The 2016 Horizon Project Higher Education expert panel has spoken! They have just selected the six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology that will be featured in the upcoming NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition, to be released at the ELI Annual Meeting in February. The project and resulting report is a collaboration with the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI). These are the topic poised to have a major impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in higher education across the globe.

Check out a summary of results below, and you can find helpful definitions and discussions of each on the official project wiki. Then it’s your turn! We’re looking for innovative projects, policies, and leadership initiatives that reflect these topics in action. Submit your exemplary work at, and more detailed instructions are below. Tell all of the amazing higher education leaders and practitioners you know, too!

Submit Your Projects

I. Key Trends Accelerating Higher Education Technology Adoption

Long-Term Impact Trends: Accelerating technology adoption in Higher Education for five or more years

  • Advancing Cultures of Change and Innovation
  • Rethinking How Institutions Work

Mid-Term Impact Trends: Accelerating technology adoption in Higher Education for the next three to five years

  • Redesigning Learning Spaces
  • Shift to Deep Learning Approaches

Short-Term Impact Trends: Accelerating technology adoption in Higher Education for the next one to two years

  • Growing Focus on Measuring Learning
  • Increasing Use of Blended Learning Designs


II. Significant Challenges Impeding Higher Education Technology Adoption

Solvable Challenges: Those which we both understand and know how to solve

  • Blending Formal and Informal Learning
  • Improving Digital Literacy

Difficult Challenges: Those 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


III. Important Developments in Technology for Higher Education

 Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
  • Learning Analytics & Adaptive Learning

 Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

  • Augmented Reality
  • Makerspaces

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

  • Affective Computing
  • Robotics

The next step is to ask you to help us to find some great examples of projects in the areas we picked. We’d love to hear from you personally, but feel free to also poll your own networks — we’re trying to cast a wide net as we look for great examples of people advancing these trends, solving these challenges, or using/experimenting with these technologies in practice.

We are interested in learning about any kind of research, pilot programs, innovative projects, or faculty work happening at your institution or organization in any of the areas listed above. Our goal is to help readers understand the potential impact of these areas and their applications on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry in global higher education, as well as policy and leadership. Of course, a number of innovative educators, universities and colleges, and organizations are already working in some of these areas, and those are the very efforts we want to highlight. Of special interest are any activities that have a significant web presence so that a URL might be included in the report.

How to Participate
If you know of examples we could include, please use the brief web form at to tell us about them. We ask for a title, a URL, and a one- or two-sentence description; you also will need to select which of the topics your example falls under. The process takes about two minutes.

We hope to have your examples by January 10th, but no matter what, we’d love to hear about what you are doing! All we really need is a sentence of description and a URL — we’ll do the rest.