Using financial aid to purchase course materials

Students with pending financial aid can purchase books against their excess financial aid beginning online on December 28, 2014. Online bookstore purchases begin on December 28, 2014 and continue through the term census date, January 29, 2015, the end of the book purchase period.

Students must complete the Bookstore Authorization E-Form, via the Financial Aid Dashboard, prior to completing their purchase. Students enrolled in distance learning or wishing to make their purchase online must complete and electronically sign the Bookstore Authorization form via the Dashboard prior to your order being processed. Students enrolled or planning to enroll in later starting classes who desire to use their financial aid to purchase books must do so during this purchase period. Students who are awarded after the term census date will not be able to charge bookstore purchases against their undisbursed financial aid award until a second book purchase period opens prior to the second eight-week session.

If you completed the online Bookstore Authorization form for the Fall term, it will remain valid for the Spring term. If you are purchasing books with your financial aid for the first time this academic year, please complete the Bookstore Authorization form.

16 week classes:

First date to purchase books/supplies using financial aid: December 28, 2014

Last date to purchase books/supplies using financial aid: January 29, 2015

Second Eight week Classes:

First date to purchase books/supplies using financial aid: March 2, 2015

Last date to purchase books/supplies using financial aid: March 24, 2015

Start a New Hobby This Winter Break

image of young man knitting image of woman painting
 Young woman seated on chair and playing acoustic guitar  image of man reading a book

 

Now that finals are over and you have some free time, why not use the library’s resources to start a new hobby? Hobbies offer many benefits and now is the time to get started!

Here are a few free resources available through your NOVA library. Use your myNOVA username and password to use each item:

1. Learn to sew with this video:

Sewing Basics

2. Learn about electronics and complete projects with this e-book:

Make: Electronics by Charles Pratt 

3. Learn about french cuisine and how to cook it with this video:

World Foods: French Cooking

4. Learn Chinese with this audio book:

Starting Out In Chinese 

5. Learn to play classical guitar with this e-book:

Classical Guitar Lessons for Beginners : Teach Yourself How to Play Guitar

6. Discover new music with this database:

Music and Performing Arts 

This is just the beginning! Try searching for information about these and other hobbies on the library homepage. Have fun and enjoy the break!

SDV 298 PLACE – now a one credit course!

Are you an adult learner who has acquired college-level learning from your work and life experiences? The PLACE Portfolio Development course (SDV 298) may be a great option for you to turn that learning into college credits toward your NOVA degree!

The process of developing a portfolio helps adult learners explore the following:

  • Reflect on your life history and evaluate your future plans
  • Articulate the college-level learning in your work and life experiences
  • Develop and/or refine short and long term career, personal, and educational goals
  • Create professional e-portfolios to challenge courses for college credit

Email pla@nvcc.edu / call 703-425-5835 / visit www.nvcc.edu/priorlearning for more information about earning credit for prior learning.

RESOURCE REVIEW: BRITANNICA IMAGEQUEST

REDBUD FLOWERS STILL LIFE OF OIL, ASSORTED CHEESE, HERBS, AND TOMATOES
PICTURE OF INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS PICTURE OF MERCEDES SMART CAR

What do the pictures above have in common? Here’s a hint: each one can be found in Britannica’s ImageQuest database.

If you’ve ever needed to add an image to an assignment and you weren’t sure where to look, ImageQuest is a great place to start. All the images are free to use for personal, non-commercial use.

All you need to access ImageQuest is your myNOVA username and password. If you need help using this database, please contact the library at ELI-Library@nvcc.edu.  Happy searching!

Using financial aid to purchase course materials

Students with pending financial aid can purchase books against their excess financial aid beginning online on December 28, 2014. Online bookstore purchases begin on December 28, 2014 and continue through the term census date, January 29, 2015, the end of the book purchase period.

Students must complete the Bookstore Authorization E-Form, via the Financial Aid Dashboard, prior to completing their purchase. Students enrolled in distance learning or wishing to make their purchase online must complete and electronically sign the Bookstore Authorization form via the Dashboard prior to your order being processed. Students enrolled or planning to enroll in later starting classes who desire to use their financial aid to purchase books must do so during this purchase period. Students who are awarded after the term census date will not be able to charge bookstore purchases against their undisbursed financial aid award until a second book purchase period opens prior to the second eight-week session.

