10 Tips to Get You Started!

Below are some tips to help you get started in your ELI classes this summer!

You will have access to your course the first day the class is scheduled to begin or sometimes a few days in advance. If your course is scheduled to begin later in the summer, check back closer to that date. 484765389Be sure to check your Blackboard course site regularly throughout the summer to make sure you don’t miss any course specific deadlines. Check each folder and read announcements from your instructors.

It is important to be aware of Critical Course Deadlines for your courses. In addition, you also want to be aware of course specific deadlines. Get started immediately so you don’t miss any deadlines.

ELI Student Life offers various in-person and virtual events throughout the semester to help connect you to peers, faculty and staff. Join us!

Take advantage of NOVA’s Library Services from your home computer. You can access resources and references from the Library database with your VCCS username and password.

Do you have any general ELI questions? Live Chat (bottom right)  or ELI Hotline – 703.323.3347 is a great option to ask general questions, but remember your instructors are available if you have course specific questions.

Proctor U is an online proctoring service available for some ELI courses. This service is available for some ELI courses and gives you the opportunity to take your exams from your home computer using a web cam, microphone and speakers.

Try using Smarthinking for 24/7 online tutoring.

Checking your Student E-Mail Account is important throughout the semester. You will get updates and announcements from your instructor as well as from ELI. Get in the habit of checking this e-mail.

24/7 Tech Support is available from NOVA by calling 703.764.5051.

ELI offers several webinars throughout the semester to help you succeed. Check out live sessions or request a copy of a recording.

and one more … #11 Financial Aid assistance is available 24/7 by calling 1-855-323-3199 or at the Student Support Center.

Not your first ELI course? What tips would you share with a new student?

Summer e-LEAD Program

Are you looking for an opportunity to identify and develop your overall leadership skills?

Leadership ConceptELI Student Life has created a virtual co-curricular opportunity to develop leadership skills for students!The overall goals of this program are to:

-Foster a sense of community among students taking online courses

-Develop more self-awareness of leadership strengths and skills

-Maximize your talents as they relate to academic and professional goals.

Throughout this 4-week a-synchronous program , participants will learn more about personal strengths (via the Clifton StrengthsFinder personality assessment and access to the StrengthsQuest e-book) and discuss how to utilize strengths to maximize leadership skills and potential with their peers. Participants will be expected to participate in weekly discussion posts, readings and journal assignments)  *This is a non-credit program, but a great resume builder!

Dates: June 6th – July 3rd

Time: Work at your pace with weekly deadlines for group discussions and journal reflections.

Registration:   Leadership Pilot Program Registration Form. Please fill out no later than June 3rdth at 11:59pm.  

 Please reach out to elistulife@nvcc.edu with any questions.

ELI Student Spotlight

The Be SAFE Around Water Campaign

My name is Abigail and I am a competitive swimmer, swim coach, and lifeguard. Teaching people, particularly children, how to swim is my passion. Drowning is the number one cause of death for children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 15. By educating children on what to do if they fall in the water we could play a part in saving lives. I visited over 200 kids at various organizations, such as church and VBS groups, and gave my presentation.

The Be SAFE Around Water Campaign is designed to give children simple steps to follow if they fall into water. I created an acronym of the word “safe” to give children something easy to remember.

Be Safe Around Water (002)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be SAFE Around Water

Stop. When you approach water stop and look around for an adult or lifeguard. If no one is around then do not enter the water or go near the edge of the water.

Ask. If you accidentally fall into the water call out and ask for “help” as loud as you can.

Float & kick. Kick your feet and get your head above the water. Then push your belly up and lay on your back so that you are floating. Then kick your feet to the nearest wall or land.

Exit. Exit the water and go tell an adult or lifeguard what happened.

Want to write for the ELI Student Blog? Share your story? Connect with your peers? Send us a writing sample to get started. Email ELIStuLife@nvcc.edu for more information.

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

Understanding your online syllabus

Thoroughly reading your syllabus and addressing questions at the beginning of the course, will help you succeed from the first to the last day of class!null

You will have access to your course the first day the class is scheduled to begin or sometimes a few days in advance. If your course is scheduled to begin later in the summer, check back closer to that date.

Once you have access to your course in blackboard, you can start navigating the virtual classroom and get comfortable with the platform. You can start by reading through the online syllabus to get an idea of the course expectations.

Your online course syllabus serves as a blueprint for your course. This is such an important document that to reinforce it, some instructors may require you to complete a syllabus quiz, acknowledging that you have read and understand the important information laid out in the syllabus.

