Need Help?

Unicycle is a simple home base for your classroom. This guide will get you started.

Need help? We’re just an or text (503-966-0799) away.
General
About Unicycle

At Unicycle, we build tools that help professors simplify, organize, and automate their work. Our course-building and communication platform is available to professors and TAs at U.S.-based institutions. If you’re ready for a simpler, more powerful way to manage your classroom online, you can get started for free today.

GIF of Inbox feature for a Microeconomics course


Think of Unicycle as the TA you always wished you had. Transform your lengthy PDF syllabus into a dynamic, easily-editable course website. Send announcements to your students with one click. Automatically sort student email by classroom and quickly respond with built-in, customizable blurbs.

Professor view of Shakespeare course site


Curious to know what else you can do with Unicycle? Just send us a note. If you can dream it, we want to build it.

Pricing

Unicycle is free to use in beta.

Refer your colleagues

If you’ve been enjoying Unicycle, your colleagues probably will too! We’d love to welcome them aboard. You can refer them by clicking Invite in the bottom left corner of Unicycle.

Share your feedback and ideas

We'd love to hear how you're using Unicycle and how we can improve your experience. Send us an email or text (503-966-0799), or tap Feedback in the Unicycle app. We look forward to receiving your input.

Getting Started
Create a Unicycle account

Getting started with Unicycle is simple—start here and you’ll be up and running in just a few minutes.

If you prefer to do it together or would like to request a demo, you can book a time with our onboarding team here. We’ll give you a tour and help you get set up.

Sign in to Unicycle

Sign in at app.unicycle.co.

Add a classroom or section

To add a classroom:

  1. Navigate to Classrooms and select Add a classroom
  2. Enter your course details (include section IDs if applicable).
  3. Add your student roster (view LMS export instructions) as a comma-separated list of email addresses (no spaces). If you have TAs, do the same for them.

To add another section to a classroom:

  1. Click the + icon in the section list.
  2. Enter your section details and student (and TA) roster.

You can also add a new classroom directly from the Inbox view. At the top of your inbox, you’ll see all of your active classrooms. Simply click the + icon to add another.

💡Tip: Many professors cleverly repurpose "classrooms" for other groupings like department, advisees, working groups, or newsletters. Feel free to do the same!

Export your student roster

Here are export instructions for the most common Learning Management Systems. If you don’t see your LMS listed or need a hand locating or inputting your roster, let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

Sign out of Unicycle

To sign out of Unicycle, click Sign out (bottom left corner).

Publish Your Course
About your course site

Unicycle’s course builder easily transforms your lengthy, static PDF syllabus into an interactive, student-friendly website (see an example).

Key features:

  • Make updates or unpublish at any time
  • University boilerplate goes on its own page to prioritize your content
  • Clear navigation helps students find what they need (and email you less)
  • Fully optimized for desktop and mobile, no coding or design skills needed
Professor view of Shakespeare class dashboard

Create your course

You can create a course for any Classroom. Here’s how:

  1. Click Classrooms from the left hand menu.
  2. Locate the classroom for which you want to add a new course.
  3. Click Create at the far right.
  4. That’s it, you’re ready to set up your course!
Setting up your course

At-a-glance contains all the vital, high-level information about your course, including the name of the course, professor and TA names and contact information, class meeting times, office hours, and video links.

Overview is where you’ll find your class DNA: course description, learning objectives, course materials, and grading policies.

Schedule is your dynamic course schedule. It includes auto-populated dates and space to add assigned readings, due dates, and holidays.

Policies is for your top-level policies, including academic integrity, technology use, and attendance. Use this page for your most important and personalized classroom policies. Save the institutional boilerplates for the Other Resources page. This helps your students prioritize what to read and distinguishes duplicative, university-level information from what is vital to your specific class.

Other Resources is intended for campus-wide resources, such as Title IX, Covid-19 accommodations, and accessibility. (Tip: Rather than cluttering this section with large sections of text, link out to campus resources when possible.)

Generate your course schedule

After you create a course, we’ll automatically generate a schedule for you. Here’s how it works:

  1. When setting up your course, select your Course dates (the beginning and end of the term).
  2. Select the days and time your class meets.
  3. Click Create
  4. Navigate to Schedule to view your course schedule.

Using blocks

Blocks are editable, customizable text blocks in the body of the course builder. You can add or remove as many as you’d like from any section.

