This Week at ELI

Plan Ahead: NOVA spring break is March 7-13. College offices will remain open and administrative staff will be on duty. During Spring Break, campus-based offices will close at 5 p.m.  ELI hours will remain the same. Testing Center Hours are modified, including all testing centers are closed on Saturday, March 13.

Still looking to add a spring course? ELI has one more session start date available March 14. Enroll today! Once you enroll, tuition is due by 5pm the following business day. Schedule a virtual appointment with an ELI Counselor with any academic advising questions.

Are you thinking about an online course through ELI, but not sure if it is right for you? Review our Furthering your education with ELI recording to see if online learning is a right fit for your current educational needs. You could also take the Smarter Measure assessment to see how your personal learning styles will work with online courses.

Graduating in May? Apply for Graduation no later than March 1!Graduation_16

Transfer Planning – It’s never too early to begin your planning to transfer another institution. Missed the webinar last week? Request a Recording of the Transfer Planning Webinar that covered the basics of transfer planning; information about Guaranteed Admission Agreements, Articulation Agreements, and Transfer Guides; and a provide web tour of NOVA’s transfer website.

Contact the ELI Success Coaches if you have any questions as you are getting started in your online courses. They can be reached at ELISuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

Have a great week!

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Let’s give a scenario…

ThinkstockPhotos-466604177A student, let’s call her Emmie, has been working long and hard on a paper for her ENG 111 class. In her opinion, it may be the best paper she has ever written! She turns it in feeling very satisfied, and then proceeds to take a short vacation to the beach. When she gets home, she checks Blackboard expecting to see an ‘A’. But in fact, she has received an email from her instructor discussing the Academic Dishonesty policy.

What?!?! Dishonest! Emmie is anything but dishonest!

But in fact, after reading her instructor’s comments she finds that she has (unknowingly) committed plagiarism. According to NOVA’s Student Handbook, plagiarism is “the act of appropriating passages from the work of another individual, either word for word or in substance, and representing them as one’s own work. This includes any submission of written work other than one’s own (Section VI, No. 4 pg. 73)”

Emmie looks at her paper and realizes that in fact she did commit plagiarism! She took ideas from books and papers that she had read, and put them in her own words. But when she did this, she didn’t give credit to the original author. She also put some direct quotes in her paper, but forgot to put a citation at the end of each quote.

Fortunately, Emmie’s instructor gave her the opportunity to correct her mistakes and resubmit her paper for a lower grade. However, the situation could have been much worse. She could have received an ‘F’ on the paper, or worse, an ‘F’ in the class.

So how can you avoid Emmie’s frustration?

Anytime you use a quote, a picture, a graph or even an idea from another work, make sure you cite where you got your information. Professors have access to a lot of tools that can help them identify plagiarism in your paper, and not knowing about plagiarism isn’t an excuse.

One of the best resources on plagiarism is the Purdue Online Writing Lab’s Avoiding Plagiarism. Check this website out to see other ways you can avoid the frustration that Emmie went through.

This week at ELI

Cozy winter still lifeStill looking to add a spring course? ELI has one more session start date available March 14. Enroll today! Once you enroll, tuition is due by 5pm the following business day. Schedule a virtual appointment with an ELI Counselor with any academic advising questions.

Have a course that starts today? As you are getting started in your online class, we want to emphasize the importance of time management.

  • First! Check your syllabus for your first assignment due date. If you do not submit your first assignment on-time or before the deadline, you may be dropped from the course. This is called an administrative drop, and you will not be able to be added back to the course.
  • Establish a Routine! All online classes, regardless of session length, are based on the full 16-week course material, so 8-week courses will move at an accelerated pace. Be sure to review your course syllabus thoroughly and start working on your first week’s assignments so you don’t miss any deadlines.
  • Plan Ahead! All online classes require proctored exams or assignments. Plan ahead for your proctored exams so you don’t miss any deadlines. Check your course syllabus and review testing policies.

Visit the ELI Student Blog for tips for success in online courses. The Critical Course Deadlines post and Preparing for your First Day post will give you some good suggestions and tips as you are getting started.

Log into Blackboard in your MyNOVA account and get started! Review this previous blog post for 10 tips to help you get started. Remember online courses at ELI require firm assignment due dates, so make sure you are sticking with your weekly schedule so you are not administratively withdrawn from your course. Know your Critical Enrollment Dates, including your First Assignment Due Date and read this past blog for more information about your Critical Enrollment Dates!

