Shape UCL (powered by Unitu) is an online platform that helps departments to collect and analyse student feedback in real time, to enable faster improvements to the student experience.
Shape UCL can be accessed using your computer, mobile or tablet's browser by clicking the link above.
The UCL companion app, gives you access to a variety of tools, and services including Shape UCL. Find out more in the link above.
What is Shape UCL?
Shape UCL is a space where students, academic representatives and staff can collectively raise, discuss and resolve both academic and more general experience issues. Shape UCL is powered by the Unitu service.
Shape UCL allows students to discuss and vote on matters they’d like to escalate to departmental staff for attention. This enables the department to consider and, where appropriate, act promptly to address these concerns, and for students to see the decisions and action that has been taken.
- Where is Shape UCL in use?
The following academic departments use Shape UCL:
- Arts and Sciences
- Bartlett School of Architecture
- Bartlett School of Environment, Environment and Resources
- Bartlett School of Planning
- Biochemical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
- Computer Science
- Culture, Communication and Media
- Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
- Education, Practice and Society
- Electronic and Electrical Engineering
- Faculty of Laws
- Global Business School for Health
- Institute of Global Health
- Institute of the Americas
- Learning and Leadership
- Mechanical Engineering
- Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering
- Natural Sciences
- Psychology and Human Development
- Queen's Square Institute of Neurology
- School of Management
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy
- Security and Crime Science
- Social Research Institute
- Space & Climate Physics
- UCL Medical School
- What can I do on Shape UCL?
- Share your feedback - once you are logged into Shape UCL you can access your department’s feedback board. Here you can share feedback on your experience by making a post on your board. This could be praise, an issue you are facing, a question or an idea.
- Engage with students on your programme - you can vote and comment on feedback left by others, and you will see when other students are voting for your post.
- Connect with your Reps - Reps will review posts, respond and where appropriate escalate important topics to staff in your department. Reps will also invite feedback from students prior to a Staff-Student Consultative Committee (SSCC), which is an opportunity for students to help shape the discussion.
- See where students have made an impact - you will be able to see where your feedback has impacted change by reading the responses to your post, and view the Together We Changed section of your board to see where feedback from others has helped to Shape UCL.
- How will Shape UCL help me and my department?
By using Shape UCL you can:
- Inspire change within your faculty, department and programme using your feedback.
- Encourage positive feedback and praise and help build a sense of community.
- Create greater visibility, and transparency around the decisions and actions taken in your department.
- Assist your Reps with staying on top of the issues that matter most to you, allowing them to raise important topics at SSCCs and other department or faculty wide meetings.
Getting started on Shape UCL
The guidance below covers the basics of using the platform to help students get started.
- How to access Shape UCL
If your department is using Shape UCL you can access your account by using your University email address and password. There is no need to create an account, simply click Shape UCL to begin the login process with your university credentials.
- Your Shape UCL feedback board
This is the space where students, Reps and staff interact with feedback that is raised by students. The Board area is split into two sections Private and Public, with a number of tabs that run along the top.
- Private - is where students are able to raise and discuss feedback by creating a feedback post. Once a post has received enough votes or cannot be dealt with by students, the Reps can escalate the feedback to the Public area. Staff do not have access to the Private area of the feedback board, however they can see how many feedback posts have been created, what programme it relates to and the year of study of the author of the post.
- Public - this area is where staff members are able to review the escalated feedback, comment and update students as they progress feedback from the Opened area to the Closed column.
- About - this page contains essential guidance, along with further information and links.
- Members - this page contains a list of all the members of staff on your board, along with who your Reps are.
- Shape UCL Community Guidelines
A set of guidelines has been created to help ensure Shape UCL remains a positive, safe space where creativity and problem-solving is encouraged between staff and students. Before using your feedback board, please familiarise yourself with the Community Guidelines which apply to all users.
- Participating in Rep elections
If your department is using Shape UCL to appoint its Reps, then when the elections are announced, you will receive an email through the platform linking you to the election homepage. You will be able to view election details, as well as the available roles.
