An important notice about Pearson’s digital solutions

On Saturday, June 28th, all Pearson digital solutions, including MyLab and Mastering, will be offline for maintenance from 3:00 AM EDT until 1:00 PM EDT / 08:00 BST until 18:00 BST (GMT+1).467304707

Please subscribe to this article to receive email updates on this maintenance event and associated downtime, as well as a notification of when you can access Pearson digital solutions.

We apologize in advance of any disruption this might cause for your summer courses. If you have any questions, you can contact the ELI Student Services Team or your course Instructor. The ELI Student Services Team can be reached at 703.323.3347 or Your course instructor will be a great resource as well.

Are your career plans in FOCUS?

As you plan your fall schedule, prepare to transfer, or get ready to begin a new job take a moment to focus on your career development.Job OpportunityAre you attending NOVA to pursue a certificate or degree, but unsure about what career options might be available to you? Have you decided on a major, but have difficulty answering the question – “What can I do with a major in _____? Do you need to fine tune your skills or add to your skill set in preparation for a career change? Learn more about career options by utilizing FOCUS 2, an online interactive self-guided career and education planning system that can help you:

Select a major based on your interests and aspirations

  •  Discover occupations matching your personal preferences and attributes
  • Map out your career plans, present and future
  • Make informed career decisions

FOCUS 2 is free for NOVA students. Access the system at NOVA’s Career Services website.

Simply click on the FOCUS 2 button, create your free account, and begin your exploration.

Also check ELI’s webinar schedule for offerings of the Exploring Career Options webinar. This 45 minute webinar will focus on using various online resources to research career options. The relationship between programs of study at NOVA, college majors, and career options will be discussed. Resources presented will provide information on nature of work, educational requirements, job outlook, and wages.

Need some help?  Have a question?  Contact Christy Jensen, ELI Career Counselor, at

How to Log into a Blackboard Collaborate Session

A webinar is a live, online instruction session using a web conferencing service called Blackboard Collaborate. You can participate in a webinar from any computer or mobile device with reliable, high speed, Internet access. ELI offers several webinars throughout the semester and some ELI courses have live, virtual meetings. You might also have the opportunity to meet with your instructor via Blackboard Collaborate for Virtual Office Hours. 

Whether you are using Blackboard Collaborate to access a class session, meet with an instructor for office hours, or participate in an ELI Webinar, the instructions below will help guide you.

You can test your connection in advance by visiting Behind the Blackboard and clicking on “Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing” under “First Time Users”. 

If you are attending an ELI Webinar, you can register by following the link to the ELI Webinar pageOnce you register for a session, you will receive an email with a link to join the session live. Click the link provided to access the live session. If you are using a mobile device, you will be directed to download the app first. All times understood to be Eastern Standard Time, unless otherwise noted.

If you are attending a live class session, you will locate the link in the tools section of your Blackboard Course Site.

The first time you log in, you will need to download the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher. BbCLauncherDownload the Launcher – save the file and select “join”.

Once you open the link, you will be asked to enter your display name. Please enter your first name and the first initial of your last name (ex. Katie A.). Note that all participants will see your display name.Join_BbC_Session_2Once you enter your name, you will be taken to a site like the one below. Make sure your browser security settings will not block this site from downloading to your computer.
Join_BbC_session_3A new window or message will pop up asking whether to open or save the file. For Firefox, make sure that Open with is set to Blackboard Collaborate Launcher (default). Then Click OK. For Internet Explorer, click Open.BbC_Launcher

The file should download and automatically open for you. You will see a window like the one below. Make sure you allow this application to run on your computer.

Join_BbC_session_7Once you run the application, you will see the download begin. This may take a few minutes.

Join_BbC_session_6A screen like below will pop up and you will know Blackboard Collaborate is loading.

Join_BbC_session_8Once you are in the live session, you will be able to run your audio check and participate in the presentation. Plan to log in at least 10 minutes before your scheduled session, to give yourself enough time to load Blackboard Collaborate and run the audio check and troubleshoot any issues you may have.

To view the hardware and software pre-requisites for Blackboard Collaborate please visit Behind the Blackboard.

To view a video to help you get set up using Blackboard Collaborate, follow this link.

