Fall NOVA Online Orientation Schedule

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. Prior to the webinar, all students registered will receive an email with information about how to join the webinar live. You can view the NOVA Online Webinar schedule and registration process here.

You will need the ability to run JAVA to load Blackboard Collaborate, the web conferencing tool we use for the orientation webinar. You can test your connection ability ahead of time by visiting http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com and clicking on “First Time Users — Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing”.

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. During the webinar, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you have before you start your course.

Connect with NOVA Online on FacebookTwitter & join fellow NOVA Online students in the Virtual Student Union.

How to Log into a Blackboard Collaborate Session

A webinar is a live, online instruction session using a web conferencing service called Blackboard Collaborate. You can participate in a webinar from any computer or mobile device with reliable, high speed, Internet access. NOVA Online offers several webinars throughout the semester and some NOVA Online courses have live, virtual meetings. You might also have the opportunity to meet with your instructor via Blackboard Collaborate for Virtual Office Hours. 

Whether you are using Blackboard Collaborate to access a class session, meet with an instructor for office hours, or participate in an NOVA Online Webinar, the instructions below will help guide you.

You can test your connection in advance by visiting Behind the Blackboard and clicking on “Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing” under “First Time Users”. 

If you are attending a NOVA Online Webinar, you can register by following the link to the NOVA Online Webinar pageOnce you register for a session, you will receive an email with a link to join the session live. Click the link provided to access the live session. If you are using a mobile device, you will be directed to download the app first. All times understood to be Eastern Standard Time, unless otherwise noted.

If you are attending a live class session, you will locate the link in the tools section of your Blackboard Course Site.

The first time you log in, you will need to download the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher. BbCLauncherDownload the Launcher – save the file and select “join”.

Once you open the link, you will be asked to enter your display name. Please enter your first name and the first initial of your last name (ex. Katie A.). Note that all participants will see your display name.Join_BbC_Session_2Once you enter your name, you will be taken to a site like the one below. Make sure your browser security settings will not block this site from downloading to your computer.
Join_BbC_session_3A new window or message will pop up asking whether to open or save the file. For Firefox, make sure that Open with is set to Blackboard Collaborate Launcher (default). Then Click OK. For Internet Explorer, click Open.BbC_Launcher

The file should download and automatically open for you. You will see a window like the one below. Make sure you allow this application to run on your computer.

Join_BbC_session_7Once you run the application, you will see the download begin. This may take a few minutes.

Join_BbC_session_6A screen like below will pop up and you will know Blackboard Collaborate is loading.

Join_BbC_session_8Once you are in the live session, you will be able to run your audio check and participate in the presentation. Plan to log in at least 10 minutes before your scheduled session, to give yourself enough time to load Blackboard Collaborate and run the audio check and troubleshoot any issues you may have.

To view the hardware and software pre-requisites for Blackboard Collaborate please visit Behind the Blackboard.

To view a video to help you get set up using Blackboard Collaborate, follow this link.

Create a Google+ Account

Have you created a Google+ account through your student Gmail account?  NOVA Online Student Life hosts several online events that you can participate in by having one.  Check out the below instructions to see step by step instructions:

1) Log into your vssc email from the ‘My Nova’ (https://nvcc.my.vccs.edu/jsp/home.jsp) page on the colleges’ website.

2) After logging into your Gmail,  you will then be logged into Google. On the top right of your screen you will see your first name and a + in front of it. Click there.

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3) You will be taken to a new page (as seen below), scroll down and click the ‘continue’ button. A little pop up will appear and ask you if you are sure you don’t want to ‘follow’ anyone right now. Click ‘continue anyway’. You will receive the option again to add followers after your profile is created.

picture 2

3)  You will now be taken to page to fill out your personal profile. Feel free to add anything to describe you in these fields.  Then hit finish.

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Once you have completed your account,  You can find us under the unsername NOVA Online to learn more about how you can get involved in our virtual events/activities!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact elistulife@nvcc.edu. We look forward to connecting with you soon!

