News from ELI to you!
ELI Bulletin Board V O L U M E
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE: ELI Common Reader Program
“Is an 8-Week Course 2 for Me?” Orientation 101
News from the ELI IDs
Join us for Summer Wellness Seminars
Meet Erika Coddington
An Alternative Approach to Earning NOVA Credit
Clubs for Online Students
Faculty Spotlight: Talula Guntner
WRITERS WANTED! The ELI Bulletin Board is published by the Extended Learning Institute of Northern Virginia Community College to keep the ELI community informed and connected. We welcome comments and contributions from students, faculty, and staff. Contact Bridget Downey for details.
Summer is a great time to get out and about, try new activities, work on your physical fitness, read a good book--and, of course, take distance learning courses! In this edition of the ELI Bulletin Board, we share with you a little of all of these things with our focus on recreation and leisure. We'll introduce you to long-time ELI faculty member Talula Guntner, who teaches courses in Travel and Tourism for us as well as owning her own travel agency. We'll also share ideas for summer fun, from summer reading suggestions to cool
mobile apps related to summer activities to information about some ELI student events happening this summer (please join us!). As always, you'll also find lots of useful information and reminders about ELI, from testing tips to information on new ELI courses. One change I'm especially excited about is that starting this fall, nearly every ELI course will be available in accelerated, 8- or 12week formats. Accelerated courses are challenging and require more of your time each week than a 16-week course does, but many students find that they prefer to focus their studies
by taking classes that are shorter in length but scheduled back-toback instead of taking several 16week classes simultaneously. If you are not sure whether accelerated courses are right for you, you might find a conversation with an ELI counselor useful. You can reach the counselors at email@example.com or (703) 323-2425. Happy summer! Dr. Lerner Associate Vice President for eLearning
Welcome Aboard New Staff As ELI grows in the number of students we serve, so too do the number of ELI staff dedicated to providing world-class student support services. Here’s a list of new staff that have joined ELI since our last issue. Join us in welcoming these great additions to ELI! Erika Coddington, Student Success Coach (Meet Erika on page 4). Laura Tiglao, Student Success Coach Katie Aimone, Orientation Specialist (Katie is planning some
great Orientation sessions for Fall. Details on page 3). Karen Kempter, Testing & Tutoring Specialist (See the latest about ELI Testing & Tutoring services on page 3). Katie Smith, Counselor/Prior Learning Specialist, (Katie shares information about alternative ways of earning NOVA credit on page 5). Cynthia Pascal, Coordinator of Academic Advising & Retention Carletta Mackey, Financial Aid Specialist Dr. Preston Davis, Director of
Instructional Services (Dr. Davis is planning an exciting Common Reader program for Fall. Read all about it on page 2). Natalie Clewell, Librarian (See Natalie’s great recommendations for Summer Reading on page 8). Natasha Spokish, Student Technology Specialist (Natasha shares some Tech Tips on page 9).
ELI Common Reader Program We are excited to announce ELI’s new Common Reader program led by Dr. Preston
Davis, Director of Instructional Services at ELI . The inaugural ELI Common Reader Program is a pilot program that seeks to engage first-year students, students new to distance learning, and re-entry students in an academic environment through the shared experiences of reading a "common reader" book prior to the start of the Fall term. The selected book is In The Hot Zone, by Kevin Sites. This book will be provided free of charge to 500 students during the pilot program this summer. The goals of the ELI Common Reader Program include: Emphasize reading as an intellectual skill central to student achievement and promote learning with and from others. Encourage students to participate and recognize the educational value of their involvement.
Connect with ELI!
Promote peer engagement by helping students understand the value of dialogue about academic matters outside the traditional classroom.
Read the Student Blog, ELIFE Like NOVA ELIfe on Facebook We’re on Twitter too! @NOVAELIfe
Help students learn to discuss these ideas with others whose views may differ from their own, and consider alternative perspectives. Emphasize the involvement of all students of ELI in both critical thinking and student life activities. This pilot program is linked to the ELI Orientation and will include events and exercises to encourage discourse among distance learning students and promote academic success. A student symposium with a lecture and book signing by the author will conclude the program in September. REMINDER: ELI SESSION CHANGES FOR FALL 2011
Beginning Fall 2011, ELI will no longer offer late-starting 16-week courses. While we will continue to offer16-week courses the first session of each semester, later sessions will be either 8 weeks or 12 weeks in length. Contact ELI Registration for more information about sessions changes and course lengths: firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-323-3368.