Geoscience Field courses at Annandale

It’s summertime, and that means one and two-credit Geoscience field courses are offered at NOVA – Annandale. Consider enrolling yourself! If you have friends or colleagues whom you think might be interested, spread the word.

null1. GOL 135-052N (Index #12879): Miocene Geology of Calvert Cliffs, MD. A full one-day field trip Sat., 6/28/14 (9 AM-6 PM); Rain date Sun. 6/29/14. This one-day trip considers Miocene seas spread across the Chesapeake Bay region ca. 10-20 million years ago. We visit the Calvert Marine Museum collections, and study ancient sediments, stratigraphy, and paleoenvironments preserved along the western shore of the Maryland Chesapeake within the world-famous Calvert Cliffs. An additional $6 museum fee required. NO PREREQUISITES!

2. GOL 299-051N (Index #12031)- Natural History and Environmental Processes of Chesapeake Bay. A full two-day, two-credit hybrid (lecture/field) course (Mon., 7/14/14 on-campus lecture, and Wed., 7/16/14 field trip on the Bay). This hybrid two-day course considers the natural history, environmental processes, and current health of the Chesapeake Bay, our largest estuary. Course includes background readings, on-campus lecture/lab, coastal field studies, and an offshore boat trip on the Chesapeake. Additional $15 boat fee required. This is an introductory-level, multidisciplinary course well-suited to educators. NO PREREQUISITES!

3. GOL 135-058N (Index #12882)- Building Stones and Historic Quarries of Baltimore, MD. A full one-day field trip Sat. 7/26/14 (9 AM-8:30 PM); Rain date: Sun. 7/27/14. This one-day walking and driving tour will visit buildings and monuments of Baltimore Metro area, as well as historic quarries and natural outcroppings of Texas-Cockeysville area. Focus will be the long geologic history of the region, and the rocks used to construct buildings and monuments in Baltimore and Washington, DC. NO PREREQUISITES!

For any and all questions email Ken Rasmussen at:

Have a look at photos from past trips:

ELI Summer Pedometer Challenge


Join The ELI Fall Pedometer Challenge as part of our Health and Wellness Interest Group!

What is it? 

Compete and share experiences with other students by tracking your average daily steps for a month as well as create personal health and wellness goals.

How does it work?  

1) Once you have signed up for the challenge, you will receive a confirmation within 24-48hrs.

2) On June 13th, you will receive access to a Google spreadsheet where you will record your pedometer steps as well as keep track of what types of activity you took part in for the day/week. You MUST provide your VCCS email (the email that NOVA has provided you) to have access the spreadsheet.

3) Pedometer steps will be recorded daily by each participant starting June 16th.

4) The first 50 participants that sign up will be mailed a FREE pedometer to participate/ otherwise you will need to provide your own pedometer.

5) Challenge begins on June 16th and ends at 11:59pm on August 8th. Prizes will be given for several categories including: weekly winners, best average, overall step count…etc)

6) Throughout the challenge, you will added to our ELI Health and Wellness Google group via Google Communities. This will be used for participants to share their progress in the challenge and great health and wellness motivational articles and tips. You can view it here:

How do I sign up?

You can sign up by following this link:

Questions? Contact ELI Student Life at


Create a Google+ Account

Have you created a Google+ account through your student Gmail account?  ELI Student Life hosts several online events that you can participate in by having one.  Check out the below instructions to see step by step instructions:

1) Log into your vssc email from the ‘My Nova’ ( page on the colleges’ website.

2) After logging into your Gmail,  you will then be logged into Google. On the top right of your screen you will see your first name and a + in front of it. Click there.

picture 1

3) You will be taken to a new page (as seen below), scroll down and click the ‘continue’ button. A little pop up will appear and ask you if you are sure you don’t want to ‘follow’ anyone right now. Click ‘continue anyway’. You will receive the option again to add followers after your profile is created.

picture 2

3)  You will now be taken to page to fill out your personal profile. Feel free to add anything to describe you in these fields.  Then hit finish.

picture 3

Once you have completed your account,  You can find us under the unsername ELIfe to learn more about how you can get involved in our virtual events/activities!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact We look forward to connecting with you soon!

ELI Summer Book and Cinema Club


Do you enjoy reading and looking for a place to share a common read with other ELI students this summer?

Join our ELI virtual Book and Cinema Club. This summer we will be reading/viewing Divergent by Veronica Roth

You are probably asking yourself, how does this work?