If you have a concerns or questions about assignments, check your syllabus and you may find the answer. The online course syllabus will help you manage your time by enabling you to map out and plan your projects, assignments and quiz/test dates. In addition to providing your instructor’s contact information and office hours, it might even provide resources to help you study and learn more about your course subject.

ELI offers a video to help you Review Your Online Syllabus.

If you have questions or would like some additional help, the ELI Student Success Coaching Team is here for you. Coaches can be reached at 703.764.5076 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu.

First day reminders!

Happy First Day of Classes, ELI Students!

Today’s first day blog is provided by student blogger Rebecca! She has been taking ELI classes for two semesters and has some tips to help new ELI students get started in fall classes.

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m scrambling to finish a paper by the 5pm deadline. I am just about to submit my paper at 4:55pm but I decide to proofread it one more time. By the time I finish it is a couple minutes after 5pm. Okay, I’ll go submit it now. It’s only two minutes, right? WRONG! As I click on the assignment I am startled to discover that the submission page has disappeared off of blackboard!

Yes, this did actually happened to me last semester. Luckily I emailed the professor and was able to turn in my assignment, although I did lose a lot of points. Don’t let this happen to you!

Online classes are great because they let you have flexibility in your schedule. However without a physical class everyday to remind you what is due, it’s easy to get behind if you don’t pace yourself. My #1 tip for students new to online classes is keep track of your course deadlines and your professor’s policy on deadlines.

Here are five things to look for on your syllabus:

  1. What day of the week and time are assignments due? The day and time of deadlines may vary for different courses. In my experience most classes have Sunday deadlines but the times may vary. For example, last semester one of my courses had a Sunday 5pm deadline, another had a Sunday 11:59pm deadline and another had a Monday 6am deadline. It’s helpful to write deadlines on a calendar (especially if you are taking multiple courses, so you don’t get caught off guard by a busy week)
  2. Are there any midweek deadlines? Once in a while there may be a group project or discussion board posting with a midweek deadline, leaving time later in the week for comments.
  3. Are there strict deadlines? Some professors have strict weekly deadlines while others will accept all work right up until the course end date.
  4. Do exams have to be taken during a certain window? Are exams only available for a limited time? Can you take them early or late?
  5. Does your instructor accept late work? Some instructors will let you turn in work a day or two late if you email them and explain the situation. Other instructors will accept late work but take points off. Others are very strict about deadlines and will not accept work even a minute late.

We’ve all been there: You have a busy week and struggle to find the time. You have last minute computer problems. These things can and will happen. Avoid a stressful situation by learning about your Critical Course Deadlines, course specific deadlines, and professor’s late and grading policy before you are too overwhelmed!

Participation In Your Online Class Is Not Only Important, It is Required

As you are preparing for your ELI course(s) to begin, it is important to keep in mind attendance and participation in your ELI courses are very important. In fact, your attendance and participation are not just important, they are required. It is crucial to ensure you have completed and submitted your first assignment prior to the First Assignment Due Date to avoid being administratively withdrawn from your course.  This has several outcomes of concern including:

  • Reduction in class load and possible change (if less than 12 credits) from full time to part time status (both potentially affecting financial aid)
  • Loss of tuition (yes, an administrative withdrawal will cause you to lose the money paid as tuition for this course)
  • No record of the class or letter grade on your transcript

As soon as your class begins, log into Blackboard and explore your course Blackboard. Locate and review your course syllabus and assignments tab thoroughly. This will give you a chance to see what you will be responsible for throughout the semester. In addition, this will also allow you sufficient time to plan your time appropriately, making certain you will be able to complete your readings, assignments, projects and tests in time for their specified due dates. To that end, take a moment to record all of the assignments in your paper or online planner. Once you have recorded all of the assignments, you will need to break them down into daily manageable tasks.

It is crucial to ensure you have completed and submitted your first assignment prior to the First Assignment Due Date to avoid being administratively withdrawn from your course. 

If you have any questions or you are not sure where to start, please contact the Success Coaching Team at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or by calling 703-764-5076. We are more than happy to answer your questions, as well as refer you to useful resources and services that will support your online learning experience.

Preparing for your first day

As you are preparing for your summer courses, it is important to keep in mind the importance of attendance and participation. Be mindful of Critical Course Deadlines and course specific deadlines so you don’t miss any assignments and fall behind in your course work.   null

Instructors make courses available in blackboard the first day the course is scheduled to begin, or sometimes a few days in advance. If your course begins on Monday, May 16, you may not see your course in Blackboard until that day. If you are scheduled for a later starting ELI course you may not see your course until closer to that start date.