Graduating in May? Apply for Graduation no later than March 1!

Transfer Planning – It’s never too early to begin your planning to transfer another institution. Join ELI’s Transfer Counselor on Wednesday, February 24 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (EST) that will cover the basics of transfer planning; information about Guaranteed Admission Agreements, Articulation Agreements, and Transfer Guides; and a provide web tour of NOVA’s transfer website.

Contact the ELI Success Coaches if you have any questions as you are getting started in your online courses. They can be reached at ELISuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

While enrolled in courses, you may be interested in registering for NOVA Alert to get emergency related messages, including closures due to inclement weather. Campus closures will affect all campus offices, including the testing centers, tutoring centers, and campus libraries. What a snow day means for your ELI courses? Find out in this previous blog post.

Graduation Application Deadline!

Are YOU planning to graduate in May? The deadline to apply is March 1st! Graduation_16Not sure where to start?

Request a copy of the recording of Crossing the Finish Line: NOVA Graduation Preparation Program!

This 17-minute video to obtain information on what you need to graduate from NOVA and plan for transfer or prepare for employment.

You will learn how to:

  • Verify the remaining requirements of your program
  • Apply for graduation and attend commencement
  • Financially prepare for your last semester at NOVA and your new institution. 

Learn about the information you will need to graduate from NOVA and plan for transfer or prepare for employment. Questions? Visit the NOVA Graduation Website or contact an ELI Counselor at ELICounselors@nvcc.edu!

Start Strong at NOVA!

Welcome to Northern Virginia Community College’s Extended Learning Institute (ELI)! We are dedicated to helping you start strong. Whatever your educational goals, we can help you achieve them. If you are a first-time-to-college student, ages 17-24 (including high school/homeschool/GED graduates), you will want to follow the Start Strong at NOVA.

start strongThe new polices are part of an effort to strengthen the NOVA experience. Five of the new policies affect first-time-to-college students (ages 17-24). New students are required to attend a Student Orientation and meet with a First Year Advisor. As a new ELI student, you can attend a campus Student Orientation, or you can work with ELI virtually to get started.

As you are getting started, utilize your Student Success Planner to help guide your academic goals throughout your NOVA degree. You will also need to take the SmarterMeasure assessment early to help you gage your readiness for online learning.

The sixth policy requiring on-time registration impacts all students: new, current, transfer, international, military or any other type of student. All students must be registered for classes by 11:59 p.m. the day before the session’s start date. Once the session begins, registration is closed.

If you are not enrolled in a class on the start date of the session you will not be able to enroll without permission from the division dean. If you miss on-time registration you can still register for later start date. ELI has several start dates each semester, for students interested in starting a class later in the semester. Check out ELI Critical Course Deadlines for more information. For more information about on-time registration view this video.

This Week at ELI!

Starting an ELI course today? Log into Blackboard in your MyNOVA account and get started! Review this previous blog post for 10 tips to help you get started. Remember online courses at ELI require firm assignment due dates, so make sure you are sticking with your weekly schedule so you are not administratively withdrawn from your course. Know your Critical Enrollment Dates, including your First Assignment Due Date and read this past blog for more information about your Critical Enrollment Dates!iStock_000045640982_LargeFirst online course? Join us for an ELI Orientation Webinar today at 12:15 pm (EST) (webinar will happen regardless of NOVA delays or closings) – The ELI Orientation is a general overview for students enrolled in courses offered through the Extended Learning Institute. This one hour webinar will focus on getting started in your courses, navigating your Blackboard course site, and identifying tips for success and student support services.

First time in college? 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. Use your VCCS username/password to register and email ELILearn@nvcc.edu with any questions. All are welcome.

Are you enrolled in a MTT course this spring? 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. In this Recorded Webinar, ELI Success Coaches provide you with tips to success in your course. You will learn what an MTT course is, how the course is formatted, and what resources are available to you throughout the course. Request a copy today!

Transfer Planning – Join ELI Transfer Counselor today at 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm (EST) – It’s never too early to begin your planning to transfer another institution. This one-hour webinar will discuss the basics of transfer planning; information about Guaranteed Admission Agreements, Articulation Agreements, and Transfer Guides; and a provide web tour of NOVA’s transfer website.