“Is an 8-week course for me?” These questions can help you decide whether you are prepared for an 8-week course: Will you be able to begin the course on the start date? Will you be able to acquire the textbook for the course before it begins? Will you be able to avoid interruptions to your study time (like vacations) during the course?
If the course is 3 credits, can you budget at least 12-18 hours a week for completing reading and homework for the class? Are you willing to look at the Syllabus in the first few days of your class and schedule your due dates on your calendar? Can you estimate which weeks will require 18 hours vs. 12 hours? Are you willing to contact
your professor immediately when you have a problem or don’t understand something rather than procrastinating? If you answered YES to these questions, give the 8-week format a go. If you answered NO to some of them, but need to take the faster format anyway, contact a Success Coach at email@example.com for help planning a course of action that will lead to success.
Orientation 101 My name is Katie Aimone and I joined the ELI staff in March as the Orientation Specialist. I am working with new ELI students to help them transition to distance learning courses. There are several programs planned for the Fall semester. Prior to each course start date, an Orientation webinar is offered for students. These free, online seminars are beneficial to students who are new to distance learning, as well as students who are returning to distance learning and would like a refresher. These one-hour webi-
nars will focus on getting started in your courses, navigating in your Blackboard course site, and identifying tips for success, financial aid resources, and student support services. As a live online session, participants will listen to the presentation via their computer headphones or speakers, and interact with the presenters via text chat.
at 7pm and Mondays at 12:15pm running August 10-October 19. For students who are local, a few inperson Orientation events may also be offered. Check the announcements section of ELI’s website for more details.
You can also follow us on Twitter throughout the semester @NOVAELIFE where we’ll be posting information and links that will be beneficial to you as an online student. We will also be keeping the conversation going during and after the webinars. Join the conversation!
To sign up to participate in an Orientation webinar check the Webinar Schedule on ELI’s website and pick a date and time that works for you. In the Fall, Orientation webinars will be offered on Wednesdays
Testing, Testing... We know that not all ELI students are located within NOVA’s campus testing centers and that many of you who do live nearby still have trouble getting to a NOVA testing center to take your ELI exams, so we are always making efforts to provide alternatives for you. Students who live outside the Northern VA area taking ELI courses may submit a Proctor Request form to have an exam proctored at an alternate location. Proctors must fulfill certain requirements and students will need
to allow up to five business days to process their requests. Visit the ELI website for more details about Proctor Requests. ProctorU, an online proctoring service, is another option for students in select ELI courses. The service was piloted in the Fall 2010 semester and ELI has elected to continue its use. For a fee of $7.50 per two hour exam, students who are age 18 or older and have highspeed internet connection, a webcam, and headphones or speakers can schedule an exam to be taken
at home at their convenience. If ProctorU is available for your course, you will find information in your Blackboard course site under Testing. Students must show a current photo ID and respond correctly to several challenge questions to authenticate their identity. To maintain the integrity of the testing environment, online proctors will take control of the student’s PC and observe the student and their desktop throughout the exam.
Click here for a video demonstration to see how ProctorU works.
Contact Karen Kempter, Testing & Tutoring Specialist, with any questions regarding ELI exam proctoring and ProctorU.