This group provides an opportunity for students to connect virtually while discussing book/movie topics. This is done in a few ways:

1)     Contribute to our discussion forum through our ELI Google Community page

2)     Participate on our virtual book chats via Google Hangouts

3)     View a live screening of the movie from your home computer

The Summer Book and Cinema Club will run from June 9th-August 8th For more information on this event, feel free to contact ELI Student Life at

Register here:

Connect with ELI

ELI is active on social media and our Virtual Student Union. We hope you join the conversation on our sites and participate in student life events throughout the semester. We offer both virtual and in-person events each semester.  Follow this link to access our ELI Student Life Calendar.

Join fellow ELI students in the ELIfe Google+ Community and follow us on Twitter at @NOVAELIFEFacebook, and on LinkedIn. This blog is a great resource for announcements, updates, and tips for success. If you would like to share your story with fellow ELI students, please email us at

You can always call us – 703.323.3347 or email us with any questions you have about your ELI classes!

Forwarding your Student Email

When juggling school, life, work, and family, it is very easy for important events and deadlines to get lost in the shuffle. When it comes to events and deadlines related to your schoolwork and life at NOVA, we try to keep you informed through this blog, Twitter, Facebook, and through emails to your student email account.

Your ELI Instructor(s), the Financial Aid Office, the Business Office, and the Central Records Office will also send important communications that you would need to be aware of to your student email account. If your student email account isn’t the one you are used to checking every day, you might miss something important.

Thankfully, your student emails can be forwarded to another email address automatically, or you can set up your student email to receive emails from all of your other email accounts, so you can check everything in just one place.

To forward your student emails to another account, follow these steps:

1. Log into your student email account by logging into MY NOVA and select your student email from the list of choices. 2

**Make sure you have upgraded to a Google+ account.

2.  Click on the head in upper right corner & then click on Account link.3

3.  Click on Edit settings link.

44.  Scroll to “Notification delivery” and click on “Add email address” link. 55.  Add the email address to use when forwarding your student email and click on the Add button.

66.  A verification email will be sent to the added address. If you don’t receive it, you will need to resend the verification. You will need to go to that address and click on a Verify button in the email to complete the process.

77.  You should see a message from Google+ stating that the new email address has been verified.


8.  You can add or delete email addresses at any time.

Remember, that your ELI Instructor will need you to respond to them using your student email, so you may not be able to just reply from a forwarded email. Instead, you might need to log in to your student email account to respond.

Keep in mind that all information which would be protected by privacy laws that an employee at NOVA would send you through email must be sent to your student email account to ensure a level of security. When you forward an email to another address, you take responsibility yourself for protecting your privacy regarding that information.

Having email lost because of forwarding does not absolve a student from the responsibilities associated with communication sent to his or her official email address. The VCCS is not responsible for the handling of email by outside vendors or unofficial servers.

Fun and Free Apps to Explore

With thousands of apps available, it can be challenging to uncover an app that fits your needs. If you are searching for that perfect study app or an app to help you develop your career, the following apps may provide the inspiration that you have been searching for:

picture of mobile apps

Blackboard (Bb) Mobile Learn: Provides organized, on-the-go access to the latest course announcements, quick access to the discussion board and instant access to your journal posts, upcoming assignments and more.

Flipboard: Stay on top of information in your field with Flipboard! Flipboard is your personal magazine. Users can catch up on the news that they enjoy, explore information and articles from around the world, and stay connected to the people closest to them. Save and collect information into your own personal magazines such as articles focused on coursework, personal interests and more.

Flowboard: Storytelling and presentation app that en
ables the user to create side-scrolling publications with images, text, videos, links, and photo galleries. Flowboard allows you to create & present from your iPad, or share to any device. This app could also be used to maintain accomplishments and share in an interview or incorporate into an online resume.

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

Screenchomp: Share course concepts and thoughts with friends or classmates. To begin, tap the record button; draw on the whiteboard with the app pen or markers and record a running narrative.  ScreenChomp will record the user’s voice and drawings and uploads the creation to ScreenChomp. The user will be provided with a link which can be shared via e-mail, Twitter, or on the clipboard.

What are  your favorite apps? Let us know in the comments below!

The NOVA ELI Student Blog