To nominate yourself, click the Nominate Yourself button, that will have appeared in the left-hand side of the screen, and explain to your fellow students why you'd like to represent them. At present, you cannot upload any content to the platform, but you can provide a link to content elsewhere, for example a video manifesto you've recorded on social media.
To vote in a Rep election, simply click the Vote button on the nomination you want to vote for. Your department will inform you of your Reps shortly after the voting period has closed.
- Creating a feedback post
- Click the Add Feedback button in the Private feedback column.
- Choose your feedback type; Praise, Issue, Question or Idea.
- Fill in the title, description, and other relevant information.
- Check the guidance in the About tab on your board, and the Community Guidelines to make your feedback more effective.
- Select a category for your feedback and an audience (e.g. students on your programme, or the entire board).
- If you would prefer to post anonymously, toggle the anonymous button.
- If your feedback is flagged by the sentiment checker because of potential negative tone, consider rephrasing your feedback to be more constructive.
- Engaging with feedback
If you see a feedback post that resonates with you then vote it up, and leave a comment. Help advance the conversation by providing extra content, or information you think is useful for staff in understanding the issue. Alternatively, provide a different perspective or resolution if you feel your view hasn't been represented. This will help staff in deciding the best approach to address an issue.
If you have chosen to receive notifications on posts you have engaged with, you will receive either an email or a push notification (if you're using the app) to inform you when new updates or comments are made.
- Resolving feedback
In the About tab you will see the expected response time to feedback posts, for Reps and staff on your board. It is important to note this is not an expectation of a finalised answer or action based on your feedback. Initial posts in the Private area need time for comments to be added and voting to occur, to give your Reps a better understanding of student sentiment relating to a post.
Depending on the complexity of the issue, staff may also need time to identify relevant staff members to provide a response, escalate an issue, or involve others to reach a decision. As a post progresses from the Private area to the Closed column, Reps and staff will provide updates to ensure students can monitor the outcome of their feedback.
When a feedback post is closed students will be notified, along with the decision and outcome, or action taken.
- Together We Changed
Notable changes and improvements are recorded in the Together We Changed section of the board. This page enables students to view the impact of their feedback, and how the community of staff and students in their department have collectively created positive change.
- Using anonymity on Shape UCL
Shape UCL has the option to post anonymously, so students can feel comfortable providing feedback and expressing themselves without fear of being singled out or judged. Sharing feedback is vital to improving every student’s academic experience. As part of students' professional development, we encourage students to explore opportunities of posting without anonymity enabled. To feel confident expressing their opinion amongst their peers or engaging staff.
If you are posting something you think many students will agree with, to see a list of names rather than Anonymous Commenter # can demonstrate to staff just how many people are reporting this issue. The anonymity feature removes year group, so it can be difficult for staff to truly understand how widespread an issue is. It may also encourage your fellow students to contribute if they can see that somebody they know is also experiencing the same thing.
Commonly asked questions
- Why can’t I access Shape UCL?
Your department might not be using the platform yet. Check the department list above in Where is Shape UCL in use? If your department is listed, then contact your administrator to see if your degree programme has been added. Alternatively, you can also email a member of the Vice-Provost Education & Student Experience (VPESE) team for support by clicking here.
- Why am I on the wrong programme / Shape UCL board?
Please contact your programme administrator and they will update your student record in Portico. Once the changes have been made there, this should be reflected on Shape UCL by the next day.
- My name is spelt incorrectly, how do I update my details?
Please visit https://www.ucl.ac.uk/students/status/your-student-status/student-record for more information on how to update your student details in Portico.
- Can I still use the Unitu app?
Yes! You can still access your Shape UCL board through the platform provider's Unitu app. This is available at both the App Store and Google Play.
- How do we adopt Shape UCL in my department?
You could consider talking to your Reps, or asking your teaching administration team if your department might benefit from using Shape UCL. If you're a Rep, and would like to find out more about using Shape UCL in your department, or arrange a demonstration click here to contact a member of the VPESE team.
Please note that requests to onboard for Term 1 this year are now closed, but departments are welcome to start discussions about joining from Term 2 onwards.
- My query isn't listed here, who do I contact?
You can email a member of the VPESE team for support by clicking here. Please note that this inbox is only monitored from Monday to Friday, during standard office hours.