This week at NOVA Online!

Open registration for all students begins today, Monday, November 14! Are you thinking about an online course for Spring 2017 term? The online catalog is available in NOVAConnect – search the online catalog to see what options you have for online courses.

NOVA Online offers courses that begin on January 9, 23, 30, February 20 and March 13! Review the steps for our prepare for your spring semester blog post to help you plan ahead to enroll on-time!

Not sure if online learning is right for you? Take the SmarterMeasure assessment to help you gauge your readiness!

Join NOVA Online Career Counselors Wednesday, November 16 from 12:15 pm – 1:00 pm for the Finding a Job or Internship Webinar. This 45 minute webinar will focus on basic strategies for finding a job or internship. Topics covered will include creating a plan, identifying sources of job/internship leads, and resume, cover letter, and interview basics. Register Today!

Join our 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. 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!

Engage in your Community! Did you miss our Community Involvement Fair last year? Check out our community volunteer booklet to learn more about the variety of non-profits participating and volunteer opportunities available: Community Volunteer Booklet. Email us at and tell us where and when you are volunteering and we will send you a FREE NOVA Student Life T-shirt to wear!

Financial Avenue – Financial Literacy Contest – Twenty $100 NOVA bookstore gift cards towards educational costs at NOVA will be given-away throughout the 2016‐2017 academic year to randomly selected students NOVA Online who successfully complete Financial Avenue web‐based financial literacy modules! For more information visit Financial Aid’s Financial Literacy Blog. Official contest rules and registration to participate can be found here.

Learn more on the NOVA Online Student Blog. 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 for more information.

This Week at NOVA Online

Plan Ahead: NOVA spring break is March 7-13. College offices will remain open and administrative staff will be on duty. During Spring Break, campus-based offices will close at 5 p.m.  NOVA Online hours will remain the same. Testing Center Hours are modified, including all testing centers are closed on Saturday, March 13.

Still looking to add a spring course? NOVA Online has one more session start date available March 14. Enroll today! Once you enroll, tuition is due by 5pm the following business day. Schedule a virtual appointment with an NOVA Online Counselor with any academic advising questions.

Are you thinking about an online course through NOVA Online, but not sure if it is right for you? Review our Furthering your education with NOVA Online recording to see if online learning is a right fit for your current educational needs. You could also take the Smarter Measure assessment to see how your personal learning styles will work with online courses.

Graduating in May? Apply for Graduation no later than March 1!Graduation_16

Transfer Planning – It’s never too early to begin your planning to transfer another institution. Missed the webinar last week? Request a Recording of the Transfer Planning Webinar that covered the basics of transfer planning; information about Guaranteed Admission Agreements, Articulation Agreements, and Transfer Guides; and a provide web tour of NOVA’s transfer website.

Contact the NOVA Online Success Coaches if you have any questions as you are getting started in your online courses. They can be reached at NOVA or 703.764.5076.

Have a great week!

SmarterMeasure: Typing Speed and Accuracy

SmarterMeasure logoA student does not have to be an expert typist to succeed in a course. However, the faster you can type and the fewer errors you make will impact your ability to participate in your courses.

The average workplace typist reaches about 50 to 60 words per minute. The average web surfer comes in at around 30 words per minute, at a peak. Many courses require you to type as you participate in discussion boards, email the instructor, and compose papers. If you type slower than about 20 words per minute, you should consider using a resource such as  This resource is the leading FREE Web site that helps you master the skills of touch typing. Whether you’re a typing expert or just a “hunt & peck” beginner, the interactive exercises in this Typing Tutor automatically adjust to your skill level. The better you get, the more challenging the typing exercises become. You can come and go as you please and pick up the typing lesson where you left off.

To obtain log-in information for the SmarterMeasure assessment, email from your VCCS email account. Once you complete the SmarterMeasure assessment, you can find more information in the ‘Assessment Summary’ section.

SmarterMeasure: Reading Recall

SmarterMeasure logoThe average adult reading rate for English prose text in the United States is around 250 to 300 words per minute. Research shows that reading is around 25% slower from a computer screen than from paper. Thus you may slightly increase your results to find your speed when reading from paper.

