These guidelines identify and clarify the expectations and responsibilities of students utilizing distance education technology at EVMS.

Types of Accounts at EVMS

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

  • Novell
  • 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:

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

As more and more educational initiatives are based on computer systems, managing the various accounts can be challenging. EVMS IT services are sensitive to the balance of security and functionality trying to minimize accounts while keeping data safe. As a result, each student at EVMS has two primary accounts (Microsoft and Novell) that most applications authenticate against.

Reset your password.

Account Management

When a student arrives at EVMS, the credentials (ie: username and password) are set identically for all accounts.  While not required, we recommend keeping the password the same for both systems. A Link to change both passwords are provided further down the page.

Password Requirements

The password requirements for both systems at EVMS are as follows:

  1. Password changes occur every 180 days.
  2. The password must be a minimum of 8 characters (max 40).
  3. You cannot use more than 2 consecutive characters of your username.
  4. You cannot use more than 2 sequential numbers (ex: 123, 456, 789)
  5. The same character cannot be used more than four times.
  6. You are required to use an uppercase character, lowercase character, and a number. It is recommended that a special character is used as well.
  7. The systems save password history preventing password reuse for 12 instances.
  8. Passwords are case sensitive in both systems.
  9. Your password may not include the following restricted keywords: password, EVMS.

A good sample password: Grad2016$

A better sample password: Lo$tIn$pace2012

Password Expiration

Students are expected to manage their email through the EVMS system. Therefore reminders for both accounts are setup through our email. You will receive a notification of Microsoft password expiration after successful login to email. A weekly reminder of impending password expiration for your Novell account is emailed to your account. Both reminders will occur beginning 15 days prior to expiration.

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 missing 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.

Necessary Technical Skills

In order to be a successful distance education student, you must have a basic level of technical skills. These might include:

  • Using Blackboard LMS (i.e. logging in, accessing a course, navigating to course content)
  • Using email with attachments
  • Creating and submitting files in Blackboard
  • Copying and pasting
  • Using word processing and/or spreadsheet programs
  • Using presentation programs
  • Downloading and/or uploading files
  • Viewing online videos
  • Participating in online discussions