Welcome to the Northern Virginia Community College Website

Accessibility Navigation:

Using the Dashboard

Dashboard | Tabs | Global Navigation | My Blackboard Tools | Personalize the Dashboard | Accessing a Course


After logging in to myNOVA, select Blackboard to access the site. The dashboard (displayed below) is the first page that you come to and it's where you gain access to different areas of the Blackboard learning environment, including course(s) in which you are enrolled. You will also find information on NOVA's online community, which includes links to NOVAConnect, the IT Help Desk, the College website and local traffic and weather conditions.


If you look at your tabs at the top of the Blackboard screen, you will see that you have different options than you used to! Below is a description of what can be found in each section.

  • NOVA - Contains information and announcements for everyone at NOVA, as well as Blackboard courses you are enrolled in and course announcements.
  • Learn - Contains information and announcements specific to students, including your class schedule, Blackboard courses you are enrolled in, announcements from your Blackboard courses, important school calendar dates.
  • Student Connect - Contains information and tools to help students connect with other people, including access to student email, chats with a reference librarian, student services announcements, tutoring information, links to Blackboard organizations you are enrolled in, and information about other organizations on campus.
  • Research - Contains library and other research resources.
  • Help - Contains helpful information on Blackboard and ways to get more information and help if needed.

Global Navigation

The Global Navigation menu is located in the upper right corner of Blackboard. Click on the down arrow and you will find links to the User Menu and My Blackboard. The User Menu includes access to your Blackboard courses, Organizations and Settings. My Blackboard is accessed from the Global Navigation Menu by clicking the icons in the left grey column of the menu. My Blackboard contains the following options: Blackboard Home, Course Posts, Course Updates, My Grades and Calendar.

My Blackboard Tools

  • Blackboard Home displays an overview of items that are due, items that have been recently graded and recent course posts. Blackboard Home displays the five most recent activities.
  • Course Posts displays the most recent posts from your course discussion boards, blogs, and wikis, from the courses you are enrolled.
  • Course Updates displays notifications for all your courses -- including announcements, assessments available and assignment due. The types of updates displayed may be adjusted by clicking the gear in the upper right of the window.
  • My Grades displays grades your instructor(s) have posted for you in Blackboard. Grades may be sorted by date or course.
  • Calendar displays a consolidated view of all Blackboard course and personal calendar events you have added to your Blackboard calendar. Events may be viewed by day, week or month.

Personalize the Dashboard 

The Blackboard dashboard can be customized by manipulating the modules on each page and by changing the color palette.

Dashboard Modules
Modules can be collapsed, expanded, removed or managed, using the controls in the Module Title.

Modules can be moved around in a page by clicking on the top bar and dragging it into the desired position.

Modules can be added or removed by clicking on the Add Module button in the upper left-hand corner and selecting +Add or –Remove under each module name. Click OK at the bottom of the screen to save your changes.

Pick a Color Palette
You can choose a color palette for your Blackboard layout. To choose a new color palette, click the Personalize Page button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Scroll the page, click on your color palette of choice, and click Submit.

Accessing a Course 

The My Blackboard Courses module lists all NOVA courses that you are enrolled in. To access the course, click on title of the course.