August 27, 2018

Strategic ed tech planning with the 2018 NMC Horizon Report by EDUCAUSE

Posted by Laura Guertin

When I heard that the New Media Consortium (NMC) ceased operation last year, I assumed that was the end of the publication of the annual Horizon Report – Higher Education Edition, which I blog about and refer to annually for the latest developments and trends in educational technology. It turns out that EDUCAUSE, who had previously partnered with the NMC to publish the annual report, acquired the rights to the NMC Horizon project. Recently released is the 15th edition of this report, brought to us by EDUCAUSE.

The Horizon Report series charts “the five-year impact of innovative practices and technologies for higher education across the globe… six key trends, six significant challenges, and six developments in educational technology profiled [that] are likely to impact teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher education” (Becker et al., 2018).

To read the full higher education edition of the 2018 NMC Horizon Report (60 pages), visit:

I have reproduced the table of contents from the full report below. How many of these topics are you, your department, or your institution addressing or discussing? Or are you ahead of the ed tech curve?

Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education

Long-Term Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for five or more years

>> Advancing Cultures of Innovation

>> Cross-Institution & Cross-Sector Collaboration

Mid-Term Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for the next three to five years

>> Proliferation of Open Educational Resources

>> The Rise of New Forms of Interdisciplinary Studies

Short-Term Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for the next one to two years

>> Growing Focus on Measuring Learning

>> Redesigning Learning Spaces

Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Higher Education

Solvable Challenges: Those that we understand and know how to solve

>> Authentic Learning Experiences

>> Improving Digital Literacy

Difficult Challenges: Those that we understand but for which solutions are elusive

>> Adapting Organizational Designs to the Future of Work

>> Advancing Digital Equity

Wicked Challenges: Those that are complex to even define, much less address

>> Economic and Political Pressures

>> Rethinking the Roles of Educators

Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

>> Analytics Technologies

>> Makerspaces

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

>> Adaptive Learning Technologies

>> Artificial Intelligence

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

>> Mixed Reality

>> Robotics

There has been a summary video of the report produced in prior years. Although one does not exist for the 2018 report, EDUCAUSE has a relevant video that overviews 2018 Top 10 IT Issues – how digital technology is remaking higher education through four key themes: institutional adaptiveness, improved student outcomes, improved decision-making, and IT adaptiveness. This information is also summarized on the EDUCAUSE website.


I blogged about the 20172016 and 2015 reports, and you can access prior reports going back to 2004 on the NMC Horizon Report website. You may also be interested in the Campus Technology 2017 Teaching with Technology survey results.