Got problems? Connect U does.
As the fall semester kicks off, many students and faculty encountered problems with the new ConnectU portal that replaced MetroConnect.
The most frequent problems are student’s old MetroConnect passwords not working, unexpected outages, email icons missing and the inability to get into ‘My Services’ without logging in separately, according to Rick Beck, the director of application services in administrative computing.
According the Department of Marketing and Communications, as accounts were being moved to ConnectU, student’s passwords were being defaulted to their PIN.
Beck said that configuration settings that needed to be changed were causing the password problems as well and that performance problems were causing the system to lock up. To fix all the errors, ConnectU’s vendor, Ellucian, recommends multiple changes that require several re-starts of ConnectU each time. Beck said that things are already running more smoothly and can be expected to get better.
“We will likely need a couple more outage periods for re-starts of the system, but now they will be planned at more convenient times for students, and not just in reaction to system-crippling problems,” Beck said. “Because of a very short timeline to be ready by the beginning of fall term, there was not adequate time to double-check configurations, do exhaustive testing, and complete performance tuning on the system before going live.”
Another concern was the time limit before logging out.
“The current user timeout for inactivity is 30 minutes,” Beck said. “As soon as we have stabilized the system, we will be changing that to one hour, the same as it was on MetroConnect.”
A consequence of the technical difficulties so far is that some students on waitlists were not able to get into classes because they didn’t receive the notifications on time. Beck said most students have been understanding.
“I got pretty stressed out [last week],” said Michael Maes, sophomore. “I didn’t know where my class was at and I was trying to look it up. I believe it’ll get better, they’ll work out the bugs and everything.”
Junior Andrew Romero had to have the IT helpdesk try his password three times before creating a new one, and then had to reset his new password again because it wouldn’t work.
“I just stayed on top of it,” said Romero. “If you start early, little problems like that won’t get you too far behind. People in [technical drawing] class couldn’t get onto their account. I think it maybe wasn’t visible enough what people have to do to enable their accounts.”
During the first week of classes the IT help desk had taken 3,017 calls — down 700 from the previous week, according to Will Kelley, Technology Support Manager.
Beck also warned students not to accidentally login to MetroConnect, as it is for archive use only.
“We sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding throughout the last three weeks,” Beck said. “The last thing we want is to inconvenience students, faculty and staff as they kick off our first term as a University, and we will continue to work diligently to make ConnectU a success.”