Starting in spring of 2017 and expanding to more classes in the summer and fall, the Learning and Technology Resources (LTR) division began working with instructors of the SDV 100: College Success Skills class to promote student use of NOVA Soars, a mobile app that makes a game out of learning NOVA’s academic support services. The app was conceived by current LTR division members Sarah Bogdewiecz, Emily Miller and Hector Revollo and former LTR Associate Dean Jami Yazdani to promote student success and retention in a fun, accessible way.
“I see so many students in my SDV class unprepared to navigate NOVA. It can be daunting at a large institution to get set up and find your way around,” said Bogdewiecz, Academic Support Centers coordinator and one of the app’s developers. “[To create the app,] we researched activities, such as setting up your email account and knowing what your instructor’s office hours are, as things students should know during their first few weeks that will set them up for academic and personal success.”
When CARE Counselor and SDV 100 instructor Regina Sanders saw this opportunity to use more varied tools to familiarize students with college resources, she began incorporating NOVA Soars into her SDV 100 curriculum as an extra credit assignment. “I’ve encouraged students to download the app and utilize this tool…Students have stated they have learned something new about the Annandale Campus that they didn’t know before and they felt the app was user-friendly and easy to navigate,” Sanders noted.
The LTR and the SDV cluster will work together in the months to come to incorporate the app more systematically into SDV classes, as well as work with Student Success Coordinator Kimberly Wright to employ it in new student orientations.
SDV instructors interested in having an LTR staff member run a five to 10 minute NOVA Soars orientation in their class can contact Brian Adler at email@example.com or 703.323.4137.
The NOVA Soars app is available for free download via Google Play and the Apple Store.