Tag Archives: resources

This week at NOVA Online

Is today the first day of your NOVA Online course? Review the Critical Enrollment Dates blog post to make sure you get off to a great start. Join us for today’s NOVA Online Orientation webinar or request a recording!

All courses beginning today are 12 or 8-week courses. These courses will run at an accelerated pace to cover the full 16-week semester’s material. Make sure you are comfortable with the pace of the course from day 1. An NOVA Online Student Blogger has shared her experiences preparing for an 8-week course to help you!Good Morning Monday

Join our Virtual Student Union. 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 NOVA Online 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 fall semester. Join now!

Become a NOVA Online Student Blogger. Love to write? Become a NOVA Online Student Blogger! This group will be geared toward students who enjoy to write or blog and are possibly interested in pursuing a career in media and/or journalism. Members of this group will directly contribute to the NOVA Online student blog. For more information, fill out the NOVA Online Student Bloggers Interest Form.

Engage in your Community! We want to learn more about how NOVA NOVA Online Students are engaging in the community! 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!  Coming Soon! (Community volunteer booklet to learn more about the variety of non-profits participating and volunteer opportunities available).

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. https://alert.nvcc.edu

National Online Learning Day!

National Online Learning Day is Friday, September 15 and we want to celebrate you all week! We wanted to take the opportunity to share with you 10 things you might not know about the Extended Learning Institute (NOVA Online) at Northern Virginia Community College.

This picture was dated 1974 and shows staff getting media ready for some of the first distance/correspondence learning courses offered through the  Extended Learning Institute! 1974-eli-011.    23,000 NOVA students taken online courses through the NOVA Online each year.

2.    NOVA Online offers more than 500 online courses, so whatever field you’re in and whatever degree requirement you’re working to fill, you can probably find some options at NOVA Online!

3.    NOVA Online courses and NOVA Online faculty win national awards every year.

4.    You are not alone when you take a NOVA Online course – you will interact with your instructor and classmates through discussions, group assignments, and more.

5.    NOVA Online staff provide lots of services to support you in your online courses, too, including 24/7 free online tutoring, online librarians, 24/7 technical support, student success coaches, and much more.

6.    NOVA Online offers several start dates each semester, for most of our courses, so just about any time you want to get started with us, we have a new session starting soon!

7.    You can earn more than 40 complete associate’s degrees and certificates entirely through NOVA Online. Check out the complete list on NOVA Online’s website.

8.    Not sure whether an online course is right for you? You can take the SmarterMeasure assessment to find out!

9.    NOVA Online offers courses in 16-week, 12-week, 10-week and 8-week lengths so you can choose the schedule and course length that best fits your needs.

10.    Most NOVA Online students take classes on campus as well as NOVA Online classes; combining the two can be the perfect way to complete your degree.

If you have any questions, contact the NOVA Online Student Services Team at 703.323.3347 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu or connect with us on social media. 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.

This week at NOVA Online!

Is today the first day of your NOVA Online course? Review the Critical Enrollment Dates blog post to make sure you get off to a great start. Join us for today’s NOVA Online Orientation webinar or request a recording!

All courses beginning today are 12, 10 or 8-week courses. These courses will run at an accelerated pace to cover the full 16-week semester’s material. Make sure you are comfortable with the pace of the course from day 1. An NOVA Online Student Blogger has shared her experiences preparing for an 8-week course to help you!

Join us Friday for NOVA Online NOVA DAY. Join us in celebrating National Online Learning Day! Follow NOVA’s Facebook page to learn out to participate in our virtual scavenger hunt for some awesome prizes. Look for our staff at the Manassas campus from 11-1pm to learn more about online learning and to get some NOVA Online swag! 

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.

Join NOVA Online’s Virtual Student Union. NOVA Online’s 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. Join now!

Become a NOVA Online Student Blogger- Love to write? Become a NOVA Online Student Blogger! This group will be geared toward students who enjoy to write or blog and are possibly interested in pursuing a career in media and/or journalism. Members of this group will directly contribute to the NOVA Online student blog. For more information, fill out the NOVA Online Student Bloggers Interest Form.

