Advance notice: upgrades to feconnect

From Thursday 10 December, feconnect will be replaced by ESFA Communities.

Feconnect is being replaced by a more robust, accessible service. ESFA Communities is now live and so feconnect will be read only from Thursday 10 December 2020. From this date it will not be possible to create or reply to topics or posts. Feconnect users will need to create a new ESFA communities account to post, reply or subscribe for email alerts.



Home Forums Data issues Advance notice: upgrades to feconnect

This topic contains 23 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Paul ESFA 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

Viewing 24 posts - 1 through 24 (of 24 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • SFA STAFF

    Laura ESFA
    Keymaster

    feconnect was first launched in 2008 for a relatively small community of data professionals working in further education and training. Since then, the site has grown significantly and we now have over 5000 registered users and almost 11000 unique visitors each month.

    We have listened to your feedback about the experience of using feconnect. We know that, for many, feconnect is a vital way to get quick responses to general queries from your peers. The success of feconnect is a result of your willingness to share your expertise to help others.

    But we also acknowledge that there are limitations with the existing site. For example, the search function is inadequate which makes it hard for you to find the information you need. Email alerts work intermittently – or not at all – and that means you might miss posts that could be helpful. We also know that pages can be slow to load and that, together, all of these issues make it difficult to use an increasingly popular service.

    To improve your access to peer support we will be relaunching feconnect in the next few months. The new forum will offer a more robust and accessible service, alongside an enhanced search feature.

    We will be rebranding the service and moving to a new URL. We will also be keeping this site available in read-only mode for at least six months so that you can continue to refer to helpful content.

    As more details are confirmed this post will be updated. If you have any questions, please post them below and we will get back to you.

    In the meantime, if you would like to try the new site before it goes live, please email customer.experience@education.gov.uk

     
    #456396

    steveh
    Participant

    Hurray for keeping an archive!

    Also hurray for all the other upgrades, of course! Particularly the search!

     
    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  steveh.
    #456400

    Caspar Verney
    Participant

    Please can you confirm that everything already on FeConnect will be migrated to the new site? The history within the existing FeConnect is crucial when ascertaining what has happened on an issue over time (sometimes years).

    Many thanks,
    Caspar

     
    #456508
    SFA STAFF

    Laura ESFA
    Keymaster

    Hi Caspar,

    Thank you for your question. We won’t be migrating data over to the new site, but we will be maintaining this version of feconnect for at least six months so that people can refer to older content. We did consider data migration but have taken this approach based on feedback from user research.

    However, there is still a degree of flexibility around the issue of exactly how we archive feconnect so happy to take additional feedback on what your preferences would be.

    Best wishes,

    Laura

     
    #456512

    Martin West
    Participant

    Hi Laura,
    Unfortunately, it is not user researchers who use Feconnect and even if you archive the existing site it is not possible to use the search facility as it is too slow or crashes.

    Please reconsider, could you only include posts from the previous or current year?
    Regards

     
    #456885

    steveh
    Participant

    Whilst I agree that some migration might be useful, I’m assuming we’ll have a whole new address for the new site, so we’ll still be able to use google site search to search the archived version?

     
    #456902
    SFA STAFF

    Laura ESFA
    Keymaster

    Hi Martin,

    Thank you for your feedback. Our proposed approach to data migration is based on research we conducted with members of feconnect. However, we will continue to take alternative views into consideration as we begin the archiving and decommissioning process.

    Best wishes,

    Laura

     
    #457575

    Caspar Verney
    Participant

    Hi Laura,

    So will you be maintaining a permanent online archive of FeConnect accessible to all? As Steve has said, Google site search can be used with it.

    Many thanks,
    Caspar

     
    #457591

    Darren Vidler
    Participant

    Very much agree that some level of archive search must be available. The back catalogue of queries and responses on feconnect is of real benefit.

    Darren

     
    #457931

    Andrew Tan
    Participant

    I agree with the others, some form of archive must be left available. There is a wealth of knowledge available on the current site.

     
    #457950
    SFA STAFF

    Paul ESFA
    Keymaster

    The new service to replace feconnect is now in public beta.

    Feconnect users (except for the 70 or so users who already registered for our private beta) will need to re-register to post or subscribe on the new service.

