Student and Registry Services


Latest Updates on our EC system

24 March 2023

Read about feedback captured from staff and student user reviews and the system enhancements now live

We launched our EC system on Portico in October 2022, having worked closely with faculty contacts throughout design, development and testing to ensure that it met end user requirements. Post-launch, we have continued to work closely with our Faculty EC Champions to identify and deliver system enhancements and in January we conducted a staff and student system user review to get a rounded user perspective. Key feedback and resulting enhancements from the user review are summarised below. 

Student feedback 

All students who had submitted an EC claim on Portico were given the opportunity to provide feedback via a questionnaire and we received 563 responses with a positive theme overall: 79% of respondents agreed with the statement “it is easy to create an EC claim on the EC system”; 78% of respondents encountered no issues using the system; and, of the students who had also submitted an EC claim prior to the introduction of the system, 81% said that it is now easier or as easy to submit an EC claim using Portico. 

Staff feedback 

Over 50 academic and administrative staff members gave feedback in workshops and there was a shared view that the new EC system has brought significant positive change by reducing manual document administration, reducing student error and providing an intuitive and transparent system with all claims in one place. Staff also provided lots of constructive suggestions for improvement which we reviewed and prioritised according to the impact of the change on staff and student user experiences and / or the feasibility of implementing them over the coming months.  

As a result, we have now delivered the following system enhancements:  

  • Record Decision screen: Notes for student text box enlarged, and line breaks now save as basic formatting. This improves readability of the message for the student. 
  • Viewing list of claims screen: 'Last Viewed' by user column has been added, to keep track of when the user last viewed a claim. This updates each time the user goes into a claim, enabling panellists to review and manage claims more easily.   
  • Viewing list of claims screen: 'Comments Column' has been added to keep track of a) how many comments the user has added, b) how many panellists have added comments c) total number of comments on a claim. This will help panellists to quickly identify which claims need to be reviewed / followed up / have a decision made.   
  • Viewing list of claims screen: Filters, sorting, and text searches will now be remembered if a user has added filters. So, when viewing a claim and then returning to the all claims view, any filters or searches remain in effect. This will help panellists when processing claims. 
  • EC history page shows all claims that a student has created and discussions / decisions and supporting evidence, ensuring that key information is in one place for panellists when reviewing a claim.  
  • Panel discussion page now shows a timestamp for comments, enabling panellists to review discussions chronologically.  
  • Student reminder added to show when they have created, but not yet submitted, a claim. 
  • Student notification added to remind them to submit evidence 7 days before the end of the 4 week window (where they have chosen to submit evidence at a later date). 

We are also working on the following enhancements and plan to have them live by the end of April: 

  • Flag to show actions or activity on a claim including when a student has added or amended evidence and when a Faculty decision has been made.    
  • “Next” / “Previous” buttons added so that panellists can move through claims without having to return to the claims list view. 
  • Additional column to show year of study on the claims list view. 
  • Decision date added as search criteria on the report. 

We are also reviewing system and guidance accessibility and have requested an in-depth review by the digital accessibility team to support this.  

For staff information and guidance on using the system, please visit: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/examinations-and-student-records/extenuating-circumstances 

For student information and guidance on Extenuating Circumstances, including how to apply for EC claims on Portico, please visit: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/chapters/chapter-2-student-support-framework/section-2-short-term-illness-and-other-extenuating