2016 Horizon Report

The NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). This 13th edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology are placed directly in the context of their likely impact on the core missions of universities and colleges, and detailed in succinct, non-technical, and unbiased presentations. Each has been tied to essential questions of relevance, policy, leadership, and practice. The three key sections of this report constitute a reference and straightforward technology-planning guide for educators, higher education leaders, administrators, policymakers, and technologists.  (Source: www.NMC.org, 2016). Read more...

We encourage you to explore the full report which covers the following topics:

Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education 

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

    • Advancing Cultures of Innovation

    • Rethinking How Institutions Work

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

    • Redesigning Learning Spaces

    • Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches

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

    • Growing Focus on Measuring Learning

    • Increasing Use of Blended Learning Designs


Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Higher Education

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

    • Blending Formal and Informal Learning

    • Improving Digital Literacy

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

    • Competing Models of Education

    • Personalizing Learning

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

    • Balancing Our Connected and Unconnected Lives

    • Keeping Education Relevant


Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

    • Bring Your own Device (BYOD)

    • Learning Analytics and Adaptive Learning

  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

    • Augmented and Virtual Reality

    • Maker spaces

  • Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

    • Affective Computing

    • Robotics



Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. and Hall, C. (2016). NMC Horizon Report: 2016 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium