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A novice is a term used, often informally, for a person or creature new to a field or activity. The term is used formally to refer to a person who has entered a religious order and is under probation, before taking vows. Additionally, it can be an animal, especially a racehorse, that has not yet won a major prize or reached a level of performance to qualify for important events.




Buddhist novices in Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, Bhutan NovicesWangdue.jpg
Buddhist novices in Wangdue Phodrang Dzong, Bhutan

In many Buddhist orders, a man or woman who intends to take ordination must first become a novice, adopting part of the monastic code indicated in the vinaya and studying in preparation for full ordination. The name for this level of ordination varies from one tradition to another. In Pali, the word is samanera, which means 'small monk' or 'boy monk'.



A novice is at left. The habit of a novice often differs from that of the full professed sisters. Zusters in Sevilla.JPG
A novice is at left. The habit of a novice often differs from that of the full professed sisters.

A novice in Catholic canon law and tradition, is a prospective member of a religious order who is being tried and being proven for suitability of admission to a religious order of priests, religious brothers, or religious sisters, whether the community is one of monks or has an "active" ministry. After initial contact with the community, and usually a period of time as a postulant (a more or less formal period of candidacy for the novitiate), the person will be received as a novice in a ceremony that most often involves being clothed with the religious habit (traditional garb) of the particular religious community. The novice's habit is often slightly different from those of professed members of the order. For instance, in communities of women that wear a dark veil over the head, novices often wear a white one; among Franciscan communities of men, novices wear an additional shirt-like chest piece over the traditional Franciscan robe; Carthusian novices wear a dark cloak over the usual white habit; etc.

Novices are not admitted to vows until they have successfully completed the prescribed period of training and proving, called the novitiate. This usually lasts one year, the minimum required by Canon Law, though in some orders and communities it is two. Novices typically have dormitories in separate areas within a monastery or community and are under the direct supervision of a novice master or novice mistress.

Eastern Orthodox Church

In the Orthodox Church, a candidate may be clothed as a novice (Slavonic: послушник, poslushnik, literally "one under obedience") by the hegumen (abbot) or hegumenia (abbess) after at least three days in the monastery. There is no formal ceremony for the clothing of a novice; he (or she) is simply given the riassa, belt and skoufos. Novice nuns additionally wear a veil (apostolnik) that covers the head and neck. A novice is also given a prayer rope and instructed in the use of the Jesus Prayer. In large communities, the new novice may be assigned a starets (spiritual father or spiritual mother) who will guide his (or her) spiritual development. Frequent confession of sins and participation in the sacred mysteries (sacraments) of the church is an important part of Orthodox monastic life.

A novice is free to leave the monastery at any time, and the superior is free to dismiss the novice at any time if, for instance, they feel that the novice is not called to monasticism, or if there have been issues of discipline. If, however, the novice perseveres, after a period of around three years the hegumen may choose to clothe them in the first (beginning) rank of monasticism: the rassaphore.


In National Hunt racing, a novice is a horse that has not won a race under a particular code (either chasing or hurdling) before the current season. [1]

In figure skating competitions, novice has two meanings. For the U.S. Figure Skating Association, it refers to a skill level, while the International Skating Union uses it to designate age.

Novice is a level of minor hockey in Canada. Novice players are usually between the ages of 7 and 8.

In the sport of crew (rowing), the term is used for an athlete in their first year of competition.

In many sports, a novice athlete competing in their first season or league is often referred to as a rookie, and outstanding novice athletes can win Rookie of the Year.

Online communities

With the rise of the internet, a novice is a person who is a newcomer to a particular website, forum, or other social community. These people are usually inexperienced and unfamiliar with the traditions and protocols surrounding that community, and often tend not to contribute.In a study at Carnegie Mellon University, researchers looked at whether reminding users of their history of rating rarely-rated movies at increased their contributions. [2] The study found that reminding users of their uniqueness increased their willingness to contribute. [2] The study also looked at whether goal-setting could help users contribute more to the community. The study found that users with specific goals contributed more than users with a do-your-best goal. [2]

Generally derogatory slang terms include "newbie" and the more derogatory "noob". Newbie is mostly used as a descriptor or qualifier, a name given to novices by more experienced users or community members to indicate someone who just entered the community and is eager to learn and participate. Noob is a word used to insult or deride novices who are disrespectful, uninterested, or unwilling to learn.

In gamer culture, a newbie is an inexperienced player with a low level, rank, or in-game abilities but wants to participate and improve, and a noob is a bad player who seems disinterested in learning or teamwork and trolls other players.