Gmail Integration
For professors on Gmail

Unicycle is currently available to educators on Gmail and Google Apps. Outlook and Exchange support is on our roadmap. If your institution permits it, you can forward your Outlook inbox to Gmail to use Unicycle. Learn more here.

Sign up to be notified when Outlook and Exchange support is ready.

Your 'Open' folder

You may have heard of a productivity method called 'inbox zero'. The idea is to remove the extraneous from your inbox, so it becomes a clear to-do list rather than an infinite, dread-filled storage center. Think of it like how you triage your physical mail—recycle fliers, respond to letters, file bills away for paying later—to empty your mailbox for what arrives tomorrow.

Inbox zero can be a challenging new habit to adopt if you’re used to sitting on tens of thousands of messages. Unicycle makes this easy to achieve: every time you send a message or respond to one, we automatically move the thread to your Done folder (don’t worry, you can still find it with search). If your recipient replies, we’ll bring it back to Open for you.

There’s no need to star or mark unread to flag messages for yourself, because everything you need to do (and nothing you don’t) will simply be ready for you in Open.

Mark an email as 'Done'

If you receive a message that doesn’t require a response, hover over the date and click the Mark done checkmark directly from your inbox:

Mark an email as done in Unicycle Inbox


You can also select Mark done from the email viewer:

Mark an email as done in Unicycle Inbox


For any messages you do respond to, clicking Send + Mark Done will automatically move the thread into your Done folder. If your recipient responds, we'll bring it back to Open for you.

Send an announcement

Here's how to send an announcement:

  1. Click New Announcement from the left menu.
  2. Select your classroom in the To field. Here, you'll specify if you'd like to email everyone, only TAs, or only students.
  3. Write your announcement.
  4. When you're ready, click Send Announcement (your recipients will be automatically bcc'd to avoid a reply-all chain).


💡
Tip: If you send an announcement to a class with more than 500 students, you'll see multiple copies in your sent folder. Gmail has a 500-person send limit per message, so Unicycle batches sending as a result.

Blurbs 101

About blurbs

Blurbs are shortcuts for your most common responses. Use them for saving and reusing text you type often, like grading policy reminders or every teacher's all-time favorite, "Please refer to the syllabus." Create a blurb once, use it forever.

Create or edit a blurb

You can create and edit blurbs in your blurb library. To get there, click Blurbs from the left hand menu.

  1. To create a new blurb: click Create blurb, input your title and content, then click Create blurb
  2. To edit an existing blurb: click any existing blurb row, edit its contents, then click Save blurb
  3. To deactivate a blurb: click the blue toggle to turn it gray. This removes it from the blurb search when you're writing messages. You can always reactivate it by toggling to an active blue state.
  4. To delete a blurb: click the trash icon.

Using blurbs

We designed blurbs to be instantaneous and always in reach. When composing or replying to a message:

  1. Type / to bring up a list of your blurbs.
  2. Search for the blurb you’d like to use by continuing to type after / (you can also navigate this list with your mouse or Up / Down arrow keys).
  3. Tap enter or click to select. Your blurb will be inserted directly into your message.
  4. Reminder: you can always edit or personalize the blurb further after inserting.

💡Tip: try stacking your blurbs—you can stack as many as you want!

Privacy and Security
Unicycle and FERPA

Our services may be used in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). You can learn more about our obligations under FERPA in our Privacy Policy.

Can you read my emails?

No, we can't. All email communication is handled between your computer and Gmail via the Gmail API. Unicycle does not read or store any of your emails. You can learn more about Gmail’s security and email encryption policies here.

Occasionally, and only with your permission—for example, if you have a question about a specific feature and are screen-sharing with us—our Care team or Onboarding team may be able to view your inbox.

Personal Information we collect

Personal Information is information that identifies, relates to, describes, is reasonably capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked with a particular person or household.

Unicycle collects only the most necessary information to provide our service. This includes your name, email address, institution, course name, course content, and student rosters. Learn more about how we protect your Personal Information in our Privacy Policy.

Your data security

Your security is incredibly important to us. Unicycle follows all generally accepted industry standards to protect your personal information—from the time you initially provide your information to us, through your use of our services, and until your information is deleted (or deidentified) from our systems. Learn more about how we securely handle your data in our Privacy Policy.

Find, download, and delete your data

If you’d like to access or delete the data associated with your account, send us an email to privacy@unicycle.co and we’ll assist as soon as possible. We will always handle your data request within 30 days of your initial contact.