ELI Library: Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week (Sept 27- Oct 3, 2015):

It’s the start of a new academic year and teachers are sending out their lists of required readings and parents are beginning to gather books. You may be some of those parents!  In some cases, classics like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” and “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” may not be included school libraries due to challenges made by parents or administrators.

The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children.  However, challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves.

American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people. Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read @ your library! Read an old favorite or a new banned book this week.

Have you read any of these banned books?  Click on the title to access the eBook or audiobook with your myNOVA login and password (unless otherwise noted).

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain (Download free via Project Gutenberg)

The Awakening, by Kate Chopin

The Call of the Wild, by Jack London (Download free via Project Gutenberg)

The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift (Download free via Project Gutenberg)

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

Written by Heather Blicher, ELI Librarian

This week at ELI!

Welcome to everyone starting a 12 or 8 week class today!ThinkstockPhotos-468710700

Instructors make courses available in Blackboard on the course start date, or sometimes a few days in advance. If you don’t see your course available yet, double check your course enrolling in NOVA Connect and check blackboard throughout the day! While you wait, check out the First Day of Class Reminders provided by ELI Blogger, Rebecca and be aware of your Critical Course Deadlines.

If you are comfortable with Blackboard, you can view these short videos from blackboard to give you a reminder of how to submit an assignment, post on discussion board, check grades, and other blackboard tips you will need throughout the semester.

There is one more chance to start a Fall semester course! More classes begin Monday, October 19. Check the schedule of classes in NOVA Connect and follow this tutorial to help you search for online classes through ELI. Make sure you change the date to reflect the term you are looking to register for (fall ’15).

ELI Orientation Webinar – Join us Monday and Wednesday for a general ELI overview. This one hour webinar focuses on getting started in your courses, navigating your Blackboard course site, and identifying tips for success and student support services. The ELI Orientation is highly recommended for students who are new to online learning and already registered for classes. Dates and Registration Details.

Cash Course Financial Literacy Contest– Have you heard? Twenty $100 NOVA bookstore gift cards towards educational costs at NOVA will be raffled off throughout the 2015‐2016 academic year to randomly selected students ELI who successfully complete CashCourse web‐based financial literacy modules!  Official contest rules and registration to participate can be found here: Cash Course Contest Registration.

Mark your Calendars for the Fall into Service: Community Volunteer Fair! Join us at the Annandale campus on October 5 from 11-2pm for our 1st annual community volunteer fair. Meet different non-profit organizations within the Northern Virginia area and learn more about volunteer opportunities available. Can’t make it to campus? Stay tuned for information on how to participate virtually!

SmarterMeasure: Life Factors

SmarterMeasure logoMany students strongly desire to continue their education. However, often other situations in life prevent them from being able to do so. The Life Factors section of SmarterMeasure asks questions about other elements in your life that may impact your ability to continue your education. The section measures five items: Time, Place, Reason, Resources, and Skills.

You may be able to modify circumstances which impact some of these life skills. If so, you are encouraged to take appropriate action to help yourself succeed. But some of the circumstances in life may be beyond your control. If this is the case, being aware of these realities and planning accordingly may be beneficial for you.

The ELI staff offer several webinars throughout the semester to help you succeed in your ELI Courses. You might be specifically interested in the Student Lingo on-demand workshop called Maximizing Your College Experience. For all webinars and on-demand workshops, visit the ELI Webinar page.

To obtain log-in information for the SmarterMeasure assessment, email EliSuccess@nvcc.edu from your VCCS email account. Once you complete the SmarterMeasure assessment, you can find more information in the ‘Assessment Summary’ section.

Become an ELI Student Blogger!

Attention Students!

ELI is looking for writers for our ELIfe blog!ELI_Student_Bloggers


This group will be geared toward students who enjoy to write or blog and are possibly interested in pursuing a career in media and/or journalism. Members of this group will directly contribute to the ELIfe student blog sponsored by The Extended Learning Institute.

ELI Student Life will produce an editorial calendar that focuses on various topics. Group members will submit content to be included within various designated topics/ themes.

ELI Student Life Specialist will serve as the Advisor for the group and approve submissions to be used. Students will receive byline credit on the blog for their articles. members will be expected to attend virtual monthly meetings.

We hope that by participating in the ELI Student Bloggers Group, you will be able to:

1) Identify different topic areas and themes that would appeal to the NOVA/ELI student population geared toward (but not limited to) overall student support and success in college.

