Distance Education Student Guidelines

The guidelines listed below identify and clarify the expectations and responsibilities of students utilizing distance education technology at Eastern Virginia Medical School.


Types of Accounts at EVMS

There are two types of accounts that all individuals have at EVMS these are:

  1. Novell
  2. Microsoft

Each account will give the user access to different systems on campus. These are:

  • Novell = myPortal, Blackboard, EVMS Library
  • Microsoft = Email

Account Access Issues

If you are experiencing issues getting into your account it is most likely a password issue. There are two main reasons you may have a problem with your password:

  1. You have entered an incorrect password more than three (3) times and have been locked out
  2. Your password has expired

EVMS policy requires passwords to expire every 180 days and the password will need to be reset or changed.

If you cannot get into blackboard or the myPortal you will need to check your Novell password. Once you have determined that this is the issue you can follow the steps below to reset/change your password

  1. Go to novellportal.evms.edu
  2. You will be redirected to Oklahoma.evms.edu (This is NOT an error)
  3. Select the process that suits your needs either Forgotten Password or Change Password.

For more information, you can review this short video explaining the types of accounts and the steps you can follow to have them reset or changed. 


Is there a specific time I need to log into an online course?

It is vital to your success in the program that you log in on the first day a course is opened online. You can log in any time of the day or night that is convenient for you. Once you have logged in, you will need to carefully review the syllabus and all of the important assignment deadlines for the course. Keep in mind that not all of the courses you will be enrolled in are scheduled the same, class expectations, assignments and schedules will vary.

Is there an attendance requirement for online courses?

Yes, there is. Online activities are required to verify your attendance in a course. Once the semester begins, students will be notified of new course openings.  It is a requirement for all distance students to log into their new courses the first week of the course.  Information about the course schedule, such as start and stop dates, is available in the program student handbook, individualized program overview courses, and the program calendar.  Failure to log into a course and miss important deadlines may lead to withdrawal from a course.

Response Time to Emails

Faculty and program staff respond to student email questions within 24-48 hours, with the exception of weekends and holidays. Be sure to monitor your EVMS email account regularly as you will be held to the same 24-48 hour response standard.


Assignment due dates for each course are provided by the professor and are dependent upon the course schedule. It is very important that you carefully review the syllabus to determine the day and time each activity, discussion, assessment or assignment is due. It is possible that items are required for submission on weekends and/or holidays. 

The Blackboard assignments area has recently been upgraded. In order to use this tool effectively please review the short video on uploading assignments.