Dealing With newcomers

Online communities have five basic problems regarding newcomers: recruitment, selection, retention, socialization, and protection. [3]

Recruitment in online communities is about advertising to recruits and ensuring there is a healthy amount of newcomers because without newcomers, online communities can fail to survive. There many different methods that online communities use to recruit new members. For example, Blizzard entertainment used both impersonal advertisement (TV, print, online advertisement) and interpersonal advertisement (recruit-a-friend promotion) to recruit new players for World of Warcraft. [4]

Selection in online communities is about making sure that the newcomers will be a good fit in the community. This is very important because a better fit is more likely to be beneficial for the community, since better fit newcomers stay in the group longer when they join and are more satisfied with their membership. One way that selection works in online communities is through the process of self-selection, in which the potential members decide themselves to join a community based on the information about the community available to them. Another way of selection is through screening, in which the community selects certain members who they believe will be a good fit. [5]

Retention in online communities is about making sure that the newcomers stick around and stay long enough to become more committed members, who take on more important responsibilities and begin to be identify themselves with the group. One way that online communities work on retention is through the use of entry barriers and initiation rituals because making it difficult to join should increase their commitment. For example, in World of Warcraft, newcomers have to play with other guild members for at least about a month to join. [6]

Socialization in online communities about the rest of community interacting with newcomer and teaching them the guidelines and standards of the community. For example, in World of Warcraft, old member show the newcomers ropes, by coaching them, helping them with quests, and providing mentorship in general. [7]

Protection in online communities is about protecting the community from the newcomers. Since newcomers still have not established themselves with the group or still may be unfamiliar with the norms of the community, the rest of the community has to beware of the potential damage that they can cause. One way to deal with the threats is through the use of sandboxes, which allows newcomers to try out the features and learn about the tools without causing damage to the community. [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

An internet relationship is a relationship between people who have met online, and in many cases know each other only via the Internet. Online relationships are similar in many ways to pen pal relationships. This relationship can be romantic, platonic, or even based on business affairs. An internet relationship is generally sustained for a certain amount of time before being titled a relationship, just as in-person relationships. The major difference here is that an internet relationship is sustained via computer or online service, and the individuals in the relationship may or may not ever meet each other in person. Otherwise, the term is quite broad and can include relationships based upon text, video, audio, or even virtual character. This relationship can be between people in different regions, different countries, different sides of the world, or even people who reside in the same area but do not communicate in person.

Nun Member of a religious community of women

A nun is a member of a religious community of women, typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the enclosure of a monastery. Communities of nuns exist in numerous religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, and Taoism.

Newbie, newb, noob, nub, or n00b is a slang term for a novice or newcomer, or somebody inexperienced in a profession or activity. Contemporary use can particularly refer to a beginner or new user of computers, often concerning internet activity, such as online gaming or Linux use. Depending on the context and spelling variant used, the term can have derogatory connotations —but is also often used for descriptive purposes only, without any value judgment.

An online community, also called an internet community or web community, is a virtual community whose members interact with each other primarily via the Internet. For many, online communities may feel like home, consisting of a "family of invisible friends". Those who wish to be a part of an online community usually have to become a member via a specific site and thereby gain access to specific content or links. An online community can act as an information system where members can post, comment on discussions, give advice or collaborate. Commonly, people communicate through social networking sites, chat rooms, forums, e-mail lists and discussion boards. People may also join online communities through video games, blogs and virtual worlds. The rise in popularity of Web 2.0 websites has allowed for easier real-time communication and connection to others, and facilitated the introduction of new ways for information to be exchanged.

Monk Member of a monastic religious order

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his or her life in prayer and contemplation. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.

In Internet culture, a lurker is typically a member of an online community or PLN who observes, but does not participate. The exact definition depends on context. Lurkers make up a large proportion of all users in online communities. Lurking allows users to learn the conventions of an online community before they participate, improving their socialization when they eventually "de-lurk". However, a lack of social contact while lurking sometimes causes loneliness or apathy among lurkers.

Novitiate period of training and preparation that a Christian novice undergoes

The novitiate, also called the noviciate, is the period of training and preparation that a Christian novice monastic, apostolic, or member of a religious order undergoes prior to taking vows in order to discern whether they are called to vowed religious life. It often includes times of intense study, prayer, living in community, studying the vowed life, deepening one's relationship with God, and deepening one's self-awareness. It is a time of creating a new way of being in the world. The canonical time of the novitiate is one year, in case of additional length, it must not be extended over two years. This time is both for the novice to get to know the community and the communitie to get to know the novice's charisms and ability to live a religious live. The novice could deepen his relationship with God, intensify the living out of the community's mission and charism, and foster his human growth. The novitiate in many communities includes a concentrated program of prayer, study, reflection and limited ministerial engagement.

A postulant was originally one who makes a request or demand; hence, a candidate. The use of the term is now generally restricted to those asking for admission into a monastery or a religious institute, both before actual admission and for the period of time preceding their admission into the novitiate. Currently, however, common usage terms the person who has not yet been accepted by the institution as an "inquirer" or "observer".