2) Build connections with faculty/staff and students to increase interactions with others outside of the classroom.

3) Develop overall virtual portfolio by further improving their writing skills within a blogging format.

If you would like to become a member, fill out our student bloggers interest form.

Questions? Contact elistulife@nvcc.edu.

This Week at ELI!

Instructors make courses available in Blackboard on the course start date, or sometimes a few days in advance. If you have a 8 or 12 week course starting on Monday, September 28, you probably won’t see the course is not available in blackboard until closer to that date. Double check your course enrolling in NOVA Connect and check blackboard closer to Monday! While you wait, check out the First Day of Class Reminders provided by ELI Blogger, Rebecca and be aware of your Critical Course Deadlines.iStock_000045640982_Large

Open registration for fall classes is still open. More classes begin Monday, September 28 and Monday, October 19. Check the schedule of classes in NOVA Connect and follow this tutorial to help you search for online classes through ELI. Make sure you change the date to reflect the term you are looking to register for (fall ’15).

Tuition DeadlineBe sure to have a method of payment in place to meet the fall 2015 payment deadline when you register for your classes. At this point, after you register for your classes, tuition is due the following business day at 5pm to hold your seat.

Cash Course Financial Literacy Contest– Have you heard? Twenty $100 NOVA bookstore gift cards towards educational costs at NOVA will be raffled off throughout the 2015‐2016 academic year to randomly selected students ELI who successfully complete CashCourse web‐based financial literacy modules!  Official contest rules and registration to participate can be found here: Cash Course Contest Registration.

ELI Orientation Webinar – Join us Wednesday, September 23 at 6:30 pm for a general ELI overview. This one hour webinar focuses on getting started in your courses, navigating your Blackboard course site, and identifying tips for success and student support services. The ELI Orientation is highly recommended for students who are new to online learning and already registered for classes. Dates and Registration Details.

Thursday, September 24 from 1pm – 2pm – Participate in a New Student Orientation Webinar – This one hour webinar is required for new-to-college students aged 17-24. New Student Orientation will focus on academic and career goals, reading degree plans, and registering for classes. All are welcome.

Become an ELI Student Blogger- Love to write? Become an ELI Student Blogger! This group will be geared toward students who enjoy to write or blog and are possibly interested in pursuing a career in media and/or journalism. Members of this group will directly contribute to the ELIfe student blog. For more information, fill out the ELI Student Bloggers Interest Form.

Are you starting an MTT course today? If this is your first time taking an online MTT Course with ELI, you may be feeling a bit anxious about what to expect in this course. ELI Student Success Coaches have created a recording available to help you succeed in your MTT course. Request the recording and connect with your Success Coach today!

Have a great week!

SmarterMeasure Assessment

Are you ready for Online Learning at ELI?SmarterMeasure Logo

SmarterMeasure is an assessment that measures learner readiness for Northern Virginia Community College’s Extended Learning Institute. SmarterMeasure is an indicator of the degree to which distance learning and/or learning in a technology rich environment will be a good fit for you.

SmarterMeasure is meant to be an interesting experience by which you may learn more about yourself, online learning, and how to succeed! Your SmarterMeasure score will not prevent you from registering for online classes. Take your time to rate yourself honestly. It is a tool that will help you assess your strengths and opportunities for growth related to online learning in 6 areas.

1. Life Factors
2. Individual Attributes – procrastination, time management, willingness to ask for help, academic attributes
3. Learning Styles – what is your predominant learning style?
4. Technical Competency, Skills, and Knowledge
5. Reading Rate and Recall
6. Typing Speed and Accuracy

You will receive a full color report immediately following the completion of all areas of SmarterMeasure. You may email this report, print it, or download and save for future reference. It also provides some remedial tools related to each area. For more information about SmarterMeasture, request a copy of the SmarterMeasure Assessment Webinar.

If you are visiting Northern Virginia Community College Extended Learning Institute and would like to determine if online learning is right for you, please email elisuccess@nvcc.edu for your user name and password.

ELI NOVA Day Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Scavengerhunt

How Well Do You Know ELI? Participate in our virtual scavenger hunt to find out and win some great prizes! Follow the directions below to participate!

1) Beginning at 12:00pm on September 16th, participants can access the Scavenger Hunt Entry Form.  You will have 24 hours (until 12pm on September 17th) to submit your answers.