Start Strong Through On-Time Registration

Welcome to NOVA! We are dedicated to helping you start strong. Whatever your educational goals, we can help you achieve them. If you are a first-time-to-college student, ages 17-24 (including high school/homeschool/GED graduates), you need to Start Strong at NOVA.start strong

Start Strong begins this fall. The six new policies will change the way new students register and prepare for classes. The new polices are part of an effort to strengthen the NOVA experience. Five of the new policies affect first-time-to-college students (ages 17-24). The sixth policy requiring on-time registration impacts all students: new, current, transfer, international, military or any other type of student. All students must be registered for classes by 11:59 p.m. the day before the session’s start date. Once the session begins, registration is closed.

If you are not enrolled in a class on the start date of the session you will not be able to enroll without permission from the division dean. If you miss on-time registration you can still register for later start date. NOVA Online has several start dates each semester, for students interested in starting a class later in the semester. Check out NOVA Online Critical Course Deadlines for more information. For more information about on-time registration view this video.

Getting started in your summer course!

As you prepare for the new semester, the information referenced below will help you get off to a great start in your NOVA Online courses!

Blackboard Course Availability:  Your online NOVA Online class should appear in Blackboard on the day that your class is scheduled to begin.  Some instructors may make their course available a few days early.  If your class does not appear in Blackboard by the scheduled start date, please contact us at 703.323.3347. If you need help logging into Blackboard, please view the Blackboard tutorial on NOVA’s website.

Review Your Syllabus:  Your syllabus is located in your course Blackboard. Be sure to review it thoroughly and familiarize yourself with due dates to include testing due dates.

NOVA Online Attendance Requirements: To meet attendance requirements for your courses, you must log in and complete at least one assignment by the First Assignment Due Date. Please review your syllabus in Blackboard for your specific course requirements.

NOVA Email:  Please be certain to use your NOVA student email account for communication with NOVA faculty and offices.  

NOVA Online Orientation Webinars:  If you are new to NOVA Online or have not participated in an NOVA Online Orientation webinaryou are encouraged to sign up! The one hour webinar for new NOVA Online students will focus on answering key questions to getting started.

Textbooks:  Course textbooks can be purchased at the Alexandria Campus Bookstore or on the college bookstore website.

Proctor Requests:  If you are out of the area, it is not too early to submit your Proctor Request.  Requests take 3-5 business days to process so please do not wait until the day before your test to submit your request!

NOVA Online Student Services Team is here to help! NOVA Online offers many resources and tips through our social media channels, so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We wish you an enjoyable and successful semester!

Finals prep webinar!

Finals are approaching quickly for your NOVA Online courses. Start preparing now!

now or later
Participate in a How to Prepare for Finals webinar. This 30 minute, live information session will focus on topics and strategies to help ease anxiety and help you study smart such as: Early preparation, planning your approach and taking the exam. Sign up here to participate in the session of your choice. 

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

Good Luck on your final exams and projects!

Research Skills: A Blog Series from your NOVA Online Library staff

Citing Your Sources

citation neededReally, the hardest part of doing research is finding the best sources and completing your paper or assignment using those sources. Citing them should be the easy part. But students tend to get pretty stressed out when it comes to citations. No worries, though, we can help.

First, why is it important to cite? There are really 2 main reasons:

1) Readers of your paper or research should be able to find where you got your information, even if your information came from online videos, podcasts, or social media. If you use or refer to images, sound, or music, your readers should be able to find those sources. By citing your sources, you give your readers a chance to utilize those same resources out of interest, or even to check your facts.

All citation styles, e.g. MLA and APA, try to include all the information needed for someone to track down that source.

2) You need to give credit to the creators/authors of the information you use. This is key to academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism.

For information on formatting, in-text citations, and reference lists, take a look at the style guides below:

You can also see the following sites for more help:

Upcoming Citation Webinars (THIS WEEK!):

Go to the NOVA Online Webinars schedule to sign up for the following citation webinars:

Citation Basics–APA Style

Make sure you’re citing your work correctly!  This 30 minute webinar will go through the basics of the APA citation style. We will cover general formatting, in-text citations, and the reference list.

Tuesday, March 18, Noon – 12:30 pm

Thursday, March 20, 6:00 – 6:30 pm

Citation Basics–MLA Style

Make sure you’re citing your work correctly!  This 30 minute webinar will go through the basics of the MLA citation style. We will cover general formatting, in-text citations, and the reference list.

 Monday, March 17, 6:00 – 6:30 pm

Thursday, March 20, Noon – 12:30 pm