As soon as your class begins, log into Blackboard and explore your virtual classroom. Use this opportunity to locate and review the course syllabus and assignments folder. This will give you a chance to see what you will be responsible for throughout the term. In addition, this will also allow you sufficient time to plan your time appropriately, making certain you will be able to complete your readings, assignments, projects and tests in time for their specified due dates. It is crucial to ensure you have completed and submitted your first assignment prior to the First Assignment Due Date to avoid being administratively withdrawn from your course. 

Logging into Blackboard as soon as the course begins will also give you the opportunity to identify any unexpected issues and provide ample time to ask any questions you might have.

If you have any questions or you are not sure where to start, you can contact the ELI Student Success Coaching Team at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or Student Services Team at 703-323-3347. We are more than happy to answer your questions, as well as refer you to useful resources and services that will support your online learning experience.

Join us for an ELI Orientation

Are you enrolled in your first online learning course this summer? Or, have you taken an online course previously and want to ensure that you are headed in the right direction? Do you have any questions about using Blackboard to complete your ELI course? A great place to start is with the ELI Orientation. 463461567A webinar is a live, online instruction session. You can participate in a webinar from any computer or mobile device with Internet access and speakers. A microphone is not required as we will use a text chat for all questions. Participation in all webinars offered through ELI is free, but registration is required. Register for a live session or request a copy of the recording on the ELI Webinar webpage.

The ELI Orientation webinar is a live, one hour online instruction session geared for students already enrolled in courses. The webinar will focuses on getting started, navigating your Blackboard course site, identifying tips for success, and highlighting student support services. During the webinar, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you have before you start your course.

The ELI Orientation will cover an overview of navigating your Blakcboard Course Site. Instructors make courses available on the course start date or sometimes a few days in advance. If you haven’t used Blackboard in the past, you may be interested in some short videos to review how to submit an assignment, post on discussion board, check grades, etc.

The web conference tool we use at ELI is Blackboard Collaborate. You can test your connection ahead of time by following the steps in this ELI Student Blog post.

Connect with ELI on Facebook and Twitter for tips for success in your online courses. ELI Student Success Coaches are available for any questions as you are getting started. Reach out to them at ELISuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

This Week at ELI!

Work life balance choicesJoin our Virtual Student Union – Our VSU has a new look! Are you taking online classes and looking to connect with other students outside of a classroom setting? Check out our Virtual Student Union or VSU. This is an engagement hub where ELI students have access to create a profile, join discussion forums and connect with other students. In celebration of our new site launch, students will be eligible for raffle prizes once they create an account and interact on the site. Drawings will be done weekly and monthly through the spring semester. Join now!

How to Prepare for Finals – Finals are quickly approaching, so start preparing now! Our 30 min video will focus on an overview of topics and strategies to help ease anxiety and help you study smart such as: early preparation, planning your approach and taking the exam. Request access to the video here.

Cash Course Financial Literacy Contest – 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.

Engage in your Community! Did you miss our Community Involvement Fair this fall? Check out our community volunteer booklet to learn more about the variety of non-profits participating and volunteer opportunities available: Community Volunteer Booklet. Email us at elistulife@nvcc.edu and tell us where and when you are volunteering and we will send you a FREE NOVA Student Life T-shirt to wear!

Do you have the campus safety app ‘LiveSafe’ installed on your phone yet? In our continuing commitment to the highest level of campus safety, NOVA has launched a new mobile safety app called LiveSafe. The LiveSafe app will improve communication between students, faculty, staff and NOVA Police, and will facilitate emergency response in critical situations. Our goal is to work with you to help build a safer campus. The LiveSafe app allows you to: Report tips to or request emergency services anonymously from NOVA Police; Send your location to NOVA Police; Let friends or family monitor your movements, so you never have to walk alone; Share your concerns and suggestions with NOVA Police; Have critical safety information at your fingertips. Members of the college community, including students, staff, faculty, and parents are encouraged to download the free app through the iTunes or Google Play stores for their iPhone and Android devices. Type in “LiveSafe” and download the app with the blue shield today!

Stay connected with NOVA on all your favorite social networking websites.
  You can now interact with NOVA on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, iTunes U and YouTube. Become a fan. You will find us under the name NOVAaccess. You will discover and learn a lot about NOVA through our new social networking sites. Updates are made on a daily basis.  As our fan on any of these sites, you will have access to the latest events and programs taking place at each NOVA campus. It is also a great way to connect with NOVA students, alumni and other faculty and staff.

Don’t forget to sign-up for NOVA Alert.  NOVA Alert is a free alert system that allows NOVA to contact you during an emergency by sending messages to your cell phone and email.

STUDENT LIFE OFFICES:
For more information on any of these activities, please visit your student life office.  We are here to help you make the most of your experience at NOVA!