News from ELI Instructional Designers We asked members of ELI’s Instructional Design Team to recommend interesting courses that you might not be aware of. Be sure not to overlook these ELI courses when planning your Fall semester!
students learn more than business fundamentals—from ethics, to communication, to management, to leadership—which will be useful in whatever profession they pursue. BUS 100 is offered as a 16-, 12-, or 8-week course. (3 credits)
Intro. to Business (BUS 100)— This course was awarded Exemplary Course by Blackboard in 2011. The course attracts students in a variety of disciplines because
Intro. to Chinese I & II (CHI 101-102)—Did you know that ELI offers Chinese, online? Students in these courses demonstrate their knowledge of the material by sub-
mitting Wimba voice recordings in Blackboard and by participating in virtual eMeetings. (5 credits) Intro. to Speech Communication (CST 100)—Students in section E40W of this course will be issued iPads which they will use to record speeches and with a click of a link, upload to YouTube. Students can also practice their speeches with a classmate using a app called Facetime. (3 credits) Continued on page 7
Join us for Summer Wellness Seminars!
ELI Student Life has partnered with Ildiko Strehli (NOVA Physical Education instructor and Olympic athlete) to offer a series of health and wellness seminars this summer at Lake Anna State Park. The first took place Sunday, June 19. We hope students, staff and faculty, can join us in July and August for seminars two and three: Creating Energy through Fitness (Sat.. July 23, 10am-12pm) —This seminar will focus on
health-related components of fitness and their effect on personal wellness. The presentation will highlight easy techniques to prevent and manage stress. Participants will find answers for how much physical activity is essential for their personal well-being. Creating Energy through Healthy Nutrition (Sun. Aug. 14, 10am-12pm)—This seminar will focus on the basic principles of a healthy diet and personal wellness. The presen-
tation will highlight the physiological relationship between essential nutrients and weight management. Participants will be introduced to healthy eating habits that contribute to their personal everyday wellness. For more details and to register, check the announcement on ELI's website. We look forward to meeting you at the park this summer for a day of fun in the sun!
Meet Erika Coddington, ELI Success Coach Greetings! I am the newest member of the Student Success Coach Team at NOVA’s Extended Learning Institute! I am here to help you locate support resources as well as create new Erika Coddington ones in your academic journey to success. I am very excited to be communicating with the diverse array of distance learning students at NOVA and assist them in any way I can on their academic
trajectory. My most recent experience includes creating outreach and leadership programs while working as a Campus Outreach Program Coordinator at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD. Some of the programs I created included: Peer Mentoring, 7 Habits of Highly Effective College Students and Project Success, an academic support program designed to help students manage and monitor their academic and
professional goals. I hope to transfer my skills and knowledge in developing a peer mentoring program for distance learning students as well as develop cutting-edge programs that will help them best survive and thrive during their distance learning experience at NOVA. I will also be providing useful articles and posts related to study skills, time management and stress management in ELI’s student blog, ELIfe.
eResources A U D I O E B O O K S Do you want to read for fun, but don’t have time? The NOVA Library offers Overdrive Audio eBooks! This large selection of fiction and nonfiction books are available for download on your desktop, smart-phone or MP3 player.
S M A R T H I N K I N G An online tutoring service is available for free to students enrolled in ELI courses. Smarthinking provides tutoring in a variety of subjects with many available 24/7.
K H A N A C A D E M Y Do you need more practice in Math? Do you want to understand more about personal finance? Check out the Khan Academy! These free online video tutorials cover math, science, the humanities and test preparation topics.
An Alternative Approach to Earning NOVA Credit In contrast to our grandparent’s generation, our global economy is a complex, knowledge-based web of activity that is constantly growing and changing. To stay competitive in the job market, workers today increasingly need to be ―credentialed‖ (i.e. earn a college degree or higher). President Obama has taken note of this trend, calling for a dramatic increase in the number of college degrees earned in the next decade. Students of all ages, and especially those 25 and older, are coming back to school to earn associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in astounding numbers. Some of these adults returning to college, when reviewing their intended curriculum, might remark, ―Well gee whiz, I have 10 years experience as a business managerdo I really need to take BUS100?‖ At NOVA, we empathize with that statement. As a result, we have created a system of procedures
whereby students may earn college credit through advanced standing. A meaningful college degree reflects mastery of new material and thus adds to your unique skill set; it should not be a list of mandatory classes that cover topics you have already learned. For instance, if you have completed the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy, NOVA allows you to earn a minimum of 28 credits of basic administration of justice coursework. Or, if you lived in Germany for a few years and became conversationally fluent in German, you might be able to earn credit for your skills by taking a CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) exam. The College Credit through Advanced Standing Manual lists three general ways that you may earn advanced standing credit at NOVA: (1) transfer credits, (2) credits earned in non-traditional programs, and finally, (3) credit by exam op-
portunities. ―Non-traditional programs‖ include a variety of training programs in various fields (marketing, management, fire science, office administration, business, etc.), along with a long list of corporate certifications for which NOVA grants academic credit. Look closely at these policies-if you have had training or earned a certification that is not represented in our manual, please let us know. I will be happy to take your suggestions to our faculty to discuss enhancing our advanced standing offerings. Review all of the existing opportunities for earning credit, because you may be able to speed up your progress towards that coveted college degree! Finally, if you think you might be eligible for advanced standing credit but do not know where to start, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to speaking with you.
