Student Lingo: Stay Motivated and Disciplined in an Online Course

The idea of taking an online course with NOVA Online is amazing! The flexibility of not having to travel to campus and working on assignments when it is convenient for you sounds like a dream come true. But how will you keep from procrastinating and falling behind? What tools will you use to help manage your time? How will you feel connected to your classmates and instructor? What you will do when something unexpected occurs?

If you are new to online learning you might be a little anxious about what to anticipate and what some of the challenges might be.  The How to Stay Motivated and Disciplined in an Online Course online workshop from Student Lingo highlights some of the common difficulties that online students experience such as procrastinating, poor time management, feeling disconnected with faculty and staff and managing the unexpected.

By taking a few minutes to view this on demand workshop:

  • You will have a head start on what to anticipate.
  • Know how to navigate those challenging situations before they even happen and then when they do,
  • You will have a plan in place to ensure you stay on track.

As a Success Coach, I tell my students all the time “Knowing is half the battle!” By watching this Student Lingo online workshop you are going to get a sneak peek into the life of an online student. By doing so you are going to know what to expect and be able to better prepare from the very first day of your first online course.

Plan on taking away tools to help:

    • Create a schedule and ideas on how to break up assignments in turn allowing to build in time for unexpected situations.
    • Know how to use the syllabus can be used as a guide to keep you on track with homework, projects and tests.

Develop strategies to connect with your classmates and instructor.

When you register for college courses you are investing your time and money. Invest in your success by watching this short presentation! Take some time afterwards to reflect and then develop some action steps to implement as soon as your online course begins.

  •  You know yourself as a student, what aspect of online learning is going to be the most challenging for you?
  • Think about the resources provided in the presentation and write down three actionable steps you will take during the first week of your online course that are going to help you be successful.

Remember a driving force in your success as an online student is meeting deadlines and holding yourself accountable. Commit to completing your three action items the first week of class! Liked the How to Stay Motivated and Disciplined in an Online Course Workshop? View more on-demand workshops from Student Lingo to help you succeed in your online courses.

-Laura, NOVA Online Student Success Coach

Planning Ahead for Next Semester

The end of the semester will be here before you know it and there is no time like the present to start prepping for next semester. The longer you wait, the likelihood of you encountering roadblocks increasing drastically, so resist the urge to put it off. When you start thinking about the courses you want to take next semester, keep these tips and tidbits of information in mind to avoid missing out on the courses you need.

Plan ahead. Speak to an advisor ( to make sure you are taking the necessary courses toward degree/certificate completion. Read over NOVA’s course repeat policy and speak with an advisor if you are taking a course for the 3rd time. Make sure your finances are in order to pay your tuition on time. If you are using Financial Aid, call 1-855-323-3199 to check on your status.

Register for classes early. Please make note of NOVA’s On-Time Registration policy that does not allow enrollment into a class after 11:59pm the day before the class is scheduled to begin. Enrolling in the course early will help you avoid many unnecessary headaches, i.e. courses being closed, full, or unavailable (huge migraines!).

Be aware of your course start and end dates. NOVA offers courses that vary in length (16, 12, 8, and 4 week sessions) and that start at different times during the semester. You wouldn’t want to think the course starts and ends at the wrong time (disaster!). Also pay attention to the course’s critical dates that inform you of deadlines for refunds and withdrawals.

 Getting into a closed course. If the course you want is closed, and it is before the start date you may still be able to get into the course by emailing the instructor to request permission to be allowed into the course. The instructor has authority to grant or deny such a request. Once granted permission, have the instructor forward that email to, or you can forward it yourself, and NOVA Online Registration will enroll you in the course.

If you miss the registration deadline. NOVA offers students different sessions throughout the semester with different start dates. If you are unable to get into a course because you missed the registration deadline, search for a later starting session for the same course and enroll in that session, if available. However, if taking a later starting session is not an option for you, you can complete and send a Permission to Enroll During the First Week form to NOVA Online Registration ( to try to get in that session. Please note that there is no guarantee that you can get into the class after the start date so registering early is highly encouraged!

If you have any questions about the enrollment process, call NOVA Online Registration at 703-323-3368 or