SmarterMeasure: Life Factors

SmarterMeasure logoMany students strongly desire to continue their education. However, often other situations in life prevent them from being able to do so. The Life Factors section of SmarterMeasure asks questions about other elements in your life that may impact your ability to continue your education. The section measures five items: Time, Place, Reason, Resources, and Skills.

You may be able to modify circumstances which impact some of these life skills. If so, you are encouraged to take appropriate action to help yourself succeed. But some of the circumstances in life may be beyond your control. If this is the case, being aware of these realities and planning accordingly may be beneficial for you.

The NOVA Online staff offer several webinars throughout the semester to help you succeed in your NOVA Online Courses. You might be specifically interested in the Student Lingo on-demand workshop called Maximizing Your College Experience. For all webinars and on-demand workshops, visit the NOVA Online Webinar page.

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

This Week at NOVA Online!

Open registration for fall classes is currently underway. Check the schedule of classes in NOVA Connect and follow this tutorial to help you search for online classes through NOVA Online. Make sure you change the date to reflect the term you are looking to register for (fall ’15).

iStock_000020688342_LargeTuition DeadlineBe sure to have a method of payment in place to meet the fall 2015 payment deadline when you register for your classes. At this point, after you register for your classes, tuition is due the following business day at 5pm to hold your seat.

NOVA Online Orientation Webinar – Join us Wednesday, August 5, from 6:30 – 7:30 pm for a general overview. This one hour webinar focuses on getting started in your courses, navigating your Blackboard course site, and identifying tips for success and student support services. The NOVA Online Orientation is highly recommended for students who are new to online learning.

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.

Have you utilized Student Lingo On-Demand Workshops? Take advantage of a wide variety of recordings available to help you manage your course load, plan for the future, or tackle your math anxiety … Just to name a few! Interested in working with your Personal Success Coach to create an action plan? Contact your coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

Have a great week!

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

This Week at NOVA Online!

Open registration for fall classes is currently underway. Check the schedule of classes in NOVA Connect and follow this tutorial to help you search for online classes through NOVA Online. Make sure you change the date to reflect the term you are looking to register for (fall ’15).

Be sure to have a method of payment in place to meet the fall 2015 payment deadline on Monday, July 27th, 2015. You must have a method of payment in place to secure your seats in the courses you’ve registered for or you could be dropped.

education on keyboardAre 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.

Have you utilized Student Lingo On-Demand Workshops? Take advantage of a wide variety of recordings available to help you manage your course load, plan for the future, or tackle your math anxiety … Just to name a few! Interested in working with your Personal Success Coach to create an action plan? Contact your coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

Environmental Wellness – Actively working to serve your environments can improve your health and the health of the people around you. Check out the Wellness Series post on Wednesday, and use #SummerWellness to share your pictures and stories. Continue this conversation with us in our Virtual Student Union. Connect with peers on this topic and learn more about resources to maintain your environmental wellness!

What are your summer plans? Have an internship? Traveling? Taking a class? Day Trip? We want to hear about your adventures. Use #NOVA OnlineAdventure on Twitter to share pictures and stories.

Have a great week!

This week at NOVA Online

American patriotic balloons in traditional colors over whitePlan ahead – NOVA Campus Testing Centers will be closed Friday, July 3rd & Saturday, July 4th for the Independence Day Holiday Weekend. ProctorU is available on those dates if the service is available for your course exams.

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.

Have you utilized Student Lingo On-Demand Workshops? Take advantage of a wide variety of recordings available to help you manage your course load, plan for the future, or tackle your math anxiety … Just to name a few! Interested in working with your Personal Success Coach to create an action plan? Contact your coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

Are you participating in the Summer Wellness Series? Review the past blogs to get more information and share your stories!

What are your summer plans? Have an internship? Traveling? Taking a class? Day Trip? We want to hear about your adventures. Use #NOVA OnlineAdventure on Twitter to share pictures and stories.

Student Lingo Online Workshops: Free Summer Professional Development

time mgmtSummer is the perfect time to get a head start on developing your skills by taking advantage of our free Student Lingo Online Workshops! Student Lingo is a series of interactive on-demand video workshops, action plans, and valuable resources, offered by NOVA-NOVA Online, focused on helping you achieve academic, personal and career goals.