Clubs for Online Students, Too Student clubs and organizations are not just for on-campus students. Through ELI's Student Life program, distance learning students too, can establish social and academic clubs and organizations. So whether you’re taking courses from Australia, Germany or Fairfax, Virginia, you can benefit from the social, recreational and success benefits of involvement in a college club. You might be wondering, ―How does an online club work?‖ With technology, anything’s possible. To meet with your club members, you can set up a virtual meeting place in real-time using eNOVA, or set up a
Blackboard site and hold live chat sessions and online discussions. Clubs and organizations can host events online as well—guest speakers, debates, socials, etc. To start an online club you will first need to select a faculty advisor and two fellow students to form an interest group. Interest Groups are developed to determine interest among other students. Interest Group ―Coordinators‖ can advertise their group by posting information on the ELIfe blog, or announcements to the NOVAELIfe Facebook page. When an interest group has re-
cruited 10 to 12 members, it’s time to arrange a meeting to establish the group’s mission statement and to brainstorm about the purpose and future goals and activities of the group. Then an interest group may apply for recognition as an official College club or organization. For more information about this process, read the NOVA Student Handbook. If you are a student interested in starting an interest group, or if you are a faculty member interested in advising a student club, contact Bridget Downey, Student Life Specialist, to get the process started!
Read the NOVA Student Handbook to learn more about the policies and procedures for establishing a College interest group or organization.
Faculty Spotlight: Talula Guntner
We were fortunate enough to snag an interview with one of ELI’s most interesting, long-time faculty members, Talula Guntner. We wanted to find out how she maintained such a cheerful disposition. Surely, a career of interesting travels and helping others has contributed! We appreciated the opportunity to learn about the Travel & Tourism field and are thankful that she’ll still be teaching courses through ELI. Talula with the iguanas in Galapagos Islands
How did you get started in Travel & Tourism and what do you enjoy most about the field? I went on a 30 day tour of Europe. If you’ve seen the movie If it’s Tuesday it Must Be Belgium, the trip was like that. I was right out of college in 1969 and I just fell in love with travel! I like to go places and meet new people and learn about other cultures and I think travel is a way to spread peace around the world. I just think it has so many benefits and the more we get to know other people, the more we see that other people are like us. What I enjoy most about the field, besides the travel, is to help other people learn a new career. It really bugs me that people have careers that they don’t enjoy and they say, ―Well, I only have 39 more years and 12 days and then I can retire.‖ I don’t think that’s a good way to live. I think you should enjoy what you do as a career and if your hobby can be your career and you can get paid for it, I think that’s great. I have been very fortunate that I have a home-based travel agency now. I’ve been in the travel industry since 1972 and I’ve been
teaching at NOVA now for the past 21 years. So it’s really been a great career and a real big part of my life. I’ve got lifelong friends that I’ve met on trips and ones here at NOVA that I work with. What type of person is especially suited for this field? Anybody that likes people—likes dealing with people—and helping them plan their dreams. But also, I think it takes somebody with a little bit of patience - anytime you’re dealing with the public you need patience. I think it takes somebody that’s flexible, somebody that has a sense of humor – you know the things that are required for most careers. It’s good if you
Talula spots a giraffe in South Africa