Make sure to look for emails from the Student Success Coaches – elisuccess@nvcc.edu – that will give you reminders of specific upcoming dates and helpful tips for success throughout the term. You can always reply to their emails with any questions you have, or give them a call at 703.323.3347.

How is online learning different from on-campus courses?

Hope everyone is having a great first week! We want to point out some of the differences between online through NOVA Online and on-campus courses at NOVA.

  • Format
  • Technology
  • Time Required

Although online learning and on-campus courses cover the same content, the format is different. NOVA Online courses are flexible, with stated deadlines, meaning, you can work on your course at any point throughout the week, but will need to meet weekly or even mid-weekly due dates. NOVA Online requires proctored exams to be completed within the stated course deadlines. Some courses may also be accelerated with the instructor’s permission.

Technology provides content and interaction. NOVA Online courses use Blackboard as the course management system to communicate and facilitate class discussions. Students are required to use their VCCS student email account to communicate with the instructor.

Online learning courses usually require at least as much time as you would spend taking a campus-based course. You should plan to study at least 2-3 hours a week for each credit. In other words, for a 16-week, three-credit course, you would study 6-9 hours per week. For 12 or 8-week courses, more time would need to be scheduled to complete your requirements. When you compare this time with what you spend in class and studying outside of class, it is about the same.

Weekly ScheduleHere is a chart that illustrates the general amount of time per week you should expect to study per credit hour based on the course length. For example, if you enroll in an 8-week, 3-credit class, you can expect to spend 12-18 hours per week studying for this class. In general, the shorter the class length (8, 10, 12, or 16-week), the more hours of study time you can expect to spend per week per credit. (Click on chart to enlarge picture)We encourage you to participate in an NOVA Online Orientation to help as you are getting started in your first online course. You can view short videos from Blackboard to review how to submit an assignment, post on discussion board, check grades, etc.

For more information about getting started at NOVA Online, please email elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076. Have a question, but not sure who to ask? Start with a Success Coach!

First Week Reminders!

Happy First Day of Classes, NOVA Online Students!

Today’s first day blog is provided by student blogger Rebecca! She has been taking NOVA Online classes for two semesters and has some tips to help new NOVA Online 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!

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

On your first day

Welcome to the Extended Learning Institute (NOVA Online) at NOVA! NOVA Online is the online division at NOVA. All NOVA Online courses are housed in Blackboard. We have provided tips to get off to a great start and establish a routine early in the semester! Let us know if you have any questions.

  1. Log in to your My NOVA account using your VCCS username and password.
  2. Select “Blackboard Learn” from the My Tools Section.
  3. Find your courses in the “My Blackboard Courses” section and enter each course site.
  4. Read the course syllabus in detail. Make sure you are comfortable with the pace of the course.
  5. Get started on your first week’s assignments. You must complete the first assignment by the assigned deadline to avoid being administratively dropped from the course for non-participation.
  6. Establish a Routine! All online classes, regardless of session length, are based on the full 16-week course material; 12, 10, 8 and 6 week courses will move at an accelerated pace.
  7. Plan Ahead! All online classes require proctored exams or assignments. Plan ahead for your proctored exams so you don’t miss any deadlines. Check your course syllabus and review testing policies.
  8. Let NOVA Online staff know if you have any questions.

Review additional resources for logging into Blackboard and navigating Blackboard can be found on NOVA’s website. As well as additional Blackboard tutorials in your course site.

If you need assistance locating helpful study resources, getting started strategies, or any general NOVA Online questions contact the NOVA Online Student Services Team at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or  703.323.3347.

Know Your Critical Course Deadlines

One assumption some online students make is that all NOVA Online courses are self-paced. To that end, students may put off getting started and learn that their instructor has administratively withdrawn them for not meeting course deadlines. Don’t let this happen to you!

It is very important to understand that most NOVA Online courses have weekly or even mid-weekly due dates. There are critical course deadlines, that include your First Assignment Due Date. The first assignment due date requires you to log into your Blackboard course site and complete your First Assignment by the assigned due date. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in being dropped from the course without a tuition refund. NOVA Online courses may be 16, 12 , 10, 8 , 6, or 4 weeks in length; each course has specific start, refund, first assignment due date, withdrawal, and end date that you should be aware of when you select a particular course. View the critical course deadlines early and know your options.

