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UCL Tutoring: supporting students and personal tutors

Personalising the student experience: new approaches to personal tutoring.

UCL aims to provide high quality academic guidance and personal support to underpin an ‘inspirational student experience’ through which students can thrive and be successful.

We are planning significant work to improve the ways that we support students – academically and pastorally.

Project update: 17 September 2019

UCL Tutoring pilot begins

As the 2019-20 session opens, six departments will be using our customised online tool to support their personal tutoring.

Over the summer, the project team has been working closely with academic and professional staff from the pilot departments to understand what they need from the platform, so that Tribal, the supplier of the Student Success Platform technology, can develop UCL Tutoring to do what we need it to do.

Staff training and testing of the system has been positive.  We’re hearing that the tool appears to be supporting staff to manage tutoring interactions in a more consistent and efficient way.

This is just the start of our journey; with the launch of the pilot we enter a discovery phase where we will be supporting staff and students, seeking considerable feedback from both user groups so that we can optimise the features and functionality.

Developing online tools to support student care

UCL has recently invested in the development of a student success platform.

This new system will support students in a number of ways and there are three strands to the project:

  1. askUCL: a comprehensive online enquiries service that help students to get the information and help that they need quickly and was launched in June 2019. 
  2. Case management: supporting students to access a range of services in a more efficient way, with a single enquiry point, trackability and secure case notes.
  3. UCL Tutoring: an online system to support students and tutor. This will complement the face-to-face interactions which are the foundation of a high quality tutoring relationship.

UCL Tutoring

UCL Tutoring is a tool to help tutors and students manage the administration of the tutoring process. It will ensure a greater consistency in the staff/student experience and will help facilitate students’ access to personal support through technology.

The first stage of the project will deliver a system customised for UCL that will:

  1. provide technology to help tutors and students to manage the tutoring relationship in practical ways; saving time that can then be invested in a more meaningful, personal interactions.
  2. give tutors and students easier access to relevant information, before and during meetings, that will help tutors to tailor discussions with students.
  3. support personal tutors and other staff in their pastoral role, with a seamless process through which students can access timely well-being support and guidance.

Pilot 2019-20

A pilot of UCL Tutoring will begin in September 2019 and will continue through the academic year. It is our plan to launch UCL Tutoring for departments to opt-in from September 2020.

The following departments are involved in the pilot:

  • Arts and Sciences (BASc)
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Culture, Communication and Media (IoE)
  • Economics
  • Institute of Health Informatics Research
  • Physics and Astronomy

Over 3,000 students (undergraduate and postgraduate) will be included in this pilot phase.

The pilot year will be critical as we develop the technology and learn more about how it can be used to enhance our approaches to personal tutoring. Further departments will be given access to the technology during the pilot year.

Project team and contacts

A number of people are involved in the project. Key contacts are:

Student success platform project executive

Wendy Appleby, Registrar

UCL Tutoring, business lead

Megan Gerrie, Associate Director (Strategic Projects)
Office of the Vice Provost (Education and Student Affairs)

m.gerrie@ucl.ac.uk