Teaching & Learning


Checklist for remote supervision and personal tutoring

Dr Alex Standen, Associate Director in the Arena Centre, shares her top tips for effective remote supervision and personal tutoring.


2 June 2020

What help can I offer?

  • First and foremost, you can offer your students reassurance that:
    • they are doing ok;
    • everyone at UCL wants them to succeed;
    • there is plenty of help and support available to them.
  • Ensure they are accessing essential information provided centrally from UCL and any local departmental information.
  • Check that they have access to networks of peers and wider groups and that they aren’t isolated.
  • Be realistic! Admit that this is challenging for everyone and be upfront about what you can offer – and about what you expect of them.

    Have a conversation about:
    • expectations;
    • limitations;
    • short and longer-term plans and objectives.
  • Help them put this into practice by helping them to prioritise and make the best use of their time.

How should I approach remote working with tutees and supervisees?

  • Agree a frequency and means of technology that works for you both. Microsoft Teams is the recommended platform, but be mindful about their access to Wifi and any time differences. 
  • Remember some students may prefer asynchronous communications, such as email, so that they can read and respond in their own time. This can mitigate poor sound quality or WiFi.
  • Outline in advance any points for discussion or consider a shared document to provide a framework for your meetings – that way you will both be prepared and know what to expect.
  • Consider recording any online meetings, or asking your students to follow up with notes or action points to clarify that you both have the same understanding of the meeting.

What should I do if I have any concerns about a student?

  • Follow any local procedures, which may include contacting your Departmental (Graduate) Tutor or Administrator. 
  • If you have serious concerns about a student, you can raise these immediately through the Student of Concern form.
  • Remember what we need most right now is to show our students that we care about their education:
    • You are not expected to have all of the answers, so don't be afraid to just listen.
    • Reach out and direct students to information and/or colleagues who can offer tailored support.

Where can you access further support?

  1. Keep in touch with your colleagues locally and keep up to date with the UCL coronavirus information pages.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the support available for students and the resources available to UCL staff during the Covid-19 outbreak. 
  3. The UCL Arena Centre provides a wealth of support and resources for personal tutors and supervisors, including online training courses to further develop your skills.

    Thank you for your continued hard work in supporting our students.