Student Lingo will help make your academic success a reality. Don’t know where to start? If you have struggles balancing work, school and personal responsibilities, it is suggested that you begin with the Time Management: Strategies for Success workshop. Meeting deadlines and completing tasks in the required time frame is a critical part of college, career, life and more. As an online student you must be self-directed and able to plan your study time to be successful and meet course deadlines. In keeping with those priorities, The Time Management workshop presents valuable step-by-step tips to help you stay-on-track:

Improve attention, motivation and study habits, as you learn tips and approaches that will help you take control of your time and study routine

  • Examine how distractions impact the quality and quantity of your work.
  • Evaluate your circadian rhythm and develop a schedule that will work for you. Apply the strategies to your personal life as well as to your academics. As one NOVA Online student shared, “This workshop has helped me want to do better and really tap into my biological clock”.
  • Analyze your weekly schedule, review the ‘888 Formula’, and examine best practices to balance your hectic life.
  • Learn to set daily concrete goals and break down assignments into small manageable daily tasks.
  • Discover 10 pro-active study tips.

With knowledge gleaned from the workshop, you will be well on your way to a successful, well organized semester. After completing the workshop and survey, take a moment to pat yourself on the back and celebrate the commitment you have made to enhance your academic journey! Next, ask yourself how the methods and strategies that were just discussed can be incorporated into your life to promote your goals and ambitions. Lastly, take a moment to review the plethora of workshops and valuable academic resources offered by Student Lingo.

Plan For Success on Your Next Test: A Compilation of NOVA Online Testing Resources

test anxietyDoes your heart start pounding when a test is placed in front of you? Do you know the material but your mind goes blank? These are just a few of the common challenges students face when taking a test. To address these common fears, NOVA Online offers a wide variety of resources that will empower you and promote your testing success.

Take a moment now and explore the following resources to promote your way to an ‘A’.

If you learn best hearing or speaking (auditory learner), you will welcome the workshops offered through Student Lingo. These free workshops are presented online by a facilitator in an engaging format. Each workshop is about 30 minutes and will promote your way to an ‘A’:

  •  How to Reduce Text Anxiety
  • Taking Tests Online: Strategies for Success

If you prefer to read (visual learner) the short ELife Blog posts, referenced below are just for you! These ELife Blog posts referenced below, offer timely tips to help you organize and prepare for your next test:

If you prefer to be actively involved and busy as you learn (kinesthetic learner) you may enjoy the following study methods:

  • Quizlet or Study Stack Apps: Take your practice tests and review your flash cards on the go using these apps which will enable you to create flash cards along with practice tests and quizzes.
  • If you prefer, consider the tried and true flash cards made from index cards. This allows kinesthetic learners to flip around the cards, write notes and review at any location, walking, standing or sitting (as with an app). Just flip the cards while you are studying and walk around as you review. Write cues on the cards to help you remember. You can even be creative and develop a game using your flashcards.

If memory/recall is a challenge when studying for your tests, consider exploring the ELife Blogs highlighted below which are focused on strategies to trigger memory:

Stress and anxiety is another common challenge many students experience when testing. To combat your stress, click here to view a short video on stress, facilitated by NOVA Online’s PED instructor, Dr. Gamal Aboshadi. It will provide a better understanding of stress and empower you with valuable techniques to promote relaxation as you study and prepare to go to the testing center.

No matter what your learning style, as you plan for success on your next test, be sure to take time to put these resources into action! If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to a NOVA Online Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, we are here to answer your questions and help you access resources that will empower you to navigate the semester and pave your way to a successful academic journey.

For additional opportunities to promote your success, take advantage of our recorded webinar:

Tackling Math Anxiety!

To review a recorded session, click here.

Learn how to study more efficiently for mathematics and apply relaxing techniques to reduce your anxieties.

 Written by Adrienne, NOVA Online Student Success Coach

updated 7/6/17

Procrastination and Stress: How are they Related?

