LTR New NOVA SOARS App Encourages Engagement and Retention

The Learning Technology and Resources (LTR) Division has created a student success smartphone application to orient new students to the Annandale Campus. The NOVA SOARS app leverages the appeal of game achievement and rewards to lead students toward activities with a proven record of supporting college success. By turning these activities into an interactive game, the app provides a guided tool for students to effectively engage with their college community and connects them to the skills and existing resources that support engagement and persistence.

The app is designed around three achievement levels: (1) Get Started, (2) Get Support and (3) Get Engaged. The Get Started section calls students to complete basic new student functions, such as getting an ID card, finding one’s schedule online and logging in to Blackboard. Get Support guides students through accessing services on campus, such as the libraries, academic support centers and career services. Get Engaged exposes students to events of interest happening around campus and connects them with a variety of useful NOVA social media feeds that will alert them to other college activities.

To demonstrate completion of each level, students accomplish NOVA-related challenges by texting answers to questions, taking photos around campus, or scanning QR codes. Completing every challenge in the app will earn students a prize and, more importantly, familiarize them with important resources at NOVA that will support their success on campus.

Instructors are encouraged to promote the app to their students. They can get copies of the flyer to post on their class Blackboard page by emailing NOVA SOARS can be downloaded for free from Google Play or the App Store.

2 thoughts on “LTR New NOVA SOARS App Encourages Engagement and Retention

  1. The NOVA Soars app does a great job guiding students to the places on campus where they can get academic support and gets them engaged with student life. I’m telling all the students that come through the door of the center about NOVA Soars.

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