Are you ready for online learning at NOVA Online?

SmarterMeasure logoAre you thinking about signing up for an online course this summer? Not sure if online learning is right for you? Find out by completing the SmarterMeasure assessment.  It will take you about 30 minutes from start to finish but you may log out and complete it later if necessary.  After you login, you will receive an email from SmarterMeasure with a PIN number that will allow you to log back in later or view your results again.

SmarterMeasure is meant to be an interesting experience by which you may learn more about yourself, online learning, and how to succeed!  Your SmarterMeasure score will not prevent you from registering for online classes. Take your time to rate yourself honestly. It is a tool that will help you assess your strengths and opportunities for growth related to online learning in 6 areas.

1. Life Factors

2. Individual Attributes

3. Learning Styles

4. Technical Competency, Skills, and Knowledge

5. Reading Rate and Recall

6. Typing Speed and Accuracy

You will receive a report immediately following the completion of all areas of SmarterMeasure. You may email this report, print it, or download and save for future reference. It also provides some remedial tools related to each area.

Over the next six weeks we will cover the six areas covered in your SmarterMeasure report. You can also plan to join us for a SmarterMeasure webinar to learn more about the assessment. More information about the webinar can be found here.

To obtain the log-in information for SmarterMeasure, email NOVA from your VCCS email account.

Upcoming Leadership Series Webinar

S  L  Young Profile PictureLooking to develop your personal leadership skills? Participate in our Lessons in Leadership webinar series this spring semester! Our next webinar will be Wednesday, April 2nd from 7-8 pm!

This month’s leadership webinar topic will be presented by NOVA Instructor, Stacey L. Young featuring his presentation “Belief: A Powerful Component of Success”. 

This session will cover the important topic of “belief”, along with the reasons that “belief” is a powerful component of success.

Some of the themes he will cover include:

Why is belief important?

What are the components of belief?

What are the impacts of not having belief (in one’s capabilities)?

Ways to move past doubts, fears, and worries toward actionable goals

Ways to use belief to one’s advantage

Register here!

Summer Internship Opportunties

Are you still deciding what to do this summer? It’s not too late to spend 2 months in Washington, DC! You will make an impact by serving with a nonprofit organization while earning academic credit and expanding your leadership skills and professional network.

Deadline is April 4th

*Scholarship funding still available!

More information here

Scholarship Opportunities

Leslie Virginia Forte Scholarship

The Leslie Virginia Forte Scholarship is a private scholarship supporting minority students attending Northern Virginia Community College.  Awards will be made with consideration for academic achievement and demonstrated loyalty to NVCC through involvement and extra-curricular activities.
The deadline for applications is April 1, 2014.

Other Scholarships for Northern Virginia Students:

The Community Foundation manages the applications for each of the scholarships below. A volunteer grants panel convenes to determine the winners of each scholarship. See the links below for more details about the purpose and application process for these scholarships.

Research Skills: A Blog Series from your NOVA Online Library staff

Citing Your Sources

citation neededReally, the hardest part of doing research is finding the best sources and completing your paper or assignment using those sources. Citing them should be the easy part. But students tend to get pretty stressed out when it comes to citations. No worries, though, we can help.

First, why is it important to cite? There are really 2 main reasons:

1) Readers of your paper or research should be able to find where you got your information, even if your information came from online videos, podcasts, or social media. If you use or refer to images, sound, or music, your readers should be able to find those sources. By citing your sources, you give your readers a chance to utilize those same resources out of interest, or even to check your facts.

All citation styles, e.g. MLA and APA, try to include all the information needed for someone to track down that source.

2) You need to give credit to the creators/authors of the information you use. This is key to academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism.

For information on formatting, in-text citations, and reference lists, take a look at the style guides below:

You can also see the following sites for more help:

Upcoming Citation Webinars (THIS WEEK!):

Go to the NOVA Online Webinars schedule to sign up for the following citation webinars:

Citation Basics–APA Style

Make sure you’re citing your work correctly!  This 30 minute webinar will go through the basics of the APA citation style. We will cover general formatting, in-text citations, and the reference list.

Tuesday, March 18, Noon – 12:30 pm

Thursday, March 20, 6:00 – 6:30 pm

Citation Basics–MLA Style

Make sure you’re citing your work correctly!  This 30 minute webinar will go through the basics of the MLA citation style. We will cover general formatting, in-text citations, and the reference list.

 Monday, March 17, 6:00 – 6:30 pm

Thursday, March 20, Noon – 12:30 pm

NOVA Online March Madness Bracket Competition

Have you signed up for our NOVA Online March Madness Bracket Competition? The tournament begins March 20th!

Join our Tourney Pick’ em through Yahoo.

Bracket group name: NOVA Online March Madness Competition password eli1234.

If this group is full, check out our second or third groups:

NOVA Online March Madness 2

password: eli12345

NOVA Online March Madness 3

password: eli123456

Join our private group here!

Research Skills: A Blog Series from your NOVA Online Library staff

Evaluating Websites

search1A couple of weeks ago, we talked about using Google for your research. Of course, NOVA Libraries has access to thousands of newspaper, magazine, and journal articles through the library databases. But that doesn’t mean that there’s not good and useful information out on the web as well.  You just need to be critical.

 So how can you decide if a website has good information that would be appropriate to use in your assignments? You’ve heard of the 5 W’s, right? Well, they can also be applied to evaluating information, on the web and elsewhere. 

 WHO – Who wrote or published the information? Is it someone you have heard of? Is it an organization that you are familiar with?

 WHAT – What are the author’s credentials? Are they clear about their experience in the subject and how they relates to the topic they are writing on?

WHEN – When was the information published? Is it the type of information that changes over time (Think: Medical Information)? Or is it the type of information that stays the same (Think: History)?

WHERE – Where did the author get their information? Are they properly citing their sources? Are they clear on where their facts, statistics, graphs, etc. are coming from?

 WHY – Why are they publishing this information? What is the author’s motivation? Are they showing a bias?

Take a look at the NOVA Libraries’ 5 W’s to Determine Good Information for more tips! And as always, if you’re not sure about a website, ask us! NOVA

56th Annual Highland Maple Festival

March 8-9 & 15-16, 2014


bucketThe Highland County Chamber of Commerce presents the 56th Annual Highland Maple Festival.

Take a look at the website here.

“Take a step back in time to Highland County, “Virginia’s Switzerland.” Travel back roads and mountain byways to the annual Highland Maple Festival. Held on the 2nd and 3rd weekends of March, the Maple Festival has been an annual event in Highland County, Virginia, since 1958.

Each year, thousands of visitors are drawn to this unspoiled, rural region of Virginia to celebrate the ‘opening’ of the trees and observe the process of maple syrup-making. Sugar camp tours provide a unique and educational experience that portrays a rapidly vanishing way of American life.”

CommonHealth: Technology Tips to Make Your Life a Little Easier


1. Sign up for online banking/automatic bill payment. 

Not only will signing up for automatic bill payments decrease the clutter level at home by eliminating paper billing statements, you will also save on postage, and eliminate late charges that come about by missing the due date. Be good to the environment, your pocketbook, and free your brain up for more enjoyable memories!

Continue reading CommonHealth: Technology Tips to Make Your Life a Little Easier

The NOVA Online Student Blog