According to author Eric Jaffe, from the Association for Psychological Science, procrastinators have higher levels of stress and lower levels of well-being1.  Procrastination is defined as the voluntary delay of a task for which an individual knows they will suffer. While it is said that everyone “procrastinate[s], not everyone is a procrastinator.”1

Mounting assignments and exams to study for can cause the most ambitious student to become a procrastinator.  Students are a leading culprit of procrastination.  This can be contributed to the number of responsibilities on a college student’s plate – work responsibilities, family responsibilities, and personal responsibilities may all cause a college student to procrastinate on their school responsibilities.  Many times, procrastination is the “result of putting off their work to pursue more pleasurable activities”1.  If a person has a “poor concept of time”, this is sure to exacerbate ones willingness to procrastinate1.

Jaffe further indicates procrastinators earn lower grades than other students and procrastinators report higher cumulative amounts of stress and illness1. As one may imagine, the work produced and the well-being of procrastinators is known to suffer due to their intentional delay. Individuals who procrastinate have heightened levels of anxiety1. WebMD states that some stress can be good because it can keep us alert and motivated2. But too much stress can make us sick. A person “constantly under stress can have physical symptoms, such as headaches, an upset stomach, high blood pressure, chest pain, and problems with sex and sleep”2. “Stress is also known to lead to emotional problems, depression, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry.”2

So, how do you avoid procrastinating?  See a list of suggested tips below:

  1. Plan your time. Use a day planner or an electronic calendar to schedule time to complete tasks you know you are likely to put off.
  2. Set a daily or weekly goal or to-do list for yourself. Make it your goal to complete these items by the end of the day or week.
  3. Reward yourself. If you complete a task early, treat yourself to a special sweet treat or outing.
  4. Stressed? You will not be able to think clearly if you are stresses about other things. Dr. Gamal Aboshadi, teaches PED 116 at NOVA Online and at the Annandale Campus. Take a moment to review a short video he created on stress relief/breathing techniques.
  5. Take the Overcoming Procrastination: Causes And Cures quiz on Student Lingo to see if you are a procrastinator.

Do you need help managing your stress and staying organized? Reach out to your NOVA Online Success Coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076. Your Success Coach can help you map out your semester and provide tips to help you have a successful semester.


1. Jaffe, E. (2013, April 13). Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2013/april-13/why-wait-the-science-behind-procrastination.html

2. Goldberg, J. (2014, October 13). How Stress Affects Your Health. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/depression/stress-anxiety-depression

This Week at NOVA Online

Happy March, NOVA Online! Hopefully the warm spring weather isn’t far behind! How are your NOVA Online classes going? Any Blackboard questions? Check out Blackboard tutorial tips.

Join NOVA Online’s Book & Cinema Club! Read the book, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, watch the film, and join us for a discussion! #NOVA OnlineBookClub

Wednesday, March 4 from 12 – 12:45 pm – Participate in a Exploring Career Options webinar. This 45 minute webinar will focus on using various online resources to research career options. The relationship between programs of study at NOVA, college majors, and career options will be discussed. Resources presented will provide information on nature of work, educational requirements, job outlook, and wages. Registration is required.

While enrolled in courses, you may want to register for NOVA Alert to get emergency related messages, including closures due to inclement weather. Campus closures will affect all campus offices, including the testing centers, tutoring centers, and campus libraries. What a snow day means for your NOVA Online courses? Find out on this recent blog post.

Resource of the Week: If your mid term or final exams are quickly approaching, we strongly encourage checking out the Student Lingo recorded workshop entitled, Taking Tests Online: Strategies For Success.

Student Lingo Workshop: Testing Anxiety

If your final exams are quickly approaching or you are in the middle of mid-term madness, we strongly encourage checking out the Student Lingo recorded workshop entitled, Taking Tests Online: Strategies For Successtest anxiety

How often do you feel like you know the material like the back of your hand, but when you get into the testing situation, you freeze? This workshop discusses various strategies for test preparation and coping skills for situations that provoke test anxiety. The presenter does a great job describing scenarios in a testing situation that can easily lead to test anxiety in addition to our internal messages and how best to control them. She also discusses external circumstances that contribute to test anxiety and how to keep them at bay before you enter the testing situation.

The presentation also contains strategies for taking different types of tests ranging from multiple choice to true/false to essay formats. The presenter’s emphatic style and her understanding of issues related to test anxiety keeps you engaged and hopefully, when you take your exam, you will feel more confident and at peace after viewing this presentation!

If you need assistance locating helpful study resources, contact your Student Success Coach at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076.