know geography, but if you don’t you certainly can learn that. There are a lot of things you can learn Introduction to the Travel Industry (TRV 100)—This course and study but the one thing you presents an overview of the structure and scope of the travel cannot teach people is attitude. industry with an emphasis on job categories and functions, basic So if you have a really good attivocabulary, and the interrelationships of the various compotude, I think that’s the most imnents. It also includes the study of information displays of an portant thing. Because you’re airline computer reservations system. (3 credits) going to learn the job and you’re going to learn the terminology Geography of Tourism I & 11 (TRV 111 & 112)—Focuses on and the things you have to do to be successful career-wise. the geographic knowledge necessary to provide effective, efficient service to clients. Studies major western hemisphere (Part I) and eastern hemisphere (Part II). (3 credits)
What kinds of projects and assignments do students complete in Travel & Tourism courses? I teach Travel Geography II online which is Eastern Hemisphere and also Michael Freiband teaches western geography online and we both give students worksheets. A client wants a certain kind of trip and students have to decide where to send them depending on what destinations they’re studying. In some of the other courses, students may be reading articles to see what’s happening in the world and how it affects travel and using the discussion board to discuss different websites and different areas of the industry. Our group class (TRV 220: Principles of Group Travel & Tour Operations) which is taught on campus by Lynn Bostain – she has students plan a trip from start to finish, pricing it, making an itinerary, and making up a brochure – everything for a group. What are some of the jobs students have found after completing the program at NOVA? A lot of them have gone out and become travel counselors (which is the term I prefer instead of travel agents) because it is an entry-level way into the business. But there are not too many brick and mortar agencies now, so we actually have on campus a one-credit homebased travel management class. Because a lot of people want to do what I do—have a home-based travel agency. While I don’t recommend that for somebody right out of college particularly, they can
It’s a good networking field, too. Just the other day I was talking to a friend who had lost her job and she was a representative with a cruise line for about 8 years or so and she got laid off because they were consolidating staff and so forth and she says, ―I got that job because I was here and I networked.‖ And she was very upbeat about her job search because there are just so many different areas you can work in within this field.
Talula stands on a glacier in Alaska work through a host agency that helps them. I’ve had students work for cruise lines, tour companies, car rental companies, airlines, meeting planning – all different types of things. One thing that’s so wonderful about this industry is that you can start out in a hotel and then you can move to a cruise line and then you can move to an airline and in any order. And it’s so versatile! You can work from Washington, D.C. or San Francisco or from Asia. So once you’re in the field, it’s very easy to move around.
What are some of the Travel clubs and organizations students can get involved in for networking? On campus we have the American Society of Travel Agents Future Travel Professionals (ASTA FTP) club. Now you can join that through ASTA if you take classes at NOVA. It’s $80 the first year to become a member, but in order to go to the meetings on campus you don’t have to join anything. We’ve had some great speakers in the past, from an embassy, from an airline, cruise line, and we’ve had some very interesting programs. Anybody can come to those meetings and there’s usually about three a semester. So if students are interested in that then they can call the
Travel program at Annandale: 703323-3457. Where have you traveled lately and where are you headed next?
Well, I just got back in April from way to spread peace Puerto Rico with my students around the world. I and in December, some of us went to Las Vegas to the luxury just think it has so travel show. The spring before that we went to Turkey, which many benefits and was just awesome, and the year before that we went to South the more we get to Africa, which was also awesome! know other people So those, and of course the Galapagos Islands, are some of the we see that other real highlights of my travels.
people are like us.” Right now I’m in the midst of moving to North Carolina, right near the beach. I’m planning to go next spring to Lima, Peru and I’m hoping to see some new students and past students. I hope to do a pre- or post-tour of Machu Picchu. I also hope that a lot of students will take TRV 100 this Fall.
