As part of its ongoing research, the NMC identifies areas of potential impact in teaching, learning, research, and creative expression. These areas, or initiatives, are designed to address a need or challenge, framed in the form of a question. The activities and programs undertaken by the NMC aim to tease out the relevant issues related to each question and find ways to address them.
Within each initiative, the NMC employs four strategies to develop supporting activities. These are to convene people around ideas; to catalyze dialog and discussion; to build community and engage people; and to contribute to the field in the form of publications, demonstration and other projects, and information archives.