The Course Review Cohort is a group of faculty who meet with Educational Technology staff to learn about and discuss best practices in online teaching and learning. Participants have one of their online or hybrid courses reviewed in the process. Cohort members share their online teaching pedagogy and experiences and explore emerging trends and technologies.

A new set of NMC faculty members participate in each cohort, which consists of 5 ninety minute meetings throughout either the Fall or Spring term. During the first four meetings faculty and Ed Tech meet to discuss various aspects of online teaching. Ed Tech provides participants individual, course-level feedback on these aspects prior to each meeting. During the final meeting participants informally “showcase” their courses over lunch with the cohort, academic area chairs, Ed Tech staff and others.

Course Review Cohort Model

Why review courses?

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) requires that each section of each online course be reviewed every five years. Faculty teaching online or hybrid courses at NMC will be asked to participate in the Course Review Cohort in order to meet this requirement. Faculty teaching multiple online or hybrid courses don’t have to enroll in a cohort for each course taught. Once is enough, but each online or hybrid course still needs to be reviewed.

English Instructor Example

Let’s say a Communications faculty member teaches ENG111 and ENG112 online. Both courses need to be reviewed every five years, but the instructor will only be asked to participate in the cohort one time.

Several different faculty members may be teaching the same course using the online or hybrid delivery methods. Each of these courses has to be reviewed.

MTH131 Example

MTH131 has been taught online by several different instructors. Three MTH131 online sections created by three separate instructors have been reviewed.

Faculty who have already completed a cohort at least once can notify Ed Tech to start an independent course review of a different course.

How are courses reviewed?

All course reviews are completed by either Educational Technology staff or one of our Peer Reviewers. During this process, reviewers use either the Online Course Review Guide or Hybrid Course Review Guide (depending on delivery method) to communicate feedback to faculty members and academic area chairs. The online or hybrid course being reviewed must meet at least 80% of the criteria in the review guide in order to pass the review.

What happens if a course fails a review?

If a course doesn’t meet 80% of the criteria on the guide, faculty are invited to work with Ed Tech on various aspects of the course. This usually involves sharing and completing tasks until the missing criteria are met. Communication during the review process is never one way. It’s typically a dynamic back and forth between course reviewers and developers to ensure accuracy and accountability.

Not meeting 80% of the criteria never involves punitive measures. It’s common that a course will not pass an initial review. Once initial feedback on the course is given and once faculty have a chance to address missing criteria, courses almost always pass the final review.

To enroll in the next cohort, contact Mark DeLonge ( or Ryan Bernstein (