A zebra from Talula’s trip to South Africa
News from ELI Instructional Designers (Cont’d) Continued from page 3 Individualized Instruction in Writing & College Composition I (ENG 9/111) —Linked courses; must be taken together. Instead of a textbook, students in section E05L of this course will use the New York Times which will be available for purchase at a discount to NOVA-ELI students. (3 credits each)
Photojournalism I (PHT 231 ) —If you are interested in learning how to present news and other information in visually appealing ways, consider this course. Upon successful completion, students will be able to make documentary and narrative photographs; plan and shoot a compelling and ethical photo essay; edit, caption and present photos in a professional manner; and understand and discuss photojournalism issues and images. (3 credits)
“I think travel is a
Sociology II: Macro sociology (SOC 202)—Students in this course explore the concept of social change. Assignments include interviewing people who have lived in their neighborhood for 20 years and talking about how the neighborhood has changed. Videos are posted to YouTube and in the course discussion board where students comment on their classmates videos. (3 credits)
Summer Reading Thanks to Natalie Clewell, ELI’s first-ever virtual librarian, for providing these great recommendations for summer reading!
NON-FICTION The Art of Happiness – The Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D. Howard Cutler has compiled this fascinating account of his interviews with the Dalai Lama. Covering topics such as anxiety, family, work, and spirituality, this question-and-answer format my help you find your own Zen this Summer.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson The third and final book in the Millennium Trilogy continues to follow the life of Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker. She’s wanted for murder, has been shot herself, and is trying to survive. Her pursuit of justice is an excellent addition to crime fiction. It will keep you going ‘til the last page.
BossyPants – Tina Fey. A laugh-out-loud funny read that gives insight into Fey’s life. From her beginnings in Pennsylvania, to her current crazy life as a mother and comedienne, this is a great summer read if you want to take some time out from your own busy life.
Dead Reckoning – Charlaine Harris The latest in the long-running Sookie Stackhouse series, this is a great beach read. Sookie finds herself embroiled in another adventure as the vampires and shape-shifters of Bon Temps, Louisiana continue to find themselves drawing unwanted attention. Always a fun and funny read.
The Good Daughter: A Memoir of my Mother’s Hidden Life – Jasmine Darznik Darznik tells this moving story of the hidden struggles her mother endured in Iran before she met her German father and moved to America. Through letters sent across the country from her mother’s California home she discovers a life filled with a marriage, divorce, and a sister she never knew she had. A real pageturner. ELI
Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen Although you may recognize the title from the movie theatres, this story was first a book. It is a romantic pageturner of life in the circus during the Great Depression and the love that can be found between two people no matter what the circumstances.
Tech Tips Problem: I’m using Internet Explorer (IE8 and IE9) and can't see the menu in Blackboard; getting errors in browser.
The most common student tech problems and their solutions form Natasha Spokish, ELI Student Technology Specialist.
Solution: Try Compatibility mode! Click the compatibility button next to the address bar. See image ——> Try Firefox! Many users have reported that Firefox returns fewer errors than Internet Explorer and Chrome. Download Firefox for free from Mozilla.com. Reinstall Java! Go to Java.com and download the latest version of Java. If you uninstall all instances of Java and then reinstall the latest version, this should clear a lot of issues you may have with Blackboard.
Problem: I’m a Mac user and I can't view videos posted by my professor. Solution: Try Flip4Mac! This may solve your problems, as Flip4Mac lets you play .wmv files in QuickTime and view Windows Media content on any web browser. Download Flip4Mac here.
Problem: I’m a Verizon FIOS user and have trouble viewing videos. Solution: You may need to contact your Internet provider and have them change the settings on your router/firewall to allow for the MMS protocol (Microsoft Media Services). All of our Video On Demand files use Microsoft Media Services. More info regarding MMS can be found at the NOVA Tech Tips blog.
MOBILE APPS FOR SUMMER FUN! GAS BUDDY
Find the cheapest gas in your area. Available for Android, Blackberry, iPhone and Windows phones. Gasbuddy.com
Find the best restaurants in towns across North America— from new American cuisine, to mom & pop restaurants, to sushi bars and roadside BBQ—all chosen with the help of savvy local foodies. Available for Android, Blackberry and iPhone. Localeats.com
Browse through over 40,000 high-quality trail guides for outdoor activities including everything from hiking and mountain biking to fly fishing and snowshoeing. Available for iPhone. AllTrails.com