The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus are a missionary congregation in the Catholic Church. It was founded in 1854 by Servant of God Jules Chevalier (1824–1907) at Issoudun, France, in the Diocese of Bourges.

Religious habit Distinctive set of garments worn by members of a religious order

A religious habit is a distinctive set of religious clothing worn by members of a religious order. Traditionally some plain garb recognizable as a religious habit has also been worn by those leading the religious eremitic and anchoritic life, although in their case without conformity to a particular uniform style.

The Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette are a religious congregation of priests and brothers in the Latin Church, one of the 23 sui iuris churches which make up the Catholic Church which is led by the Bishop of Rome. They are named after the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette in France. There is also a parallel religious community of sisters called the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of La Salette. A lay fraternal group of associates also works in cooperation with the vowed religious. The Missionaries are dedicated to making known the message of Our Lady of La Salette, a call to healing of inner brokenness and personal reconciliation with God, especially as found in the first three commandments. The missionaries are popularly known as "the La Salettes."

Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Catholic religious institute

The Congregation of St. Cecilia, commonly known as the Nashville Dominicans, is a religious institute within the Latin Church of the Catholic Church located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a member of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, one of the two organizations which represent women religious in the United States. The sisters combine a monastic communal lifestyle of contemplation in the Dominican tradition with an active apostolate in Catholic education. As of 2018, the congregation has 300 sisters.

Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit organization

The Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit, known also simply as Pauline Fathers, is a monastic order of the Roman Catholic Church, founded in Hungary during the 13th century. Its post-nominal letters are O.S.P.P.E.

Degrees of Eastern Orthodox monasticism

The degrees of Eastern Orthodox monasticism are the stages an Eastern Orthodox monk or nun passes through in their religious vocation.

Onboarding onboarding

Onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, is management jargon first created in the 1970s that refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors in order to become effective organizational members and insiders.

Company of Mary

The Missionaries of the Company of Mary is a missionary religious congregation within the Catholic Church. The community was founded by Saint Louis de Montfort in 1705 with the recruitment of his first missionary disciple, Mathurin Rangeard. The congregation is made up of priests and brothers who serve both in the native lands and in other countries. The Montfortian Family comprises three groups: the Company of Mary, the Daughters of Wisdom and the Brothers of Saint Gabriel.

GroupLens Research computer science research lab at the University of Minnesota focused on recommender systems and social computing

GroupLens Research is a human–computer interaction research lab in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities specializing in recommender systems and online communities. GroupLens also works with mobile and ubiquitous technologies, digital libraries, and local geographic information systems.

Robert E. Kraut American social psychologist

Robert E. Kraut is an American social psychologist who studies human-computer interaction, online communities, internet use, group coordination, computers in organizations, and the role of visual elements in interpersonal communication. He is a Herbert Simon Professor of Human-computer Interaction at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) is a Society of Apostolic Life within the Roman Catholic Church. It was founded in 1958 by Father James H. Flanagan, a priest from the United States. The Society maintains missions in various countries, describing itself as Marian-Trinitarian, Catholic, missionary, and family. Membership in the Society includes priests, permanent deacons, religious sisters, religious brothers, and the lay faithful.

<i>Supernoobs</i> television series

Supernoobs is a Canadian-American animated television series produced by DHX Media for Cartoon Network and Teletoon. The series is about four kids who navigate through middle school and fight evil assassins at the same time. It first premiered on Cartoon Network in the United Kingdom and Ireland on November 2, 2015. Supernoobs was created by Scott Fellows, who also created Johnny Test, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Big Time Rush, and 100 Things to Do Before High School. On January 11, 2018, DHX announced that the second seasonwill air on its Family Channel, and YTV instead of Teletoon. The second season has been picked up by Cartoon Network across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Hulu in the United States. The show ended on February 7, 2019.


  1. "National Hunt races". BBC. 3 March 2003. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  2. 1 2 3 Gerard Beenen; Kimberly Ling; Xiaoquin Wang; Klarissa Chang; Dan Frankowski (2004). "Using Social Psychology to Motivate Contributions to Online Communities". Carnegie Mellon University Research Showcase : Human-Computer Interaction Institute School of Computer Science. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  3. Robert Kraut, Moira Burke & John Riedl (2012). Dealing with Newcomers. p. 2.
  4. Robert Kraut, Moira Burke & John Riedl (2012). Dealing with Newcomers. p. 4.
  5. Robert Kraut, Moira Burke & John Riedl (2012). Dealing with Newcomers. p. 13
  6. Robert Kraut, Moira Burke & John Riedl (2012). Dealing with Newcomers. p. 22
  7. Robert Kraut, Moira Burke & John Riedl (2012). Dealing with Newcomers. p. 27
  8. Robert Kraut, Moira Burke & John Riedl (2012). Dealing with Newcomers. p. 32