwood Hall College is Ascentis. Full details of the New PTLLS Course Specifications are available on the Ascentis website:

Email addresses of tutors

Opportunities for Progression

• PTLLS is a minimum threshold qualification for people wishing to teach / train in the Lifelong Learning sector. It is an introductory course, not a full teaching qualification. • Once you have a PTLLS you could progress to a Level 3 or Level 4 Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS). • Alternatively you could progress to the Level 5 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS), or the Level 5 Certificate of Education (Cert Ed.).

PTLLS levels • PTLLS can be achieved at either Level 3 or Level 4. • Based on your initial assessment and interview, the course tutors will advise you as to the most appropriate level for you. • You will be supported by your personal tutor to ensure your work meets the required standard.

Level 3 or Level 4?

The content of the Level 3 and Level 4 course is the same, but the application of knowledge, understanding and skills within the assessment tasks is more sophisticated at Level 4. Level 4 candidates will be expected to demonstrate skills such as evaluating, justifying and analysing, whereas Level 3 candidates will be asked to describe and explain.

• Candidates who are entered for PTLLS at Level 4 have usually undertaken degree level study in the past.

Initial assessment


The initial assessment tasks and the first draft of Assignment 1 will enable your tutor to advise you whether you should be working at Level 3 or Level 4.

• There will be further opportunities to discuss levels during the course. • However, it is the tutor’s responsibility to ensure that you have the best chance of achievement at the most appropriate level.

Study hours

PTLLS has a credit value of 12 on the QCF = approx 120 hours of learning. Approximately 30 hours of this will be direct contact time with tutors.

• The rest will be directed home study (reading, research, writing assignments, preparing materials for the micro-teach etc).

The Portfolio • The PTLLS is an evidence-based course with no exam • You will produce a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate that you have met the assessment criteria: – 4 written assignments – 1 practical micro-teach to your peers – A reflective diary kept throughout the course


Suggested Reading You will need to do some reading outside the course materials. (If you are taking the PTLLS at Level 4 you will have to provide evidence of extensive reading and research.) Books

Gibbs, G. (1998) Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Methods, Oxford, Further Education Unit Gravells, A. (2011) Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Exeter, Learning Matters. Gravells, A. and Simpson, S. (2009) Equality and Diversity in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Exeter, Learning Matters. Petty, G. (2004), Teaching Today, Nelson Thomas Petty, G. (2009), Evidence Based Teaching, Nelson Thomas Reece, I. and S. Walker (2007), Teaching, Training and Learning: A practical Guide, Tyne and Wear, Business Education Publishers Ltd. Wallace, S. (2007) Teaching, Tutoring and Training in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Exeter, Learning Matters. Williams, J. (2010) Study Skills for PTLLS, Exeter, Learning Matters.

• • •

Useful websites • • • • Institute for Learning: • LLUK publications are available from their archive at: tp://

Summary of course content

To understand the roles and responsibilities teaching

in relation to

• To understand appropriate teaching and learning approaches • To plan, deliver and evaluate a micro-teaching session • To observe and evaluate peer’s micro-teaching sessions • To understand the use of assessment methods and record keeping

Assignments • Assignments should be submitted by email. • You should submit a first draft of each assignment to your personal tutor, who will provide detailed feedback.

You should then submit your final draft. When it has been approved, you can print it out and put it in your portfolio with the assignment cover sheet.

• You must meet the assignment deadlines in order to complete the course.


Plagiarism and copying are taken very seriously. It is expected that all of the work you produce is your own.

• This applies to both written and practical assignments. • If plagiarism is proved, you will automatically fail that assignment and possibly the whole course.
• 6

Any sources used must be acknowledged.

Appeals procedure • If you are unhappy with an assessment decision, your first point of contact is your personal tutor. • If you are unsatisfied, you can take your concern to the PTLLS Course Co-ordinator (Angie Simms). • If the issue is still not resolved, Hopwood Hall College has a formal appeals procedure documented in your portfolio.

The assessment process • At the end of the course completed portfolios are submitted for assessment.

A team of Internal Verifiers check the portfolios to ensure they meet the assessment criteria. You will then receive notification that you have achieved your award and a certificate will be sent out.

• An External Verifier from Ascentis visits the college twice a year to check a sample of portfolios submitted during that time. • Once the External Verifier has made her report, the portfolios will be available for collection.


PTLLS Assignment Writing Guidelines

Assignments should be submitted to your personal tutor by email.

• Submit a first draft of each assignment to your personal tutor, who will provide detailed feedback.

Once you have made the suggested amendments, submit your final draft. When this has been approved, print it out and put it in your portfolio together with the assessment criteria feedback sheet.

• You must meet the assignment deadlines in order to complete the course.
• •

Your assignments should be written in an academic style. Make a plan of what you are going to say before you start the first draft. There should be an introduction – to set out briefly the purpose and content of the assignment. They also need a short conclusion – to tie the mains points together.

Word processing your assignments • Assignments should be word-processed and saved as a Word document. • Fonts: Ariel, Calibri or Times New Roman, 12 or 14 point. • Line spacing: 1.5 or 2.0

• Margins: 2.0

Drafts should be emailed to your tutor as Word documents. Make sure you save a copy.

• Please put page numbers on your assignment.

Assignment do’s and don’ts

• • •

Don’t use bullet points or lists. Do try to make your assignment flow. Do organise your assignment using headings taken from the assignment briefs. (This will help to guide the reader, and ensure that you have covered all of the assessment criteria.) Do indicate which criteria you are addressing in your headings, e.g. 1.2, 2.3

Using other sources
• •

Do use other sources to support your arguments. Do include a few well-chosen direct quotes (i.e. taken directly from the source and indicated by “quote marks”.) Do say who and where the quotes come from, both in the text and in the bibliography. Your bibliography goes at the end of the assignment.

• It should include all of the books, websites and class handouts you have used to write your assignment.

It should be in alphabetical order by author’s surname.


Don’t claim other people’s work as your own - acknowledge all sources.

• If you use someone’s ideas, but not their exact words, you must still give the reference.

Referencing books

How to use a direct quote in the text: According to Petty (2004, p. 176), “active learning tasks encourage students to construct their own meaning”. or... Petty (2004, p. 176) suggests that, “active learning tasks encourage students to construct their own meaning”. How to use an indirect quote or paraphrase in the text: Active learning is a very effective strategy because it encourages learners to think for themselves (Petty, 2004). In the bibliography use Harvard referencing: Petty, G. (2004), Teaching Today, Nelson Thomas

Referencing online sources • In the text: The Open University (2006) describes a range of barriers to learning, including social and economic factors. • In the bibliography:


Open University (2006) Making your teaching inclusive: Barriers to learning, [accessed September 8th 2011] A useful guide to referencing can be found in Just enter the details of the book / journal / web site and he will turn it into a Harvard reference for you.

Proofreading Even when your assignments are in draft form, you must ensure that they are grammatically correct, with accurate spelling and punctuation. It is not the tutor’s responsibility to correct your English or check your spelling. Therefore, before you submit your assignment drafts, please proofread them carefully for style and content.

• Spelling (have you done a basic spell check?) • Grammar (do your sentences make sense?) • Punctuation (Have you used full stops, commas, quote marks, capitalization etc. correctly?) • Have you answered each part of the question? • Have you given the dates and page numbers for your quotes? • Are you within the word count?

Read through your assignment carefully, aloud, exactly as you have written it (including the punctuation). This will usually help to ensure your writing makes sense.

• Ask a friend or colleague to read it through for you. A second pair of eyes will often spot things you might have missed.



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