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.

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?

This week at NOVA Online!

FALL Tuition Payment: If you registered for fall 2017 courses your tuition payment or financial aid must be in place by the follow business day after enrollment to avoid being dropped from your courses! Check out NOVA’s website for more for more details about tuition payment methods and deadlines.

Of course, there’s still plenty of time to register for fall if you haven’t done so already! NOVA Online’s first fall session begins Monday, August 21. NOVA Online has additional fall start dates later in the semester. Check the full list of fall 2017 courses.

NOVA offers a payment plan for students enrolled in courses. Please note the last day to sign up for the payment plan is August 24.

Thinking about a NOVA Online course for the Fall, but not sure if online learning is right for you? Take a look at our Orientation modules and take the SmarterMeasure assessment! Learn more about your options for online courses through NOVA Online on our website!

Proctored Exams: All NOVA Online courses require proctored exams! Plan ahead so you are prepared as your exams quickly approach. Review the testing information website to make arrangements. This previous blog post will also help as you prepare whether you are taking exams at NOVA, through ProctorU, or with a testing location in your area. Questions? Reach out to NOVA OnlineCourseSpecialists@nvcc.edu or 703.323.3347.

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? 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 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!

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.

This week at NOVA Online!

FALL Tuition Payment: If you registered for fall 2017 courses and haven’t submitted your tuition payment or have financial aid in place, you must do so  by Monday, July 24 at 5 p.m. to avoid being dropped from your courses! Check out NOVA’s website for more for more details about tuition payment methods and deadlines.

Of course, there’s still plenty of time to register for fall if you haven’t done so already! NOVA Online’s first fall session begins Monday, August 21. NOVA Online has additional fall start dates later in the semester. Check the full list of fall 2017 courses.

NOVA offers a payment plan for students enrolled in courses. Please note the last day to sign up for the payment plan is August 24.

Just remember, if you register for fall courses on or after Monday, July 24, your payment is due by 5 p.m. the next business day.

Proctored Exams: All NOVA Online courses require proctored exams! Plan ahead so you are prepared as your exams quickly approach. Review the testing information website to make arrangements. This previous blog post will also help as you prepare whether you are taking exams at NOVA, through ProctorU, or with a testing location in your area. Questions? Reach out to NOVA OnlineCourseSpecialists@nvcc.edu or 703.323.3347. 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? 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 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!

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.

eLEAD experience

The numerous emails that fill your inbox with information about extra-curricular activities, which we are all guilty of ignoring and discarding. I came across one which I thankfully did not ignore. The eLEAD series.null“I take online classes, I can’t participate in extra-curricular activities.” A similar thought ever cross your mind? Well you can’t be far from wrong! There are many opportunities for online students to participate in extra-curricular activities. Among the variety of student life options, is the eLEAD series. This series is a 4 week program designed to help you build on your leadership skills. The series helps you recognize your strengths through the StrengthsQuest Assessment. StrengthsQuest is an assessment built to help you recognize your 5 most dominant strengths. Throughout this program you will learn how to use these strengths to help build your leadership skills and how to work and communicate efficiently. And upon completion of this series you receive a certificate of completion, which will be a great asset to your resume.

All in all it was a great opportunity to learn to look at my strengths rather than weaknesses, and to be able to communicate with others taking online classes!

Blog was provided by Student Blogger, Ammarah, who participated in the eLEAD program spring 2017.

In you are interested in joining this eLEAD series for Fall 2017, email NOVA Online Student Life at elistulife@nvcc.edu for more details on registration.

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.

This week at NOVA Online

Summer registration opens tomorrow! Majority of summer courses are 8-weeks in length. The full semesters material will be covered, so make sure you are comfortable with the pace of the course from day 1. Review the weekly time schedule to get an idea of the expectations. An NOVA Online Student Blogger has shared her experiences preparing for an 8-week course to help you!

Need help planning your summer schedule? Join us for the Getting Ready for Your Next Semester webinar today from 12:00 – 1:00 pm or Thursday, March 30 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm.

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!

E-lead Series. NOVA Online Student Life has created a virtual co-curricular opportunity to develop leadership skills for students! This program is free and does not offer academic credit, however, students who participate will receive a certificate of completion. This is also a great resume builder! Registration:   Leadership Pilot Program Registration Form.

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.

Have a great week!

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 8-week courses. 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!

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.

Democracy Builders Essay Contest. Democracy depends on an informed citizenry actively participating in decisions, and that civil discourse is an essential part of the process. Up to five essays will be selected for prizes of $100 each. Essay due Friday, March 17!

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!

E-lead Series. NOVA Online Student Life has created a virtual co-curricular opportunity to develop leadership skills for students! This program is free and does not offer academic credit, however, students who participate will receive a certificate of completion. This is also a great resume builder! Registration:   Leadership Pilot Program Registration Form.

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.

This week at NOVA Online

Happy Monday! What do you have going on this week? Share with us.Graduation Application Deadline is March 1! Are you graduating in May? Make sure you complete the application to make sure your degree is confirmed.

Democracy Builders Essay Contest. Democracy depends on an informed citizenry actively participating in decisions, and that civil discourse is an essential part of the process. Up to five essays will be selected for prizes of $100 each.

Have you checked out NOVA’s new job and internship database powered by College Central NetworkThere are over 1000 local employers registered and they are regularly posting opportunities to NOVA students and alumni.  You will also find over 200 active career opportunities and details regarding NOVA career events.  Log in with your NOVA ID number (found on your NOVA ID card) and VCCS email address.

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!

E-lead Series. NOVA Online Student Life has created a virtual co-curricular opportunity to develop leadership skills for students! This program is free and does not offer academic credit, however, students who participate will receive a certificate of completion. This is also a great resume builder! Registration:   Leadership Pilot Program Registration Form.

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.

Join our eLEAD series this spring!

Are you looking for an opportunity to identify and develop your overall leadership skills?

NOVA Online Student Life has created a virtual co-curricular opportunity to develop leadership skills for students! eLEAD is a 4-week asynchronous program delivered via Blackboard. The overall goal is to foster a sense of community among students taking online courses, to develop more self-awareness of leadership strengths and skills, and to help you maximize your talents as they relate to academic and professional goals.

This program is free and does not offer academic credit, however, students who participate will receive a certificate of completion. This is also a great resume builder!

Dates: March 13th – April 9th

Time: Work at your pace with weekly deadlines for group discussions and journal reflections.

Registration: eLEAD Program Registration Form. Please fill out no later than March 10th at 11:59pm.  

Please reach out to elistulife@nvcc.edu with any questions.