2) Answers can be found on any of the digital resources that ELI provides. This can include our ELI website, Social Media, and maybe even this blog! 🙂 (Hints will be given during the 24hr period through our twitter account @NOVAELIfe).

3) Prizes will be given to the first 5 participants who submit in their form with all the correct answers. Tie breakers will be determined by which participant(s) submitted their form in the quickest time. Five additional participation winners will also be announced!

4) Winners will be announced by 5pm on Thursday, September 17th !

Questions? email elistulife@nvcc.edu 

Good luck and have fun!!

Planning for Your ELI Exams

Whether you are new or a seasoned online learner, it is important to plan well and be aware of ELI’s testing requirements. All ELI courses require proctored exams or assignments. For more about NOVA’s testing policies, view the Testing Information Website.

exam daYA PLUS

ELI offers three methods to fulfill this requirement:

Campus Testing Centers

Students that live in the local area can use any Campus Testing Center. All 6 campuses have a testing center, and it doesn’t matter which one you go to throughout the term. When using a Campus Testing Center:

  • Know the Hours of the Campus Testing Center: Be aware of testing center hours, location, and parking available for the campus you are going to. Double check campus testing center hours before going to campus, just in case!
  • Plan Well: Do not wait until the last minute to take your exam – it is possible that you could be turned away from the testing center if lines are long and you have not provided enough time to wait and then take the test. As you plan, consider the possibility of traffic, weather, parking, lines, etc.
  • Review Your Course Syllabus: Before going to take your test, be sure you are aware of your exam requirements. Any special information about your test should be referenced in your syllabus. Are you allowed to have a note card, scratch paper, etc.? Check your syllabus and be aware of your test conditions.
  • Exam Pass/Photo ID: When you arrive at the testing center, you will need to turn in your Exam Pass and show a photo ID.  You will need to print your exam pass from the Taking Exams and Using Exam Passes section your course Syllabus.
  • Checking In: When you check-in, you will be asked to stow away your personal belongings in a secure locker. You may want to bring minimal items with you.
  • Multiple Exams: If you are taking more than one exam, you will be required to have an exam pass for each exam and wait in the line for each exam. Please plan accordingly.
  • Be Prepared: Be sure to get plenty of rest and eat a healthy meal or snack before testing. You may also want to consider a short walk to clear your mind before going into the testing center.

Out of Area: Proctor Request

If you are out of the area, or planning to be out of the area at any point throughout your course, you will need to identify a Proctor to supervise your ELI exams. If you have not already, you should begin the process immediately.

Virginia residents (outside of Northern Virginia): You may take your exams at any Virginia Community College testing center, via our online proctoring service, ProctorU, if it is available in your course (check the availability of this service in your course under Exams), or at the testing center of another Virginia college/university at which you are a student (submit a proctor request form for approval). Use the College Locator feature on the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) website to find a college near you.

Students in other states/outside the US: You may take your exams at a college/university testing center near you (submit a proctor request form for approval), or via our online proctoring service, ProctorU, if it is available in your course. Check the availability of this service in your course under Exams.

  • It is the student’s responsibility to secure a proctor and to pay any related fees.
  • To request a proctor, complete the ELI Proctor Request Form and submit it with your Proctor’s statement on letterhead to ELI Course Specialists at elicoursespecialists@nvcc.edu.
  • Requests for proctored exams and proctors must be approved by ELI. ELI reserves the right to reject requests for proctors for any reason.

ProctorU Testing Service

ProctorU might be an option for one or more of your classes, and allow you to take your exams from your home computer. Using a webcam with a microphone, speakers, and a reliable high-speed internet connection, you can take your exams anywhere. Courses offering this option will have the ProctorU Information in the course Blackboard under the links, Taking Exams and Using Exam Passes in your course Syllabus. If you choose to use this online proctoring service:

  • You will need to schedule to take your exam(s) through ProctorU at least 72 hours prior to testing to avoid a late fee.
  • An associate from the ProctorU will scan your room to ensure no one else is in the room and that the area is clear of books, papers, etc.
  • You must be 18 or older and be prepared to show a current photo ID prior to the exam.
  • You must have speakers & microphone and a webcam connected to your computer and in working order.
  • You cannot take bathroom breaks during the exam and no one is allowed in the room with you.
  • Please note there is a 15 to 30 minute period before you begin your exam itself to verify your identity, to ensure your testing environment is secure, and to ensure your system is working properly. Do not schedule your exam at the last minute.