You can also view your critical enrollment dates by visiting your class schedule in your Student Center.

After selecting “My Class Schedule” in your Student Center account view the calendar link under “deadlines” for each course. (See photo below)Critical_Deadlines

In addition to logging in and completing your first assignments (as referenced in your Quick Start Syllabus and Blackboard Course Site), NOVA Online courses also have weekly or mid-weekly assignment deadlines.

When taking a NOVA Online course, it is important to understand that assignment due dates as well as test and quiz due dates come quickly. Due dates are firm and in some NOVA Online courses, assignments and tests/quizzes are sometimes removed after the due date.

To be successful in your course:

Read through your course syllabus on the first day of class. Understand all the deadlines that apply to your course and record them in your planner.

Establish a Routine – Visit your Blackboard Course Site daily and read all of your emails and announcements.

Make Note of your Course Deadlines, and turn your assignments in on time.

If possible, take your test prior to the testing deadline—you never know what might come up at the last minute!

To ensure that you understand the NOVA Online course deadlines, know your course specific critical course deadlines and review the important dates to include refund date, first assignment due date and last day to withdraw with a grade of ‘W’.

Make sure to look for emails from the Student Success Coaches – elisuccess@nvcc.edu – that will give you reminders of specific upcoming dates and helpful tips for success throughout the term. You can always reply to their emails with any questions you have, or give them a call at 703.764.5076.

Preparing for your first day

As you are preparing for your fall 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

Courses are made 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, August 21, you may not see your course in Blackboard until that day. If you are scheduled for a later starting NOVA Online 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.

New to online learning at NOVA? Join us for an NOVA Online Orientation Webinar to help you get started!

If you have any questions or you are not sure where to start, you can contact the NOVA Online 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.

Tips to help you get started!

Below are some tips to help you get started in your NOVA Online courses this fall!

You will have access to your course in Blackboard the first day the course is scheduled to begin or sometimes a few days in advance. If your course is scheduled to begin later in the fall, 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.

NOVA Online 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 NOVA Online questions? Live Chat (bottom right)  or NOVA Online 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 NOVA Online courses. This service is available for some NOVA Online 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 NOVA Online. Get in the habit of checking this e-mail.

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

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

Financial Aid assistance is available by creating a case at https://mysupport.nvcc.edu or uploading documents that are accepted electronically through the To Do List. You may also fax documents to (703) 323-3494.   Questions about financial aid eligibility? Check out the Financial Aid Blog.

Not enrolled yet? There is plenty of time to register for fall semester courses.

Are you a seasoned NOVA Online professional?? What tips would you share with a new student about online learning at NOVA?

Join us for a NOVA Online Orientation Webinar

Are you enrolled in your first online learning course this fall? 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 NOVA Online course? A great place to start is with the NOVA Online Orientation webinar. 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 NOVA Online is free, but registration is required.

Register for a live session or request a copy of the recording on the NOVA Online Webinar webpage.

We are offering live sessions on the following dates:

Thursday, August 3, 2017 – 6:30 – 7:30 pm

Thursday, August 10, 2017 – 12:15 – 1:15 pm

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 – 6:30 – 7:30 pm (Captions Available)

Saturday, August 19, 2017 -10:30 – 11:30 am (Captions Available)

Monday, August 21, 2017 – 12:15 – 1:15 pm

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 – 6:30 – 7:30 pm

The NOVA Online Orientation webinar is a live, one hour online instruction session that focuses on getting started in your NOVA Online courses, navigating your Blackboard course site, identifying tips for success, and highlighting student support services. This webinar is geared towards students already enrolled in courses and will not cover the registration process. During the webinar, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you have before you start your course.

The NOVA Online Orientation will cover an overview of navigating your Blakcboard Course Site. Courses are made available in Blackboard 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.

This webinar will not satisfy the Student Orientation requirement for the Start Strong Policy at NOVA. If this is your first time in college, age 17-14 – NOVA’s new student orientation is required before enrolling in NOVA courses.

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