If you completed the online Bookstore Authorization form for the Fall term, it will remain valid for the Spring term. If you are purchasing books with your financial aid for the first time this academic year, please complete the Bookstore Authorization form.

16 week classes:

First date to purchase books/supplies using financial aid: December 28, 2014

Last date to purchase books/supplies using financial aid: January 29, 2015

Second Eight week Classes:

First date to purchase books/supplies using financial aid: March 2, 2015

Last date to purchase books/supplies using financial aid: March 24, 2015

Tuition payment for Spring 2015

Heads up! If you registered for spring 2015 courses and haven’t submitted your tuition payment yet, you must do so by Tuesday, December 16 at 5 p.m. to avoid being dropped from your courses! If you have questions about payment, visit NOVA’s Spring 2015 payment information here. You can also call the ELI Hotline at 703-323-3347 for assistance.

Of course, there’s still plenty of time to register for spring if you haven’t done so already! ELI’s first spring session starts January 12 and for many courses, additional sections are offered starting January 26, February 2, 23, or later. Check the full list of spring 2015 courses here.

Just remember, if you register for spring courses on or after Tuesday, December 16, your payment is due by 5 p.m. the next business day.

Research Series: Plagiarism

image of thief stealing form a safe with a red x superimposed on top; caption underneath reads: "Don't steal someone's work!"Everyone knows that directly copying another author’s work is plagiarism, but there are also less obvious forms . Plagiarism takes many forms and the consequences can be severe, so it pays to be well informed.

 

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is copying an author’s work and passing it off as your own.

This definition may seem simple, but plagiarism can be much more complicated.  Did you know that you could be held responsible for plagiarism if you paraphrase (i.e., to put in your own words) an author’s work without providing a citation?  Even if you cite your source, if paraphrasing is not done correctly, you could still be plagiarizing.

Why bother citing?

The purpose of college-level research is to locate and analyze literature created by experts in your field, then process all of the information that you found to create your own new ideas or conclusions. Citations are important, because they give credit to the authors who helped you develop your ideas.  Citations also give your paper authority, because they show that you have read literature on the topic and that your conclusions build upon work of other authors. When you provide proper citations, your professors will see that you understand the purpose of college-level research.

When in doubt, cite!

When in doubt, cite it!  There are some cases where you may not need to cite (e.g., common knowledge [explained later]), but plagiarism is a “better safe than sorry” situation.  If you are not sure whether a source needs to be cited, go ahead and cite it!

If you aren’t sure how to cite, ask a librarian! Your ELI librarians are citation/plagiarism experts and we are happy to help you. Please contact us at ELI-Library@nvcc.edu for more help.

Studying for Finals? Consider this 4-day study plan!

The fall semester is winding down and final exams and projects are quickly approaching. Follow us on the ELIfe Social Media channels for tips for successful finals prep. We are on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The ELI Success Coaching Team is here to help support you and provide study tips. You can contact them at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076.

About.com features useful articles that will help you prepare for your final exams. To achieve the grade you are hoping for, the Four Day Study Plan, which we have slightly tweaked, will help you prepare.

Studying for an Exam Day 1: Communicate with Your Instructor, Find a Study Partner and Organize

1.    Ask your instructor what type of test it will be. Multiple choice? Essay? That will make a difference in how you prepare.

2.    Ask your instructor for a review sheet/study guide if he/she has not already given you one.

3.    Find a study partner — set up dates to meet to include the night before the test if possible – even via phone/Facebook/Skype.

4.    Print and organize your notes, old quizzes, textbook, assignments and handouts from the units being tested.

When Studying:

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions (for example: cell phone, TV, instant messenger, etc.)

2.    Organize handouts, past tests, and other information according to dates. Make note of anything you are missing. (Where’s the vocab quiz from chapter 2?) Pay special attention to the questions that you missed and spend extra time studying those questions.

3.    Rewrite or type your notes. Creating an outline of the information you need to know will help you understand how the material covered in the class is related.

4.    Review the material you have. Go through the review sheet to determine what material will be covered. Read through your quizzes/handouts/notes and study questions from your book’s chapters.

Studying for a Test Day 2: Course Review, Review and Apply the Material to Better Understand 

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions.

2.    Communicate with your instructor to clarify areas you didn’t understand and request any missing items.

3.    Ask if there will be a review before the test and continue to review on your own and review with your Study Partner (if time permits). If there will not be a course review, consider organizing one – you can reserve a study room and meet in a campus or local library.