Contact the ELI Success Coaches if you have any questions as you are getting started in your online courses. They can be reached at ELISuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

Still looking to add a spring course? ELI offers several later starting sessions. Enroll today! Once you enroll, tuition is due by 5pm the following business day. Schedule a virtual appointment with an ELI Counselor with any academic advising questions.

While enrolled in courses, you may be interested in registering for NOVA Alert to get emergency related messages, including closures due to inclement weather. Campus closures will affect all campus offices, including the testing centers, tutoring centers, and campus libraries. What a snow day means for your ELI courses? Find out in this previous blog post.

MTT – Technology Based Developmental Math

Are you enrolled in a MTT course through ELI? We want to make sure you have all the information to start strong!math

What is MTT ?

MTT refers to the Motivating Academic Success Through Effective Redesign (MASTER) math courses that make up NOVA’s developmental math program. These courses offer personalized instruction allowing students to skip sections of material in which they can demonstrate competency and work toward mastery of the remaining material. Which MTT course a student takes depends upon the number of units needed. The Virginia Placement Test (VPT) for mathematics is aligned with the MTT units. View the MASTER Math: Progression chart to determine what units are required to be prepared for specific math courses at NOVA. The most units a student can cover in an MTT course at one time is four (MTT 4). Some students may need to complete more than one MTT course to be prepared for the math course required for their degree.

To be successful in MTT, you will need to spend several hours working on the course activities.

Textbooks and Course Materials:

MTT courses use MyMathLab which is an online textbook-based diagnostic evaluation and tutorial program designed specifically for this course. It includes an electronic copy of the class textbook, a variety of multimedia instructional resources, unlimited practice exercises, self-paced learning modules, online testing, and an individualized study plan. MyMathLab is supported and maintained by the publisher’s web server and the required plug-ins for this tool are standard.  MyMathLab is delivered inside a web-based course delivery system called MyLabsPlus. You must have an access code to MyLabsPlus, which can be purchased through the online bookstore.

The Online Math Lab is a substitute for the on-campus Math Computer Lab requirements and can be accessed through the Online Math Lab link in the menu of your Blackboard course site. The Online Math Lab is used by MTT students to ask general questions regarding course content and concepts.

Tests and Quizzes:

There are pre and post tests for each unit. Unit pre and post-tests must be proctored. Module quizzes are not proctored and will be taken at home. You cannot move forward, or complete a unit without completing the pre and post test for that unit. If you are out of the area, you will need to secure an approved proctor to supervise your exams. If you are in the area, you can take your proctored exams at any NOVA campus testing center.

Resources:

Success Coaches – Anxious about taking a math course? Contact your Success Coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076 for tips for success and resources to help you have a successful semester.

Smarthinking – Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to ELI students. Smarthinking provides tutoring in a variety of subjects, many of which are available 24/7.

Student Lingo – Engaging on-demand, on-line workshops 24/7 on a variety of subjects – including math-related topics for example:  How to Succeed in Math, which provides specific strategies on how to succeed in an online math course and How to Overcome Math Anxiety, which helps students understand and assess their own level of math anxiety while providing ways to cope with fear and eliminate stress.

Khan Academy – This free resource offers a new way to work on some of the skills that you may be falling behind on. Students can use Khan’s large library resource database and partake in interactive assessments, challenges and even some helpful videos on a variety of topics.

Conquering Math Stress

For a lot of us, math can be a cause of anxiety! You can easily lose perspective if you don’t stay on top of assignments and exam preparation. Below are some tips for coping with the math funk – the period of time where you may be growing discouraged by the increasing difficulty that your math course is presenting, when you are beating your head against the wall memorizing theorems and tying it to the larger purpose of getting a good grade, all the while, trying not to drown in the complex terminology and detailed strategies of working the problems.math stress