    We expect to dual run for at least a few weeks (we expect that you’ll want this channel to remain open until after R14?)

    As requested by several of you in comments above, we will keep a ‘frozen’ version of the feconnect site available for 6 months or more so that you can continue to access the thousands of conversations you have had on here in recent years.

    If you have any comments or questions, feel free to post here or in the new site or email customer.experience@education.gov.uk

    Many thanks

    Paul

     
    #465591

    Caspar Verney
    Participant

    Hi Paul,

    I just tried to log into the new site and I get the following message:

    Firefox Can’t Open This Page

    To protect your security, esfa.zendesk.com will not allow Firefox to display the page if another site has embedded it. To see this page, you need to open it in a new window.

    Clicking on the button to open in a new window simply takes me back to the login window and I can loop round this all day without ever getting in.

    Can you get this fixed and post back here when it is so, please?

    Many thanks,
    Caspar

     
    #465631

    christinam
    Participant

    Well I’ve found the new site, can see martin and steve’s response but haven’t as yet figured how to submit a query.

     
    #466068

    Martin West
    Participant

    Hi,
    You will need to reregister on the new site and then sign in.
    HTH

     
    #466074

    Darren Vidler
    Participant

    So, I’ve managed to log in but can’t comment on either of the two posts that are currently published.

     
    #466076
    SFA STAFF

    Paul ESFA
    Keymaster

    Hi Darren

    Just approving your account, then you’ll be able to post. You should get an email from us in a couple of mins to confirm.

    Thanks

    Paul

     
    #466079

    Darren Vidler
    Participant

    Hi @PaulESFA,

    E-mail received. Not sure I was told during the registration process that this step was required so perhaps a bit of text could be added to cover that? (Unless I’ve missed it)

    Thanks,

    Darren

     
    #466081
    SFA STAFF

    Paul ESFA
    Keymaster

    Thanks Darren. We’ll look to add something to address that.

    Caspar – the team are looking in to the registration bug you’ve raised. Will update you on that when we have news.

     
    #466085

    christinam
    Participant

    Thank you for approving me too, I can comment now. It wasn’t clear that accounts would have to be approved before commenting would be allowed.

     
    #466088
    SFA STAFF

    Paul ESFA
    Keymaster

    Thanks Christina. Hoping to get something done in the next day or to sort that. We’re looking at updating the text in the registration box and maybe showing a banner when users verify their account to say that they will be able to post as soon as the account is approved by the ESFA.

     
    #466102

    Caspar Verney
    Participant

    I am not sure if Martin’s post about needing to re-register was aimed at me, but when I tried to re-register, it said that my email address already existed as an account and hence I have ended up in the never-ending loop described. I shall look forward to hearing an update from Paul.

    Many thanks,
    Caspar

     
    #466143

    PGoldthorpe
    Participant

    Hi,

    I seem to having the same issue as Caspar with a “esfa.zendesk.com refused to connect.” error message.

    @PaulESFA, is there a fix/workaround to get registered on the new service?

    Many thanks,

    Paul

     
    #473343

    Caspar Verney
    Participant

    Hi Paul (@PGoldthorpe),

    Paul from the ESFA resolved my issue by taking the conversation offline and communicating with me direct by email. I ended up having a video conference call with one of the ESFA tech guys and he was very helpful and between us we got it sorted.

    I am using Firefox as my preferred browser and we had to alter a specific setting in the end (and I have slept since then, so cannot remember exactly what it was, I just know that it all works for me now).

    HTH,
    Caspar

     
    #473537
    SFA STAFF

    Paul ESFA
    Keymaster

    Hi @pgoldthorpe

    Sorry about that. It sounds your browser may be blocking the cookie required to log in to the ESFA community – the cookie is needed to authenticate your account.

    To fix this, you will need to enable a cookie from ‘esfa.zendesk.com’ Below are links on how to do this for Google Chrome and Mozilla firefox.

    Google Chrome: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/61416?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

    Mozilla Firefox: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/websites-say-cookies-are-blocked-unblock-them

    If that doesn’t resolve it, please contact us at customer.experience@education.gov.uk

    Many thanks

    Paul

     
    #473818
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