When Studying:

1.    Create flashcards with a question/term/vocab word on the front of the card, and the answer on the back. Quizlet is a free website/app that will help you design flashcards, practice tests and quizzes. The website/app also has pre-made flash cards (a favorite app by many students).

2.    Set a timer for 45 minutes, and review everything on the review sheet that you don’t already know using mnemonic devices like acronyms or singing a song. Also, apply the material to your life in ways that you can remember and understand. When the timer goes off, take a 15 min. break and revisit your review sheet. Study again, setting the timer if it works well for you.

3.    If you are not using the Quizlet App, put your flashcards in your purse, backpack, or car so that you can review them when you are not busy.

Studying for a Test Day 3: Review and Apply the Material, Create Practice Tests

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions

2.    When you have any free time, review your flashcards and ask yourself questions (when you’re waiting for class to start, at lunch, during study hall, etc.)

3.    Confirm a study date for tomorrow night.

When Studying:

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions.

2.    Set a timer for 45 minutes again. Go back through your flashcards and review sheet, learning/applying material (especially reviewing areas that are causing you some struggles). Take a 5-minute break. If necessary, set a timer for 45 minutes again and continue if you’re still unsure of any material!

3.    Create a few “practice tests” for yourself and your study partner (you can create your own, use study guides or visit your textbook website for practice tests).  A practice test should include questions about key terminology, facts, and concepts that are likely to be on the test.

4.    Be sure to have your flashcards (Quizlet App) ready for review again tomorrow.

Studying for a Test Day 4: Review, Study/Quiz Self, Confirm Meeting Time with Study Partner

1.    Throughout the day, pull your flashcards out and review.

2.    Confirm your study date with a friend or classmate.

When Studying:

1.    Turn off or silence any distractions.

2.    Again, review your flashcards paying special attention to the remaining material that was giving you some struggles.

3.    Quiz. With your study partner, take turns asking possible exam questions to each other. You will learn the material better by alternating asking the questions. Stop once you’ve been through the questions a few times and get a good night’s sleep.

Be sure to check out other similar articles on About.com, How To Study.org or by visiting our free online workshops by Student Lingo. If you need additional review, you can use ELI’s free online tutoring service through Smarthinking. If you are using a campus testing center, if possible, do not wait until the last day – emergencies can come up and in many classes, you will not be able to take the test late.

If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to contact the ELI Success Coaches at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076.

Motivational Minute: Tackling Test Anxiety

the exam

Tests have a way of working people up into a serious frenzy. The stakes are much higher around exam time and the pressure becomes almost palpable without the right preparation. There are a number of strategies to help you prepare yourself mentally and physically for an upcoming exam and lower the anxiety around test-taking. Here are some quick tips that may be useful for you in the future:

Create a simulated testing experience for studying. Try to create a studying environment that is as close to the actual testing environment as possible to get used to what taking the exam will really be like on exam day. How can you do this? Try these simple strategies:

If taking the exam in a testing center…

Visit the center ahead of time to observe the atmosphere. Is there a lot of people, will you be sitting next to someone, is it cold in the room, etc.? Making note of these things will help you recreate the setting at home when studying.

Try doing practice tests with a timer in front of you to make it easier to perform with a timer when you take the exam. Exams in the testing center are often timed and the timer appears as a countdown on the computer screen during the exam.

If taking the exam through ProctorU

Do all studying in the spot where you will be taking the test on exam day. This can help your memory because the environment will serve as a cue to help you recall information.

Create practice tests. Look at the textbook publisher’s website to create practice tests. You can also check out these apps to help tailor your study materials to serve you best:

Flashcards+: This app gives you access to millions of pre-made Flashcard sets for studying.

Quizlet: Excel during your study time creating practice tests and quizzes, flashcards or take advantage of  pre-made flashcards.

Practice a relaxation technique before the exam. Check out Omvana for quick meditation exercises, listen to your favorite song and dance to it to release any physical discomfort, deep breathing, etc.

It’s very important to know your syllabus and understand the exam policies for your course. Be sure to prepare ahead of time to ensure that the exam is completed by the due date. If taking an exam off-campus, be sure to secure a proctor in advance. Take some time to review ELI Testing Information for more details. If you need more resources, i.e. tutoring services, more tips to combat test anxiety, etc. please reach out to ELI Success Coaches at 703-764-5076 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. Namaste!

–Jennifer, ELI Success Coach