  • Remember and reinforce the “whys” behind the reasoning for your math courses: Do you need these courses to graduate, for your degree plan, for a prerequisite? If you need them for your degree plan, the bigger picture may transform from I need to get a good grade in this course to I need to be able to apply these skills and generalize them to scenarios in my work environment. If you merely need them as a general education requirement or prerequisite, remind yourself that you need to master this course in order to excel to a more interesting class for which you have prerequisites.
  • Do not fall into the math quicksand – I call this the period of time that you forget much of the information you have learned either for a test or in preparation for future math lessons, the result being that when you approach the next lesson, the cumulative learning that took place beforehand is all but lost. Hence, you may find yourself quickly trying to re-memorize the previous theories all over again in an effort to rapidly catch up to the current one or the fast approaching cumulative exam.
  • Avoid blaming external factors for math not being fun – Let’s face it; math may not be the most “entertaining” and engaging material for some folks. However, rather than blame your lack of interest on the dryness of the material, find unique ways to apply the concepts to your life. Word problems are a great example; the ones that involve calculating percentages, totals and sale prices can go a long way in planning how to budget your next trip to the grocery store! When I think of memorizing something as simple as multiplication tables, it may enhance my memory of future numbers like phone numbers or my driver’s license number, if I left it at home – yikes!
  • Plan accordingly and practice effective time management – Remember to access your calendar or planner daily, weekly and monthly to plan out your assignments and even carve out some time to review notes and prepare for the next assignment or lesson. Even insert time for diversions like studying a different subject or going for a walk when you start to feel yourself burning out.
  • Find the humor in math – Believe it or not, math can be funny sometimes. When you are practicing that problem for what seems like an eternity; then, you get feedback or discover how the correct answer came to be. Substitute the feeling of frustration with one of “that textbook showed me” – and learn to laugh at your mistakes. Any epiphanies that you discover along the way can serve as lighthearted moments – where the “how did they get that answer? – can be humorous in and of itself before your resume the “serious” task of trying to re-work the problem to get to the correct answer.

All in all, don’t give up. When you find yourself losing momentum, take a break or divert your mind to another subject area. One suggestion for combating frustration is to keep a journal close by to jot down the following: what kind of problem it was, why you got it wrong, how did you feel at the time and what strategy are you taking to empower yourself so you bounce back. Then, evaluate how this strategy helped. This might even involve taking a break first and returning to the problem, noting how the brief interlude might have changed your perspective.

Many students view math as overwhelming and scary—but it doesn’t have to be.  Learn how to study more efficiently for mathematics and apply relaxing techniques to reduce your anxieties by participating in the ELI Student Success Coach’s Tackling Your Math Anxiety Recorded Workshop!

This post has been modified from the squarecircleZ, math blog. For more information on this topic, visit this link. Contact the ELI Success Coach Team at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076 for resources and references to help you have a successful semester.

Happy studying!

Critical Course Deadlines

One assumption some online students make is that all ELI courses are self-paced. To that end, students may put off getting started and learn that their instructor has withdrawn them for not meeting course deadlines. Don’t let this happen to you!

It is very important to understand that most ELI courses have weekly or even mid-weekly due dates. There are critical enrollment dates, that include your First Assignment Due Date – requiring you to log into your Blackboard course site and complete your First Assignment by the assigned due date. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in being dropped from the course without a tuition refund. ELI courses may be 16, 12 , 10, 8 , 6, or 4 weeks in length; each course has specific start, refund, first assignment due date, withdrawal, and end date that you should be aware of when you select a particular course. View the critical enrollment dates early and know your options.

You can also view your critical enrollment dates by visiting your class schedule in your Student Center.

After selecting “My Class Schedule” in your Student Center account view the calendar link under “deadlines” for each course. (See photo below)Critical_Deadlines

In addition to logging in and completing your first assignments (as referenced in your Quick Start Syllabus and Blackboard Course Site), ELI courses also have weekly or mid-weekly assignment deadlines.

When taking an ELI course, it is important to understand that assignment due dates as well as test and quiz due dates come quickly. Due dates are firm and in some ELI courses, assignments and tests/quizzes are sometimes removed after the due date.

To be successful in your course:

Read through your course syllabus on the first day of class. Understand all the deadlines that apply to your course and record them in your planner.

Establish a Routine – Visit your Blackboard Course Site daily and read all of your emails and announcements.

Make Note of your Course Deadlines, and turn your assignments in on time.

If possible, take your test prior to the testing deadline—you never know what might come up at the last minute!

To ensure that you understand the ELI course deadlines, know your course specific critical course deadlines and review the important dates to include refund date, first assignment due date and last day to withdraw with a grade of ‘W’.

Make sure to look for emails from the Student Success Coaches – elisuccess@nvcc.edu – that will give you reminders of specific upcoming dates and helpful tips for success throughout the term. You can always reply to their emails with any questions you have, or give them a call at 703.764.5076.

Updated: 5/9/17

NOVA Free Tax Prep Workshops

Tax_EventFree Tax Prep Workshops are located at NOVA campuses and are open to students and the community:

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016