Regardless of your method of testing, the ELI Success Coaches are here to help you succeed in your ELI courses. We offer online workshops, referrals, ELife Blogs with testing tips and more. ELI Success Coaches can be reached at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

We wish you much success on your exams and remind you that when testing, you may only use materials your proctor specifically tells you may be used, based on instructions from the instructor. Also, as an ELI student, you are required to follow the code of conduct as outlined in the NOVA Student Handbook.

For more about NOVA’s testing policies, view the Testing Information Website.

Written by Adrienne, ELI Student Success Coach

Updated 2/2016

This Week at ELI!

Welcome to everyone starting a Twelve or Eight week class today!

Instructors make courses available in Blackboard on the course start date, or sometimes a few days in advance. If your course is not available in blackboard, double check your course enrolling in NOVA Connect and check back throughout the day! While you wait, check out the First Day of Class Reminders provided by ELI Blogger, Rebecca and be aware of your Critical Course Deadlines.

Coffee in hand, ready to workOpen registration for fall classes is still open. More classes begin Monday, September 28 and Monday, October 19. Check the schedule of classes in NOVA Connect and follow this tutorial to help you search for online classes through ELI. Make sure you change the date to reflect the term you are looking to register for (fall ’15).

Tuition DeadlineBe sure to have a method of payment in place to meet the fall 2015 payment deadline when you register for your classes. At this point, after you register for your classes, tuition is due the following business day at 5pm to hold your seat.

ELI Orientation Webinar – Join us Monday or Wednesday for a general ELI overview. This one hour webinar focuses on getting started in your courses, navigating your Blackboard course site, and identifying tips for success and student support services. The ELI Orientation is highly recommended for students who are new to online learning and already registered for classes. Dates and Registration Details.

ELI NOVA Day!-  Join us on Wednesday as we celebrate our online students! Follow our social media sites to learn more about how to participate in our ELI online scavenger hunt. Learn more about the resources available to you while taking virtual courses and win some great prizes! Looking to get involved while taking online courses? Watch this video to learn more: How to get involved the NOVA way!

Thursday, September 17 from 1pm – 2pm – Participate in a New Student Orientation Webinar – This one hour webinar is required for new-to-college students aged 17-24. New Student Orientation will focus on academic and career goals, reading degree plans, and registering for classes. All are welcome.

Did you know you have a personal Success Coach available to help you succeed in your courses. If you have any questions or concerns during your course, please email your name and student ID to elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076.

Have a great week!

Ten Quick Steps to Email Your Instructor

Need to email your instructor and not sure where to start? These ten easy to follow steps will help you get that email written and the send button hit in no time!4805341351. Use your NOVA student email account to send your email. All correspondence relating to your courses should come from and go to your NOVA email address. Email messages originating from other email addresses may go directly to your instructors SPAM folder and go unnoticed.

2. Make your subject line meaningful. Your instructor likely teaches multiple courses and may even teach on other campuses. Include the course and section number along with a quick description of why you are writing your instructor.
An example might look like this:
Subject: PSY 200-E05W, Question about grade calculations

3. Briefly and politely state the reason you are writing. Be sure to include all of the relevant information pertaining to your question and leave out anything that does not relate directly to the situation.

4. If you are writing your instructor because you have a problem, include a proposed solution in your email. The instructor may or may not agree with your suggestion. Regardless, it does demonstrate to your instructor you are taking the initiative to actively work towards resolving the situation.

5. Sign your email with your complete first and last name along with your student ID number.

6. Read through your email to check for spelling and punctuation errors. Make sure all of your sentences are complete and do not contain any abbreviations or other modified text that is used in text messaging.

7. If your email is lengthy, have a second set of eyes proofread your email for clarity. This will be an opportunity to make sure you have clearly articulated what it is you wanted to say.

8. Send your email.

9. Allow adequate time for a response from your instructor. Many ELI instructors also teach campus based courses so they are not always sitting at their computer in their office. Often you will find information in the syllabus relating to how soon you should expect a response from your instructor.

10. Once you have received a response from your instructor, acknowledge it. A simple “Thank you” may be all that is needed. If your instructor asks you questions in their response to your email, be sure to answer all of them thoroughly.

This post was adapted from www.wikihow.com/Email-a-professor by the ELI Success Coaches to help you develop skills to effectively communicate through email to your instructor for the February focus on communication. ELI Success Coaches can be reached at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

Written by Laura, ELI Success Coach