Student Lingo offers an on-demand workshop titled Reading Comprehension Strategies that you can watch to help develop your skills. Take advantage of resources available to you including Student Lingo and your Student Success Coach, just to name a few!

To obtain log-in information for the SmarterMeasure assessment, email from your VCCS email account. Once you complete the SmarterMeasure assessment, you can find more information in the ‘Assessment Summary’ section.

SmarterMeasure: Technical Competency, Skills, and Knowledge

SmarterMeasure logoIn order to participate in class, a student must have some way to get to the classroom. A student in a traditional class may drive a car on a highway to attend class, but a student in an online course “drives” a computer on the Internet (the Information Highway) to “attend” class. Technical competency is important, but if you do not score high in this area, don’t worry! The ability to comfortably learn is what is most important. You will want to gain comfort in navigating the blackboard course site so you can submit assignments, post on the discussion board and select folders so you don’t miss any course work.

A multitude of resources exist on the internet. Those listed in the technical competency summary are just a small sample of what is available in terms of information or tutorials on the topics focused on in SmarterMeasure. Some of these sites are free; a few require a subscription or fee. To find more or different information beyond these sites, feel free to perform your own web search.

You can run the System Check which is found in the Welcome message of each Blackboard course site to see what tools you will need for your online course, and make sure your computer is up to date.

Also, check out the Blackboard Learn app on your mobile device to connect with your class. You cannot complete your entire class on the app, but can access a lot of the folders and use it to stay up to date on announcements and assignments.

To obtain log-in information for the SmarterMeasure assessment, email from your VCCS email account. Once you complete the SmarterMeasure assessment, you can find more information in the ‘Assessment Summary’ section.

SmarterMeasure: Learning Styles

SmarterMeasure logoPeople learn differently. Some people are very comfortable reading large amounts of text, while others are more comfortable listening to someone speak or writing things down for themselves. A person’s preferred learning style is the approach to learning that feels most natural to them. It is based on a combination of their experiences, strengths, weaknesses, and preferences.

Everyone has a mix of learning styles, and some people have strong, dominant learning styles. There are no “right” or “wrong” learning styles. Most people tend to adapt their learning style to the context of learning. With practice a person can strengthen themselves in the learning styles that are least comfortable for them. When a person recognizes the learning styles that work best for them, they can then make a better informed decision about the ways that they approach learning new things.

Student Lingo offers an on-demand workshop titled Discover your learning styles. Student Lingo on-demand workshops are available to you on a number of topics throughout the semester. Take advantage of the resources to help you succeed in your online classes.

To obtain log-in information for the SmarterMeasure assessment, email from your VCCS email account. Once you complete the SmarterMeasure assessment, you can find more information in the ‘Assessment Summary’ section.

SmarterMeasure: Individual Attributes

SmarterMeasure logoThis section measures six items: time management, procrastination, persistence, academic attributes, locus of control, and willingness to ask for help. These attributes can be enhanced or improved through academic interventions. Ask your faculty member or academic advisor about the resources for remediation and/or support which your school may provide.

The NOVA Online Counselors host a Tips for Success in Online Courses webinar throughout the semester. The webinar will focus on time management to help you succeed in your classes. To find the live and recorded sessions, click here.

To obtain log-in information for the SmarterMeasure assessment, email from your VCCS email account. Once you complete the SmarterMeasure assessment, you can find more information in the ‘Assessment Summary’ section.

SmarterMeasure Assessment

Are you ready for Online Learning at NOVA Online?SmarterMeasure Logo

SmarterMeasure is an assessment that measures learner readiness for Northern Virginia Community College’s Extended Learning Institute. SmarterMeasure is an indicator of the degree to which distance learning and/or learning in a technology rich environment will be a good fit for you.

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 – procrastination, time management, willingness to ask for help, academic attributes
3. Learning Styles – what is your predominant learning style?
4. Technical Competency, Skills, and Knowledge
5. Reading Rate and Recall
6. Typing Speed and Accuracy

You will receive a full color 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. For more information about SmarterMeasture, request a copy of the SmarterMeasure Assessment Webinar.

If you are visiting Northern Virginia Community College Extended Learning Institute and would like to determine if online learning is right for you, please email for your user name and password.